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Cinnamon Might Help Reduce Risk Factors for Diabetes and Heart Disease

A study led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that a water soluble extract of cinnamon, which contains antioxidative compounds, could help reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease…

Twenty-two obese participants with impaired blood glucose values — a condition classified as “pre-diabetes” — volunteered for the 12-week experimental research study.  

The volunteers were divided randomly into two groups and given either a placebo or 250 milligrams (mgs) of a dried water-soluble cinnamon extract twice daily along with their usual diets. Blood was collected after an overnight fast at the beginning of the study, after six weeks, and after 12 weeks to measure the changes in blood glucose and antioxidants.

The study demonstrated that the water-soluble cinnamon extract improved a number of antioxidant variables by as much as 13 to 23 percent, and improvement in antioxidant status was correlated with decreases in fasting glucose, according to USDA chemist Richard Anderson.

Only more research will tell whether the investigational study supports the idea that people who are overweight or obese could reduce oxidative stress and blood glucose by consuming cinnamon extracts that have been proven safe and effective. In the meantime, weight loss remains the primary factor in improving these numbers, according to ARS scientists.

Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Aug. 2010.Tim N. Ziegenfuss