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Cinnamon: An Aromatic Spice to Manage Blood Sugar Level and Diabetes

Cinnamon is an aromatic spice that derived from the inner bark of the branches of wild cinnamon trees, which grow in tropical areas across Southeast Asia, South America and the Caribbean. Cinnamon has been valued for its culinary, medicinal, and natural preservative powers since ancient times.

Growing need for increasing the insulin sensitivity, to control the blood pressure and improve diabetic conditions boosts the demand for cinnamon. Cinnamon is increasingly being linked to improvements in the treatment of conditions such as diabetes mellitus. Recent study has suggested that cinnamon can help to improve blood glucose levels, lower cholesterol level and increase insulin sensitivity.

Cinnamon contains active components including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, which account for some of its many therapeutic benefits.

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1. Regulate Blood Glucose

Cassia cinnamon (cinnamon bark) improves blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, more recent analysis showed that 6g of cinnamon slows stomach emptying and significantly reduces hyperglycemia after meals (postprandial blood glucose) without affecting satiety.

As a result of the scientific evidence available, many health experts claim that cinnamon contains properties that are beneficial for blood sugar regulation and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

However, bear in mind that like many natural compound’s cinnamon is yet to be medically approved for prevention or treatment of any disease.

Cinnamon is known to help improve glycemic status, including levels of fasting blood glucose, among people with type 2 diabetes.17 Another study found that the spice increased glucose metabolism by about 20 times, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar.

2. Increase Insulin Sensitivity

In diabetes patients, either the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or cells do not respond to insulin properly, leading to high blood sugar levels. Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and fight diabetes by imitating the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells. It can also help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.

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Another study reported in the July 2000 edition of Agricultural Research Magazine found that consuming just 1g of cinnamon per day can increase insulin sensitivity and help manage or reverse type 2 diabetes. A recent study showed consumption of cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity immediately after consumption, with the effect lasting at least 12 hours.

3. It Lowers Fasting Blood Sugar

More studies have showed that cinnamon is excellent at reducing fasting blood sugar. For years, there have been hints that adding cinnamon to your diet can help control blood sugar. And a recent spate of studies adds to the evidence that the effect is real.

"Yes, it does work," says Paul Davis, a research nutritionist with the University of California, Davis. He authored a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Medicinal Food that concluded that cinnamon lowers fasting blood glucose.

"According to our results, it's a modest effect of about 3 to 5 percent," Davis says. This is about the level of reduction found in the older generation of diabetes drugs, he says.

Some studies report significant decreases in hemoglobin A1c, while others report no effect. The conflicting results may be partially explained by differences in the amount of cinnamon given and prior blood sugar control of participants (9 Trusted Source, 13 Trusted Source).

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4. It Lowers Blood Sugars After Meals

Depending on the size of the meal and how many carbs it contains, blood sugar levels can rise pretty dramatically after you eat.

These blood sugar fluctuations can increase levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, which tend to do a lot of damage to your body's cells and put you at risk of chronic disease (14 Trusted Source, 15 Trusted Source).

Cinnamon can help keep these blood sugar spikes after meals in check. Some researchers say it does this by slowing down the rate at which food empties out of your stomach.

One study found that consuming 1.2 teaspoons (6 grams) of cinnamon with a serving of rice pudding led to slower stomach emptying and lower blood sugar elevations then eating rice pudding without it (16 Trusted Source).

Other studies suggest that it may lower blood sugar following meals by blocking digestive enzymes that break down carbs in the small intestine (17 Trusted Source, 18 Trusted Source).

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5. Lower Cholesterol Level

Cinnamon consumption can lower the cholesterol level among the type I and II diabetic patients. With the increasing consumption of cinnamon, the blood sugar level will enable the diabetic patients with blood sugar level to lose weight.

6. Relieves Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can have a huge impact on overall health. Not only can it switch the immune system into overdrive, damaging healthy, normal tissues and cells in the process, but it can also contribute to the development of chronic conditions like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. Animal models show that cinnamon and its components can decrease levels of TNF-α and IL-6, both of which are markers used to measure inflammation in the body.

7. Reduce the risk of Diabetic Complications

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder that is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, sexual dysfunction and periodontal disease. Several studies show that cinnamon shows improvement in glycaemic control which may help to reduce the risk of these complications.

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8. Treat Medical Conditions

Cinnamon is bound by antiviral, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic and antifungal properties. Consumption of cinnamon can improve some of the common medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic wounds, multiple sclerosis and HIV. A daily intake of just 1, 3, or 6 grams was shown to reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL or bad cholesterol and total cholesterol after 40 days among 60 middle-aged diabetics.

9. Treat Skin Infection and Disorders.

Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. In immune-compromised patients, including those with cystic fibrosis, diabetes, or cancer, a major component of cinnamon can help to clear certain bacterial infections. Cinnamon is also help in treating eczema, acne and pimples.


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