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Alcohol in diabetes
A little cinnamon
Tea and diabetes

With a little cinnamon on top

Sprinkle cinnamon on top of your next cappuccino. A recent report suggests that if you have type 2 diabetes, a little cinnamon may help improve blood glucose management.

Researchers in Peshawar, Pakistan, set out to determine if cinnamon could lower blood glucose, triglycerides, LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. This sector of the population is at higher risk of cardiovascular disease associated with abnormal lipid levels. The researchers divided the 60 individuals in the study into six groups. The participants were then given capsules of one, three or six grams of cinnamon daily or a placebo.

After 40 days, the individuals taking cinnamon reduced blood glucose (18 to 29 per cent), triglyceride (23 to 30 per cent), LDL cholesterol (7 to 27 per cent) and total cholesterol (12 to 26 per cent) levels.

Don't rush out to the store to buy extra cinnamon just yet, however. A lot more work is required. This study involved only 60 subjects and lasted for only 40 days. Clinical studies in Canada generally involve hundreds of subjects and can run for several years. A follow up study into the role of cinnamon in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes is now being done by the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.

("Diabetes Dialogue", Summer 2004)