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Cinnamon, cloves improve insulin function, lower risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease

Two studies presented at Experimental Biology 2006 provide new evidence for the beneficial effects (and biochemical actions) of cinnamon as an anti-inflammatory agent and support earlier findings of its power as an anti-oxidant agent and an agent able to lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose, and improve how well insulin functions.

In a related study, extracts of cloves also were found to improve the function of insulin and to lower glucose, total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes. Earlier studies had shown these positive effects in laboratory studies; the study presented at Experimental Biology provides the first evidence of these beneficial effects in humans taking the equivalent of one to two cloves per day.

Earlier studies in the laboratory of one of the co-authors of all these papers, Dr. Richard A. Anderson, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture, had shown that the equivalent of a quarter to half a teaspoon of cinnamon given to humans twice a day decreased risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides, by 10 to 30 percent. These new studies showing cinnamon's ability to block inflammation extend our understanding of the potential for the spice, says Dr. Anderson. As an anti-inflammatory agent, cinnamon may be useful in preventing or mitigating arthritis as well as cardiovascular disease. And as scientists increasingly understand the relationship between inflammation and insulin function in Alzheimer's (causing some to refer to the neurodegenerative disease as "type 3 diabetes"), cinnamon's ability to block inflammation and enhance insulin function may make it useful in combating that disease as well.

The cinnamon and clove studies presented April 4 at Experimental Biology 2006 in San Francisco are part of the scientific program of the American Society for Nutrition, Inc. The three studies
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Contact: Sarah Goodwin
ebpress@bellsouth.net
770-270-0989
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
4-Apr-2006


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