May 02, 2004

Several compounds isolated from cinnamon may one day become the key natural ingredients in a new generation of products aimed at lowering blood sugar levels. Agricultural Research Service scientists extracted the complexes from cinnamon bark.
In test tube assays, the compounds, called polyphenolic polymers, increased sugar metabolism in fat cells twentyfold. Millions of people have impaired sugar and fat metabolism, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
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The extracted compounds increase insulin sensitivity by activating key enzymes that stimulate insulin receptors, while inhibiting enzymes that deactivate the receptors. The compounds also have antioxidant effects, which may provide synergistic benefits to people with various forms of diabetes.

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