Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Herbal Cinnamon and Diabetes

By Kyle J. Norton

Cinnamon, a kitchen spicy in many cultures, may have gained many believers, including medical professions because of its anti diabetic effect, through regulating the blood glucose levels in healthy and diabetic subjects. According to herbalists, intake of 1/4 tsp. in the morning and evening may reduce the blood sugar significantly with little or no adverse effects.

The herb has been use in herbal and traditional medicine as anti-fungal and bacteria level to improve reproductive organ, prevent flatulence and intestinal cramping, treat indigestion, diarrhea, bad breath, headache, migraine, etc.(1).

According to the 2011 statistic from National Diabetes InformationClearinghouse (NDIC), among U.S. residents ages 65 years and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, had diabetes in 2010, about 215,000 people younger than 20 years had diabetes—type 1 or type 2—in the United States in 2010 and approximately,  1.9 million people ages 20 years or older were newly diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 in the United States.

In a total of 66 patients with type 2 diabetes study conducted by Xuhui District Central Hospital, showed a significant reduction of blood triglyceride levels in the low-dose group, after 3 months of oral administration(2)

Some researchers suggested that cinnamon extract may improve fasting blood glucose levels and glucose tolerance without altering the insulin secretion, through  lower triglyceride and increased liver glycogen content and improved insulin action in liver tissues(3).

Dr. Kim SH and Dr. Choung SY. told PubMed "The effect of cinnamon in significantly increases insulin sensitivity, reduces serum, and hepatic lipids, and improves hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia possibly by regulating the PPAR(in regulation of  metabolism (carbohydrate, lipid, protein))-medicated glucose and lipid metabolism"(4)

In support of the above, chromium(Cr) and polyphenols found in cinnamon (Cinnamomon cassia) indicated a improvement of glucose, insulin, cholesterol and HbA1c(Glucose lab test)  in patients with type 2 diabetes following Cr supplementation, in a double-blind placebo-controlled study(7).

Unfortunately, according to the Western University of Health Sciences, consumption of cinnamon is associated with a statistically significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose, but insisted that high degree of heterogeneity may limit the ability to apply these results to patient care, due to the unclear preferred dose and duration of therapy(5)

 A randomized clinical trial in which 70 Patients with type II diabetes assigned randomly two groups (35 in cinnamon and 35 in placebo group for the testing of  the effect of cinnamon on the glucose level in blood, indicated an insignificant effect of using cinnamon on glucose level of diabetic patients and the herb should not be recommended to patients with type II diabetes depending on further studies(6).

Taken altogether, cinnamon in low dose may be effective in controlling the levels of blood glucose in patient with diabetes without altering the insulin level. According to DR. Georgakopoulou EA., oral intake of Cinnamon may cause Stomatitis(7), and burning sensation in mouth with large amount. The traditional Chinese medicine also insisted that Overdoses of cinnamon can be toxic and damage to liver(1).

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(1) @Popular Herbs -Cinnamon
(2) Cinnamon extract improves fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin level in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes by Lu T, Sheng H, Wu J, Cheng Y, Zhu J, Chen Y.(PubMed)
(3) Cinnamon extract improves insulin sensitivity in the brain and lowers liver fat in mouse models of obesity by Sartorius T1, Peter A2, Schulz N3, Drescher A2, Bergheim I4, Machann J5, Schick F6, Siegel-Axel D2, Schürmann A3, Weigert C1, Häring HU1, Hennige AM(PubMed)
(4) Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic action of Cinnamomi Cassiae (Cinnamon bark) extract in C57BL/Ks db/db mice by Kim SH1, Choung SY.(PubMed)
(5) Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis by Allen RW1, Schwartzman E, Baker WL, Coleman CI, Phung OJ.(PubMed)
(6) The Effect of Cinnamon on Glucose of Type II Diabetes Patients by Hasanzade F1, Toliat M2, Emami SA3, Emamimoghaadam Z(PubMed)
(7) Chromium and polyphenols from cinnamon improve insulin sensitivity by Anderson RA.(PubMed)

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