Cinnamon is a popular spice that is used in teas, candies, chewing gum, cooking and baking. Cinnamon has been used as a traditional medicine in China for hundreds of years. In recent times cinnamon has been the subject of numerous research studies. Scientists have come up with some interesting results. The one that interested me was that cinnamon may be useful for the control of high blood sugar.
In 2012 a study was done in China to see if cinnamon extract would improve fasting blood glucose in the treatment of type 2 diabetes patients. Sixty-six patients were recruited and divided into three groups. One group received high-dose cinnamon, the second group received low-dose cinnamon and the third group received a placebo. The researchers saw hemoglobin A1c levels and fasting blood glucose levels in both the high-dose group and the low-dose significantly reduced. The placebo group was unchanged. The researchers concluded that cinnamon supplements could significantly improve blood glucose control in Chinese type 2 diabetes patients. (1)
There are a number of studies that seem to indicate cinnamon lowers glucose levels, but there are also studies that show the opposite. A meta-analysis was done in 2011 that compared 8 clinical studies. They concluded that cinnamon intake results in a significant lowering of fasting blood glucose. (2) The general consensus is that more studies need to be done on cinnamon and glucose levels.
My take on all this is that cinnamon is a healthful spice; even if it is controversial about lowering blood glucose, it has other potential health benefits that make it worth taking. However, don’t use it for self-treatment without first discussing it with your healthcare practitioner.
Cinnamon tea is delicious and easy to make. Simply immerse a cinnamon stick in a cup of boiling water. Cinnamon tea in teabag form is available and cinnamon is often mixed with other things like cloves and ginger. It is often included in chai teas which make a delicious drink. Some folks like to add cinnamon to their cocoa.