Cinnamon – The Antioxidant Packed with Punch for Diabetics!

Kimberly England's picture
Sugar and diabetes

It’s hard to imagine that a favorite spice in our kitchen - Cinnamon, can lower blood sugar and help manage common diabetes complications such as insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress and in some studies lowers A1C.

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Recent studies show cinnamon can imitate insulin and increase insulin sensitivity lasting 12 hours, moving blood sugar into cells. Cinnamon can also reduce oxidative stress, and in some studies lower A1C, as well as many other health benefits.

Adding cinnamon supplements to your meals may help lower your blood sugar, but is highly recommended to use Ceylon instead of Cassia.

Ceylon cinnamon may be more expensive, but it contains more antioxidants and lower amounts of coumarin, which can potentially cause liver damage.

One group of scientists compared the antioxidant content of 26 different herbs and spices and concluded that cinnamon had the second highest amount of antioxidants among them according to The National Institute of Health.

According to SELF Nutrition Data, cinnamon's nutrition facts may lead you to believe that it's not a superfood, but the benefits alone cause cinnamon to look like a superfood!

You may ask, why are Antioxidants so important for oxidative stress? Antioxidants help the body reduce oxidative stress, a type of damage to cells, which is caused by free radicals. Staying in oxidative stress can ultimately cause great damage to a body and even death if not dealt with. It's important to supplement antioxidants into your diet if oxidative stress is present.

One study here, showed that consuming 500 mg of cinnamon extract daily for 12 weeks decreased a marker of oxidative stress by 14% in adults with prediabetes.

This is significant, since oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of nearly every chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes according to The National Institute of Health.

Insulin and Insulin Sensitivity
Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and fight diabetes by imitating the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells as it lowers blood sugar seen here.

It can also help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.

Fasting Blood Sugar and Decreasing Hemoglobin A1C
Several controlled studies have demonstrated that cinnamon is excellent at reducing fasting blood sugar.

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One study reports a significant decreases in hemoglobin A1C, while another reports a moderate effect here.

The conflicting results seem to be partially explained by the variance in amounts of cinnamon given and prior blood sugar control of participants.

Nonetheless, Cinnamon effects in lowering blood sugar is promising. However, its effects on hemoglobin A1C are less clear.

Lower Blood Sugars After Meals
Cinnamon can help keep blood sugar spikes after meals lowered by slowing down the rate at which food empties out of your stomach.

According to The National Institute of Health, the intake of 6 g cinnamon with rice pudding reduces postprandial blood glucose and delays gastric emptying without affecting satiety. Inclusion of cinnamon in the diet lowers the postprandial glucose response, a change that is at least partially explained by a delayed GER.

In other words, it may lower blood sugar following meals by blocking digestive enzymes that break down carbs in the small intestine.

Two Studies here and here suggest that cinnamon extract may decrease the ability of two proteins — beta-amyloid and tau — to form plaques and tangles, which are routinely linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease. This is an amazing find.

Caution
People with diabetes who take medications or insulin should be careful when adding cinnamon to their daily routine and consult with their physician. Balancing medications with spices can be challenging, but successful under care.

Another risk of cinnamon is it may lower blood sugar, which is known as hypoglycemia. This is a life-threatening condition and should not be taken lightly.

Use
Studies have typically used 1–6 grams of Ceylon cinnamon per day, either as a supplement or powder added to foods.

It’s recommended not to exceed 0.5–1 grams of Cassia daily, but taking up to 1.2 teaspoons (6 grams) daily of Ceylon cinnamon should be safe.

Open up that kitchen cabinet and consider cinnamon for your health.

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