Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #117040


item Anderson, Richard
item Broadhurst,, Leigh
item Polansky, Marilyn
item Schmidt, Walter
item Khan,, A.
item Flanagan, Vincent
item Schoene, Norberta
item Graves,, Donald

Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2003
Publication Date: 1/2/2004
Citation: Anderson, R.A., Broadhurst,, L., Polansky, M.M., Schmidt, W.F., Khan,, A., Flanagan, V.P., Schoene, N.W., Graves,, D.J. 2004. Isolation and characterization of chalcone polymers from cinnamon with insulin-like biological activity. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 52:65-70.

Interpretive Summary: Diabetes is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality with costs exceeding 100 billion dollars annually in the US. The causes of glucose intolerance (which may lead to diabetes) and diabetes are not clear but diet is known to play a central role. In this study, we were able to isolate and characterize an active ingredient from cinnamon that has strong beneficial effects on glucose and insulin metabolism and may play a role in the prevention and or control of diabetes. This active component is water soluble and can be readily separated from some components of cinnamon that may be toxic at higher concentrations. This wor is of direct benefit to the scientific and medical communities and may help in the prevention of diabetes and with patient care for the millions of people in need of control of diabetes.

Technical Abstract: The causes and control of type 2 diabetes mellitus are not clear but there is strong evidence that dietary factors are involved in its regulation and prevention. We have identified methylhydroxy- chalcone polymers that increase insulin-dependent in vitro glucose metabolism roughly 20-fold. The activity of these is relatively specific since no other cinnamon derived compounds, fractions or similar chemicals tested increased the function of insulin similarly. 3,4,2',4',6'-Pentahydroxychalcone and the flavone, 3,5,7,8,3',4'-hexahydroxyflavone (gossypetin), also displayed some insulin potentiating activity. The methylhydroxychalcone polymers also displayed antioxidant activity based on the inhibition of reactive oxygen species in a collagen stimulated platelet activation assay. These data suggest that methylhydroxychalcone polymers found in cinnamon may alter glucose and insulin metabolism and may be beneficial in the control of glucose intolerance and diabetes.