Submitted to: Journal of Sports Medicine
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 8, 2005
Publication Date: February 1, 2006
Citation: Anderson, R.A. 2006. Chromium and polyphenols from cinnamon and insulin sensitivity. Journal of Sports Medicine. In: Scientific Evidence for Multoskeletal Bariatric and Sports Nutrition, ed. S. Kohlstadt, Taylor and Francisis, NY, NY, pp175-189, 2006. Technical Abstract: Factors that improve insulin sensitivity usually lead to improvements in risk factors associated with the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Naturally occurring bioactive compounds that have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity include chromium and polyphenols found in cinnamon. These compounds also have similar effects on insulin signaling and glucose control. We have shown that glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c are all improved in people with type 2 diabetes following chromium supplementation in a double-blind placebo controlled study. Studies have been confirmed in several laboratories. Other studies have reported beneficial effects on triglycerides, HDL, hypertension and visceral obesity. Cinnamon polyphenols have been shown to also improve insulin sensitivity in in vitro, animal and human studies. People with type 2 diabetes were given 1, 3 or 6 grams of cinnamon per day. After 40 days, cinnamon reduced mean fasting serum glucose (18-29%), triglycerides (23-30%), total cholesterol (12-26%) and LDL cholesterol (7-27%). Values after the 20 day washout period were returning to baseline, but were still significantly lower than the values at the onset of the study. Similar results have been reported for people with polycystic ovary syndrome and the metabolic syndrome utilizing an aqueous extract of cinnamon, high in type A polyphenols. In summary, naturally occurring insulin potentiating compounds such as chromium and polyphenols found in cinnamon lead to increased insulin sensitivity characterized by improvements in characteristics of the metabolic syndrome and decreases in risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.