The Effects of Cassia Cinnamon on Blood Glucose Levels
Cinnamon has been used in prophylactic medicine for 1000s of years. Praised for its numerous beneficial effects in the body. In recent years a large proportion of cinnamon research has been looking into one effect in particular, aiding glycaemic control. It is the thought that this effect is brought on by cinnamons ability to increase insulin secretion, resulting from an up regulation of Glucose Transporter 4 (GLUT4) protein. This ability arising from its polyphenol content, which mimics insulin. Cinnamon also has a high antioxidant power, which allows Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) to be removed from the body by donating electrons, this prevents damage from occurring as a result of the ROS which could cause insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes or other complications like cardiac events. This study aims to determine wether cinnamon can have these effects whilst taken in a tea format. An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test was performed on 10 healthy subjects aged 18-30 years old. 200mls of 3g crushed Cassia cinnamon tea was prepared with boiling (100°C) water and brewed for 30 minutes, which was then consumed by subjects and blood glucose levels was obtained in comparison with a placebo of 200mls boiled (100°C) water, which was left to cool for 5 minutes, after having also drank a solution of 75g of dextrose and 250mls of water. Overall insignificant (p value > 0.05) correlation between the cinnamon tea and blood glucose levels were seen, with blood glucose only being slightly under on average at the 60 minute point. Further analysis via Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP)and Folin assay 3g of crushed cassia cinnamon brewed for 30 minutes versus a 12 hour sample revealed the differences brewing times had on polyphenol content and antioxidant power. The 12-hour having a much higher polyphenol count and antioxidant power then the 30 minute brewed sample, with only a small loss thought to be brought on by the brewing process itself. This suggests hope for Cassia cinnamon tea as it may prove beneficial from longer brewing times, increased dose or in a prophylactic nature as previous studies suggest. KEYWORDS : Blood Glucose, Cassia, Cinnamon, Tea, Insulin.