Research: Cinnamon reduces blood sugar

Research DefinitionResearch Definition

Cinnamon reduced blood glucose better than a placebo.

Cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder in wooden scoop
Cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder in wooden scoop

I have written prior posts on the miracle of cinnamon. Cinnamon supplements have been touted to help with blood sugar, insulin resistance, and obesity. Identifying a adjunct safe, durable, and cost-effective approach to reduce insulin resitance before the need of medication would be welcome to patients and medical providers alike. The progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes is not only clinically relevant, but cost people money and quality of life.

In a 2020 study, researchers sought to investigate the effects of cinnamon on measures of glucose and insulin resistance in prediabetes [1] .  The study was double-blind, placebo-controlled with randomized adult subjects.  The 51 subjects received cinnamon 500 mg or placebo thrice daily.  Participants were followed for 12 weeks. The researchers looked at fasting plasma glucose at 12 weeks from baseline.

From a similar baseline, fasting glucose rose after 12 weeks with placebo but remained stable with cinnamon. When compared to the respective baseline, cinnamon, but not placebo, resulted in a significant decrease in plasma glucose. There were no serious adverse events in either study group. This result repeated over time should result in less weight gain and more sensitivity to insulin and thus a lower rate of diabetes type 2.

The bottom line: Cinnamon supplementation improved fasting plasma glucose and glucose tolerance without safety concerns. More prolonged and more extensive studies should address cinnamon’s effects on the rate of progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. This study appears to support the prior health benefit claims found in other studies which include a positive effect on weight, metabolism, and insulin resistance.

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Reference:

  1. [1]
    G. R. Romeo, J. Lee, C. M. Mulla, Y. Noh, C. Holden, and B.-C. Lee, “Influence of cinnamon on glycemic control in subjects with prediabetes: a randomized controlled trial,” Journal of the Endocrine Society, Jul. 2020, doi: 10.1210/jendso/bvaa094. [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvaa094
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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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