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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Antioxidant Polyphenols in Impaired Brain and Heart Functions Associated with Obesity and Metabolic Diseases

Location: Diet, Genomics and Immunology Lab

Title: Cinnamon: potential role in the prevention of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes

Authors
item Qin, Bolin -
item Panickar, Kiran
item ANDERSON, RICHARD

Submitted to: Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 2010
Publication Date: May 1, 2010
Citation: Qin, B., Panickar, K.S., Anderson, R.A. 2010. Cinnamon: potential role in the prevention of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. 4(3):685-693.

Interpretive Summary: More than 60 million people in the US have signs and symptoms of the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is associated with reduced insulin function, elevated blood sugar and fats (lipids), inflammation, decreased antioxidant activity, and increased weight gain. Human studies involving control subjects, subjects with the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), and polycystic ovary syndrome all show beneficial effects of consuming whole cinnamon and/or aqueous extracts of cinnamon on glucose, insulin, insulin sensitivity, lipids, antioxidant status, blood pressure, and lean body mass. In addition, cinnamon has been shown to block and reverse the negative effects of molecules associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In vitro studies also suggest that compounds found in cinnamon when present in the solution bathing cells may alleviate or prevent swelling of brain cells associated with strokes. Other in vitro studies demonstrate that components of cinnamon regulate increased blood vessel formation associated with the proliferation of cancer cells. Not all human studies have shown positive effects after consuming cinnamon and response may be dependent upon the type and amount of cinnamon used, as well as the subject’s current health and medicinal drug status. In summary, components of cinnamon may contribute to the alleviation and prevention of insulin resistance and the signs and symptoms of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. This work should be of interest to scientists, medical personnel, and those with symptoms of the metabolic syndrome.

Technical Abstract: The metabolic syndrome is associated with insulin resistance, elevated glucose and lipids, inflammation, decreased antioxidant activity, increased weight gain, and increased glycation of proteins. Cinnamon has been shown to improve aspects of metabolic syndrome in cells cultured in vitro, and in animal and human studies. In addition, cinnamon has been shown to block tau protein aggregation associated with Alzheimer’s disease and ischemic induced cell swelling related to stroke in vitro. Other in vitro studies showed that components of cinnamon regulated angiogenesis associated with the proliferation of cancer cells. The active components of cinnamon include type A polyphenols. Human studies involving control subjects, subjects with the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), and polycystic ovary syndrome all showed beneficial effects of feeding whole cinnamon and/or aqueous extracts of cinnamon on glucose, insulin, insulin sensitivity, lipids, antioxidant status, blood pressure, lean body mass, and gastric emptying. Not all studies, however, have shown positive effects after feeding cinnamon which may be dependent on the type and amount of cinnamon used, as well as the subject’s current health and medicinal drug status. In summary, components of cinnamon contribute to the alleviation and prevention of the signs and symptoms of the metabolic syndrome.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014