Chromium and polyphenols from cinnamon improve insulin sensitivity.



Author: Anderson RA.

Naturally-occurring compounds that have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity
include Cr and polyphenols found in cinnamon (Cinnamomon cassia). These compounds
also have similar effects on insulin signalling and glucose control. The signs of
Cr deficiency are similar to those for the metabolic syndrome and supplemental Cr
has been shown to improve all these signs in human subjects. In a double-blind
placebo-controlled study it has been demonstrated that glucose, insulin,
cholesterol and HbA1c are all improved in patients with type 2 diabetes following
Cr supplementation. It has also been shown that cinnamon polyphenols improve
insulin sensitivity in in vitro, animal and human studies. Cinnamon reduces mean
fasting serum glucose (18-29%), TAG (23-30%), total cholesterol (12-26%) and
LDL-cholesterol (7-27%) in subjects with type 2 diabetes after 40 d of daily
consumption of 1-6 g cinnamon. Subjects with the metabolic syndrome who consume
an aqueous extract of cinnamon have been shown to have improved fasting blood
glucose, systolic blood pressure, percentage body fat and increased lean body
mass compared with the placebo group. Studies utilizing an aqueous extract of
cinnamon, high in type A polyphenols, have also demonstrated improvements in
fasting glucose, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in women with insulin
resistance associated with the polycystic ovary syndrome. For both supplemental
Cr and cinnamon not all studies have reported beneficial effects and the
responses are related to the duration of the study, form of Cr or cinnamon used
and the extent of obesity and glucose intolerance of the subjects.

Proc Nutr Soc. 2008 Feb;67(1):48-53.