For thousands of years, cinnamon has been used as a traditional treatment in China. However, there are no studies to date that investigate whether cinnamon supplements are able to aid in the treatment of type 2 diabetes in Chinese subjects. We hypothesized cinnamon should be effective in improving blood glucose control in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes. To address this hypothesis, we performed a randomized, double-blinded clinical study to analyze the effect of cinnamon extract on glycosylated hemoglobin A(1c) and fasting blood glucose levels in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes. A total of 66 patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited and randomly divided into 3 groups: placebo and low-dose and high-dose supplementation with cinnamon extract at 120 and 360 mg/d, respectively. Patients in all 3 groups took gliclazide during the entire 3 months of the study. Both hemoglobin A(1c) and fasting blood glucose levels were significantly reduced in patients in the low- and high-dose groups, whereas they were not changed in the placebo group. The blood triglyceride levels were also significantly reduced in the low-dose group. The blood levels of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and liver transaminase remained unchanged in the 3 groups. In conclusion, our study indicates that cinnamon supplementation is able to significantly improve blood glucose control in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes.
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