Using cinnamon for diabetes management has gained some interest since a study showed that cinnamon has a positive effect on the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetics. Is your interest peaked? Read on to decide if it is time to start sprinkling your food with this aromatic spice.
The study involved 60 participants who had been previously diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The participating men and women were randomly divided into groups, with 3 groups receiving 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon daily and 3 groups receiving placebo capsules.
The study was conducted for 40 days and then the participants stopped taking the cinnamon and were reevaluated on day 60.
The results were very interesting. There was no change in the participants who took the placebo capsules but all 3 groups taking the cinnamon for diabetes saw a drop in their mean fasting serum glucose (18-29%). In other words, the daily intake of cinnamon resulted in a drop in blood glucose levels.
The benefits did not stop there as the study also tested the participant’s triglyceride, LDL cholesterol (the "bad cholesterol") and total cholesterol levels and found a drop in these levels as well.
As the researchers stated "The results of this study demonstrate that intake of 1, 3, or 6 g of cinnamon per day reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes and suggest that the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases." (1) No change was seen in the placebo groups.
The study detailed above is promising however it is important to note that this was a small study involving only type 2 diabetics and it was conducted over a relatively short period of time. The long-term health benefits of cinnamon have yet to be studied.
Cinnamon is a spice and is safe for most people to consume. If you would like to try cinnamon for diabetes control first talk with your doctor, then begin with a small daily intake.
The smallest amount given to participants in the study was 1 gram daily; this is the equivalent of approximately 1/5 teaspoon. If your doctor tells you it is safe to use cinnamon begin with this amount and test your blood glucose levels often to detect any change.
Cinnamon can be sprinkled on your morning cereal or toast or added to your coffee or tea. Another option is to take a cinnamon supplement in capsule form. Whether using cinnamon for diabetes management or to enhance the taste of your food it appears there are a number of advantages to this warm scented spice.
(1) Diabetes Care (2003). Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes. Retrieved from http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215.abstract