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Cinnamon Regulates Blood Glucose and Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the amount of force required for the heart to circulate blood through the body. Systolic blood pressure represents the maximal blood pressure during systole, and diastolic blood pressure the minimum pressure at the end of ventricular diastole. Arterial blood pressure can be defined hemodynamically as the product of cardiac output and total peripheral resistance. Cardiac output is the main determinant of systolic pressure while peripheral resistance largely determines the level of diastolic pressure. Hypertension is a cardiovascular disease characterized by elevation of blood pressure above arbitrary values considered normal for people of similar racial and environmental background. Hypertension affects the vasculature of all major organs (heart, brain, kidneys), and myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure account for the majority of deaths secondary to hypertension.

Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and India and is cultivated in parts of Africa, southeastern India, Indonesia, the Seychelles, South America, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies. Cinnamon is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. In Chinese herbalism, cinnamon is one of the oldest remedies. It has been used in traditional treatment for diarrhea, alleviating pain and discomfort of arthritis, menstrual problems, yeast infections, colds, flu, toothache and digestive problems. In more recent times, cinnamon is being researched for its effectiveness in treating diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer.

A study was performed to determine the effect of cinnamon on blood glucose and blood pressure. The researchers recruited 58 patients with type 2 diabetes average age 54 and were randomly assigned to receive either 2 g of cinnamon or placebo daily for 12 weeks. The results were mean systolic and diastolic pressures were significantly reduced in the cinnamon group. Also, HbA1c was significantly reduced in the cinnamon group. There was also a significant reduction in fasting glucose, waist circumference and body mass in the cinnamon group and the changes were not as significant in the placebo group. In conclusion, the intake of 2 g of cinnamon for 12 weeks showed reduction in HbA1c levels, mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure within patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. These results indicate that cinnamon should be considered in addition to standard therapy to regulate blood glucose and blood pressure levels to treat patients with type 2 diabetes.1

 

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This article was published on Thursday December 09, 2010.
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1 Akilen R, Tsiami A, Devendra D, et al. Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Diabet Med. Oct2010;27(10):1159-67.