Issue 28, February 2011
6. Cinnamon Really good for diabetes?

    For the past few years there has been a widely spread belief that cinnamon reduces diabetes even though there were not much scientific evidences.

    One study published in 2009 found that cinnamon taken twice a day for 90 days improved hemoglobin A1C levels — a reflection of average blood sugar level for the past two to three months — in people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes (hemoglobin A1C levels greater than 7%).

    Dr Richard Anderson from the US Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Centre, through a clinical trial found that just half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood-sugar levels in diabetics.

    The active ingredient in cinnamon is a polyphenol compound called MHCP. This mimics insulin, activates its receptor, and works with insulin in cells, improving glucose metabolism by 20%.

    More research is needed to confirm these findings and determine how cinnamon supplementation leads to these benefits. One theory is that cinnamon increases insulin action. Any way it  is a cheap, readily available 'functional food' that is easy to incorporate into your daily diet.

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