Cinnamon

Cinnamon

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Cinnamon: The Amazing Spice That Can Help Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels, Blood Lipids, and Blood Pressure

Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years as a spice and medicine. It’s mentioned in the Bible as an ingredient in the oils used to anoint Moses, and as a token of friendship. Mourners burned cinnamon on funeral pyres in ancient Rome in order to cover up the smell of burning flesh.

In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was used as a medicine and an embalming agent, and at times it was even considered more precious than gold. It was also popular in China, and is mentioned in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine. 1

Today cinnamon is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine) to treat diabetes in India. And recently Richard Anderson and his team at the US Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, discovered the scientific evidence that demonstrates how cinnamon serves as an important antioxidant, and is beneficial in the prevention and control of glucose intolerance and diabetes. 2

In a recent study, people reduced their blood sugar levels by as much as 29 percent in just 40 days. That's with NO drugs, NO diet changes—just plain old cinnamon!

How does cinnamon work?

Data from the Agricultural Research Unit in Maryland was first published in the New Scientist in August 2000. The researchers found that cinnamon triggered the ability of fat cells in diabetic individuals to respond to insulin, and it also enhanced the removal of glucose.

Cinnamon contains a water-soluble polyphenol compound called MHCP (methylhydroxy chalcone polymer), which is partly responsible for its health benefits. In unpublished test tube experiments, researchers found that MHCP mimics insulin, activates its receptor, and works synergistically with insulin in cells. When mice were given MHCP, their glucose levels fell dramatically.
3

Then, to see how it would work on humans, Alam Khan, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Anderson’s lab, organized a study in Pakistan. Volunteers with type II diabetes were given one, three, or six grams of cinnamon powder a day in capsules after meals.

All responded within weeks, with blood sugar levels that were on average 20% lower than a control group. Some even achieved normal blood sugar levels. Blood sugar started creeping up again after the diabetics stopped taking cinnamon.
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“The researchers found that cinnamon triggered the ability of 
  fat cells in diabetic individuals to respond to insulin, and it
also enhanced the removal of glucose.”
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Cinnamon has additional benefits. It also lowered blood levels of fats and “bad” cholesterol, which are also partly controlled by insulin. And in test tube experiments, it neutralized free radicals which are elevated in diabetics. 4

Active ingredients

Anderson’s team found that cinnamon contains antioxidants called polyphenols that boost levels of three key proteins. Those proteins are important in insulin signaling, glucose transport, and inflammatory response.    In another study, the scientists investigated cinnamon’s chemistry and found that proanthocyanidin—a type of polyphenol—may have insulin-like properties. 2

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“The researchers concluded that cinnamon might be a valuable candidate for a new anti-diabetic drug. 5
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Additionally, a group at the University of Calgary, Canada, found that phenolic acids, which are a major component of cinnamon extract, lowers blood glucose levels by enhancing glucose transport. The researchers concluded that cinnamon might be a valuable candidate for a new anti-diabetic drug.
5

Scientific studies:

Anti-diabetic

Insulin resistance—also called Syndrome X—is a silent condition that increases the chances of developing diabetes and heart disease. After you eat, the food is broken down into glucose, the simple sugar that is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. But your cells cannot use glucose without insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, which directs cells to remove excess glucose from the bloodstream. Insulin helps the cells take in glucose and convert it to energy. When the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body is unable to use the insulin that is present, the cells can’t use glucose. Excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, setting the stage for diabetes.

Diabetes can go undetected for up to 40 years, or until serious complications begin to surface and the pancreas just can’t keep up with the demand for insulin.  Some people produce two, three, or four times the normal amount of insulin.  Yet, because the cells have lost their sensitivity to the hormone, they require even more of it to maintain normal glucose levels. The end result is often type II diabetes.

Type II diabetes kills 100 million people prematurely each year. In patients with the condition, fat and muscle cells gradually lose their ability to respond to insulin. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood, causing symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, blurred vision and neuropathy (resulting in numbness in extremities), and circulatory problems.

The good news is that cinnamon extract dramatically helps to reduce risk of insulin resistance and type II diabetes.

In addition to the studies already mentioned, other recent studies found that:

  • Cinnamaldehyde, a fat soluble cinnamon compound, decreased blood glucose levels and total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in diabetic laboratory animals. 6

  • Cinnamon bark extract improved glucose metabolism in animals that were fed fructose. 7

  • Cinnamon extract given at different doses to diabetic animal models for six weeks had a regulatory role in blood glucose level and lipids, and it may have also exerted a blood glucose-suppressing effect by improving insulin sensitivity or slowing absorption of carbohydrates in the small intestine. 8

Anti-bacterial

In an evaluation of the antibacterial activity of 21 plant essential oils against six bacterial species, cinnamon came out on top. The selected essential oils were screened against six bacteria: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus aureus. Cinnamon oil was found to inhibit all of them, even at low concentrations, and was determined to be a good source of antibacterial agents. 9

  • When cinnamon extract was tested against a resistant Candida species in five patients with HIV infection and oral candidiasis, three of the five patients exhibited improvement of their Candida infection. 10

  • A recent Chinese study of cinnamon extracts found they were effective in inhibiting the growth of various bacteria including: Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Samonella typhymurium, and fungi including yeasts (four species of Candida, C. albicans, C. tropicalis, C. glabrata, and C. krusei), and molds. 11

Anti-inflammatory

As an anti-inflammatory agent, cinnamon may be useful in preventing or mitigating arthritis as well as cardiovascular disease. And as scientists increasingly understand the relationship between inflammation and insulin function in Alzheimer’s (causing some to refer to the neurodegenerative disease as “type 3 diabetes”), cinnamon’s ability to block inflammation and enhance insulin function may make it useful in combating that disease as well. 12

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“As an anti-inflammatory agent, cinnamon may be useful
in preventing or mitigating arthritis as well as
cardiovascular disease.”
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Helps regulate blood pressure

Many nutrients and nutraceuticals—including cinnamon extract—that enhance insulin sensitivity and/or reduce circulating insulin concentrations are capable of lowering blood pressure. When cinnamon was added to the diets of laboratory animals that included sucrose for 3-4 weeks, their blood pressure was reduced to the same levels as the animals that ate a non-sucrose diet. 13

Conclusion:

Cinnamon is found in household spice racks around the world, and you’ve probably enjoyed its flavoring all your life. Now, thanks to scientific research and the nutritional supplement industry, you can also reap its full spectrum of health benefits in the form of an easy to take daily supplement that provides a concentrated form of cinnamon’s water-soluble and fat-soluble phytochemicals.

Serving Suggestions:

We hand grind cinnamon using our Porkert LSA Oily Seed & Nut Grinder.  Sprinkle some cinnamon on your herb teas, smoothies, cereal, desserts, hot chocolate, fruit salads, sliced apples.

We use this cinnamon in our
Buckola - raw organic sprouted buckwheat cereal.

References

  1. Corn, Charles. The Scents of Eden: A Narrative of the Spice Trade (New York: Kodansha International, 1998), p. 202.

  2. Anderson RA, Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Schmidt WF, Khan A, Flanagan VP, Schoene NW, Graves DJ. Isolation and characterization of polyphenol type-A polymers from cinnamon with insulin-like biological activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jan 14;52(1):65-70.

  3. Cinnamon spice produces healthier blood, Nov. 24, 2003, Newscientist.com.

  4. Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003 Dec;26(12):3215-8.

  5. Kim W, Khil LY, Clark R, Bok SH, Kim EE, Lee S, Jun HS, Yoon JW. Naphthalenemethyl ester derivative of dihydroxyhydrocinnamic acid, a component of cinnamon, increases glucose disposal by enhancing translocation of glucose transporter 4. Diabetologia. 2006 Oct;49(10):2437-48. Epub 2006 Aug 9.

  6. Subash Babu P, Prabuseenivasan S, Ignacimuthu S. Cinnamaldehyde-A potential antidiabetic agent. Phytomedicine. 2007 Jan;14(1):15-22. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

  7. Kannappan S, Jayaraman T, Rajasekar P, Ravichandran MK, Anuradha CV. Cinnamon bark extract improves glucose metabolism and lipid profile in the fructose-fed rat. Singapore Med J. 2006 Oct;47(10):858-63.

  8. Kim SH, Hyun SH, Choung SY. Anti-diabetic effect of cinnamon extract on blood glucose in db/db mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Mar 8;104(1-2):119-23. Epub 2005 Oct 5.

  9. Prabuseenivasan S, Jayakumar M, Ignacimuthu S. In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006 Nov 30;6:39.

  10. Quale JM, Landman D, Zaman MM, Burney S, Sathe SS. In vitro activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum against azole resistant and sensitive Candida species and a pilot study of cinnamon for oral candidiasis. Am J Chin Med. 1996;24(2):1039.
    Abstract

  11. Ooi LS, Li Y, Kam SL, Wang H, Wong EY, Ooi VE. Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde from the Chinese medicinal herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume. Am J Chin Med. 2006;34(3):511-22.

  12. McCarty MF Toward prevention of Alzheimers disease--potential nutraceutical strategies for suppressing the production of amyloid beta peptides. Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(4):682-97. Epub 2006 Jul 7.

  13. Preuss HG, Echard B, Polansky MM, Anderson R. Whole cinnamon and aqueous extracts ameliorate sucrose-induced blood pressure elevations in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Apr;25(2):144-50.

Cinnamon Powder - Raw Planet - Indonesia - Organic

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NEW!

Once upon a time, cinnamon was more valuable than gold. The potential health benefits attributable to cinnamon could be stated as nothing short of astonishing. Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have long revered cinnamon as a superpower used to treat things such as colds, indigestion and cramps and also believed to improve energy, vitality and circulation.

The following are 11 health benefits associated with this beloved spice that studies have suggested:

- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower your bad cholesterol (or LDL).
- Cinnamon may help treat Type 2 Diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and increasing the amount of insulin production in the body.
- Cinnamon has antifungal properties, and it’s been said that candida cannot live in a cinnamon environment.
- Cinnamon can reduce the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
- Cinnamon has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
- Honey and Cinnamon combined have been found to relieve arthritis pain.
- When added to food, cinnamon inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
- Just smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.
- Cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
- Cinnamon has been found to be an effective natural remedy for eliminating headaches and migraine relief.
- Cinnamon can also help stablize blood sugar (which is great for weight loss). A couple of dashes in your morning tea or cereal is all it takes!

Different ways to use cinnamon
Most commonly used as a cinnamon spice. You can buy cinnamon as a cinnamon cane also or add cinnamon extract to your baking. You can buy cinnamon oil, but it is hard to find. You can use cinnamon in candles, air fresheners, candle warmers, aroma simmer pot, and incense that tickles your senses.

Medicinal uses for cinnamon
Cinnamon helps people to obtain alertness, and stay awake. Cinnamon relieves the symptoms associated with stomach problems. Pregnant women experiencing nausea can get relief by using cinnamon, and even problem pregnancies can have fewer problems by taking cinnamon. Cinnamon powder is naturally used in cold remedies, cinnamon allergy medicine or cinnamon mouth wash. Cinnamon has been found to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, and aid in weight loss. Cinnamon has been used as and anti-inflammatory for rheumatism and as a muscle relaxer.

Cinnamon in your diet
There are many ways to get the cinnamon you need in your diet, and receive the many health benefits of cinnamon. The most common method is by putting it in a dessert dish, or on top of your morning oatmeal, cinnamon French toast or cinnamon rolls. Some people have no trouble eating cinnamon powder straight from the spice jar, but it is preferable to mix in some kind of food. It tastes good mixing in your coffee, tea. Of course cinnamon sweets are the best. We especially enjoy cinnamon in many candy and holiday desserts. Cinnamon oil makes some people allergic, and will find their lip swelling, or find a face has a rash, after eating something with cinnamon. Cinnamon is still the most favourite spice of all.

Cinnamon Sticks: Organic

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