Final Word on Cinnamon?
Scores of people with diabetes swear that cinnamon helps moderate their blood glucose, and they religiously sprinkle the spice on their oatmeal every morning. Many studies have shown positive effects — on blood sugar, insulin response, blood pressure, and even cholesterol — in people with diabetes. Cinnamon has potent anti-inflammatory properties, too, and is also one of the spices found to fight off bacteria in food, such as e.coli.
The research, however, has been inconclusive because not all studies show these benefits and the groups studied are usually very small. One meta-analysis, published in 2008, looked at five randomized, controlled studies, and found no benefit.
In the five trials, a total of 282 people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, were given either a placebo or varying doses of cinnamon, ranging from 1 to 6 grams, for a period of 3 months. In the report, published in Diabetes Care, lead author William L. Baker writes: "Cinnamon does not appear to improve A1C, [fasting blood glucose], or [cholesterol] in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes." However, in a 2011 review, the authors concluded that while study findings are contradictory on cholesterol levels, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and after-meal blood glucose levels, "the only parameter consistently improved by cinnamon consumption is fasting glucose levels." Go figure. The bottom line: If you like cinnamon, use it regularly. It will probably improve your health.
Learn about other foods and special nutrients that may have benefits for people with diabetes.
Click here to browse more than 500 dLife cinnamon recipes, sorted by carbs!
Baker, W.L., G. Gutierrez-Williams, C.M. White, J. Kluger, C.I. Coleman. 2008. Effect of Cinnamon on Glucose Control and Lipid Parameters. Diabetes Care 31: 41–43.
Reviewed by Susan Weiner, R.D., M.S., C.D.E., C.D.N. 10/08
Diabetes Drug Shows Promise in the Treatment of Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis
Two New LDL Cholesterol Drugs May Have Big Impact on Heart Disease
COBA Conference Steers Forward in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity
Google Secures Patent for Glucose-Sensing Contact Lens
Medtronic to Use GlucoSitter Artificial Pancreas Software in Future Insulin Pumps - A Big Deal!
Kidney Bean, Barley, and Sweet Potato Stew Chocolate Balls Banana Split Cake with Walnuts and Chocolat Whole Wheat Cheese Muffins Berry Sorbet Tomato Herb Toast Kiwi Fruit Buttermilk Buster White Bean and Pine Nut Dip Mixed Grill Curried Celery Soup
One of my ongoing dietary issues has been one of protein. Right after diagnosis, I ran a bit scared of all of the "excess protein kills the kidneys" lines and into the old-school health-foods' "you don't need as much protein as you think you do" train of thought. Combined with the calorie and sodium restrictions of my initial diabetes diet, a move away from animal-based proteins because of my cholesterol levels, and a medication which seemed to block nutrient...