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D.iet & H.ealth : G.eneral H.ealth Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2006 - 20:38:00


Cinnamon extract useful in metabolic syndrome
By Sara Andrews
Oct 18, 2006, 21:08

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US researchers have found that a daily supplement of cinnamon extract may prove useful in easing stress associated with metabolic syndrome. The condition is linked to increased risk of both type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. It is estimated that 32 per cent of Americans suffer from some form of metabolic syndrome.

The present study, presented earlier this month at the 47th annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition, adds further evidence that cinnamon may prove to be useful in improving insulin sensitivity in people with impaired fasting blood sugar levels.

In the study of 24 participants with impaired fasting glucose levels, the research team led by Dr. Anne-Marie Roussel from the Joseph Fourier University in France randomly assigned the participants to receive either a daily dose of 500 milligrams of cinnamon extract or a placebo.

At the end of 12 weeks, the researchers found that the plasma antioxidant levels increased in the cinnamon group as compared to the placebo group. Additionally a compound called malondialdehyde (MDA), which increased with oxidative stress, was reduced in the cinnamon group, but remained unchanged in the placebo group.

"This study tells us that the active compounds found in cinnamon extract may be helpful in reducing the risk of these diseases by providing cells protection from harmful oxidation," said Dr. Richard Anderson from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a collaborator on the study.

Dr Anderson's team has published a study on cinnamon extracts in Diabetes Care in 2003, where the participants receiving cinnamon had reduced blood glucose levels in addition to reduced triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. All participants in this study had type-2 diabetes.

Another study published in the May 2006 issue of Journal of the American College of Nutrition had said that cinnamon extracts reduced blood pressure in hypertensive rats.

Although these studies document the benefits of cinnamon extracts, it is not clear as to what quantity is beneficial. Dr Anderson though feels the findings are very positive.

"This study tells us that the active compounds found in cinnamon extract may be helpful in reducing the risk of these diseases by providing cells protection from harmful oxidation," he said.




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