Cortex cinnamomi comes from a small evergreen tree (Cinnamomum verum), that is native to India and Sri Lanka, where it has been traditionally used as a spice.
Cortex cinnamomi is a very common ingredient in products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, and soft drinks. Also many feel it it helpful in handling certain ailments and other issues. Herbalists recommend cinnamon bark to help with digestive problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, asthma brought on by cold, backache, menstrual problems, etc.
Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service have found polyphenolic polymer compounds from cortex cinnamomi that could become natural ingredients in products aimed at lowering blood sugar levels. Recent studies demonstrate that water-soluble polymeric compounds isolated from cortex cinnamomi have insulin-enhancing biological activity in the in vitro assay measuring the insulindependent effects on glucose metabolism and also function as antioxidants. Cinnamaldehyde is the main constituent of oils of cassia, cortex cinnamomi and roots.
A water-soluble, cinnamon extract has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from the University of Hannover in Hannover, Germany published in a recent issue of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation. This was the first study evaluating the effect of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on glycemic control and the lipid profile of Western patients with type 2 diabetes. The results further add to a growing body of clinical evidence demonstrating supplementation with a water-soluble cinnamon extract may play an important role in managing blood sugar levels and improving insulin function
Cinnamon is among the world's most frequently consumed spices and is relatively inexpensive. Anderson and colleagues found that its most active compound—methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP)—increased glucose metabolism roughly 20-fold in a test tube assay of fat cells.
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