Blood glucose is affected my many things. It can go up when we eat too many carbs or have an infection or are under stress. It can drop too low if we do not eat enough carbs, or if we drink alcohol or if we are more active than normal. Researchers have found that simply adding cinnamon each day could help reduce blood sugar levels (BSL).
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a desired range before meals is 70-130 mg/dl. Two hours after a meal, the desired range is less than 180 mg/dl. The goal before bed is 100-140 mg/dl. For too many diabetics, it is often a challenge maintaining a consistent healthy blood sugar level (BSL).
Over 25 million people – men, women and children – have diabetes. For those diabetics who find themselves with a high BSL, cinnamon may be an easy, tasty and inexpensive aide. Cinnamon decreases insulin resistance thus lowering blood sugar. There have been many studies looking into the relationship between cinnamon and BSL.
In 2003 Dr. Richard A Anderson of Beltsville, MD, conducted a study to determine if cinnamon could reduce the BSL of diabetics. The results showed that a daily intake of just one to six grams of cinnamon reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. One gram is roughly half a teaspoon. Cinnamon also does not contribute to caloric intake.
In 2006 Medical News Today reported that a water soluble cinnamon extract reduced the fasting BSL of type 2 diabetics. The study was from the University of Hannover in Germany.
"This study, together with a recent clinical trial utilizing Cinnulin PF, provides compelling evidence for the beneficial effects of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on blood sugar levels," stated Tim Romero, executive vice president, Integrity Nutraceuticals International, marketer of Cinnulin PF - a water-soluble cinnamon extract ingredient - in a 2006 press release.
Cinnamon can be found in any health store or grocery store in both stick or powder form. It could be taken as a vitamin supplement, taking 500 milligrams twice a day. It can also be used as the spice. Diabetes management suggests sprinkling cinnamon on your toast or having some in your tea. Essentially the cinnamon slows down the rate that the stomach empties after a meal. This in turn reduces the rise in blood sugar after eating. Hence, cinnamon reduces blood sugar levels.
Not all researchers agree though. In 2007, William L Baker and his colleagues found that cinnamon has no significant effect on the BSL and that it does not improve the diabetics’ A1C tests.
There are some concerns regarding cinnamon. It is an herb rather than a medicine and is therefore not mandated or controlled by the FDA – the Food and Drug Association. There are a few other herbs – like garlic, chromium and Siberian ginseng – that also lower blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is also known to increase liver problems.