Can Cinnamon Help Manage Blood Sugar?Posted on Oct 4th 2010 11:00AM by Jonny Bowden
For this study, 22 obese subjects were recruited, all of whom had what's called "impaired blood glucose values," which means their blood sugar wasn't well controlled and they were at a higher risk for diabetes.
When blood sugar levels are too high, the body produces an abundance of insulin, also known as the "fat-storage hormone" or "the hunger hormone." The cells become resistant to this excess insulin, basically ignoring it while it "knocks" on the cell doors so it can get in to dump that extra sugar. You wind up with high blood sugar and high insulin, a condition known as insulin resistance.
While it's possible to have this kind of condition and not be overweight, it's pretty rare. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, most people with insulin resistance develop full-blown Type 2 diabetes within 10 years unless they lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. People with this condition are also much more at risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
In the present study, the volunteers were randomly divided into two groups. One group got a placebo while the other got 250 mg of water-soluble cinnamon extract, which they took twice a day in addition to their usual diet. The researchers collected blood after an overnight fast right at the beginning of the study, then again after six weeks and another time after 12 weeks.
They were looking for changes in either blood glucose (sugar), antioxidant levels or both.
The results? Those who took the cinnamon extract improved their antioxidant levels by between 13 and 23 percent.
That part's not surprising, as cinnamon contains a number of antioxidants. The surprising finding of the study was that this improvement in antioxidant status was accompanied by improvements in fasting blood sugar.
Earlier studies -- also by Anderson and his team -- showed that cinnamon was effective in reducing not only blood sugar but also triglycerides and total cholesterol in people with Type 2 diabetes. While weight loss is the most effective means to reduce your risk for diabetes, this small study suggests that adding cinnamon to your favorite healthy dishes could be much more than just a flavor boost.
Jonny Bowden, author, nutritionist and weight loss coach, cuts through all the misconceptions about diet and fitness to help you transform your body, your health and your life. Visit his website to learn more.