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
Easy Broiled Fish Steaks Sausage Hash Brown Frittata Cantaloupe, Tomato, Avocado, and Sweet Onion Salad Asian Peanut Noodles Eggplant Marmalade Honey Gingered Salmon Chicken Provencal Super Creamy Mushroom Soup Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry Gourmet Spinach Souffle
If Charlie had a seat at Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving Day ping pong table, the texting between him and Susanne might look something like this. Susanne: Text me a picture of what you’re eating. [elapsed time] Susanne: ??? Charlie: [elapsed time] ...