Cinnamon – is it really a sweet medicine for people afflicted with diabetes? There are so many health stores that claim that blood glucose reduction with cinnamon is possible with their extracts, but is there any scientific evidence behind any of these claims? Studies on this topic have shown mixed results, and most research does not indicate that cinnamon alone can treat diabetes. However the results of one study showed promising results.
Does It Really Help?
Research was conducted on a group of 60 people with type 2 diabetes, ages 46 to 58. The volunteers, 30 men and 30 women, were randomly divided into six groups. The first three groups received 1, 3, and 6 grams of cinnamon, respectively, all in the form of capsules. The last three groups were control groups that received placebo capsules in amounts that corresponded to each of the first three groups that received the cinnamon capsules. The cinnamon was administered for 40 days, following a 20 day period in which subjects abstained from consuming the spice.
The results showed that there were significant reductions in blood sugar ranging from 18 to 29 percent. All three doses seemed to show similar reductions in blood sugar. The study concluded that type 2 diabetics could benefit from including cinnamon in their diet. Furthermore, improvements in triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol were also noted.
Is It Safe?
Cinnamon spice and cinnamon supplements are classified as a food. Since it is not a medication, it does not have to be proven to be safe, but it appears to be safe for most people. If you have liver problems and are trying to achieve blood glucose reduction with cinnamon, you should know that cinnamon often makes liver problems worse. When buying supplements, make sure that they are brands labeled with a quality seal that ensures only the intended ingredients are within them and that no contaminants are present.
Since cinnamon can cause a reduction in blood sugar, it is a good idea not to mix it with other agents that lower blood sugar levels. A compound effect could cause dangerously low blood sugar levels.
With All This Talk What’s Been Said?
Although it is true that there are many mixed results from various studies aimed at showing that you could achieve blood glucose reduction with cinnamon, the study listed above does show promising results. Although you cannot treat diabetes single-handedly with this sweet spice, don't let that discourage you. If you have a blood sugar meter and some cinnamon, take half a teaspoon and see how much of an effect it has on your blood sugar. Doctors have recommended cinnamon to diabetic members of my family. From my personal experience, I would always experience a 10 mg/dl reduction in blood sugar from about half a teaspoon of cinnamon. It is certainly worth a try for anyone who is diabetic.