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Delhi researchers prove health benefits of cinnamon

Indians have a greater propensity to develop multiple metabolic problems leading to diabetes at an early age, and the new research has proved that cinnamon lowers the risk.

health Updated: Jun 23, 2017 16:21 IST
A recent study from India has proved that cinnamon has numerous health benefits.
A recent study from India has proved that cinnamon has numerous health benefits. (Shutterstock)

Apart from its aroma and flavour, cinnamon is a spice that helps in reducing abdominal fat, increases good cholesterol levels that could cut heart attack risk by 10%, shows a recent study by Indian researchers.

National Diabetes, Obesity & Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC), Institute of Home Economics (University of Delhi) and Fortis CDOC Hospital for Diabetes and Allied Sciences investigated the effect of this commonly used spice among Indians, and the results were published in the June issue of US medical journal— Lipids in Health and Disease.

“Purported ‘beneficial properties’ of traditional Indian herbs and spices need to be proven on the anvil of hard scientific methods. Looking at the results of our robust scientific study, now I can say with confidence that cinnamon should be included in meals by all adult Indians, and particularly those who have multiple metabolic risk factors or diabetes,” said Dr Anoop Misra, director-N-DOC, and chairman-CDOC.

Cinnamon was tested in 58 people with metabolic syndrome— abdominal obesity, high triglycerides,

low HDL (good cholesterol), high blood sugar, and high blood pressure, and compared them 58 people on placebo over a period of 16 weeks. Those given cinnamon showed improved health parameters by the end of the study.

Dr Seema Puri, associate professor, Institute of Home Economics, said, “The promising results of this research reveal that simple functional foods can have tremendous health benefits. Cinnamon is a spice which is commonly used in Indian cooking and hence can be easily incorporated in our daily dietaries that will balance out metabolism better.”

Indians have much greater propensity to develop multiple metabolic problems, leading to diabetes at an early age.

“This research proves that usage of simple dietary intervention such as judicious and recommended usage of cinnamon can lead to multiple health benefits. Cinnamon has, therefore, proven to be a cost effective measure for the prevention and management of multiple metabolic risk factors among Indians,” said Dr Sonal Gupta Jain, assistant professor, Institute of Home Economics.

Research Highlights

*Weight: decreased 3.8%

*Body Mass Index (BMI) and Body fat: reduction of 3.9% in BMI and 4.3% of body fat percentage

*Waist circumference: decrease in 5.3%

*Blood Pressure: systolic by 9.7% and diastolic by 9.1%

*Fasting blood glucose: decreased by 7.1%

*Post prandial glucose: decreased by 6.8%

*Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c): decreased by 5.9%

*Total cholesterol: reduction by 20.9%

*Triglycerides: decrease by16.1%

*LDL (bad cholesterol): decrease by 12.9%

*HDL (good cholesterol: increase by 6.2%

*Metabolic Syndrome: reduced in the intervention group by 34.5% vs. 5.2% in the placebo group