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Cinnamon and Bitter Melon for reducing fasting levels

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by xyzzy, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    So have been taking Cinnamon in capsule form for just coming up to one week based on studies such as these.

    http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/issues/Issue_306/cinnamondiabcare.pdf
    http://numedica.net/literature/Mang 2006.pdf
    http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/dspace/bitstream/10113/8206/1/IND43620705.pdf

    My aim is to use it to try and drop my fasting levels rather than use it as additional "spike" control. It's supposed to take a while 20 days+ for any real effects to kick in and the studies seem to have looked at people whose average BG levels are running considerably higher than mine.

    I am taking 1.7g (two 850mg capsules each morning with my breakfast). If you read the studies they recommend taking at least 1g a day.

    There is a hint in my average BG's in the last couple of days that it may be having a small effect but too soon to say.

    I'll post on it more in the coming weeks.

    At sometime soon my Bitter Melon capsules should also arrive and I want to use those for the same reason so the overall thing will turn into a combo of taking Cinnamon & Bitter Melon.

    I will of course be continuing to take all my other medication and trying to maintain around a 50g / 75g carbs per day intake
     
  2. Grazer

    Grazer · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Cinnamon and Bitter Mellon for reducing fasting levels

    I'm really interested in the bitter melon tabs. Read some good stuff on them, from proper medical sites. One site suggested that a high dose could have the same effect on BGs as taking a small dose of gliclazide! Bit concerned that as you're doing the cinnamon and the bitter melon at the same time, you may have difficulty in isolating which (if any) was having any effect you find. Think however the bitter melon is supposed to have more of an effect on the 2 hour post prandial reading. Do keep us posted and good luck.
     
  3. WhitbyJet

    WhitbyJet · Well-Known Member

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    I stopped Metformin from last September, at the same time I planned to reduce my daily carb intake to 30g. I am ashamed to say it didnt last, I love my food too much.
    I started with 2 x 1 Bitter Melon capsules, my usual 50 - 60 g carbs a day (not exceeded over the festive period) plus daily exercise > beach walk with the dog, swim or cycle.
    2 weeks ago had to undergo an emergency op, thankfully recovered pretty well, follow up medical appointment last Friday included all blood test results, including Hb1ac 34%.

    xyzzy I will be interested in your findings, good luck :)
     
  4. Grazer

    Grazer · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear this Whitby. Hope things continue to go well.
     
  5. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that there is any shame in this (apart from in Dr Bernstein's eyes).

    It's amazing what a difference those extra 20g of carbs a day can make to your diet.

    Hope you get better soon WJ!
     
  6. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Cinnamon and Bitter Mellon for reducing fasting levels

    Never satisfied!

    Here I am experimenting on myself yada yada.....

    Afraid there's only one of me so it will have to be a "combined" study.

    For Bitter Melon to be as effective as a Glitz dose you have to take 100mg for every kilo of weight you are. So at 100 kilos you need to be eating 10 grams of the stuff which is feasible if you eat the gourds but they taste weird. I tried to get a US company who sold it as dried powder by the pound to send some but they wouldn't so if anyone knows...

    The most effective capsule form of Bitter Melon I came up with was this Indian concoction. In India Bitter melon seems to get called Karnim. The product at the url listed is Karnim Plus and has WHO credentials.

    [mod edit - link removed]

    It doesn't say how many caps / box but it looks like a pretty small number and you're supposed to take 2 or 3 a day so even if you do the rupee to pounds conversion it looks expensive.

    In the end I ordered max strength caps from Canada (where it's highly recommended). If that doesn't work will have to resort to eating the d**n stuff.

    I actually hold up more hope for Cinnamon.
     
  7. chocoholicnomore

    chocoholicnomore Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about your op Whitbyjet and glad you are recovering well.

    Well done on your hb result too :clap:
     
  8. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Update on the cinnamon.

    Obviously still to soon for anything definitive. I haven't particularly changed my diet over the last few days. I am measuring pre and post + 2 plus a single + 4 last thing at night. As I work from home I have the luxury of being able to count my wake up fasting and before breakfast as the same reading. Averaging across all 7 readings then over the last few days since I started taking it.

    5.8, 5.7, 5.6, 5.6, 5.6, 5.0

    last one is a new world record today with an unheard of 4 of the 7 readings in the 4's and a top of 5.4.

    Carbs were actually slightly higher today than normal as well.

    Current 30 day average is 5.8 and 7 day average is 5.5

    Like I say still far too early so not getting my hopes up yet.
     
  9. antmos

    antmos Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Xyzzy,

    Those results look great! Please keep us posted. Where do you get the cinnamon tabs and how many are you taking and when?

    Thanks,

    Ant
     
  10. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement Ant. I am really pleased by last weeks results, whether its the Cinnamon is another matter as the studies show if it does have an effect it becomes really noticeable after 20 days and I'm now only at day 8.

    Got the cinnamon of eBay. They are Swanson Cinnamon Bark 1700 - 120 capsules, 850mg -

    I take 2 capsules (so 1700mg) in the morning with breakfast. The studies show that taking over 1000mg and less than 3000mg seems to be the effective dose.


    [mod edit]

    They shipped them out within a couple of days but I'm still awaiting arrival. Again they were the cheapest supplier of the biggest strength I could find.

    I do take a range of other supplements which I started soon after diagnosis. Prior to diagnosis I had never taken a supplement or vitamin or anything ever. The initial set came from the list that this site said were good for diabetics and I added to that things I thought might knock out any of the possible problems that get reported on taking statins for high cholesterol. Some studies show the supplements to have an effect others that they don't however there was no evidence that any of the stuff could cause you damage that I could find so I thought it would be worth a try. No study ever shows that supplements by themselves to be a replacement or as effective as a low carb diet, or real diabetic meds. All I'm trying to do with the supplements is to drop my fasting levels so they are regularly in the low 4's rather than the high 4's / low 5's. They are not intended to allow me to eat more or as a means of spike control.


    To drop my fasting BG's the obvious thing for me is to go back to the gp and get put on something like Januvia which does hit fasting BG's and I'm actually having a meeting with a specialist drugs nurse later this week. Reading up there seems to be a link to a small risk to prostate cancer because of the way Januvia works. The risk seems pretty low and wouldn't have concerned me except for the fact that my dad had prostate cancer so if at all possible I'd rather not take the risk. Like wise I'd rather not risk the insulin stimulating yet as there is clear LADA and Type 1 history in my family so without doing a c-peptide or GAD test it's an assumption (but probably the correct one) that I am Type 2. They won't do those tests because they say I'm controlling my BG's fine so effectively I'm told not to worry cos even if I am LADA 1.5 the treatment at this stage would be the same at the moment.
     
  11. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Hope you doing ok Whitby.

    34 is a brilliant score 5.3% in old money you must be really pleased.

    You sound like you are on much the same carb regime as me but do more exercise. I find it's ok doing 50 - 60g as you can still get quite a good variation in your diet but I'd struggle with sub 30. Not sure the extra effort would be worth it either as I losing weight quite rapidly at my current carb levels.

    Did you think the Bitter Melon had / has any effect and any idea how much is in each capsule ?
     
  12. WhitbyJet

    WhitbyJet · Well-Known Member

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    xyzzy - I know the Bitter Melon works for me, in fact my bg levels are slightly lower than before when I was on Metformin.

    I wanted to go drug free, and try out natural remedies.

    Last year I decided to try cinnamon, from February to June, no change in my eating habits or activity levels, I found there my bg levels were unaffected, remained the same, however cinnamon caused me indigestion which became increaasingly uncomfortable so I stopped taking it and went back on Metformin.

    I did some research on Bitter Melon, decided to give it a try, initially I took 3 x 1 capsule per day, it resulted in lower bg levels from the word go, it was impressive.
    I now make up my own capsules, I buy the powder and dri-fil capsules, it costs £30 for 2kg.

    I have tried to go it alone, but would need to reduce carb intake to no more than 30g a day, it was torture, I didnt enjoy eating any more. Mr Bernstein is on his own.

    I cook low carb meals daily, I prepare ahead and freeze, that includes sweet treats so there is ALWAYS something there.
    My family - husband, children 19, 17 and 8 - all eat the same meals, only extras are new potatoes, basmati rice or Swedish rye bread (<the proper dark, sour dough version) and fresh fruit other than berries.
    The children and their friends love it, its a new experience, the low carb pizza, chicken nuggets, Scotch eggs and chicken coated in cashew and chilli are a great hit and friends' mothers have started to cook them, same with lc cakes and muffins.
    LC cakes are more filling than the 'sawdust' versions (<like everyone else I found the transition extremely difficult, so mental conditioning helped, ordinary flour, cereals = sawdust, sugar = kills off those cute little innocent cells, how cruel, I am not having any of that, etc - almond flour = oh how soothing, cells smiling, relaxing, no sign of angry inflammation in the body, gives inner glow, mmmm - I know its totally crazy but it worked for me).
    The children are free to eat what they like, if they stay over at friends they eat whatever they want, surprisingly friends ask for lc recipes.
     
  13. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Can you post or PM where you get the powder from and the dri-fil caps please? That's exactly what I'm looking to do myself.

    Yes doesn't appeal to me in the slightest and to be honest I don't think in most people it's necessary although each to their own

    I think each of us rationalises in our heads what works in our own way so you with your natural approach and me from a science approach. If it works who cares! I am a strong believer that the mind can play an important part in health and that you need to get to the right frame of mind to start to see positive effects. I only draw the line at what appear to be totally unproven or even dangerous claims with talk of cures and the like.

    Take care Whitby
     
  14. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was taking Cinnamon Bark (1x600mg) with my food a while back (I still have some here, actually) - but I suffered pretty bad with burps that tasted and smelled of Cinnamon (funnily enough...!)

    I'm not a huge fan of Cinnamon, but if you can tolerate the buros (if you get 'em) then it is a cheap addition to your Diabetes regimen.
     
  15. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Yep happenned the first two days to the extent I thought s*d this but then on the third day it stopped and hasn't been a problem since.

    I swapped from taking it with my main meal to taking it with my minimilist breakfast so maybe thats the reason.
     
  16. alembic1989

    alembic1989 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi,
    regarding bitter melon, I have used it with success..there is no need to spend money on expensive capsules...it is available cheaply in powder form from quite a few Indian grocery shops as "Karela Powder"..Karela being bthe Indian word for bitter melon.
    Better still..IF you can stomach it...buy them fresh from the said shops...chop one in half...liquidise it, and drink. The flavour is not great..the texture is probably worse...but it is effective. I am type 2 and using diet/exercise to control my BG levels.
    Best advice of all is to visit an Ayurvedic practitioner, who will tell you you that not all these types of treatment are effective for everyone...as each person has their own Ayurvedic 'type'. When I was first diagnosed about 3 years back, I really struggled to to control my BG levels in spite of knowing a few things about exercise, diet, and nutrition...being a personal trainer. I've been getting medication and advice from an Ayurvedic practioner in that time, and it has really helped my contol my diabetes...I don't really eat raw loquidised bitter melon anymore, and have stopped cinnamon..as it didn't suit my body type....
    thats my tuppence worth.
     
  17. sip

    sip · Active Member

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    Cinnamon

    Funny that Americans use cinnamon in everything -- they can't get enough of it, yet they have a high incidence of T2 diabetes. They eat too much food, all those BBQs in the spring/summer months, steaks cooked in their own fat. The other night I looked at a cooked T-bone steak and couldn't believe the amount of fat still on it (I didn't eat it, honest). Only in America do people go to MacDonalds, order a double hamburger with everything on it and a diet cola, please! Those diet drinks have a lot to answer for, and in my view after talking to people who are conducting a study of fizzy drinks, diet drinks appear to be more harmful than normal sugar-laden colas. If the elephant doesn't trample you then the lion is surely going to tear you apart.

    I can vouch for cinnamon -- I reduced my HbA1c from 9.9 to 6.0 by taking one teaspoon of cinnamon mixed with one tablespoon of pure natural (wild) honey every morning on an empty stomach without any significant change in diet.

    Bitter Melon
    In India, bitter melon is known as karela -- the other diabetes website (Admin please note: via Google search) has this to say about the Karela Capsules:

    Healthcare professionals -- probably worried about their own positions. My diabetes nurse told me to stop reducing my HbA1c when it got to 6.0, probably because I was a good source of income as long as I was classified as diabetic -- so, I changed doctors and joined another surgery.

    My mum cooks karela curry at least once a week and has done so for as long as I can remember (50 years of memory there), and she used to let my son eat it raw whilst she was preparing the karela. Mum drinks at least three mugs of tea a day, each mug contains seven -- yes, seven -- spoons of sugar added to the water in the saucepan before it comes to the boil, but she eats as much organic food as she can. She also grew up eating a lot of jaggery-gur mixed with butter ghee, and it hasn't harmed her at all. My point is that one size doesn't fit everyone -- different foods affect people differently, we just have to find out what is right for us and our metabolism.
     
  18. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Tell me more... :think: I'm VERY willing to try this. [Cue Sid... :wave: ]

    Where can I get these Karela Capsules???

    I never met a curry I didn't like - but one that is beneficial to diabetics? I must have that recipe!
     
  19. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    That's the truest thing I've ever heard. The whole country stinks of it, it drives me crazy and makes me hungry all the time.

    I hadn't really noticed it until just before Christmas in California, but I can also confirm that New York and Detroit stink of cinnamon throughout January and February too. Maybe it's just a winter thing.
     
  20. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yup - that DID strike me as odd, too...
     
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