Friday, January 13, 2012

How Cinnamon Helps to Lose Weight?

Cinnamon is a type of spice which is derived from the bark of the cinnamomum zeylanicum tree. Indigenous to Sri Lanka, Southeast India, Indonesia, South American and the West Indies, it is now available throughout the world as a cooking or baking spice, a nutritional supplement or as a tea. Experts believe cinnamon to contain many weight loss benefits; however, it is prudent to consult with your healthcare provider prior to engaging in a weight loss program.
Blood-Glucose Stabilization
Insulin is produced by the body in an effort to convert the consumption of food into energy. High levels of insulin may lead to rapid drops in blood-glucose levels which may stimulate the appetite. Furthermore, insulin prompts the body to store fat, particularly around the abdominal region. Several studies indicate that cinnamon has a blood-glucose stabilizing effect on the body. A study published in the December 2003 edition of "Diabetes Care" reports that cinnamon may potentially decrease blood-glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D., of Mayo Clinic, reports on another study which supports cinnamon's role as a blood-glucose stabilizer for patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The study discovered that consumption of cinnamon twice daily over a three-month period resulted in improved hemoglobin A1C levels. Hemoglobin A1C measures blood-glucose levels; more sugar equates to elevated A1C levels. Stable blood-glucose levels may reduce appetite and result in weight loss.
Thermogenic Properties
Cinnamon contains thermogenic properties which may improve metabolism by increasing energy expenditure. All food products have thermogenic properties, as they require energy for digestion; however, the thermal effects of different foods vary. A study published in the August 2004 edition of "Nutrition & Metabolism" reports that fats contain the lowest thermogenic properties, while protein contains the highest, with 30 percent of the calories contained in lean protein utilized as a digestive aid. Although protein is the most thermogenic of the three macronutrients, Wake Forest University reports that cinnamon contains the chemical compound cinnamaldehyde, which binds to the capsaicin receptor. This receptor induces heat production and stimulates metabolism. Furthermore, another report published in the January 1992 edition of "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that herbal medicines containing thermogenic properties enhanced fat loss in obese patients.
Cholesterol Reduction
Blood lipids have a tendency to be higher in overweight or obese individuals, which puts them at risk of heart disease. Cinnamon may reduce LDL cholesterol; cholesterol reduction and weight loss go hand in hand, because reduction of the level of blood lipids makes overall weight loss easier. However, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reports that the results are divided. Although cinnamon has been found to reduce blood lipids in humans and animals, it has also been found to increase cholesterol levels in rats.
Although cinnamon may help with weight loss efforts, proper nutrition and physical activity will allow for lasting results. According to Mayo Clinic, in order to lose 1 lb. of fat in a week, you must reduce your weekly caloric intake by 3,500, or 500 calories each day. A reduction in calories may take the form of less food or more physical activity. Speak with your healthcare provider regarding diet recommendations and weight loss plans.

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