Health Benefits of Cinnamon – Spice or Diabetes Medicine

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Title: Founding Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

Researchers in the Netherlands followed 25 post-menopausal women with Type 2 diabetes for 6 weeks. They investigated the effects of cinnamon supplementation on insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance and blood cholesterol profile in patients with type 2 diabetes. Data showed that 1.5 g of daily cinnamon supplements (Cinnamomum cassia) does not improve all three studied parameters mentioned above. The results were published in the Journal of Nutrition in April 2006.

Cinnamon: Spice or Medicine? Maybe Both!

Don’t get discouraged too early! In the past few years, some cinnamon supplements were marketed as the next big star for people with diabetes. This claim probably was based on a 2003 study published in the Diabetes Care journal. Researchers from Pakistan found taking as low as 1 g of cinnamon (also Cinnamomum cassia) for 40 days improved fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.

Due to the conflicting results, we simply cannot draw a conclusion about any possible benefits of cinnamon at this point. It doesn’t hurt to start using more cinnamon spice in your cooking.  However, more studies are needed to determine the effectiveness and safety of taking cinnamon supplements.

The Bottom Line

Healthy eating and weight management are important in helping to manage diabetes. Speak to a dietitian at your local diabetes center about meal planning and making healthy food choices.

Health, Nutrition 101

cinammon, diabetes diet, spices


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