Studies conducted by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City found that cinnamon helps women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome. Polycystic ovary syndrome, an endocrine disorder, is one of the most common cause of infertility in young women and is characterized by obesity, hirsutism, abnormal menstruation (amenorrhea ) and infertility. Polycystic ovary syndrome is due to a hormonal disorder that affects ovulation, disorder that most often leads to secondary amenorrhea, which means the absence of menstrual cycles at least three months in a row. Besides affecting ovulation, there is a metabolic disorder of insulin that leads to diabetes and obesity.
Now researchers have found that cinnamon is not only a spice that gives flavor to food but also has a beneficial effect on hormonal disorders in the polycystic ovary syndrome. Researchers found that women with POS who took cinnamon supplements daily showed a significant improvement in menstrual cycles than women taking placebo. Furthermore, two of the participants reported spontaneous pregnancies during the study.
Study author Dr. Daniel Kort , a postdoctoral fellow in reproductive endocrinology at the Medical Center, said there is a lot of interest in natural or homeopathic remedies to treat this condition. He added that it is possible that this completely natural substance to help a large group of patients.
The standard treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome consists of weight loss, control of diabetes ( metformin) and drugs that induce ovulation (such as clomiphene ) . Kort said they do not know what is the mechanism by which cinnamon regulates menstrual cycles in women with POS but it is possible that these effects are a result of stimulating the body to process glucose and insulin. In addition, there have been studies conducted on diabetic patients that showed that cinnamon regulates the metabolism of insulin (apparently this spice decreases insulin resistance).
The researchers tested this hypothesis on a sample of 16 patients with POS: 11 of them received daily cinnamon supplements (1,500 milligram ) and 5 received placebo. Researchers monitored diet, daily activity and the calendar of menstrual cycles during the study. After 6 months, women taking cinnamon supplements had four menstrual periods compared with an average of two menstrual periods in the placebo group. In addition, two women reported spontaneous pregnancies after three months of starting treatment with cinnamon supplements. However, Dr. Avner Hershlag, chief of the Center for Human Reproduction at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y, added: “It’s not going to regulate every patient who takes it, but a good percentage who take it may experience some benefit, and the side effects are low. It’s relatively cheap and well tolerated.”