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J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Apr;25(2):144-50.

Whole cinnamon and aqueous extracts ameliorate sucrose-induced blood pressure elevations in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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Department of Physiology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20057, USA.



Many agents (nutrients, nutraceuticals, and drugs) that enhance insulin sensitivity and/or reduce circulating insulin concentrations lower blood pressure (BP). Recently, it was reported that cinnamon has the potential to favorably influence the glucose/insulin system. Accordingly, the purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of dietary cinnamon on systolic BP (SBP), and various glucose- and insulin-related parameters in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).


In a series of three experiments, treated SHR eating sucrose and non sucrose containing diets were given various amounts of cinnamon, cinnamon extracts, or chromium. Then various parameters such as: body weight, systolic blood pressure, hematology and blood chemistries were followed for three to four weeks.


Diets high in sucrose content are associated with insulin resistance and the elevation of SBP. Addition to diets of cinnamon (8% w/w) reduced the SBP of rats eating sucrose containing diets to virtually the same levels as SHR consuming non sucrose containing (only starch) diets. The presence of cinnamon in the diet also decreased the SBP of SHR consuming a non sucrose-containing diet, suggesting that cinnamon reduces more than just sucrose-induced SBP elevations--perhaps a genetic component(s) of the elevated BP as well. The effects of cinnamon on SBP tended to be dose-dependent. Cinnamon did not decrease the levels of blood glucose, but did lower circulating insulin concentrations. Aqueous extracts of cinnamon also decreased SBP and lowered the circulating levels of fructosamine.


Cinnamon is used for flavor and taste in food preparation, but cinnamon may have additional roles in glucose metabolism and BP regulation. Therefore, BP regulation may not only be influenced favorably by limiting the amounts of dietary substances that have negative effects on BP and insulin function but also by the addition of beneficial ones, such as cinnamon, that have positive effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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