Nutrition researchers from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are evaluating the components of cinnamon and other spices to explore their beneficial effects on insulin levels and other functions.
Richard Anderson’s research, conducted at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland indicates that certain spices may be beneficial to some diabetic patients.
Their study evaluated a water-soluble cinnamon extract, suggested that it could have a positive impact on blood glucose levels and insulin. The USDA’s website in a post explaining the research noted that, “Insulin is a key hormone that ‘opens a door’ within cells and then escorts glucose into those cells, thus providing fuel to them. Without a sufficient insulin supply, or ability to use available insulin, glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells where it can be metabolized and used for fuel. Over time, damage occurs to the eyes, kidneys, heart and nerves.”
The study was conducted in Ohio, involved 22 participants with metabolic syndrome, which increase the likelihood of developing diabetes. Volunteers were randomly assigned to supplement their diets with either the cinnamon extracts or a placebo for 3 months.
The participants that received the extract experienced a significant drop in their blood glucose levels and small increases in lean muscle mass in comparison to the placebo group. The researchers noted, “Improvement in lean muscle mass is considered a marker of improved body composition. “
The extract group also experienced declines in their blood pressure and body fat.
An earlier study, conducted in 2006, and reported in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation by researchers at Germany’s University of Hannover found a water-soluble, cinnamon reduced fasting blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. This study was the first of its kind to evaluate the impact a water-soluble cinnamon extract on sugar (glycemic) control and the lipid profile of type 2 diabetic patients. The results contribute to a growing body of clinical evidence demonstrating supplementation with a water-soluble cinnamon extract may play an important role in managing blood sugar levels and improving insulin function.
Almost 80 people with type 2 diabetes receiving oral medications or diet therapy were randomly assigned to take either a cinnamon extract or placebo capsule three times daily for four months. The cinnamon capsule contained 112 mg of water-soluble extract, an equivalent of one gram of cinnamon powder. The cinnamon extract group experienced a significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose levels (10.3%) versus the placebo group (3.4%).
In the U.S., Cinnulin PF is the only water-soluble cinnamon extract ingredient standardized for the recognized active component in cinnamon. Despite USDA studies showing the health benefits of cinnamon, it is important to note that when taken frequently or in high doses, whole cinnamon and fat-soluble extracts can be toxic. Cinnulin PF retains the active components without the potentially harmful compounds, making it completely safe for everyday use.
Medical News Today