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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #228167

Title: Natural Products for the Prevention and Alleviation of Risk Factors for Diabetes: Chromium and Cinnamon


Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2009
Publication Date: 12/1/2009
Citation: Anderson, R.A. 2009. Natural Products for the Prevention and Alleviation of Risk Factors for Diabetes: Chromium and Cinnamon. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Natural products are widespread for the alleviation and prevention of the risk factors of the metabolic syndrome and diabetes. We have shown that glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c levels are all improved in people with type 2 diabetes following chromium supplementation in a double-blind placebo controlled study. Other studies have reported beneficial effects on triglycerides, HDL, hypertension, and visceral obesity. A recent study demonstrated that supplemental Cr improved insulin sensitivity, glycemic control, and attenuated body weight gain in people with type 2 diabetes taking sulfonylurea drugs. Response to Cr is related to insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon polyphenols have also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in in vitro, animal, and human studies. Polyphenols found in cinnamon improve insulin function, glucose uptake, protect DNA damage, and function as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. Double-blind placebo controlled human studies report improved fasting serum glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol leveles in people with type 2 diabetes consuming 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon daily. There are also improvements in blood pressure, fasting glucose levels, anti-oxidant status, and body composition in overweight subjects with elevated fasting glucose consuming a dried aqueous extract of cinnamon. In summary, naturally occurring insulin-potentiating compounds such as Cr 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.