High levels of blood sugar can lead to some serious health problems. 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.
The purpose of investigating cinnamon’s potential, according to the researches, was to find a safe, long-term, affordable treatment to prevent prediabetes from turning into a more serious disease. More evidence is still needed, but if cinnamon continues to prove useful it could be an accessible and simple alternative to expensive or side-effect prone diabetes treatments.
Cinnamon has various other health benefits, which you can learn about in our previous article: The Top 10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon. 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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