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Cinnamon supplements fight type 2 diabetes mellitus

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By David Liu, PHD

Friday Sept 07, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Taking cinnamon supplements can help type 2 diabetes patients improve or control hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, according to a study recently published in Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine.

The small trial led by Pushpanjali Sharma of MGRP PG College in Sodala, Jaipur and colleagues found patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus taking 3 grams or 6 grams of cinnamon per day for three months significantly reduced FBS (fasting blood sugar) and HbA1c, diastolic blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

For the study, 150 patients with type 2 diabetes  mellitus were randomly selected and after one month of stabilization, were treated with 3 grams or 6 grams of cinnamon or a placebo per day for three months.  All three groups of patients were also given conventional treatment including restricted diet and exercise.  Anthropometric parameters, blood pressure, blood sugar, HbA1c and lipids were tested at baseline and one and 3 months of treatment.

At baseline, all three groups of patients had similar anthropometric and clinical variables. After three months of cinnamon supplementation, both groups of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients given 3 grams  and 6 grams of cinnamon per day significantly improve FBS, HbA1c, and systolic blood pressure.

cinnanom_wikipedia_781042862.jpgThree grams of cinnamon per day resulted in a significant change in cholesterol level, low density lipoprotein (LDL), triglyceride and HDL whereas six grams of cinnamon per day also led to a favorable change in cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), triglyceride and HDL (high density  lipoprotein) in the type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Three months of cinnamon supplementation did not cause any significant change in body mass index.  Cinnamon supplements were well accepted by all type 2 diabetes mellitus patients and no adverse effects were seen in the the study.

The researchers concluded "In this study cinnamon appears to be effective in controlling hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients without any untoward effect."

An estimated 24 million Americans live with diabetes mellitus.  The disease has no cure, but can be controlled.  In addition to cinnamon, early studies suggested that taking curcumin daily can prevent prediabetes from progressing into type 2 diabetes mellitus.  Eating bitter melon or supplements of this melon may also help prevent the disease.

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