Cinnamon and Diabetes
A study found that extracts of cinnamon increase insulin activity several-fold. Insulin is the hormone that controls the utilization of the blood sugar, glucose. Improved insulin function leads to improved blood sugar concentrations.
Data from the Agricultural Research Unit in Maryland was first published in the New Scientist in August 2000. The researchers found that it rekindled the ability of fat cells in diabetics to respond to insulin and greatly increased glucose removal. It is believed that a substance called MHCP is the main reason for its beneficial results.
It is also a rich source of magnesium, which is essential for maintaining bone density, electrolyte balance, certain enzyme functions and many other crucial biochemical processes.
Much research has been carried out to establish a metabolic defect in diabetics that prevents the absorption of magnesium. As it provides a readily available source of MHCP, magnesium and possibly other beneficial substances it seems like a very cost-effective way of offsetting future health problems related to glucose/insulin
Intake of Cinnamon
We have also shown that its active components are found in its water-soluble portion and are not present in cinnamon oil, which is largely fat-soluble. In addition to consume directly, one can also make a tea and let the solids settle to the bottom or use sticks, which make for a nice clear tea. It can also be added to orange juice, oatmeal, coffee before brewing, salads, meats etc. The active components are not destroyed by heat.
Our recent human studies indicate that consuming roughly one half of a teaspoon of cinnamon per day or less leads to dramatic improvements in blood sugar, cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. Intake at these levels, is very safe and there should not be any side effects. There are also companies selling water soluble components from it that contain the active ingredients with minimal amounts of the components that could be toxic at elevated levels.