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Cinnamon and Diabetes

Cinnamon and Blood Sugar

Common Names: Cinnamomum verum, zeylanicum, Dalchina Chakka, kayu manis and cassia vera.

The leaves are ovate-oblong in shape, 7–18 cm (2.75–7.1 inches) long. The flowers, which are arranged in panicles, have a greenish color, and have a distinct odor. The fruit is a purple one-centimeter berry containing a single seed.

Its flavor is due to an aromatic essential oil that makes up 0.5% to 1% of its composition. This oil is prepared by roughly pounding the bark, macerating it in seawater, and then quickly distilling the whole. It is of a golden-yellow color, with the characteristic odor of cinnamon and a very hot aromatic taste. The pungent taste and scent come from cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaldehyde and, by the absorption of oxygen as it ages, it darkens in colour and develops resinous compounds. Chemical components of the essential oil include ethyl cinnamate, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and methyl chavicol.

The name cinnamon comes from Greek kinnámōmon, itself ultimately from Phoenician. The botanical name for the spice—Cinnamomum zeylanicum—is derived from Sri Lanka's former (colonial) name, Ceylon.

Cinnamon comes in ‘quills’, strips of bark rolled one in another. The pale brown to tan bar strips are generally thin, the spongy outer bark having been scraped off. The best varieties are pale and parchment-like in appearance. Cinnamon is very similar to cassia, and in North America little distinction is given, though cassia tends to dominate the market. Cinnamon is also available ground, and can be distinguished from cassia by its lighter color and much finer powder.

Important Research and opinions on Cinnamon and diabetes.

Cinnamon Helps Type 2 Diabetes WebMD article
Cinnamon made a difference! Twenty days after the cinnamon was stopped, there were significant reductions in blood glucose levels in all three groups that took cinnamon, ranging from 18 to 29%. But these was one peculiar finding that researchers don't understand at this point. Only the group that consumed the lowest level of cinnamon continued with significantly improved glucose levels -- group 1. The placebo groups didn't get any significant differences.
Taking more cinnamon seems to improve the blood levels of fats called triglycerides. All the patients had better triglyceride levels in their 40-day tests -- between 23% to 30% reductions. Those taking the most cinnamon had the best levels.

Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes
In conclusion, cinnamon reduced serum glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. 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.

Cinnamon, Glucose Tolerance and Diabetes
This research is performed by the Nutrient Requirements and Functions Laboratory (NRFL) of the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC)
Our recent human studies indicate that consuming roughly one half of a teaspoon of cinnamon per day or less leads to dramatic improvements in blood sugar, cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. Intake of cinnamon, at these levels, is very safe and there should not be any side effects. There are also companies selling water soluble components from cinnamon that contain the active ingredients with minimal amounts of the components that could be toxic at elevated levels.
Read more at search term diabetes and cinnamon

Independent Study
A controlled trial comparing a placebo against cinnamon was recently reported in Diabetes Care 2003;26:3215-8 . In this trial doses of cassia cinnamomum ranging from 1-6 grams a day provided in divided daily doses all produced some significant reductions in blood sugar levels, total cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and finally even lower levels of LDL lipoproteins.

Cinnamon Helps Combat Diabetes
Cinnamon may have a medical application in preventing and combating diabetes. It appears to help by playing the role of an insulin substitute in type II diabetes, according to cellular and molecular studies at the University of California, Iowa State University and the Department of Agriculture.

Cinnamon May Help to Alleviate Diabetes Says UCSB Researcher
(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – Cinnamon may be more than a spice – it may have a medical application in preventing and combating diabetes. Cinnamon may help by playing the role of an insulin substitute in type II diabetes, according to cellular and molecular studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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