Monday, October 9th 2006
Long used as an herbal medicine throughout Asia, cinnamon is used mainly as a spice in Western countries. Since 1990, animal studies have shown that cinnamon is helpful to type 2 diabetics because it mimics insulin and may help control blood sugar levels. In addition, research has found that cinnamon may inhibit a liver cholesterol enzyme and may be effective in helping lower cholesterol.
Cinnamon extract may positively impact fasting plasma glucose concentrations in Type II diabetics, according to a new study from the University of Hannover. Researchers enrolled 79 patients with Type II diabetes, who were not on insulin, in a double blind study to take aqueous cinnamon purified extract or placebo capsules for four months. At the end of the intervention, the cinnamon group showed a significantly greater reduction (10.3%) of fasting plasma glucose level, compared to the placebo group (3.4% reduction). The decrease in plasma glucose correlated significantly with baseline concentrations, suggesting patients with higher initial plasma glucose levels may benefit more from cinnamon intake.
Human studies now show that cinnamon helps control blood sugar and cinnamon's role in helping protect against and treat type 2 diabetes is being given serious consideration. Now another new study brings more support for cinnamon's role as a diabetic-friendly food.
In the double-blind study, 65 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes took either 112mg or cinnamon extract (equal to 1 gram cinnamon powder) or a placebo capsule three times a day for four months. In addition to measuring blood sugar levels, researchers also measured levels of a protein called HbA1C, recently found to be associated with type 2 diabetes.
While no differences were seen in HbA1C, there was a "significant difference" in the decrease in blood sugar between the two groups. The cinnamon group's blood sugar dropped by 10.3% compared to only a 3.4% drop in the placebo group. What's more, the patients with the higher blood sugar levels before the study began experienced the greatest decrease by the end of the study.
With no adverse reactions reported, the researchers concluded that "cinnamon extract seems to have a moderate effect in reducing fasting plasma glucose concentrations in diabetic patients with poor blood sugar control."
Reproduced unabridged from the October - December 2006 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for glucose metabolism :
Related health information can be found here:
Aspartame - NutriSweet, neurotoxin
Diabetes and insulin resistance
Looking for a sugar alternative? Try Stevia
Protein - a macronutrient so often overlooked
The Good Health Diet
Water, the elixir of life
Related articles can be found here:
Blood Sugar Regulation
Chromium Essential for sugar metabolism
Cinnamon Promotes Healthy Sugar Metabolism
Gymnema Sylvestre - traditional herb to help control blood sugar
Natural Trends in Diabetes Care
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Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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