Cinnamon extract may help to reduce risk factors of diabetes and heart disease, according to a small new study.

Researchers looked at 22 obese people who had prediabetes, which is a condition in which cells don't respond to higher-than-normal insulin levels because there is extra glucose in the blood.

The participants were divided randomly into two groups — one group was given a placebo and the other was given a dried, water-soluble cinnamon extract to be taken twice daily for 12 weeks.

The researchers found the people given the extract had a 13 to 23 percent improvement in measurements of antioxidants and had a decrease in the levels of glucose in their blood, according to a statement released by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and several other organizations in the United States and abroad.

However, the researchers say, more research is needed to determine what health improvements overweight or obese people can gain by taking cinnamon extracts. Health professionals still recommend weight loss as the No. 1 method for overweight or obese people to improve their health.