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Cinnamon Improves Glucose, Lipid Control in Type 2 Diabetics

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Cinnamon may improve glucose and lipid control in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

"Botanical products can improve glucose metabolism and the overall condition of individuals with diabetes not only by hypoglycemic effects but also by improving lipid metabolism, antioxidant status, and capillary function," write Alam Khan, MS, PhD, from NWFP Agricultural University in Peshawar, Pakistan, and colleagues. "Aqueous extracts from cinnamon have been shown to increase in vitro glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis and to increase phosphorylation of the insulin receptor; in addition, these cinnamon extracts are likely to aid in triggering the insulin cascade system."

In this study, 60 subjects with type 2 diabetes were randomized into six groups consuming 1, 3, or 6 g of cinnamon or the corresponding number of placebo capsules for 40 days followed by a 20-day washout period. There were 30 men and 30 women, and average age was 52.2 ± 6.32 years.

All three cinnamon groups had reductions in mean fasting serum glucose (ranging from 18%-29%), triglyceride (23%-30%), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (7%-27%), and total cholesterol (12%-26%) levels. There were no significant changes in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or in the placebo groups.

Study limitations include inability to determine if doses of cinnamon less than 1 g per day would also be beneficial. Possible mechanisms of the effects of cinnamon include activated glycogen synthase, increased glucose uptake, inhibited glycogen synthase kinase, activated insulin receptor kinase, inhibited dephosphorylation of the insulin receptor, or antioxidant effect.

"The maintenance of lower serum glucose and lipid levels, even when the individuals were not consuming cinnamon for 20 days, denotes sustained effects of cinnamon, indicating that cinnamon would not need to be consumed every day," the authors write. "Because cinnamon would not contribute to caloric intake, those who have type 2 diabetes or those who have elevated glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, or total cholesterol levels may benefit from the regular inclusion of cinnamon in their daily diet. In addition, cinnamon may be beneficial for the remainder of the population to prevent and control elevated glucose and blood lipid levels."

Source: Diabetes In

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