Beat Diabetes With Apple Pie?

You already know that maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is critical to your overall health. Out of control blood sugar can wreak havoc on your body, including developing type-2 diabetes. But here’s what you may not know…

It turns out a cheap ingredient— most commonly used in apple pie—  can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. What’s more, it can also help in the battle against diabetes!

The research comes out of the Human Nutrition Research Centre in Maryland.

Scientists were studying the effects of various foods on blood sugar. That’s when the lead scientist, Dr. Richard Anderson noticed something a little unusual…When participants ate apple pie, their blood sugar levels actually improved! Perplexed, Dr. Anderson and his team decided to investigate further. They discovered that the cinnamon in the apple pie was the cause for the improved blood sugar levels.[1]

It turns out that cinnamon contains compounds known as “polyphenol type-a polymers” that help insulin process glucose in the bloodstream.

Since this initial discovery, a whole wave of research has surfaced proving how powerful cinnamon can be in the fight against high blood sugar, and related diseases like diabetes and metabolic syndrome.. For example, another United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study, also led by Dr. Anderson, recruited 30 volunteers with type-2 diabetes. They were given cinnamon for 40 days. The result? The volunteers showed improvement in several health markers, including a significant decrease in blood glucose, triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol! [2]

Yet another laboratory test conducted by the USDA showed the active compounds in cinnamon can increase glucose metabolism by roughly 20 times.[3] Other European studies confirm the powerful effects of cinnamon—suggesting that it can lower fasting blood glucose levels in diabetic patients by 10-29%. [4,5] Bottom line: Start adding this tasty spice to your daily diet. Add a teaspoonful to oatmeal, fruit, yogurt or any of your other favourite foods. You can also get standardised cinnamon extracts in supplement form, if you want to maximise the benefits.

Research shows that all you need is around 500mg a day when using a supplement. You can find standardised cinnamon extract at most local health food stores. There’s no doubt you should use cinnamon to help ward against diabetes and high blood sugar. But don’t let that be the ONLY thing you do. Exercise and proper nutrition should be your first line of defence.

References:

1. Anderson R.A., et al. Diabetes. 1997 Nov;46(11):1786-91.

2.  Qin B, Panickar KS, Anderson RA. Cinnamon: potential role in the prevention of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2010 May 1;4(3):685-93.

3. Anderson RA, et al. 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

4. Mang B, et al. Effects of a cinnamon extract on plasma glucose, HbA, and serum lipids in diabetes mellitus type 2. Eur J Clin Invest. 2006 May;36(5)

Kirkham S, et al.” The potential of cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2009 Dec;11(12):1100-13

 

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