Cinnamon May Help in Type 2 Diabetes

Cinnamon May Help in Type 2 Diabetes

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Cinnamon May Help in Type 2 Diabetes

Research conducted at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland might signal good news for people with type 2 diabetes. Results seem to show that a small amount of cinnamon taken daily can be instrumental in lowering blood sugars. Blood sugar is naturally regulated by insulin produced in the pancreas. In type 2 diabetes, either the patient develops insulin resistance, where the body still produces the hormone but does not use it effectively, or there is not enough produced. Initially the scientists were testing the affects of a variety of commonly eaten foods on blood sugar. During these tests they found that apple pie flavoured with cinnamon defied expectations that blood sugar would increase and instead decreased. This finding led to more research into the cause of this unexpected result and into the properties of cinnamon. They discovered that the active compound in cinnamon is the water soluable methylhydroxychalcone polymer (MHCP) and it lowers insulin resistance by activating enzymes that stimulate insulin receptors.The researchers made their discovery by testing cinnamon in test tubes but the big question was would it work on people?One of the postdoctoral fellows engaged on the research, Alam Khan, went on to do a study in Pakistan. Sixty volunteers with type 2 diabetes were divided into groups. Half were given a placebo, the rest were given one, three or six grams capsules of cinnamon powder daily after meals. The study took place over 40 days.Interestingly, not only did blood sugar levels decrease in all the groups taking cinnamon while there were no significant changes in the groups on placebos, triglyceride and LDL (''bad'') cholesterol also decreased in the groups on cinnamon. The reductions were:blood sugar - 23% to 30%

Even 20 days after the study ended, the groups who had been given cinnamon still showed reduced levels indicating to the researchers that it is not necessary to take cinnamon everyday.As shown above, the amounts of cinnamon given to the volunteers was relatively small so it seems to make sense to add something like half a teaspoon of cinnamon to food or drink each day if you have diabetes.Copyright © 2004 Carol Fisher. All Rights Reserved.

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