Written by Sirichai Adisakwattana from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, the review highlighted several in-vitro studies and animal models where cinnamic acid and its derivatives were used to help improve diabetes complications.
“Cinnamic acid and its derivatives occur naturally in high levels of plant-based foods. Among various biological activities, cinnamic acid and its derivatives are associated with a beneficial influence on diabetes and its complications,” he wrote in Nutrients.
“The aim of the review is to summarise the potential mechanisms of these compounds for prevention and management of diabetes and its complications.”
Cinnamic acid and its derivatives are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It can also be obtained from cinnamon, coffee, tea and cocoa.
Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the beneficial effects of cinnamic acid in relation to diabetes and its complications, said the review.
Previous have examined how it stimulates insulin secretion, which is needed to improve glucose tolerance.
‘In one rat study, cinnamic acid was found to be an inactive insulin-secreting compound in INS-1 pancreatic B-cells,” said the review.
Another rat research pointed to cinnamic acid’s anti-diabetic activity by improving glucose tolerance in vivo and stimulating insulin secretion in vitro.
“Oral administration of cinnamic acid (5 and 10 mg) markedly improved glucose tolerance in diabetic rats. These findings suggest that cinnamic acid exerts anti-diabetic activity by improving glucose tolerance and insulin secretion,” notes the paper.
Meanwhile, another study found cinnamic acid and its derivatives (cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, p‐hydroxycinnamicacid, and caffeic acid) produced synergistic effects when taken with oral hypoglycemic drugs metformin andthiazolidinedione.
“In combination with oral hypoglycemic agents, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, and p-hydroxycinnamic acid synergistically interacted with metforminand thiazolidinedione, whereas cinnamic acid exhibited an additive effect on the uptake of glucose,” the review noted.
“The authors (of the study) suggest that the combination therapy between compounds and oral hypoglycemic agents may enhance the beneficiary activities and reduce the drug load to the patients.”
While studies point to cinnamic acid’s potential in helping with prevention and management of diabetes and its complications, the review said there is still no clinical evidence to prove the plant-based compound’s beneficial effects.
“Further epidemiological studies are required to evaluate the role of cinnamic acid and its derivatives in prevention and management of diabetes and its complications. The main concerns derive from the pharmacokinetics of these compounds, in particular, low bioavailability; thus, the use of cinnamic acid and its derivatives in the field of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals is still limited,” the review said.
“In the future perspective of research, additional approach of clinical studies may help us to understand the full potential of cinnamic acid and its derivatives.”
“Cinnamic Acid and Its Derivatives: Mechanisms for Prevention and Management of Diabetes and Its Complications”
Author: Sirichai Adisakwattana