Cinnamon and Diabetes
New studies carried out by various universities of United States and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that just half a teaspoon of cinnamon into the daily diet of a diabetics can significantly reduce blood sugar levels. The effect can even be produce by soaking a cinnamon stick in you coffee or tea which can help to prevent and combat diabetes.
The discovery of cinnamon in combating diabetes was made by accident. Researchers were looking at the effects of common foods on blood sugar levels, and one of these foods that were look at was the old American favorite, apple pie, which is commonly spiced up with cinnamon.
As a process which our bodies do naturally, the sugars and starches in food we eat are broken down into glucose. Then it is circulated in the blood. The hormones insulin then makes cells that take in the glucose, to be used as energy or made into fat.
Individual with type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin and those with type 2 diabetes produce it, but loses the sensitivity to it. Studies have shown even healthy people, especially those who are overweight, inactive, or over the ages of 25, lose the sensitivity to insulin. By having too much glucose in circulating in the blood can cause serious long term damages to the eyes (blindness), kidneys (kidneys failure), nerves, and other organs.
It was found that cinnamon itself has insulin-like activity and it contains an active ingredient, water-soluble polyphenol compound MHCP. In the laboratory experiments, MHCP imitate insulin, triggers its receptor, and works synergistically with insulin cells. This suggests that cinnamon has a bio-active component that lead to researchers to believe that is has the potential to prevent or overcome diabetes.
Tests have been carried out on two groups of volunteers with type 2 diabetes over a period of 40 days. One group was a controlled group and the other groups were given one, three, or six grams of cinnamon powder in capsules a day after meals. Within weeks they all responded with blood sugar levels that were on average 20% lower that a control group. Some individuals even achieved a normal blood sugar levels. When cinnamon capsules were stopped blood sugar levels started to increased.
Another additional benefit of cinnamon seen in the volunteers is that it also lowered blood levels of fats and bad cholesterol, which are also to some degree controlled by insulin.
The active ingredient is not in cinnamon oils, but in the powdered spice which can be added to toast, cereal, juice, tea or coffee. It is not recommended that eating more cinnamon buns, or even more apple pie as they contain too much fat and sugar. The solution is to add cinnamon to what you would eat normally.
To learn about other types of diabetes treatment:
Checkout this Apple and Pear Cinnamon Pie Recipe for diabetics!