I'm posting this article here as a bad example of what can happen when (1) unqualified editors publish articles containing erroneous information and (2) other websites trustingly pick up and reprint them. This article originally appeared in Natural News roughly two weeks ago. I was a member of that site and commented in a post that some of the recommendations in the article were misleading and potentially dangerous. Within 24 hours I received a notice that my membership in that site was cancelled and I was banned. I found this amusing since, legally, I am still under contract to Mike Adams, the site's owner. I used to write for the site and more recently had been editing interviews and press releases for them.
A few minutes' research on line would have made the author, Elizabeth Walling, aware of two different kinds of cinnamon: cassia cinnamon, the kind sold in supermarkets and irradiated to kill any life-giving nutrients it might have had; and Cinnamomum verum, or true cinnamon. The former will have no effect on blood glucose and insulin resistance, and if taken in enough quantity can act as a dangerous blood thinner. Nowhere does the author make this important distinction. The take-home message for our members and guests: first, we have several health professionals on this site (and I hope one of them PMs me if any of the above is found to be inaccurate); second, be a critical reader, no matter where you look for information. Take nothing for granted. Check, double-check, do your own research before embarking on any therapeutic course of action.
True cinnamon can be found in supplement form, but the package suggests that it might be helpful to pre-diabetics.
Friday, July 31, 2009 by: Elizabeth Walling, citizen journalist
(NaturalNews) An ancient spice prized for its unique flavor, aroma and healing capabilities, cinnamon has received a lot of attention by the modern media as a possible treatment for diabetes. Several studies have shown that cinnamon is an effective medicine for lowering blood sugar levels. While most doctors do not suggest replacing traditional diabetes therapy with cinnamon, many people may find this spice to be an effective way to control blood sugar naturally.
One of the first studies to call attention to the blood sugar benefits of cinnamon was published in 2003 in Diabetes Care. The study included 60 participants with type II diabetes who were given a daily dosage of one, three or six grams of cinnamon in capsule form (which is about one-quarter to one teaspoon in typical powder form). The participants were monitored for 40 days, and all recorded a significant decrease in fasting blood glucose levels - some as much as 29 percent. There was not a notable difference in results between the three dosage levels.
Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2006 examined the effects of cinnamon extract on blood sugar. There were 79 participants in this study, all with type II diabetes that was being treated with oral medication and diet therapy (as opposed to insulin medication and therapy). Participants were randomly given a placebo or a cinnamon extract capsule filled with 112 mg of water-soluble extract (which is equal to about one gram of cinnamon). The dosage was given three times daily. Those who were given the cinnamon extract showed more than a 10 percent improvement in fasting glucose levels, versus a 3 percent improvement in the control group.
A small Swedish study gave 14 participants a daily cup of rice pudding, plain or with six grams of cinnamon added. Researchers recorded blood glucose levels and the rate of gastric emptying after participants ate the pudding. The cinnamon appeared to slow down stomach emptying, and blood glucose levels were notably lower in those who ate the pudding with cinnamon.
Researchers aren't completely sure whether cinnamon influences insulin or whether it affects the rate at which sugars are absorbed, but the results of these and other studies are intriguing, and will hopefully lead to more research about just how cinnamon causes these positive blood glucose results.
For most people, adding a small daily dose of cinnamon to their diet is almost effortless. In fact, what better way is there to start the morning than with a bowl of whole-grain oatmeal, sweetened with stevia and flavored with cinnamon? It's an ideal breakfast food for someone aiming to control blood sugar. Or add a little cinnamon to your daily cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. You can also add an extra dash of cinnamon to desserts like apple pie or bread pudding to help tame the blood sugar highs that come with indulging in sweets. Of course, cinnamon isn't an excuse to over-indulge in sugar, but it can help balance our blood sugar when we do occasionally satisfy our sweet tooth. Cinnamon can also be used in capsule form for those who would rather not add the spice to their food.
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