- People who took cinnamon did not see their blood glucose levels rise as high after meals as those on placebo, and returned to baseline levels more quickly.
- Scientists will study the effects of cinnamon in people with type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon may well be the miracle spice for controlling blood sugar and halting the progression to type 2 diabetes in prediabetic patients. This situation affects people whose blood sugar is between 1.10 and 1.25 g/l, while diabetes is confirmed when blood sugar exceeds 1.26 g/l; normal blood sugar is between 0.7 and 1.10 g/l. The finding is the result of a study by researchers from the Division of Endocrinology at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and the Division of Endocrinology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.
Less increase in glucose levels
“We are looking for safe, long-lasting and cost-effective ways to slow the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes”, said the lead author of the study, Dr. Giulio Romeo. With this in mind, scientists looked into cinnamon, which is known to improve blood sugar levels. The researchers also shared the result of another study, which found the spice to be more effective than diet alone in lowering blood sugar and improving bad cholesterol levels. Some traditional medicines, such as Ayurvedic medicine, use cinnamon to treat respiratory and digestive problems.
To test cinnamon, researchers followed 51 people with high blood sugar and added the spice to their diet. They gave participants a 500mg cassia cinnamon capsule or a placebo three times a day for twelve weeks. They then used a highly sensitive fasting plasma glucose test to measure each person’s response, and observed that those who took the cinnamon did not see their blood sugar levels rise as high after a meal as participants who took the placebo, and that they returned more quickly to their original level.
Protection against type 2 diabetes?
These results suggest adding cinnamon to the diet of people with prediabetes. Scientists plan to continue their work to study the effects of cinnamon on people with type 2 diabetes. “Our study shows the beneficial effect of adding cinnamon to the diet to maintain stable blood sugar in prediabetic participants”according to Giulio Romeo. These results warrant longer and larger studies to find out if cinnamon can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over time.”
These findings confirm the benefits of cinnamon, identified for a long time. Registered dietician Lisa Drayer attested to the benefits of the spice to CNN. “I think the most important thing is that cinnamon is an ideal staple, a great spice that adds flavor for a reduced number of calories and has antioxidant properties, which is beneficial for those looking to better control their blood sugar levels. But we need more research before we can make any safe health claims about cinnamon’s role in lowering the risk of disease or improving health.”