One of my participants in my LIVE SUGAR BUSTER group this week asked me if cinnamon could lower blood sugar, so I looked it up!
Here is what I found.
Cinnamon has scientifically proven abilities to reduce blood glucose levels and therefore insulin levels. The polyphenolic polymers, or proanthocyanidins, in cinnamon enable receptors on cells to become more sensitive and accept insulin. As a result, your body becomes more efficient at getting sugar out of your bloodstream and into cells to produce energy. The polyphenols also prevent receptors on cells from becoming deactivated, which can occur when your insulin levels are constantly high, or as you become older.
In a study published in the journal “Diabetes Care” in 2003, researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that small amounts of Cassia cinnamon helped to lower blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes who were also taking oral hypoglycemic pills and eating a normal diet. By comparison, study participants who received a placebo did not have the same improvements in blood sugar control.
Other Benefits for Diabetes
Besides lowering blood sugar, cinnamon also reduces some of the risk factors associated with high insulin levels and diabetes. For instance, in the USDA study, participants who took the cinnamon also had improvements in insulin sensitivity, or the ability to use insulin effectively. They also had reduced levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and bad cholesterol — blood lipids that are more likely to increase when insulin levels are high.
Before taking cinnamon to lower blood sugar, consult your doctor. Cinnamon is available in various forms including powder, capsule and liquid extract. In the study, participants took between ¾ tsp and 1 ¾ tsp of powdered cinnamon, the equivalents of which are two to 12 capsules. However, those taking the lowest amount reaped the same blood sugar-lowering benefits as those taking the highest dose. Your doctor can provide more precise dosing for your particular needs.
Cinnamon can interact with diabetes medications such as streptozocin. It may also cause irritation if you have an ulcer and should not be taken without advice if you’re pregnant or breast feeding.