If haven’t seen Cinnamon, Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines, sweet and savoury dishes, breakfast cereals, snackfoods, tea and traditional foods.
But what’s special about Cinnamon? Cinnamon shows promise as an antioxidant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory. High levels of blood sugar can lead to some serious health problems. But the most important benefit of cinnamon is its ability to lower blood sugar. The human body naturally has sugar, or glucose, in the blood. The right amount of blood sugar gives the body’s cells and organs energy. But too much of it can be dangerous and, in extreme cases cause diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and more. A recent study has confirmed a possible, very accessible solution for those struggling to manage their blood sugar levels. The research, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, found that cinnamon, in large doses over time, could help improve measures of blood sugar control.
The study was conducted in both Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and the Korean Medicine Clinical Trial Center in Seoul and involved 51 participants from both countries. Half of them received a supplement containing 500 milligrams of cinnamon three times a day for 12 weeks, while the other half received a placebo. After 6 weeks, all subjects reported for a check-in, and there were no significant differences between the groups. At the 12 week check-in, however, the patients that took the cinnamon supplement showed significant improvements in measures of blood sugar control.
What cinnamon does, essentially, is either imitate the effects of insulin and increase glucose transport into cells, or increase insulin sensitivity, and thus making it more effective at transporting the glucose.
The findings of the current study support similar evidence from a previous study, that found that the intake of large doses of cinnamon over several months is linked to stable blood sugar levels, with no apparent side effects, in people with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses, affecting as many as 460 million adults around the world. Moreover, according to the CDC, about 1 in 3 adults in the US has a condition called prediabetes where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. If left unchecked and untreated, prediabetes is likely to progress and become diabetes.
How Much Cinnamon Should You Take?
Because cinnamon is an unproven treatment, there isn’t a set dose. Some experts suggest 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-4 grams) of powder a day. Some studies have used between 1 gram and 6 grams of cinnamon. Very high doses might be toxic.
If you are interested in taking cinnamon as a supplement, regardless of suffering from diabetes, it’s best to consult your doctor first. Unless you have liver damage, it should be perfectly OK to enjoy cinnamon in your food while benefiting from its health properties.
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The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.