New Study Reports Cinnamon
May Improve Blood Sugar Levels...
Consumption of Three Grams of Cinnamon a Day
May Improve People's Control of Blood Glucose Levels,
Scandinavian Scientists Have Reported
Ingesting the spice led to reductions in blood insulin levels, the hormone
responsible for controlling blood sugar levels, and increased levels of a
peptide reported to work by delaying the emptying of the stomach (gastric
emptying), according to results of a recent study.
Despite the increases in glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), no effects on
gastric emptying, feelings of satiety, or changes in blood sugar levels were
reported. The results are published in the new issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"Our finding that cinnamon decreases the insulin demand, despite the lack
of change in blood glucose concentrations, was probably due to enhanced
glucose uptake via stimulation of the insulin receptor," reported the
researchers from Malmo University Hospital.
The study adds to a growing body of research reporting that active compounds in cinnamon may improve parameters associated with diabetes. Indeed, the same researchers reported in the same journal in 2007 that consumption of 300 g rice pudding plus 6 g cinnamon led to a decreased rate of gastric emptying.
Taking into account the earlier studies, higher doses of cinnamon are apparently required to influence GER and postprandial blood glucose concentrations. The researchers measured the rate of stomach emptying (gastric emptying rate) in 14 healthy subjects with normal fasting blood glucose levels after consuming 300 grams of rice pudding or 300 grams of rice pudding plus 6 grams of cinnamon.
The Scandinavian researchers recruited 15 health subjects (nine men) with an average age of 24.6, an average BMI of 22.5 kg/m2, and with no history of diabetes, and assigned them to randomly consume 300 grams of rice pudding with zero, one or three grams of cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) added. All of the participants consumed all the meals in a random order, with one week between each.
No significant effects on the rate of gastric emptying, levels of satiety, and blood glucose levels were reported. However, the insulin response one and two hours after the meal with three grams of the spice was significantly lower than levels after consuming the control meal.
Furthermore, the change in GLP-1 response was significantly higher after
ingestion of the pudding with three grams of cinnamon, compared to the
control meal, said the researchers.
"There seems to be a relation between the amount of cinnamon consumed, the delay in gastric emptying, and the reduction in postprandial blood glucose concentrations," wrote the researchers.
"The previously described reduction in postprandial blood glucose concentrations after the ingestion of six grams of cinnamon was much more noticeable than was the lowering of GER. Gastric emptying, as well as other factors, regulates the postprandial blood glucose response, and a delay in gastric emptying leads to a lower postprandial blood glucose concentration." they added.
The Scandinavian researchers make reference to the potential in diabetes, while also acknowledging the meta-analysis results. "Clearly, a long-term clinical trial involving a larger number of diabetes patients is needed to evaluate the effects of cinnamon supplementation in type 2 diabetes," wrote the researchers.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009, Volume 89, Pages 815-821