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Cinnamon and Blood Sugar

Posted: October 1, 2010

While some studies have shown cinnamon to help control blood sugars by allowing the body to be more sensitive to the insulin the body produces, other studies have not. So, the jury is still out. The studies with positive results show that cinnamon may decrease fasting blood sugars and lipids, and it may also slow the emptying of food from your stomach, resulting in lowered after-meal blood sugars.

The type of cinnamon used in studies is Cinnamomum cassia, which is what we typically purchase at the grocery store.  The dosage needed to have positive effects can be as little as 1 gram (1/3 teaspoon) to as much as 6 grams (2 teaspoons) per day.  To reduce after-meal blood sugars, the water-soluble form of cinnamon used in supplements may be more effective than the culinary form.

There are side effects associated with using medicinal (larger) quantities of cinnamon, including skin reactions like contact dermatitis and rosacea.  While uncommon, they are possible.  And those who take medications to thin the blood and/or medications to lower blood sugar should inform their health care practitioner before taking large quantities of cinnamon, as it can increase the effects of these medications in the body.