In a review study, scientists from Portugal and the UK found cinnamon may help control blood sugar and cholesterol in type 2 diabetes.
More than 37 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45.
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t typically respond to insulin; this is called insulin resistance.
Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually, your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavoring additive in various cuisines.
Several studies have demonstrated the health benefits of cinnamon, including controlling blood sugar, decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lowering blood pressure, and improving memory and cognition.
The scientific evidence that cinnamon may bring beneficial effects on type 2 diabetes due to its bioactive compounds has been increasing in recent years.
In the review study, researchers aimed to provide an overview of the effects of cinnamon on diabetes biomarkers and summarize the mechanisms of cinnamon on blood sugar and blood fat levels.
The team reviewed related studies published between 2000 and 2022.
The researchers found clinical studies clarified that cinnamon also possesses an anti-inflammatory effect, which may act beneficially in diabetes.
Based on these studies, they suggest that cinnamon seems to regulate blood sugar metabolism by insulin-mimetic effect and enzyme activity improvement.
Furthermore, cinnamon may decrease blood cholesterol and fatty acid absorption in the gut. The current review showed a considerable number of studies on diabetic people.
The team says there are some limitations in comparing published data, such as variability in doses, extracts, and species of cinnamon, different administrations, and diabetes therapies.
The research was published in Nutrients and conducted by Maria Leonor Silva et al.
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