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Does Cinnamon Really Help Individuals with Diabetes? I Checked the Science

Medical review by Dr. Mike Natter



In the event you live with diabetes, it’s just about a guarantee that somebody has tried to sell you a miracle cure. Working for Diabetes Day by day, I get spam messages day by day in my inbox, whether it’s for okra water, fad diets, or some recent style of complement. And so many friends have tried so as to add years to my life with their non-scientific suggestions. 

I often just nod and say “thanks” or “yes, I’ve heard of that one before” while trying to not chuckle, or I just change the conversation. But where do these claims come from? Is there any truth behind them? 

If there’s one miracle cure everyone with diabetes is acquainted with, it’s cinnamon. The diabetes online community is stuffed with jokes and memes mocking cinnamon’s supposedly magical powers. Imagine it or not, there’s actually an over-the-counter complement named CinSulin, a reputation that means that a cinnamon extract capsule might replace insulin, the drug that individuals with type 1 diabetes have to stay alive. That’s absurd.

But here’s the thing: I like cinnamon! It’s a delicious spice, and if having more can improve my health effortlessly, why wouldn’t I be in favor of that?

So I made a decision to look into the science behind cinnamon claims. There have been many studies of its potential health advantages.

The Many Supposed Advantages of Cinnamon

The scientific literature is stuffed with studies linking cinnamon to health advantages:

None of those things mean that cinnamon is a miracle drug, and even that you need to be supplementing with cinnamon extracts. But I feel it’s fair to say that cinnamon is, generally speaking, a healthy ingredient. 

People use cinnamon for quite a lot of other health reasons — from treating bug bites to treating tooth decay. Nonetheless, there’s little or no data to back up these forms of claims. When On a regular basis Health considered cinnamon’s capability to make people healthier, it concluded that “there isn’t strong conclusive evidence that the spice is effective at treating any medical conditions..”

The Science of Cinnamon and Diabetes

So what about cinnamon and diabetes? The claims aren’t completely made up. There’s at the least some evidence that cinnamon can assist manage blood sugar levels. For instance:

  • A 2003 study published in Diabetes Care found that when adults with type 2 diabetes swallowed capsule pills full of pure cinnamon for 40 days, they enjoyed impressive improvements in cholesterol (lower LDL and triglycerides) and fasting blood glucose (an incredible decrease around 50 mg/dL). 
  • A 2009 study found that cinnamon supplementation brought down the A1C levels of adults with type 2 diabetes.

Those two actually just scratch the surface — take a look at this 2010 review that identified nearly a dozen studies asserting that cinnamon improved blood sugar or insulin resistance. 

As you would possibly expect, though, there are also many other studies which have argued the very opposite. This 2013 experiment, for instance, found that cinnamon has zero blood sugar impact. It also argued that it was more rigorously controlled than several of the studies mentioned above. 

When science shows conflicting results, it may possibly be difficult to know who to trust. In 2013, the Annals of Family Medicine published a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, to attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff. After lumping together 10 different trials, the researchers concluded that cinnamon supplementation (from 120mg to 6g day by day) does significantly improve fasting glucose, a mean reduction of about 25 mg/dL. It also improved cholesterol numbers across the board. Nonetheless, this didn’t create a big improvement in A1C, an important benchmark for glycemic control. 

That wasn’t the one review. A unique 2012 review concluded that cinnamon resulted in exactly zero statistically significant effects. 

Confusing results, to say the least! It’s tough to know easy methods to interpret all of this. But here’s what two major medical authorities say on the matter:

The US National Institutes of Health states:Studies done in people don’t clearly support using cinnamon for any health condition.”

And the American Diabetes Association simply states that “Cinnamon supplements do nothing to assist individuals with type 2 achieve treatment goals or provide a reliable drop in blood sugar”.

My Takeaway

If cinnamon has any helpful effects, they’re probably very small.

A single teaspoon of cinnamon weighs 2.6 grams — which is concerning the dosage utilized in many of the studies that did find glycemic control advantages. There probably isn’t much harm in dumping some cinnamon into your smoothie or coffee every now and again, if you happen to like the flavour, that’s. I wouldn’t bet on noticeable health improvements, but you would possibly as well concentrate to your glucose meter and see what happens. There’s no good reason to try any greater than that — in actual fact, an excessive amount of cinnamon might be bad for you.

What we do know is that there is no such thing as a single ingredient that may manage your diabetes for you. Cinnamon isn’t a miracle. While there are many studies on the market claiming many advantages for cinnamon, there are only as many that don’t see any advantages in any respect. 

Ensure that you’re eating a healthy food plan, exercising, getting loads of sleep, keeping current with insulin and other medications, and staying on top of your blood sugar. That’s the closest we’ve to a cure!

Mancini-Filho J et al. Antioxidant Activity of Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, Breyne) Extracts. Bollettino Chimico Farmaceutico. December, 1998.

Gunawardena D et al. Anti-inflammatory Activity of Cinnamon (C. Zeylanicum and C. Cassia) Extracts – Identification of E-cinnamaldehyde and O-Methoxy Cinnamaldehyde because the Most Potent Bioactive Compounds. Food & Function. March, 2015.

Tsalamandris S et al. The Role of Inflammation in Diabetes: Current Concepts and Future Perspectives. European Cardiology Review. April 2019.

King, George. The Role of Inflammatory Cytokines in Diabetes and Its Complications. Journal of Periodontology. August 2008.

Khan A et al. Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. December 1, 2003.

Crawford, Paul. Effectiveness of Cinnamon for Lowering Hemoglobin a1c in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Board of Family MedicineSeptember-October 2009.

Qin B et al. Cinnamon: Potential Role within the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Science and TechnologyMay 2010.

Hasanzade F et al. The Effect of Cinnamon on Glucose of Type II Diabetes Patients. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. July-September 2013.

Allen R et al. Cinnamon Use in Type 2 Diabetes: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Evaluation. Annals of Family MedicineSeptember 2013.

Leach M and Kumar S. Cinnamon for Diabetes Mellitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. September 12, 2002.

Cinnamon. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. May 2020.

Vitamins & Supplements. American Diabetes Association.

When Is Cinnamon Spice Not So Nice? The Great Danish Debate. NPR. December 25, 2013.

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