Lately, the people have been going gaga over cinnamon. If you don’t understand this craze, you’ve probably not tried cinnamon formulations and supplements.
You might have added cinnamon to your delicacies, to fill it with flavor and sweetness, but you know not of one of its underlying benefits.
This magical spice helps in lowering the blood sugar level. Isn’t this splendid news for people suffering from diabetes?
They’ve spent years trying to find the best food supplements to help them lower their blood sugar, and now it’s here.
But does it work?
You won’t find that out if you don’t read this article. With the help of data from relevant studies, we have explained how cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar.
What is Cinnamon?
It’s funny how many people use cinnamon to spice their freshly baked apple pie, steaming pumpkin spice latte, or breakfast rolls, and yet they don’t know where it comes from.
Cinnamon is an aromatic spice derived from the branches of several species of Cinnamomum trees. It’s native to Southeast Asia, South America, and the Caribbean.
For thousands of years, people have used cinnamon as a preserving agent, and doctors have used it to treat conditions such as arthritis, sore throats, and coughing.
Cinnamon is obtained by removing the inner barks of Cinnamomum trees. The barks are then dried so they can curl up and yield Cinnamon sticks, which are then processed into powder forms.
There are two types of Cinnamon: Ceylon and Cassia. Cassia is the more popular and affordable one, while Ceylon also knows “true Cinnamon” is the rarest type and the most expensive.
Cinnamon and Antioxidants
If you look at the nutritional composition of Cinnamon, you might think it doesn’t qualify to be a superfood. But it does!
Cinnamon might contain a moderate amount of vitamins and minerals, but its antioxidant concentration is off the charts. According to research carried out to determine the antioxidant levels of 26 species, cinnamon contained the second-largest concentration of antioxidants after cloves.
Antioxidants are important small molecules that help your body fight free radicals in your body. A higher concentration of free radicals in your body increases oxidative stress, which can lead to cell and tissue damage.
A group of scientists discovered that consumption of 250 mg of cinnamon twice a day for 12 weeks could reduce free radicles that cause oxidative stress in people with diabetes. This comes as a relief considering that free radicals are linked to a variety of diseases, diabetes being one of them.
Cinnamon and Insulin
People suffer from diabetes because their pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, or their cells cannot respond to insulin effectively, resulting in high blood sugar.
According to scientists, naturally occurring elements in cinnamon like chromium and polyphenols improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. One study suggested that an aqueous extract of cinnamon can improve insulin sensitivity in humans.
In another research where eight men participated, insulin sensitivity increased after two weeks of daily cinnamon ingestion.
Cinnamon acts the same as insulin, although at a much slower rate. It is, therefore, advisable to supplement cinnamon in your food but at the right levels.
Cinnamon: Fasting Blood sugar & Hemoglobin A1c
Fasting blood sugar (FBG) levels provide vital cues on how your body is handling blood sugar. Blood sugar levels tend to spike after food consumption and reduce after that.
A high fasting blood sugar level points to diabetes or insulin resistance, while low fasting blood might result from diabetes medications. Several studies have shown that cinnamon is perfect at controlling fast blood sugar levels.
One of the studies involving 543 patients who were provided with 120mg/d to 6mg/ cinnamon doses for 18 weeks, showed that cinnamon significantly reduces the level of fasting plasma glucose.
In 2006, Germany scientists at the University of Hannover discovered that cinnamon extract could decrease FBG in type 2 diabetic patients. Also, in the same year, another group of researchers in Wadsworth Medical Center reported that cinnamon could reduce FBG in patients with metabolic syndrome in the US.
Hemoglobin A1c is the measure of long-term blood sugar control. A Hemoglobin A1c test helps people suffering from diabetes to check if their levels are staying within range.
A randomized study carried out in the US indicated that cinnamon could improve Hemoglobin A1c levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
Nevertheless, a few studies have shown that cinnamon does not affect the Hemoglobin A1c levels or improve glucose control. This includes a study performed in 2007 in the US in which scientists reported that cinnamon couldn’t affect the levels of Hemoglobin A1c and Fasting Blood Sugar in type 2 diabetic patients.
Cinnamon and Blood Sugars After Meals
Your blood sugar levels can rise exponentially, especially after eating food with higher concentrations of carbs.
Sudden fluctuations in blood sugar levels can result in increased levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, which can cause cell damage or even death and can put you at the risk of getting a chronic disease like cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes.
Cinnamon inclusions in meals can help crab these infatuations, by prolonging the rate at which food leaves your stomach.
According to research carried out in 2007 on patients with type 2 diabetes, cinnamon in diets lowers the rate at which rice pudding leaves the stomach and decreases blood sugar fluctuations.
Cinnamon also lowers blood sugar after meals by blocking digestive enzymes in the small intestine responsible for breaking down carbohydrates.
Healthy Cinnamon Dose for Lowering Blood Sugar
Despite the role that cinnamon plays in lowering blood sugar, there is no specific recommendation on how much you should consume to leverage its benefits.
Existing research vary in the amount they offer their participants, but 1 to 6 grams or 0.5-2 teaspoon per day will suffice, whether powder added to food or supplements.
Even though there’s no evidence to suggest that too much cinnamon can affect blood sugar levels, it’s important to take caution.
Liaise with your doctor first before trying it. This is very important if you are under medication or taking any other supplements. You can try using cinnamon with supplements that interact with it like garlic and bitter melon.
It’s wise for people with liver disease or who are at risk of getting liver disease to avoid using cinnamon, especially Cassia cinnamon. Cassia contains coumarin that can result in liver disease in some people when consumed in high doses.
Most studies propose that cinnamon supplementation can significantly lower blood sugar and help manage diabetes and even prevent other diseases from developing.
If you’re using Cassia Cinnamon, you should probably not exceed 1-6 grams daily. But if you can’t follow this recommendation, we suggest you get yourself Ceylon cinnamon.
Cinnamon and its supplements have shown great promise; therefore, there is no excuse you shouldn’t try out a cinnamon formulation yourself to see if it can make a difference.
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