Health Benefits of Cinnamon – Spice or Diabetes Medicine
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.
Alumni: University of British Columbia – Gloria Tsang is the author of 6 books and the founder of HealthCastle.com, the largest online nutrition network run by registered dietitians. Her work has appeared in major national publications, and she is a regularly featured nutrition expert for media outlets across the country. The Huffington Post named her one of its Top 20 Nutrition Experts on Twitter. Gloria’s articles have appeared on various media such as Reuters, NBC & ABC affiliates, The Chicago Sun-Times, Reader’s Digest Canada, iVillage and USA Today.