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|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
Cinnamon has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat diabetes for nearly three thousand years. Now, the results of a clinical trial conducted in China suggest that supplementation with water soluble cinnamon may help regulate blood sugar and triglyceride levels for people with diabetes.
Participants in this study included 66 Chinese with type-2 diabetes. They were divided into three groups, and for three months took a cinnamon extract supplement of either 120 or 360 mg a day or a placebo. At the conclusion of the study the researchers noted reductions in blood sugar levels of an average of 18.2 mg/dL in the 120 mg group, 28.8 mg/dL in the 360 mg group and no change in the placebo group.
They also noted a 69 mg/dL reduction in triglyceride levels in the 120 mg group, but the 360 mg group and the placebo group showed slight increases. Triglycerides are compounds found in your blood that have been shown to cause heart problems.
The researchers believe the positive health benefits found here were a result of the type of cinnamon used. Previous studies have shown that the antioxidants known as polyphenols found in water soluble cinnamon result in higher antioxidant levels and greater blood sugar benefits.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Their findings were published online ahead of print on June 15, 2012, in the journal Nutrition Research.
Cinnamon is also a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. The majority of scientific research on cinnamon has focused on its ability to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes. There is, however, also some evidence that it may improve digestion and help treat colds.
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