Can Cinnamon Help Lower Blood Sugar?
A recent review of studies testing the benefit of cinnamon on blood sugar concluded that the spice may be therapeutic in this area.
The finding gives diabetics another tool for fighting the disease.
Researcher Pauline J. Maddox of Southern Adventist University reviewed 15 clinical trials, 13 of which evaluated cinnamon’s effects on fasting blood glucose (FBG) and 10 of which assessed its effects on HbA1c. (While FBG reveals a blood sugar reading on a given day, HbA1c shows clinicians an average of blood sugar levels over a period of weeks or months.) The dosages of cinnamon used in the trials ranged from 1 to 6 grams per day.
Maddox found significant reductions in FBG in 10 trials and in HbA1c in six trials. The results led her to determine that cinnamon can be recommended to lower these two medical parameters. She advises a regimen of 1 to 6 grams per day, a dose that can be obtained through taking one to four 500-milligram tablets two to three times per day with meals.
Why don’t all the studies exploring the value of cinnamon on diabetes show a benefit? Researchers from an earlier experiment speculated that the source of the spice as well as the method by which it is extracted could make a difference.
How Much Can Cinnamon Lower Blood Glucose?
According to Paul Davis of the University of California, who authored a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, cinnamon decreases blood sugar by a modest 3 to 5 percent. This reduction compares to the lowering effects of many diabetes medications, which indicates the spice could be helpful to the millions with diabetes and pre-diabetes.
In another study, the results were robust rather than modest. In this experiment, participants who took 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon for 40 days experienced a 24 percent reduction in blood sugar levels.
Are Cinnamon Supplements Safe?
Large amounts of the cinnamon spice can impair liver function, but supplements that go through a water extraction should be safe for people who don’t have liver damage. Adding the spice to food should not present a problem to anyone. You can sprinkle it in oatmeal or smoothies and include it in recipes.
Make sure you choose a pure supplement that is free of toxins. Avoid Cimmamomun Cassia or cassia cinnamon, as it contains high amounts of coumarin, a chemical that is toxic to the liver at high doses or when taken for a prolonged period. Cinnamon shouldn’t be taken with statins, the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs, because the combination can cause hepatitis.
What Other Foods are Beneficial for Diabetes?
Anyone with diabetes can benefit from including broccoli in the diet because research suggests it reduces the damage the disease inflicts on blood vessels. A study shows the bacterial colonies in the gut of diabetics differ from that of non-diabetics, so the consumption of probiotics can be helpful. Other research indicates following a Mediterranean diet, an eating plan plentiful in vegetables, can reduce the risk of the disease. In addition, a study found the greater a person’s intake of foods high in magnesium, such as green vegetables, avocados and almonds, the lower the incidence of diabetes.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.