Tuesday, March 20, 2007


The Benefits of Cassia Cinnamon and Oolong Tea

I ran out of cinnamon capsules last week. My numbers had been running around 120-130 something in the morning. That's somewhat high, but not too bad. Like I've said in past posts, under 100 is ideal. Partially, it's due to Dawn Phenomenon, which I wrote about here. I could probably do a little more work on what I eat and increase my exercising, too. Last night, my sugar was 160. This morning it was 159. I think it's because I've been too lazy to go buy cinnamon.

In December 2003, Diabetes Care published an article on a Pakistani study about the effects of cinnamon on type 2 diabetics. In the study, 30 women and 30 men were broken into 6 groups. Of that, half were given varying amount of cassia (cinnamomum cassia), otherwise known as Chinese cinnamon, and the other half were given placebos. The first 3 groups were given 1, 3, or 6 g of cinnamon daily. After 40 days, all three levels of cinnamon ingested reduced the mean fasting serum glucose (18–29%), triglyceride (23–30%), LDL cholesterol (7–27%), and total cholesterol(12–26%) levels, with no significant changes in the placebo groups. Changes in HDL cholesterol were insignificant.

Cassia has a long history as both a spice and medicine. It is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree native to southern China and mainland Southeast Asia west to Myanmar. Medicinally, it has been widely used to treat digestive problems, but the most intriguing of all is in the treatment of diabetes. Scientists have discovered that it has insulin-like properties and its active ingredient, called polyphenols (tannins, lignins, and flavonoids), can boost levels of proteins which are crucial to promoting normal insulin signaling processes, a healthy inflammatory response, and increasing glucose transportation throughout the body. Tannins are present in red wines. That may be one of the reasons why small amounts of red wine can be of benefit to diabetics. Cassia might also lower blood pressure, making it potentially useful to those suffering from hypertension. The USDA has three ongoing studies that are monitoring the blood pressure effect.

It seems like a relatively benign form of treatment, although risk factors are always an issue. There haven't been any long term studies done on cassia to make a firm determination. There is concern about the potential for toxic buildup of the fat-soluble components and some European health agencies have warned against consuming high amounts of cassia, due to a toxic component called coumarin. Although not present in large amounts, coumarin has been found to be moderately toxic to the liver and kidneys. It is where warfarin (Coumadin®) is derived (synthetically), so it may have ever so slight anticoagulant properties, as well. I wouldn't worry about it. People have been eating cinnamon for thousands of years and I've never heard of anyone dying from it or causing any type of harm.

There are various forms of cinnamon on the market. You want to buy cinnamon cassia (cassia cinnamomum), a close cousin of true cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum, synonym C. zeylanicum), which is native to India and Sri Lanka. If you can't find it, I think regular cinnamon will do in a pinch. One is just better than the other.

I strongly recommend all diabetics talk to their primary care physician and/or endocrinologist about cinnamon. I recommend this treatment, unless you are allergic to it. If you decide it might help, I'd start with 500 mg per day, gradually increasing, if necessary. I usually take 3,000 grams per day. Remember, don't expect overnight success. The original study took 40 days. Those on insulin must be extra cautious because they may have to reduce the amount they take or at least monitor their glucose more often during the day at first.

Another article in Diabetes Care, in June of 2003, suggests oolong tea, a type of tea that is partially fermented during processing that proved to lower plasma glucose in a test of 20 type 2 diabetics who also took hyperglycemic drugs. They were given 1,500 milliliters per day for 30 days. Their glucose fell from 229 to 162 on average. A group not given oolong tea, but water instead, showed no change. Bear in mind, green tea is not fermented at all and black tea is fully fermented. The only problem with oolong tea is trying to find it. It is imperative it comes from China. Also, 1,500 ml is a little over 5 cups, so I'd think about brewing a nice big pot and turning it into iced tea.

You may also find this article helpful. This particular study reviews herbs and dietary supplements for glycemic control in diabetes. Please remember, you can always ask me questions. I will do everything in my power to find the right answers. I'm not a doctor or anything, but I learn easily and well and I know how to weed out improper information.

Well, I'm off to the health store. I want my BG level to go down.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hard Core Extremists

I think the far right has been indoctrinated for such a long time, they interpret “far right” as meaning, “So far, I’m right. You’re wrong.” Then, they yell, swear at you and call you a Commie and other sordid names. Don’t get me wrong, the flip side can be way out in left field, too. Michael Moore and Al Franken come to mind, but I’ve noticed that ultra-right wing, arch-conservative, basket case Republicans think anyone who disagrees with them on any subject matter is a liberal. They are always right and when backed into a corner without beating the crap out of you, they go into denial. Denial in a sense that whichever Republican official a “so called” liberal names, they come up with a standard excuse: HE’S NOT A REPUBLICAN - HE’S A RINO (Republican In Name Only). If all Republican politicians are RINOs, then who are the true Republicans in their vein?

Let’s see… the esteemed Abraham Lincoln, long considered the father of the Republican Party, freed the slaves. That’s much too liberal. He must have been one of the first RINOs. Imagine people of color having rights!

Moving on, let’s consider Theodore Roosevelt. He was at the forefront of conservationism. He was responsible for writing the book on the preservation of land and species that might, otherwise, become extinct. Save the red-breasted throck morton! Ouch!!! Way too liberal. G*d-D*mn Tree Hugger!

OK. Let’s try Dwight D. Eisenhower. Good guy. War hero. 5 star general. Head of the entire European Theatre during WWII. Let’s see, wasn’t he the architect of the Interstate highway system? Didn’t he usher in the Space Age? Without those two, we wouldn’t be able to move around or communicate with such speed as we do today. Maybe we would stay home more often, listening to fireside chats on the radio. Oh, wait! That was FDR, a Democrat. Anyway, good old Ike was way too progressive for his time. Nope, he won’t do.

The list can go on and on and each one can be excused or written off as a RINO. George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, John McCain, Charlie Crist. “W” let all those Wetbacks in. Don’t even mention Rudolph Guiliani. Chuck Hagel? Pretty darn conservative, but he’s against that damn patriotic thing going on over there in sand n*gger country. You know, the WMD place. You name the Republican and these idiots will find a way to denigrate any one of them to their own selfish benefit and in their best interests, period.

Back to the first question. Who are the true Republicans in their vein? I think the only ones these morons would support are not politicians at all. They are a bunch of political pundits who spew exactly what they want to hear - such fine and upstanding men, like… Rush “Oxycontin” Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill “No Spin” O’Reilly and the entire “cast” of FOX News. One day, they’ll finally have a “fair and balanced” administration. Whoopee, we’re all gonna die! Turn that sand into glass!

The worst and most frightening people in the world are the extremists. It doesn’t matter which side of the fence they sit on, left-wing, right-wing, they are the same. What is the difference between extreme heat and extreme cold? They are both very uncomfortable and, I hope I’m far from alone in feeling this way. Well, that’s my opinion, anyway. What? You want to go outside?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Truck Stop Humor

A trucker came into a truck stop cafe and placed his order. He said, "I want three flat tires, a couple of headlights and a pair of running boards."

The brand new blonde waitress, not wanting to appear stupid, went to the kitchen and said to the cook, "This guy out there just ordered three flat tires, a couple of headlights and a pair of running boards. What does he think this place is ... an auto parts store?"

"No," the cook said. "Three flat tires mean three pancakes, a couple of headlights is two eggs sunny side up, and running boards are 2 slices of crisp bacon."

"Oh, OK!" said the blonde. She thought about it for a moment and then spooned up a bowl of beans and gave it to the customer.

The trucker asked, "What are the beans for, Blondie?"

She replied, "I thought while you were waiting for your parts, you might as well gas up!"

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Blog King - iCommandIt


In 1940, Charlie Chaplin starred in a movie called "The Great Dictator". This is kind of, sort of, similar to the movie that paralleled a certain tyrant who once existed in the world.

The poor little guy never knew when the craziness hit him. Still doesn't. I mean, voices in his brain had been telling him a lot of things most of his life. Sometimes, being an only child and distant from the crowd will do that. Aloof. That's what they called him. The inner pain was etched into his very soul. The pain was real, but voices told him it wasn't. It is not a fair life, when deep inside, you understand your brilliance and it becomes an obsession to educate the world. The world must know of your genius! The voices must be heard! They must be heeded!!! You will turn them all into one and become the true voice. Just wait, the world will see.

"I know," he said. "What better way than to start a blog forum? I will make you fishers of persons!" Must be politically correct, you know. "Hey! Who writes the rules here? I do, right?" Sometimes, the voices answer back. Sometimes, the voices are his students. Students in the imaginary classroom of his mind. After all, there can only be one master in the realm of Urbany. The rest must follow. All the world is a student body. "We need new students," he commanded. "There are millions upon millions out there in the mysterious world of blogging. Much more than any mere classroom can hold. There is a whole world of students out there who will listen to my word. They must!"

"There are rules on the Internet you must follow. Why? Because I make the rules. I can make them as I please, any time I want."

You cannot show pictures of your children. You may not show pictures of your pets. You must obey me or you may not be a part of the Internet community. If I capitalize words on my blog, there is a reason for it and you must respect my wishes by capitalizing the same way when you comment back. You must use your full name. Why? Because I demand it. I am an omnipotent leader. How can I be master of the entire electronic universe without this knowledge. I must know who you are to stop the fake on-line identity. You must be truthful, verifiable and legal. I will always have the final say. You must obey my teachings on all subjects. If you disagree, I will rip you apart and banish you. You may not come back. Only I can break my own rules because I make the rules. Do you understand?

Doctors aren't sure when the obsession began. They think it wasn't a particular day that took his mind away. Here was a Midwest country boy living in the urban core, perpetually glued to his keyboard. It was a slow and dramatic evolution. Eventually, all those voices just kept getting louder and louder. The on-line voices and the ones in his head became confused. Where are they all coming from? These new voices answered back. Sometimes, he didn't like what they had to say. This must stop!

The doctors told him to get out of the house. All teachers take vacations. Stop sitting at the computer, staring at your blog all day and into the night, waiting in stark anticipation for your students to respond to your strokes of brilliance. "They are masterpieces. I know it. My students know it. How long will it take before the entire world knows it? They must! Hurry! Answer me! I command it!"

One day his students stopped paying attention. They became blind to his madness. They logged out.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


With all due respect to Spartacus, Kirk Douglas and the recently departed Anna Nicole Smith, the ensuing circus has produced much fuel for fodder. Poor Dannielynn, and public support is next to nill for Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole's enabler. I think he'll be pretty rattled by the time the truth comes out on who the real father is.

I came up with an idea and this is my first foray into digital recording. I created this in iMovie on my Mac and uploaded it to YouTube, Google Videos and Yahoo Videos. The YouTube one threw the sound off a bit.