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Saturday, December 06, 2003

Just A Spoonful of Cinnamon Helps The Sugar Go Away

A big thank you to reader Tom Scott of Anchorage, who referred me to an article in New Scientist magazine that explains newly-discovered benefits of cinnamon for diabetics:

Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics, a new study has found. The effect, which can be produced even by soaking a cinnamon stick your tea, could also benefit millions of non-diabetics who have blood sugar problem but are unaware of it.

Like a lot of interesting scientific discoveries, this one was found by accident, originally by the Human Nutrition Research Center, a project in the US Dept. of Agriculture. They even know the molecular mechanism involved:

The active ingredient in cinnamon turned out to be a water-soluble polyphenol compound called MHCP. In test tube experiments, MHCP mimics insulin, activates its receptor, and works synergistically with insulin in cells.

My wife was surprised to hear this, although she's not a big fan of cinnamon. She eats oatmeal every morning, and sometimes I do as well. I always dump a big heap of cinnamon on it, but she says she just likes it plain, with some fruit on top. Maybe the cinnamon sticks in the tea would be a good idea instead. We'll try working it into her diet and see how it works out. She's been having some trouble controlling her glucose levels recently. Hopefully, this will make a difference.

Thanks again, Tom!

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09:41 PM in Science | Permalink


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And thank you, Captain. I am off to buy cinnamon sticks for my morning tea, and to tell my mother about this. I am all for any natural way to control our blood sugar. Let me know how it works for you guys.

Posted by: Alicia at Dec 6, 2003 10:26:22 PM