Cinnamon might improve not only the taste of our food, but it can also benefit those who suffers from diabetes. In a study done in 2003 by the Department of Human Nutrition, NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan, they used a total of 60 people with type 2 diabetes, 30 men and 30 women aged 52.2 +/- 6.32 years, and divided them randomly into six groups. Groups 1, 2, and 3 consumed 1, 3, or 6 g of cinnamon daily, respectively, and groups 4, 5, and 6 were given placebo capsules corresponding to the number of capsules consumed for the three levels of cinnamon. The cinnamon was consumed for 40 days followed by a 20-day washout period.
After 40 days, all three levels of cinnamon reduced the mean fasting serum glucose (18-29%), triglyceride (23-30%), LDL cholesterol (7-27%), and total cholesterol (12-26%) levels; no significant changes were noted in the placebo groups. Changes in HDL cholesterol were not significant.
Other studies confirm that cinnamon supplementation is able to significantly improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Alzheimer & Dementia
Recent laboratory testing suggests that Cinnamon extract can play an important role in the fight against Alzheimer`s Disease.
In one experiment, mice were raised with five genetic mutations that cause an aggressive development of Alzheimer’s from the age of two months. Then the mice where given an cinnamon extract, and four months later the scientists found the disease’s development had slowed down and the animals’ longevity and activity resembled that of their healthy counterparts. Of course, further testing is necessary, but the results so far is promising.
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Frydman-Marom, Anat; Levin, Aviad; Farfara, Dorit; Benromano, Tali; Scherzer-Attali, Roni; Peled, Sivan; Vassar, Robert; Segal, Daniel et al. (2011). “Orally Administrated Cinnamon Extract Reduces β-Amyloid Oligomerization and Corrects Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer’s Disease Animal Models”.
“Cassia, also known as cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon is a tree that has bark similar to that of cinnamon but with a rather pungent odour,” remarks Maguelonne Toussant-Samat, Anthea Bell, tr. The History of Food, revised ed. 2009, p.437.
Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA (2003). “Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes”. Diabetes Care 26 (12): 215–218. doi:10.2337/diacare.26.12.3215
Caution: Use cinnamon with caution if you take blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin, or blood glucose-lowering medication.