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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 #257011

Title: Molecular Targets and Health Benefits of Cinnamon

item Panickar, Kiran
item Cao, Heping
item QIN, BOLIN - Integrity Neutraceuticals
item Anderson, Richard

Submitted to: Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Spices: Modern Uses for Ancient Medicine
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2008
Publication Date: 12/31/2008
Citation: Panickar, K.S., Cao, H., Qin, B., Anderson, R.A. 2008. Molecular Targets and Health Benefits of Cinnamon. In: Aggarwal, B.B., Kunnumakkara, A.B., editors. Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Spices: Modern Uses for Ancient Medicine. Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific Publishing Co. p. 87-115.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Common cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum, C. zeylanicum) and cassia (C. aromaticum) have a long history of uses as spices, flavoring agents, preservatives, and pharmacological agents. Recent studies also demonstrated that compounds found in cinnamon improved the function of insulin. In addition, they have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and possible neuroprotective effects. Human studies involving control subjects, subjects with the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and polycystic ovary syndrome showed beneficial effects of whole cinnamon and aqueous extracts of cinnamon on glucose, insulin, insulin sensitivity, lipids, antioxidant status, lean body mass, and gastric emptying. In vitro and animal studies demonstrated that aqueous extracts of cinnamon, high in type A polyphenols, increased insulin receptor efficiency by increasing tyrosine phosphorylation and decreasing phosphatase activity, both leading to increased insulin sensitivity. Other effects of such polyphenols include increasing the amounts of insulin receptor, glucose transporter, anti-inflammatory tristetraprolin proteins as well as increasing glycogen synthase activity and glycogen accumulation. Further, these polyphenols also exerted neuroprotective effects against amyloid beta or oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced neural damage. Thus cinnamon and its components may be important in the alleviation of chronic diseases associated with insulin resistance such as type 2 diabetes, inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases, and may also have neuroprotective effects on stroke and Alzheimer's disease.