Ceylon cinnamon lowers blood sugar better than drugs

For us here at Pure Cinnamon and Sundara Botanical, our parent company, when we speak of Cinnamon we are speaking of Ceylon Cinnamon, not Cassia Cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon has 200 times less Courmarin (a potentially harmful compound) than Cassia Cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon contains much higher levels of Cinnamon Oil as well.

Here is an article from naturalnews.com that explains the benefits and the risks of using Cinnamon from Ceylon against using Cassia Cinnamon.

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Ceylon cinnamon lowers blood sugar better than drugs: Study

Type 2 diabetes is definitely among the more frustrating diseases, in that the conventional treatment model requires daily oral medicine or constant needle pricks while providing no lasting cure. But a growing body of research suggests that regular supplementation with cinnamon could help in thwarting the onset of diabetes, and potentially even provide better relief than mainstream therapies for already-diagnosed diabetics.

Most Australians are familiar with cinnamon as a tasty spice used in oatmeal, pumpkin pie, egg nog and a variety of other often holiday dishes. But a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that cinnamon is also capable of lowering fasting blood glucose levels. Paul Davis, a research nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, (UCD) recently explained his work to NPR.

“Yes, it does work,” Davis stated to NPR about the blood sugar-regulating effects of common cinnamon. “According to our results, it’s a modest effect of about 3 to 5 percent,” he added, noting that cinnamon is on par with many older generation diabetes drugs in terms of efficacy.

But where cinnamon has a real leg up on all those drugs prescribed for diabetes is its safety profile. Apart from isolated claims that the coumarin content in cinnamon could potentially be harmful to the liver — one would have to consume ghastly amounts of cinnamon for it to ever become harmful, despite all the hype — there are no harmful side effects associated with consuming therapeutic doses of cinnamon.

“Cinnamon intake, either as whole cinnamon or as cinnamon extract, results in a statistically significant lowering in FBG [fasting blood glucose] and intake of cinnamon extract only also lowered FBG,” wrote Davis and his colleagues about their findings. “Thus cinnamon extract and/or cinnamon improves FBG in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.”


Ceylon cinnamon a better choice than the more common cassia cinnamon, say experts

Related research published in the journal The Annals of Family Medicine observed similar benefits with regard to lipid levels. Researchers from Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Pharmacy found that cinnamon intake helps lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, two substances commonly associated with heart disease.

“The consumption of cinnamon is associated with a statistically significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels, and an increase in HDL-C levels,” wrote the authors.

So will just any old cinnamon do? An increasing number of experts say no, as cassia cinnamon, the most common variety in North America and Europe, contains high levels of coumarin. Though the jury is still out on whether or not coumarin is actually harmful, sticking with Ceylon cinnamon, a more rare yet more potent cinnamon variety, can provide optimal benefits with minimal risk.

Often referred to as “true” cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon contains much higher levels of cinnamon oil compared to cassia varieties. At the same time, cassia cinnamon contains upwards of 200 times more coumarin than Ceylon cinnamon, containing up to 8 percent coumarin by volume. Comparatively, Ceylon cinnamon contains a mere 0.04 percent coumarin by volume.

As far as their general medicinal value, both cassia and Ceylon cinnamon have been found to aid in gut health and free radical scavenging. Science has shown that cinnamon may also be beneficial in preventing stomach flu, improving digestion, alleviating the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), guarding against candida infections, treating arthritis and even preventing and treating cancer.

“Several studies have indicated that cinnamon has the ability to fight off bacteria,” writes Kevin Gianni of RenegadeHealth.com. “One animal study found that a particular component in cinnamon impaired the proliferation of cancer cells and slowed tumor growth,” he adds.

Source: naturalnews.com


Turmeric and black pepper fight cancer stem cells

A new study shows that a combination of turmeric and piperine can limit the growth of stem cells for breast cancer — the cells that conventional treatment have the hardest time eliminating.

My friend Madhuri Kakarala is a physician at the University of Michigan; she’s a cancer specialist and a PhD researcher. But she’s also a nutritionist, and, like me, during her final years of medical studies she was diagnosed with cancer — a stage IV cancer of the thyroid. Madhuri decided to invest all her talent as a researcher and clinician in the task of getting well, and she rapidly arrived at the conclusion that nutritional change could significantly improve her response to her cancer treatment.

Because Madhuri is from an Indian background, she was most interested in the medical and culinary traditions of her country, and particularly fascinated by the promising effects of turmeric in the prevention and treatment of cancers.

This month Madhuri published an important article on the effect of turmeric on breast cancer stem cells. [1] Stem cells are at the center of a theory that seeks to explain why cancer can sometimes return, despite apparently effective treatment. This is because even when all the cancer cells have been eliminated  these cancer stem cells that have lied dormant and escaped treatments may be able to form entire new colonies of cancer cells. So to prevent relapse, it’s essential that we learn how to eliminate the stem cells. But unfortunately, because they don’t actively renew themselves through cell division like other cancer cells do, most existing treatments that target cancerous cells (like radiotherapy and chemotherapy) aren’t effective against stem cells. For this reason, the pharmaceutical industry has a whole sector of research devoted to developing new therapies to target and destroy stem cells.

For several years now, Madhuri’s lab at the University of Michigan has been studying the effect on breast cancer of curcumin — one of the most active substances in turmeric — and piperine, which is a substance active in black pepper. In her latest study she demonstrates that concentrations of curcumin and piperine which can be obtained through diet or from dietary supplements are capable of eliminating breast cancer stem cells, without causing any damage to the normal breast cells. In other words, this isn’t a general toxic effect on cells, like conventional anti-cancer treatments have, but an ultra-selective impact on cancer stem cells alone.

“This shows that these compounds are not toxic to normal breast tissue,” Madhuri says. “Women at high risk of breast cancer right now can choose to take the drugs tamoxifen or raloxifene for prevention, but most women won’t take these drugs because there is too much toxicity. The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and curcumin and piperine appear to have very low toxicity.”

The possible anti-cancer properties of curcumin and piperine have been the object of many other studies. But this study is the first to show that they may have a targeted effect on stem cells. Medications like tamoxifen or raloxifene only act against cancers that are sensitive to estrogen. If curcumin and piperine can target stem cells, they have the potential to be useful in many types of breast cancer, particularly those that aren’t estrogen-sensitive — and these are often the most aggressive.

Madhuri’s study was performed on cell colonies in Petri dishes, in lab conditions. So we haven’t yet reached the stage of a clinical study that would establish guidelines for recommendations to take turmeric supplements at specific dosages for certain types of cancer. However, given that turmeric and pepper, taken as part of a normal diet, are practically never toxic in any way, it seems to me to be perfectly reasonable to recommend that all of us regularly consume a soupspoon of turmeric every day, with a pinch of pepper. You can use it in all your cooking, just like I’ve been doing for years.

Caution: Note that it is often safest to avoid turmeric during chemotherapy as well as a three days before and after the treatment. This is because it can – rarely, but it can – interfere with some chemotherapy treatments and reduce their benefits.

Reference: 1. Kakarala, M., et al., Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, 2009.

Source: http://www.anticancerbook.com/post/Turmeric-and-black-pepper-fight-cancer-stem-cells.html

Turmeric, the spice of life

Not far from the surfer’s paradise of Hanalei, on Kauai’s north shore, grows a spice as golden as a Hawaiian sunrise that might just offer our bodies the same kind of healthy glow.


Turmeric powder and roots

It’s called turmeric — a member of the ginger family – that, before it’s washed, looks a bit like an ugly carrot. Turmeric is not a root, but a rhizome, which means its stem is where all the good stuff is found.

Native to India, turmeric has been around for thousands of years, but only recently has it caught on here in the West.

And now, people can’t get enough.

When asked how many thousands of pounds of turmeric he expects to ship out this year, Phil Green replied, “Major tonnage!”

Phil and his wife, Linda, bought a 45-acre farm over a decade ago. They had planned a semi-quiet retirement, until turmeric became one of the most talked-about new superfoods.

Cowan asked, “Did you know what it was?”

“Barely!” laughed Linda. “To me, turmeric was a powdered spice in a jar that stayed on your shelf until you needed it in a curry recipe, you know?”

Curries are its most common use, but turmeric’s taste is only part of its allure.


Scattered to the wind, it’s a sacred part of Hindu ceremonies. It’s also been used as a dye for fabrics — it’s even what gives mustard its bright, yellow hue. But the very thing that makes turmeric so colorful — a compound called curcumin — is what some researchers say also makes it a powerful weapon against disease.

Biophysicist Ajay Goel has been studying its medicinal qualities at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

“We’re doing clinical trials on Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, diabetes,” said Goel.

“And it seems to have an effect on all these different conditions?” Cowan asked.

“Absolutely. It is such a wonderful compound that has been shown to work in every single instance people have tried.”

Goel says thousands of studies have shown that, in a concentrated-enough dose, the curcumin in turmeric has not only proven to be an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, but also shows promise in preventing and even treating something as serious as cancer.


Turmeric capsules

“What we’re trying to understand is, what are the processes, what are the mechanisms of how it functions?” Goel said.

“So you know it works for the most part, but you’re not quite sure why?”

“Yes, exactly.”

While he says more research needs to be done, the word in already out at trendsetting restaurants like Café Gratitude in Los Angeles. There, turmeric is mixed with steamed almond milk, or blended into a shot served with a dose of cayenne pepper.

Café Gratitude’s co-owner, Ryland Englehart, said, “In a petri dish, that can knock out, like, diseases. I mean, it’s crazy. It’s become a phenomenon. It is the buzz word in the health world.”


So much so, Google’s Food Trends Report called turmeric a rising star of 2016.

Cowan asked Englehart if turmeric was as good as its hype.

“People love it, they come back for it,” he replied. “Do I exactly know what it’s providing for people? No.”

The Greens aren’t sure, either. But if it’s both healthy and a cash crop, so be it.

“Farmers grow what people want, what people demand,” Linda Green said. “And so we kept increasing because it kept selling.”

We’ve all heard the advice: “Eat the colors of the rainbow.” And in Hawaii, this brightly-colored spice just might be the pot of gold at the end of one, too.