Glossary of Diabetic Terms

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Recent headlines about cinnamon are the result of an accidental finding in a Maryland USDA research center. Incredibly, the catalyst was as American as good old apple pie, flavored with -- what else -- cinnamon. Scientists were testing the effects of various foods on blood sugar (glucose) levels. They expected the classic pie to have an adverse effect, but instead they found it actually helped lower blood glucose levels.

The researchers then took their surprising discovery and tested it in a small 60 patient study conducted in Pakistan, reporting in the journal Diabetes Care. All the patients had been treated for type 2, adult onset diabetes for several years and were taking anti-diabetic drugs to increase their insulin output. But they were not yet taking insulin to help process their blood glucose. The subjects were given small doses of cinnamon ranging from as little as a quarter teaspoon to less than 2 teaspoons a day for 40 days.

I got my first shot when I was five.

I mean, it wasn’t my first, but it was the first one that I was old enough to remember and resent. The office was bright, my doctor was telling bad jokes, and then she said she’d give me a lollipop before I left. Even at the time I thought that was suspicious (especially because my Dad had just read “Hansel and Gretel” to me a few days earlier). Then she told me to look at my mom, who kept making faces in hopes that I’d stare in her direction, and not see the doctor rummaging through her drawer of childhood torture devices.

It didn’t work.