Cinnamon Can Treat and Reverse The Symptoms of Type-2 Diabetes
Derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree, cinnamon is one of the oldest remedies used in traditional Chinese herbalism for digestive support.
Recent scientific studies have shown cinnamon may support healthy blood sugar levels, when used as part of your diet, by activating insulin and glucose transport and improving glucose metabolism.
Recent studies indicate that consuming roughly one half of a teaspoon of cinnamon per day or less leads to dramatic improvements in blood sugar, cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. Intake of cinnamon, at these levels, is very safe and there should not be any side effects.
One human study published in Diabetes Care looked at 60 people with type 2 diabetes, 30 men and 30 women with an average age of 52. The results of this study suggest that the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type-2 diabetes will reduce the risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Cinnamon could turn out to be the best natural health remedy for diabetes.
USDA studies show cinnamon promotes glucose metabolism and supports healthy cholesterol levels in individuals with type-2 diabetes. However, researchers note that when consumed consistently or in high doses, whole cinnamon and fat-soluble extracts may be toxic.
Why does cinnamon have an effect on blood sugar levels?
Cinnamon has insulin-like activity, increasing the effectiveness of insulin. Cinnamon contains a bio-active components that have the potential to prevent or overcome diabetes.
The active compounds in cinnamon are:
- Methylhydroxychalcone polymer (MHCP). Studies have revealed that MHCP, has an effect similar to insulin. It essentially ends up working hand in hand with insulin already in the bloodstream.
- Hydroxychalcone, which can improve the effectiveness of insulin. Hydroxychalcone can make insulin in a person’s body more reactive and sensitive and thus can increase glycogen synthesis.
- Proanthrocyanidin, an active molecule in cinnamon, functions by activating the insulin receptor within the cell, therefore enabling the cell to use glucose for its energy.
Cinnamon helps regulate the amount of sugars extracted from carbohydrates in the bloodstream. Not only does cinnamon activate essential enzymes in the body thus stimulating the receptors in the cells so they will respond more efficiently to insulin, but it also inhibits the enzymes responsible for deactivating the insulin receptors, causing insulin resistance. Cinnamon bark actually contains calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, Bi, B2, and C, many of which are important for the prevention or treatment of diabetes.
In one study of rats, cinnamon reportedly caused an increase in a compound IRS-1, which is responsible for increasing glucose uptake in muscle tissue. Cinnamon has also been reported to cause an increase in the transporter mechanisms (GLUT-4) that take glucose out of the blood stream and into tissue. Cinnamon has also been cited as having a number of other properties that might contribute to any hypoglycemic effect that it might have.
Recently, some reports have downplayed the benefits of cinnamon for type 2 diabetes.
One new study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, was conducted by researchers from the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. The researchers randomly split 43 adults with Type 2 diabetes into two groups. One group was assigned to take two capsules a day containing total of 1 gram of cinnamon; the other group received identical placebo capsules containing wheat flour. After three months, there were no differences between the two groups in terms of blood glucose, insulin, or cholesterol levels.
The following is from the website of the prestigious Mayo clinic.
“Whether cinnamon can lower blood sugar is a topic of debate — but most research suggests that cinnamon isn’t an effective treatment for type 1 or type 2 diabetes”.
The real facts on cinnamon for type 2 diabetes …
Cinnamon can lower your blood sugar levels. No-matter what studies might prove or disprove, the fact remains a fact that many diabetics report that their blood sugar levels improve simply by taking cinnamon on a daily basis.
Although current studies have taken into consideration only a small group of people, and the long-term benefits of cinnamon are yet to be explored, adding a bit of extra cinnamon as a part of one’s daily meals for a healthier lifestyle will definitely not have an adverse effect.
Which cinnamon is effective?
There are a lot of different types of cinnamon. Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon) is the type used most commonly in the Western world. Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon) is also commonly used. In many cases, the cinnamon spice purchased in food stores contains a combination of these different types of cinnamon. So far, only cassia cinnamon has been shown to have any effect on blood sugar in humans.
The plant material used in the 2003 study was mostly from cassia. However, Cinnamomum verum also contains the ingredient thought to be responsible for lowering blood sugar.
In the 2003 study, the effect of cassia on blood glucose and cholesterol was conducted. After only 40 days, cassia was found to lower blood glucose levels (up to 29%), triglycerides (up to 30%), LDL cholesterol (up to 27%) and overall cholesterol (by up to 26%). Regarding the blood sugar, the study found that cassia increased the cells receptivity to insulin, thus reducing insulin resistance.
How much cinnamon should you take?
Only a little cinnamon, such as the small amounts sprinkled on toast, can stimulate insulin activity. Cinnamon mimics insulin, thus it may lower your need for insulin immediately.
“One-eighth of a teaspoon of cinnamon triples insulin efficiency,” say James A. Duke, Ph.D., a botanist retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and author of The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Dr. Duke suggest that people with adult-onset diabetes discuss Cinnamon’s benefits with their doctor. Taking 1½ to 2¾ teaspoon of ground Cinnamon with each meal may help control blood sugar levels.
How to take cinnamon
1. Sprinkle cassia cinnamon on food
Sprinkle cinnamon on cereal and toast, or in your coffee, tea, or cocoa, spread out over the day.
Cinnamon tea is a great way to reap the health benefits of cinnamon. You can buy cinnamon tea but it’s quite easy to make your own with the following recipe.
1 cinnamon stick.
1 c. of boiling water.
Break cinnamon stick into pieces and place in a cup. Add boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. You can keep adding hot water to the cup to enjoy all day long. Use more or less cinnamon depending on the strength you prefer.
A good method of taking cinnamon is with cinnamon extract. Water-soluble, cinnamon extract has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from the University of Hanover in Hanover, Germany published in a recent issue of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation. This was the first study evaluating the effect of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on glycemic control and the lipid profile of Western patients with type 2 diabetes.
A highly recommended cinnamon extract product is Cinnulin PF.
Cinnulin PF, a 20:1 water extract of cinnamon, retains the active components without the potentially harmful compounds, making it completely safe for every day use.
The recommended serving size for Cinnulin PF is 250 mgs twice daily prior to meals.