Thursday, September 30, 2010

The First European Test of Cinnamon for Type 2 Diabetes

About as soon as the results of Pakistani cinnamon study were published, European scientists sought to debunk or duplicate them in independent trials. A group of five medical researchers at the research institute and hospital in Maastricht in the Netherlands tested a 1,500 mg dose of the same kind of cinnamon used in the Pakistani study as a treatment for post-menopausal women who had type 2.

There was a very important difference between the men and women in the Pakistani trial and the women in the Dutch trial. All but 4 of the 25 women in the Dutch trial were already receiving medications. The Dutch scientists did not report separate data for these 4 women.

The bottom line of the data analysis was that the effects of taking cinnamon did not rise to the level of statistical significance. Cutoffs for statistical significance are subjectively determined, but there is probably no acceptable level of statistical significance that would have given the results of this study a different interpretation. Cinnamon seemed to be beneficial, but just a little, not really a significant difference.

Except for one huge difference. The women in the study were already receiving medications. Perhaps the unspoken benefit of cinnamon is that it works when needed, and not when not needed. There is nothing in this study, however, that says someone should take cinnamon instead of a doctor-prescribed medication.

Selected Reference:

Vanschoonbeek K, Thomassen BJ, Senden JM, Wodzig WK, van Loon LJ. Cinnamon supplementation does not improve glycemic control in postmenopausal type 2 diabetes patients.J Nutr. 2006 Apr;136(4):977-80.

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