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Health News Archive 294 - Blood Pressure
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Cinnamon Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Insulin Function

For the first time, cinnamon has been shown to lower the systolic blood pressure (SBP) of spontaneously hypersensitive rats (SHR), according to a new study from Georgetown University in the April 2006 Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The results also add to a growing body of research demonstrating cinnamon’s role in managing blood sugar levels and improving insulin function. The study found both whole cinnamon and a water-soluble cinnamon extract to be equally effective in managing these conditions.

The placebo-controlled, double-blind study was designed to determine the effect of whole cinnamon, cinnamon extract and chromium, on the SBP and insulin function of SHRs eating a sucrose and non-sucrose containing diet for three to four weeks. Rats taking both forms of cinnamon showed decreased SBP and improved insulin function, with the extract group lowering circulating levels of fructosamine and the whole cinnamon group lowering circulating insulin concentrations.

Adding cinnamon to the diets of the spontaneously hypertensive rats consuming a sucrose-containing diet reduced the systolic blood pressure of the animals to virtually the same levels as the rats consuming non sucrose containing diets. Cinnamon also decreased the systolic blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats consuming a non sucrose-containing diet, suggesting that cinnamon reduces more than just sucrose-induced blood pressure elevations and that it might also affect a genetic component(s) of the hypertension. Cinnamon’s effects on systolic blood pressure tended to be dose-dependent.

“Research on cinnamon has pointed to its efficacy in maintaining favorable blood glucose levels and reducing serum cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes,” said lead researcher Dr. Richard Anderson from the USDA. “This is the first time we have seen the positive effects of cinnamon on blood pressure levels, a common co-factor to diabetes and one of the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.”

For a water-soluble cinnamon extract, Cinnulin PF is the only one standardized for the recognized active component in cinnamon, double-linked Type-A Polymers. Despite USDA studies showing the health benefits of cinnamon, researchers note that when consumed consistently or in high doses, whole cinnamon and fat-soluble extracts may be toxic. Cinnulin PF retains the active components without the potentially harmful compounds, making it completely safe for every day use.

Source: Anderson R et. al., J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Apr;25(2):144-50.

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