Spicy cure

A medicine to delay the onset of diabetes may be hiding in your kitchen. Researchers at the US Agricultural Research Service in Maryland, have found that cinnamon can help patients with type II or non-insulin-dependant diabetes. In these patients, fat and muscle cells gradually lose their ability to respond to insulin, the hormone that directs cells to remove excess glucose from the bloodstream. Glucose builds in the blood, causing symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss and blurred vision. Researchers have found that cinnamon stimulates the ability of fat cells from patients to recognise and respond to insulin, increasing their glucose metabolism. "A full teaspoon a day of cinnamon in orange juice or in coffee can be of great help,' says nutritionist Richard Anderson ( New Scientist , Vol 167, No 2251).

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