Home Blood Sugar Management Can cinnamon help manage diabetes?

Can cinnamon help manage diabetes?

by Stacey Hugues
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Adding a little cinnamon enhances the flavor of apple pie, but there may be more to this familiar spice than meets your taste buds. Although the evidence is mixed, some research suggests that cinnamon may help lower blood glucose (sugar) levels.

If you have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, read on to find out whether adding a little cinnamon to your diet or taking a supplement can help.)

Cinnamon Overview

Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark. cinnamon wood. When peeled from the tree trunk and allowed to dry, the bark naturally curls into feathers, commonly known as cinnamon sticks. Quills are sold as is or ground into a fine powder. Both formats are easy to find on grocery store shelves and wherever spices and cooking ingredients are sold.

There are two types of cinnamon available in the United States. Ceylon, or “real cinnamon,” is more expensive. Cassia, another variety of cinnamon, is used to flavor most foods.

Cinnamon’s unique flavor and aroma comes from an essential oil called cinnamaldehyde. This essential oil is thought to have both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon also contains a large amount of antioxidants, more than any of his other 25 spices.

Cinnamon and blood sugar levels

A study examining cinnamon’s potential effects on blood sugar levels suggests two ways the spice may be beneficial. The first is by exerting an insulin-like effect in the body. In other words, it triggers cells to remove glucose from the blood. The second is by increasing the activity of transporter proteins that move glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

There is a lack of definitive research investigating the use of cinnamon in the management of diabetes.Those that exist are contradictory and some show significant positive effects Others have little effect.

The American Diabetes Association does not recommend using cinnamon to lower blood sugar levels because the evidence is unclear.

However, there were some positive findings. Due to the small size of the studies, conclusions tend to be limited. Others are simply poorly designed.

Among the positive findings, a 2013 meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials concluded that cinnamon consumption may lower fasting blood sugar levels. The analysis also found that cinnamon had a positive effect on total cholesterol, triglycerides, and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

add cinnamon to meals

In addition to adding cinnamon to your diet, there are also cinnamon supplements available for purchase online and at nutritional supplement stores. Although there are no guidelines regarding the proper use of these supplements, some manufacturers recommend he 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day.

April 2019 Review clinical nutrition The most common side effects of cinnamon consumption are reported to include gastrointestinal symptoms and allergic reactions. Side effects tended to be transient, and improvement through self-medication was discontinued.

Cinnamon is not safe to use with drugs or supplements known to lower blood sugar levels, such as alpha-lipoic acid, bitter melon, chromium, devil’s claw, fenugreek, garlic, horse chestnut, Panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng, and plantain. There is a possibility.

That said, adding cinnamon in moderation to your food is not considered harmful.In the study that found cinnamon had a positive effect on blood sugar levels, subjects consumed the equivalent of 1 teaspoon per day.Small amounts make it easy to incorporate into your regular diet by sprinkling it on your morning oatmeal, adding it to a chili recipe, or drinking it in your tea.

Please note that like all dietary supplements, supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed research, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and maintain the accuracy, reliability, and authenticity of our content.

  1. Allen RW, Schwartzman E, Baker WL, Coleman CI, Hung OJ. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. en femme med. 2013;11(5):452-9. doi:10.1370/afm.1517

  2. Rao PV, Gan SH. Cinnamon: a multifaceted medicinal plant. Evid-based complement replacement drugs. 2014;2014:642942. doi:10.1155/2014/642942

  3. Plaisier C, Cok A, Scott J, et al. Effect of cinnamaldehyde on glucose transport activity of GLUT1. Bio Kimi. 2011;93(2):339-44. doi:10.1016/j.biochi.2010.10.006

  4. American Diabetes Association Specialty Practice Committee. 5. Promoting positive health behaviors and well-being to improve health outcomes: Diabetes care standards – 2024. diabetes care. 2024 Jan 1;47(Supplement 1):S77-S110. doi: 10.2337/dc24-S005. Errata: Diabetes Care. February 5, 2024

  5. Hadjimonfarednejad M, Ostová M, Reyet MJ, et al. Cinnamon: a systematic review of adverse events. Clin Natl. 2019;38(2):594-602. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2018.03.013

  6. Brown L, Cohen M. Herbs and Natural Supplements, Volume 2: Evidence-based guide (4th edition). Elsevier Health Sciences.

  7. Kijiraslan N, Erdem New Zealand. Effect of consuming different amounts of cinnamon on blood sugar in healthy adults. Int J Food Sci. 2019;2019:4138534. doi:10.1155/2019/4138534

Stacey Hugues

Stacey Hugues, RD, is a registered dietitian and nutrition coach who works as a neonatal dietitian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

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