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Cinnamon as medicine?

Released: Wednesday, March 03, 2010

BATON ROUGE - Recent research has revealed that the source of one of our favorite flavors (that’s right cinnamon bun lovers) may actually be good for us in remarkable ways, including its possible ability to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Now, researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center want to learn if cinnamon can treat a specific disorder faced by many overweight women.

Called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS, the disorder results from the high levels of testosterone in overweight women resulting in cysts on the ovaries Women who have this syndrome have difficulty becoming pregnant and have a greater risk for developing diabetes.

Researchers at the Center are now recruiting women with PCOS to see if cinnamon extract will lower blood sugar levels in this population, which would be a step toward reversing the condition.

“I’ve been conducting studies to understand how nutrition and exercise can impact women’s health,” researcher Leanne Redman, Ph. D. said, “PCOS is the most common endocrine condition in women of childbearing age around the world. So, I’m particularly interested in how a healthy lifestyle can impact the health and wellbeing of women with this condition. I’d like to invite women in our area to help us learn.”

Redman said she is looking for females between 20 and 40 years old who have been diagnosed with PCOS or who have a history of irregular menstrual cycles. Participants will receive a complete medical examination and, if enrolled, will be asked to visit the Center 8 times and stay overnight three times during the next 28 weeks.

Participants will supplement their diet with the cinnamon extract or a placebo for 12 weeks each and we will monitor changes in blood sugar levels and the risk for diabetes with state of the art testing.

To learn more about the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome study and to find out if you are eligible to participate, please email clinicaltrials@pbrc.edu or call 763-3000.

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The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. Itis a campus of the Louisiana State University System and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at the Center includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 50 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dieticians, and support personnel, and 19 highly specialized core service facilities.  The Center's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 234-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.