Polyphenols from cinnamon (CN) have been described recently as insulin sensitizers and antioxidants but their effects on the glucose/insulin system in vivo have not been totally investigated. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of CN on insulin resistance and body composition, using an animal model of the metabolic syndrome, the high fat/high fructose (HF/HF) fed rat. Four groups of 22 male Wistar rats were fed for 12 weeks with: (i) (HF/HF) diet to induce insulin resistance, (ii) HF/HF diet containing 20 g cinnamon/kg of diet (HF/HF + CN), (iii) Control diet (C) and (iv) Control diet containing 20 g cinnamon/kg of diet (C + CN). Data from hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps showed a significant decrease of the glucose infusion rates in rats fed the HF/HF diet. Addition of cinnamon to the HF/HF diet increased the glucose infusion rates to those of the control rats. The HF/HF diet induced a reduction in pancreas weight which was prevented in HF/HF+CN group (p<0.01). Mesenteric white fat accumulation was observed in HF/HF rats vs. control rats (p<0.01). This deleterious effect was alleviated when cinnamon was added to the diet. In summary, these results suggest that in animals fed a high fat/high fructose diet to induce insulin resistance, CN alters body composition in association with improved insulin sensitivity.
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