Cassia for Type II DiabetesCassia is a close relative to the Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, or 'true cinnamon'), Saigon Cinnamon
A 2003 study published in the DiabetesCare journal followed Type 2 diabetics ingesting 1, 3 or 6 grams of cassia daily. Those taking 6 grams shows changes after 20 days, and those taking lesser doses showed changes after 40 days. Regardless of the amount of cassia taken, they reduced their mean fasting serum glucose levels 1829%, their triglyceride levels 2330%, their LDL cholesterol 727%, and their total cholesterol 1226%, over others taking placebos.
The effects, which may even be produced by brewing a tea from cassia bark, may also be beneficial for non-diabetics to prevent and control elevated glucose and blood lipid levels. Cassia's effects on enhancing insulin sensitivity appear to be mediated by polyphenols . Despite these findings, cassia should not be used in place of anti-diabetic drugs, unless blood glucose levels are closely monitored and its use is combined with a strictly controlled diet and exercise program.
There is also much anecdotal evidence that consumption of cassia has a strong effect in lowering blood pressure, making it potentially useful to those suffering from hypertension. The USDA has three ongoing studies that are monitoring the blood pressure effect.
There is concern that there is as yet no knowledge about the potential for toxic buildup of the fat-soluble components in cassia, as anything fat-soluble could potentially be subject to toxic buildup. However, people have been using the spice as a seasoning safely for thousands of years. There are no concluded long term clinical studies on the use of cassia for health reasons.
Whether Cinamon has the same properties as Joe has indicated? Comments of valued members invited.
akh826 on 2006-08-24
It is possible that the article which AKH refers to as having been done for Cinnamonium Cassia was a study done for Cinnamonium Zeylanica which was published in 2003. I do not believe that the C Cassia is of any use for the treatment of Diabetes.
I can vouch for the fact that the combination of Arnica 30c in the wet dose and Cinnamonium Zeylanica has helped many Diabetics both Type I and II to reduce their dependence on Insulin and Metformin like drugs.
I copy the article below:
Cinnamon spice produces healthier blood
17:52 24 November 2003
NewScientist.com news service
Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics, a new study has found. The effect, which can be produced even by soaking a cinnamon stick your tea, could also benefit millions of non-diabetics who have blood sugar problem but are unaware of it.
The discovery was initially made by accident, by Richard Anderson at the US Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.
'We were looking at the effects of common foods on blood sugar,' he told New Scientist. One was the American favourite, apple pie, which is usually spiced with cinnamon. 'We expected it to be bad. But it helped,' he says.
Sugars and starches in food are broken down into glucose, which then circulates in the blood. The hormone insulin makes cells take in the glucose, to be used for energy or made into fat.
But people with Type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin. Those with Type 2 diabetes produce it, but have lost sensitivity to it. Even apparently healthy people, especially if they are overweight, sedentary or over 25, lose sensitivity to insulin. Having too much glucose in the blood can cause serious long-term damage to eyes, kidneys, nerves and other organs.
The active ingredient in cinnamon turned out to be a water-soluble polyphenol compound called MHCP. In test tube experiments, MHCP mimics insulin, activates its receptor, and works synergistically with insulin in cells.
To see if it would work in people, Alam Khan, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Anderson's lab, organised a study in Pakistan. Volunteers with Type 2 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 per cent lower than a control group. Some even achieved normal blood sugar levels. Tellingly, blood sugar started creeping up again after the diabetics stopped taking cinnamon.
The cinnamon has additional benefits. In the volunteers, it lowered blood levels of fats and 'bad' cholesterol, which are also partly controlled by insulin. And in test tube experiments it neutralised free radicals, damaging chemicals which are elevated in diabetics.
Buns and pies
'I don't recommend eating more cinnamon buns, or even more apple pie - there's too much fat and sugar,' says Anderson. 'The key is to add cinnamon to what you would eat normally.'
The active ingredient is not in cinnamon oils. But powdered spice can be added to toast, cereal, juice or coffee.
Anderson's team were awarded patents related to MHCP in 2002. But the chemical is easily obtained. He notes that one of his colleagues tried soaking a cinnamon stick in tea. 'He isn't diabetic - but it lowered his blood sugar,' Anderson says.
The group now plans to test even lower doses of cinnamon in the US, and also look at long-term blood sugar management with the spice.
Journal reference: Diabetes Care (vol 26, p 3125)
♥ Joe De Livera last decade
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