There’s probably not a more quintessential fall spice than cinnamon! Who can imagine warm apple cider or pumpkin-flavored anything without a dash of cinnamon? Cinnamon has made the news recently for a variety of purported health benefits, especially potentially positive effects on diabetes. Is it true – can cinnamon improve diabetes? Let’s find out!
Why People Think Cinnamon is Good for Diabetes
Cinnamon is a popular spice that we add to all kinds of foods, from oatmeal to baked goods to flavored lattes and more. For a long time, scientists have suspected that this spice can help lower blood sugar levels and that it might play a role in helping to improve insulin sensitivity, both of which are of concern to people with Type 2 diabetes and even for those who may develop diabetes.
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The Science – Facts
If cinnamon truly could help improve diabetes, it would be an invaluable tool for researchers, doctors, and people living with diabetes. This interest has spurred a fair amount of research on the topic. Some studies found that cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels, while other studies did not report an effect on blood sugar. Since the results are mixed, the evidence is not strong enough to say definitively that cinnamon helps diabetes symptoms.
The Danger of Cinnamon Supplements
As with anything else, you can get too much of a good thing. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and cinnamon supplements can contain very high doses of cinnamon, which potentially could be harmful to your health. Cinnamon can interact with many diabetes medications, including:
Blood sugar levels can go too low, so make sure you monitor your blood sugar regularly and let your doctor know of any changes. Cinnamon can also interact with other blood sugar lowering supplements like garlic, chromium, and alpha lipoic acid, so always consult your doctor before taking any supplements. Also speak with your doctor and exercise caution if you have liver problems or take cholesterol lowering drugs as those could interact with cinnamon as well.
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Should I Take Cinnamon?
Unfortunately, the science is not yet clear on the relationship between cinnamon and diabetes, so there is no guarantee that consuming cinnamon will help your blood sugar, insulin resistance, or any other symptoms related to diabetes. The good news, though, is that cinnamon appears to be safe for most people when added to food in moderation. So if you like cinnamon, keep on sprinkling it on your food!