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Cinnamon May Help Ease Common Cause of Infertility

Spice supplements appeared to improve menstrual cycles in small group of women

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The 1,500-milligram cinnamon dose was chosen for this trial because it was between the 1,000 to 2,000 mg daily that seemed to have metabolic effects on diabetic patients in earlier research, Kort said. But all doses in that range are cheaply obtained, costing pennies per capsule.

"Compared to most medical therapies these days, the cost is very small," he said.

Although the study suggests a link between cinnamon and improvement of polycystic ovary syndrome, it doesn't establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

Still, Hershlag called the study "welcome and interesting" and said he sees no reason women with polycystic ovary syndrome shouldn't use more cinnamon in their food or take cinnamon supplements.

"Any work that's something nutritional in nature and seems to affect the abnormal physiology of polycystic ovaries is welcome," Hershlag said. "If they want to spice up their life and take it, that's fine . . . but I think the best thing to do when you have polycystic ovaries is to be under the control of a physician."

Some women with polycystic ovary syndrome from Kort's clinic are already trying cinnamon supplementation at home in the hopes of regulating their own menstrual cycles, he said, although he acknowledged the spice wasn't likely to be a cure-all for the condition.

"It's unlikely to be the sole source of improvement or to change entire (treatment) protocols," he said. "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."

Some day, Kort added, he hopes to organize a larger trial examining the issue.

Data and conclusions presented at scientific conferences are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

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