Cinnamon extract could lower risk of diabetes

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 26th August 2010

spicesCinnamon extract could help reduce risk factors associated with heart disease and diabetes, according to new research.

In the investigational study, the water-soluble cinnamon extract, which contains antioxidative compounds, was given to obese participants with impaired blood glucose values – a condition known as ‘prediabetes’ – for twelve weeks. Prediabetes occurs when cells are resistant to the higher-than-normal levels of insulin produced by the pancreas (in an attempt to help remove elevated glucose levels from blood).

Participants taking the cinnamon extract improved a number of antioxidant variables by as much as 13 to 23 percent, and improvement in antioxidant status was correlated with decreases in fasting glucose, according to leard researcher Richard Anderson. Weight loss is normally the most effective way of improving these numbers.

The study was carried out as part of cooperative agreements between the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC) operated by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at Beltsville, Maryland; Integrity Nutraceuticals International of Spring Hill, Tennessee, and the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France. Anderson works in the Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory of BHNRC. ARS is USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency.

Further and larger-scale research is expected to be carried out to confirm the findings and find the best way to take advantage of cinnamon’s potential health benefits.