Get some cinnamon, it’s a magical spice, while it won’t lower your glucose, it tastes very nice.

by Brooke on December 14, 2010

Post image for Get some cinnamon, it’s a magical spice, while it won’t lower your glucose, it tastes very nice.

Get some cinnamon, it’s a magical spice,
while it won’t lower your glucose, it tastes very nice.
Get some today and add it to your food,
it will get you into that festive holiday mood.

I have been getting asked a lot about whether or not cinnamon lowers blood glucose lately.   The answer is still very controversial, but most research is showing that is does not appear to lower fasting blood glucose (FBG) or A1C.   Many of these studies used cinnamon amounts ranging from one to six grams, which is about 1/5 to 1 1/4 teaspoons respectively.   

In 2008, there was a meta-analysis study that was conducted entitled, “Effect of Cinnamon on Glucose Control and Lipid Parameters.” This study lead by Baker et. al. reviewed five prospective randomized controlled trials all looking at the effect of cinnamon on A1C, FBG, or lipid parameters.  The overall findings of this meta-analysis study showed that cinnamon does not appear to improve A1C, FBG, or lipid parameters in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. 
Other studies looking at specific populations have also not shown any improvement in glycemic control.  For example, Vanschoonbeek et. al. studied the effect of cinnomon suplementation using posmenopausal women with type II diabetesas their tested smple.  Their findings showed no improvement on insulin sensitivity of oral glucose intolerance.   Similar findings were found by researchers at Dartmouth College, who also  tested the effect of cinnamon on A1C among adolescents with type 1 diabetes and saw no difference in A1C.
Indirectly, cinnamon could lower your blood glucose, because if you are adding cinnamon to your coffee or oatmeal instead of sugar every morning your blood sugar would be lower.  It is important to note that if someone has diabetes or is pre-diabetic there is no amount of  cinnamon that could ever take the place of regular self monitoring and healthy nutrition practices. 
Enjoy the spices of life this holiday season!
Jingle compliments of my wonderful dad Frank Schantz!  Photo Courtesy of S. Diddy.  

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Terry, VP Nutrition Facts December 15, 2010 at 4:39 am

I’m a fan of cinnamon; just love the smell of it. And some of its weird properties. Like calcium, Vitamin A, and this bizarre thing called lutein, zeaxanthin. Apparently this stuff is also found in the macula (eye) and its purpose is to block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina, thereby reducing the risk of light-induced oxidative damage that could lead to macular degeneration (AMD). Tastes yummy and good for you too. Can’t beat that.


Brooke December 16, 2010 at 2:20 am

Hi Terry, Thanks for stopping by! I took a whole class on Vitamin A and carotenoids in grad school and you are right lutein and zeaxanthin are important for healthy eyes. These compounds are known as xanthophylls and are apart of the class of compounds called carotenoids. I know lutein is found in cinnamon, but I do not believe that zeaxanthin is.


Terry, VP Nutrition Facts December 16, 2010 at 5:25 am

Brooke, Can you recommend recipes that use cinnamon … other than the usual rolls, etc.?


Brooke December 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I don’t have any specific recipes for cinnamon. I personally just experiment with it like other spices. I have added it to my oatmeal, coffee, scrambled eggs and French toast for brunch, chili, and recipes that use cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, or squash.


Lauren Slayton December 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Interesting, I had thought the research was more mixed but agree, there is no cinnamon cure. Aside from cinnamon’s taste it is a good anti-microbial which can’t be bad this time of year. I also like your little “jingle”.


Brooke December 16, 2010 at 2:02 am

There is a lot of mixed research out there, but most of the studies that were double-blind studies (“gold standard”) showed no improvement. A Cochrane Review is suppose to come out in the new year reviewing this topic and will hopefully provide more insight!


Dana @ Budget Dietitian December 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm

“It is important to note that if someone has diabetes or is pre-diabetic there is no amount of cinnamon that could ever take the place of regular self monitoring and healthy nutrition practices. ” I couldn’t agree more! If only it were that simple! :)


Brooke December 16, 2010 at 1:50 am

Hi Dana, I know right 😉 It takes practice to get both down! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a message!


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