Researchers found that cinnamon may be used for more than a food flavoring; it might also help in preventing and fighting diabetes. According to research, cinnamon might be acting as an insulin substitute in type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon contains a bioactive component that scientists believed has the potential to either prevent or overcome diabetes.
In a study, 60 obese mice were given water with drops of cinnamon and the effects of cinnamon on the mice were observed.
Statistics showed that over 170 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes and for those who don't have access to drugs or other forms of treatment, there is a possibility that a natural product like cinnamon could be beneficial to them. Researchers used nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy, which helped them get the results to explain the chemical structure of a molecule with "insulin-like" effects in cinnamon.
Other experts found the compound called proanthocyanidin could alter the activity of insulin signaling in fat cells.
A study of 30 people with type 2 diabetes revealed a significant decrease in blood glucose, triglycerides, LDL and cholesterol levels after taking cinnamon for 40 days. Researchers expressed hopes for human trials with the use of cinnamon and its ability to treat type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which the body builds up a defense to insulin, and by doing so results in the inability of cells to take in glucose needed to properly function. Experts believed that cinnamon might help treat other diseases like pancreatic cancer, a disease in which abnormal levels of insulin are created by the pancreas, as a result of the cancerous tumor causing insulin resistance in the cells in the body.
Science Blog April 13, 2004