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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(12):2418-25. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

Verification of the antidiabetic effects of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) using insulin-uncontrolled type 1 diabetic rats and cultured adipocytes.

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Laboratory of Nutrition and Physiology, Department of Chemistry and Life Science, Nihon University College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University Graduate School of Bioresource Sciences, Kanagawa, Japan.


It has long been believed that an intake of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) alleviates diabetic pathological conditions. However, it is still controversial whether the beneficial effect is insulin-dependent or insulin-mimetic. This study was aimed at determining the insulin-independent effect of cinnamon. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were divided into four groups and orally administered with an aqueous cinnamon extract (CE) for 22 d. The diabetic rats that had taken CE at a dose of more than 30 mg/kg/d were rescued from their hyperglycemia and nephropathy, and these rats were found to have upregulation of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) and glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) in their brown adipose tissues as well as in their muscles. This was verified by using 3T3-L1 adipocytes in which CE upregulates GLUT4 translocation and increases the glucose uptake. CE exhibited its anti-diabetic effect independently from insulin by at least two mechanisms: i) upregulation of mitochondrial UCP-1, and ii) enhanced translocation of GLUT4 in the muscle and adipose tissues.

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