Does Cinnamon Help Manage Diabetes?
Cinnamon is a spice that has been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes. Recently, cinnamon has become a hot topic in diabetes research with conflicting results. The studies have been based on the idea that cinnamon may help to lower blood sugar.
How Cinnamon Might Lower Blood Sugar
Studies showing cinnamon as an effective diabetic treatment have proposed that cinnamon may have an insulin-like effect on cells -- triggering cells to take glucose out of the blood -- or that cinnamon may cause an increase in the activity of the transporter proteins that move glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells.
What the Research Says About Cinnamon and Blood Sugar
In the 2000s, several studies showed conflicting results, with some studies pointing to a hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) effect of cinnamon and others showing no significant effect. But more recent research suggests that cinnamon may indeed help to lower blood sugar. A 2013 review of 10 randomized control trials (the strongest kind of study for nutrition research) suggests that ingesting cinnamon does, in fact, lower fasting blood sugars, as well as total cholesterol.
How to Add Cinnamon to Your Diet
In the randomized controlled trials, people were given between 120 mg/day to 6 g/day for 4 to 18 weeks. That's the equivalent of between a small fraction of a teaspoon to two teaspoons per day. Adding a small amount of cinnamon to your daily diet--by sprinkling it on oatmeal, or using it to spice up a Mexican chili--can't hurt and may help.
But as with any supplement, check with your healthcare professional befor Continue reading