Agricultural Research Service scientists are seeking a patent on compounds extracted from cinnamon that make cells much more sensitive to insulin in test tube studies.
Nearly 6 percent of the U.S. population -- 15.7 million people -- have diabetes, and one-third of them don't even know it. The large majority of diabetes cases are type 2 -- the kind that usually begins in midlife. It is characterized by the failure of body cells to recognize and respond to insulin as well as they once did. This leads to elevated blood sugar because insulin's job is to prompt cells to take in glucose.
Another 13.4 million people have elevated fasting blood sugar levels below the threshold indicating diabetes but are at high risk for developing the disease. Lack of exercise, being overweight, and genetic predisposition are often cited as contributing factors involved...
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