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Cinnamon A Health Pill, Says Study

Cinnamon, a commonly used spice in Indian recipes, may have some unexpected health benefits. Consumption of around 3gm of cinnamon powder every day can help reduce obesity and tackle metabolic disorders, shows a first-of-its-kind study on Indians published in the international journal ‘Lipids in Health and Disease’.

In a clinical trial conducted in New Delhi’s Fortis Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation, Institute of Home Economics (University of Delhi) and Fortis CDOC Hospital for Diabetes and Allied Sciences investigated the effect of simple dietary intervention i.e. cinnamon among Indians, who have much greater propensity to develop multiple metabolic problems leading to diabetes at an early age.

“Purported `beneficial properties’ of traditional Indian herbs and spices need to be proven on 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 Fortis CDOC Hospital chairman Dr Anoop Misra, one of the researchers of the study.

The trial involved 116 men and women having conditions such as abdominal obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, high triglycerides and hypertension. After consuming 3gm of cinnamon powder per day for 16 weeks, the average weight reduction was from 89kg to 85kg in the cinnamon group, while it was from 82kg to 81kg in the control group that was not given cinnamon. Along with dietary intervention, people in the trial were also prescribed brisk walking for 45 minutes every day. Researchers said consuming cinnamon along with dietary changes and physical exercise decreased fasting blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin, waist circumference, and body mass index.It also improved waist-hip ratio, blood pressure, serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, serum triglycerides, and beneficial high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

“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, which will balance out metabolism better,” said Dr Seema Puri, associate professor at Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi.

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