Cinnamon May Increase Insulin Sensitivity
Type II diabetes is characterized by a reaction in the body known as insulin resistance. In people with insulin resistance, insulin, a hormone that directs the body’s cells to use the sugar in the blood for energy, is not as effective. This results in abnormal levels of sugar in the blood, a parameter that is highly regulated in people with diabetes. These abnormal levels of sugar in the blood can affect many organs and systems in the body and can lead to severe complications and even death. Type II diabetes affects millions of people around the world, and today there is no cure. At best, this disease can be managed to regulate sugar levels.
Scientists have discovered several chemicals inside a common household ingredient, cinnamon, which may allow the creation of powerful new anti-diabetes medication in the future. These chemicals, known as polyphenolic polymers, were shown to have a huge effect on the metabolism of sugar in fat cells, an important development in diabetes research. In fact, when tested in the laboratory, these polyphenolic polymers had the effect of boosting glucose metabolism by up to twenty times its normal level. This finding, which astonished scientists and researchers in the diabetes field, gives the medical establishment and diabetics everywhere hope for new diabetes treatments that could significantly reverse insulin resistance.
Scientists have been testing various chemical compounds derived from diverse plants and natural sources for decades. After exhaustive tests this is the first time they have discovered a plant extract with such a powerful insulin-boosting effect. The way scientists believe these compounds work is by turning on the enzymes needed for the insulin receptors on the cells to function. However, unlike many existing diabetes medications, the effect is two-fold as it also turns off the enzymes charged with deactivating these insulin receptors. Table cinnamon, derived from cinnamon bark, contains most of the same substances, including polyphenolic polymers. They are virtually identical except for the grinding of the bark and some processes added in the normal course of manufacturing this commonly used spice.
Polyphenolic polymers were already being tested as powerful antioxidants. They have been regarded for a long time as an important and key research area in cancer studies. Polyphenolic polymers also have an important function in reversing the inflammatory response. Research has shown that a general and systemic inflammatory response may be related to type II diabetes and insulin resistance. As cinnamon has absolutely no toxic properties, even though it has some fat-soluble components that are not eliminated immediately in the urine, many doctors recommend that patients ingest table cinnamon as a way of reaping its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Now that research has shown that cinnamon also has insulin enhancing properties, this suggests that ingesting cinnamon regularly could aid many diabetics in enhancing their insulin sensitivity. While more studies are necessary to discover the full range of effects of the polyphenolic polymers in cinnamon, findings up to this point are optimistic and will provide many diabetics with hope for future treatments.
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