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In type 2 diabetes compounds from two culinary spices improved glucose measures and control

Cinnamon extract

In this study, 66 type 2 diabetics who were taking an oral insulin-stimulating drug also took an extract of cinnamon or a placebo. There were two doses of cinnamon: 120mg or 360 mg per day. After three months, while there were no changes for placebo, measures of long-term-average blood sugar levels declined 7 percent in the low-dose cinnamon group, and 10 percent in the high-dose cinnamon group, while fasting blood sugar levels declined 11 and 14 percent respectively.

Although participants’ fasting and long-term blood sugar levels remained higher than normal, doctors said it was the polyphenols in the cinnamon extract that significantly increased insulin-dependent glucose metabolism. Cinnamon also appeared to raise beneficial antioxidant activity in type 2 diabetics.

 

Curcumin from turmeric spice

Lab studies have shown curcuminoids, the active ingredient in turmeric, lowered blood sugar and improved insulin sensitivity by helping to metabolize fatty acids. Elevated fatty acid levels are common in type 2 diabetes and play a role in developing insulin resistance, so lowering free fatty acid levels might reduce chances of and help manage diabetes, doctors said.

In this study, 100 people with type 2 diabetes took 300 mg of curcuminoids per day, or a placebo. After three months, while there were no changes for placebo, the curcuminoids group saw much lower long-term-average blood sugar levels, lower fasting blood sugar levels, and greater sensitivity to insulin, meaning the body was better able to metabolize glucose.

In discussing their findings, doctors said part of the reason curcuminoids lower glucose levels is by helping the body use up excess free fatty acids, removing them from the bloodstream, and lowering total fatty acid levels to safer levels.

Reference: Nutrition Research Journal; 2012, Vol. 32, No. 6, 408-12

From the December 2012 newsletter

 

Van's Health on January - 17 - 2013
categories: Herbs, Supplements

Cinnamon helps control blood sugar

Doctors said that there are few human studies on the effects of cinnamon on blood sugar, but that earlier animal studies suggest cinnamon may lower blood sugar by slowing absorption through the intestine, or stimulating cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Researchers reviewed six cinnamon studies involving 435 men and women who took from 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon per day for 40 to 120 days. On average over the various study periods, long-term blood sugar levels dropped 0.1 percent, and fasting blood sugar levels dropped 0.84 micromoles per liter of blood. Doctors think that cinnamon may help diabetics control blood sugar and urge more study.

Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes

Even if diabetics successfully control blood sugar, complications will still occur due to oxidative damage to cells from free radicals, doctors said. In this study, 30 men and women, aged 30 to 65, who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for at least one year, took 1,000 mg of the antioxidant vitamin C per day, or a placebo. All were controlling blood sugar with oral medication, were non-smokers, had no vascular or inflammatory disease, and were not being treated for high cholesterol, or taking hormone replacement therapy, beta blockers, diuretics, or aspirin. After six weeks, while the placebo group had not improved, those who had taken vitamin C had significantly lower levels of oxidative stress both after fasting and after a meal. Discussing their findings, doctors said vitamin C may be a safe, inexpensive way to reduce complications from type 2 diabetes.

Reference: Clinical Nutrition; May 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the September 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on November - 16 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins
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