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Cinnamon the dry bark of Cinnamomum spp., has been extensively used as a spice and traditional herbal medicine for centuries. It is a rich source of polyphenolics which have a positive effect on blood glucose and insulin signaling. It is also effective in controlling serum lipids. This experimental trial is planned to investigate the effectiveness of cinnamon in lowering blood glucose and lipid profile in alloxan induced diabetic mice. In this study 25 mice will be divided into 5 groups each of 5 rats i.e (G1): normal control mice, (G2): control diabetic mice injected with alloxan ( 70mg/Kg), (G3): 10gm/100gm diet of cinnamon powder will be administered to diabetic mice, (G4): 15gm/100gm diet of cinnamon powder will be administered to diabetic mice and (G5): 20gm/100gm diet of cinnamon powder will be administered to diabetic mice. After 1 month blood glucose and lipid profile will be evaluated in all the groups. Cinnamon would also be subjected to proximate analysis and the results will be analyzed statistically by applying appropriate statistical techniques.
Diabetes is globally the most widespread metabolic disorder whose occurrence is mounting at an alarming rate in both developed and developing countries and it is expected that the total number of diabetic people will rise from 171 million in 2000 to 336 million in 2030 (Wild et al, 2004).
Diabetes mellitus is characterized by abnormalities in the metabolism of carbohydrate, lipid and lipoprotein which increases blood glucose levels (Chait and Brunzell, 1996). The beta cells of the pancreas fabricate a hormone insulin which is necessary for the utilization and storage of carbohydrates and fats. Diabetics do not effectively produce or respond to insulin, without effective insulin action hyperglycemia occurs and lead to short term and long term complications (Jawa and Fonseca, 2006; Haidara, 2006).
The chronic hyperglycemia of diabetes is coupled with long-term damage, dysfunction and failure of various organs, especially the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels (ADA, 2009). Diabetic patients experience a wide range of vascular complications, such as atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, diabetic nephropathy and neuropathy due to hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia which are two vital characters of diabetes mellitus (Sheetz, 2002).
Diabetes mellitus is linked to profound alterations in plasma lipid and lipoprotein profile which are considered as risk factors for coronary heart disease (Betterridge J, 2002).
There is amplified occurrence of lipid abnormalities in person with type 2 diabetes which is the contributing factor to the higher rates of coronary and vascular diseases. Elevated triglyceride and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels are powerful risk predictors of coronary heart diseases which tend to increase in diabetic patients. In fact, control of serum lipids can reduce a person's risk of cardiovascular complications by 20% to 50% ( ADA, 2010; ADA, 2009 and Deshpande, 2008).
The quality of life in diabetic patients can be improved and symptomatic complications related to diabetes can be prevented by effectively controlling the blood glucose level (Bell, 2001). For the treatment of diabetes numerous oral hypoglycemic synthetic drugs in conjunction with insulin are available (Mannucci et al., 2004). However, these agents are expensive and put forth some severe side effects. Efforts in the recognition of helpful antihyperglycemic agents have been concentrated on natural food products used in folk medicine (Sarma and Das, 2009; Osadolor et al., 2011 and Nyunai et al., 2011).
Spices are a significant part of human diet and are frequently used in food preparations in order to enhance taste and flavor. They not only boost the taste and flavor of food but also exhibit a number of physiological and pharmacological effects (Nakatani, 2000). Spices are admirable antioxidants, which protect the body from the attacks of free radicals. It contains Phyto nutrients, which may prevent the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous cells (Zak, 2006).
Among the spices, cinnamon (Darchini) is a very admired spice throughout the world belongs to the family Lauraceae and genus Cinnamomum. This genus comprises hundreds of species and most of them are aromatic (Jayaprakasha et al., 2002). The word cinnamon has actually been derived from the Greek word Kinnamon which means "sweet wood". Among the two main varieties of cinnamon, one is Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum, also known as 'true cinnamon' and the other is Cinnamomum cassia also referred to as 'Chinese cassia' (Willis, 1973).
The bark of C. zeylanicum contain three of the main components of the essential oil which are trans-cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and linalool which represent 82.5% of the total composition (Chericoni et al., 2005). The major component of C. zeylanicum bark oil, trans-cinnamaldehyde accounts for approximately 49.9% to 62.8% of the total amount (Singh et al., 2007 and Simi et al., 2004). Cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, cinnamyl alcohol and coumarin are the characteristic components of C. cassia bark. High contents of cinnamaldehyde (13.01-56.93 mg/g) are present in C. cassia bark (He et al., 2005).
The bark of cinnamon either as small pieces or as powder is used as a spice or condiment. It is extensively used in medicine as a cardiac stimulant. It is also used as stomachic, germicide and carminative in the treatment of diarrhea, gastric debility, flatulence, nausea and vomiting (Purohit and Vyas, 2004).
Cinnamon contains biologically active substances that have demonstrated insulin-mimetic properties. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that cinnamon enhances glucose uptake by activating insulin receptor kinase activity, autophosporylation of the insulin receptor and glycogen synthase activity.
Cinnamon extracts are reported to have advantageous effects on people with normal and impaired glucose tolerance, the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, insulin, insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance. 5 The dietary cinnamon has the ability to decrease lipid levels by inhibiting hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase activity (Lee et al., 2003)
Cinnamon supplementation facilitates glucose disposal in healthy humans, which may be achieved by enhancing (1) insulin sensitivity via increased phosphorylation of signalling proteins and (2) insulin sensitive glucose transporter 4-mediated glucose uptake into muscle cells. Because peripheral insulin resistance is primarily a consequence of reduced muscle insulin sensitivity, Cinnamon extracts may attenuate insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. 7