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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Type 2 Diabetes - The Effect of Cinnamon on Blood Sugar Levels


Cinnamon stimulates the production of glucose burning-enzymes and increases the effectiveness of insulin, according to the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland, USA. Emerging research on cinnamon shows it could become a good treatment for Type 2 diabetes, perhaps acting like insulin or increasing insulin's effectiveness according to researchers in the Faculty of Health and Human Science, Thames Valley University in London, UK. The results of their study were published in the journal Diabetic Medicine in October 2011.
This particular study looked at the effect on cinnamon on the blood sugar of 58 people ranging in age from 45 to 64 and diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. All the participants were being treated with oral anti-diabetes drugs and had HbA1c levels of more than 7 per cent, indicating their blood sugar levels were not well controlled on medications. The participants were given either:
  • 2 grams of cinnamon, or
  • a placebo,
...daily for 12 weeks.
The volunteers in the cinnamon group showed reduced levels of their HbA1c, while those in the placebo group did not. Blood pressure readings were also reduced only in the cinnamon group. There were slight reductions in fasting blood sugar, waist measurement and the body mass index (BMI) in the cinnamon group, but the differences were not statistically significant.
From these results it was concluded cinnamon might be used as a type of dietary supplement to aid in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes not well controlled with medications.
The results were consistent with a study published in September and October of 2009 in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. One hundred and nine Type 2 diabetics with HbA1c levels of 7 per cent or more were given either:
  • their usual care only, or
  • their usual care plus 1 gram of cinnamon per day for 90 days.
At the end of the study those in the cinnamon group had lowered their blood sugar levels significantly more than the diabetics receiving only their usual care. The author of this study, a resident doctor at the Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital in Las Vegas, USA, concluded cinnamon could be useful for lowering blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, along with their usual care.
  • cinnamon is ideal sprinkled onto cooked oatmeal, good for a healthful breakfast in the cold winter. Sprinkle on a little sucralose as well, and then add a little soy milk.
  • the website of McCormick has a recipe for vegan Moroccan bean and pepper stew that includes cinnamon along with garlic powder, cumin, ginger, and red pepper along with garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, onions, diced tomatoes, bell peppers, butternut squash and olive oil. There is also a cinnamon-containing recipe for mango-blueberry cobbler, which could be modified for diabetics with the substitution of stevia for the sugar.
  • cinnamon sticks also make flavorful stirring rods for tea, coffee or cocoa.
  • The website of Allrecipes offers more than three hundred recipes containing cinnamon.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest used remedies in Chinese medicine and has therapeutic benefits including blood thinning and antimicrobial actions along with blood sugar control.
By the way, do you want to learn more about how to be healthier and live longer in spite of having Type 2 diabetes. If so, I suggest you check this out: Natural Diabetes Treatments
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