Back in December I wrote this post which explored the apparent ability of cinnamon to reduce blood sugar levels, particularly in diabetics. One of the studies mentioned in this post showed that cinnamon added to normal diabetic care led to improved outcomes compared to standard diabetic care alone. While this result was certainly promising, the study was somewhat hampered by the fact that it did not include a proper ‘control’ group (i.e. a group taking a placebo/dummy pill).
So, I was interested to read about a new study which tested cinnamon in diabetics, but this time against a group using a placebo . In this study, 58 adults with type 2 diabetes were treated with 2 grams of cinnamon a day, or a placebo, for 12 weeks.
Compared to the group taking placebo, those assigned to take cinnamon saw a significant reduction in their levels of HbA1c (also known as glycosylated haemoglobin – which gives an indication of braod blood sugar control over the preceding 2-3 months or so). In other words, treatment with cinnamon led to improved blood sugar control in type 2 diabetics.
But that’s not all, because those treated with cinnamon also enjoyed improvements in a range of other parameters including blood pressure (both the higher ‘systolic’ and lower ‘diastolic’ values) and waist circumference. Taken together, these findings would be expected to translate in to a reduced risk of chronic disease including cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart disease and stroke) and diabetic complications.
The authors of this study concluded that, “Cinnamon supplementation could be considered as an additional dietary supplement option to regulate blood glucose and blood pressure levels along with conventional medications to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
From a nutritional perspective, I’ve seen diabetics generally get much improved blood sugar control by eschewing conventional advice to eat starchy carbohydrate at every meal. I wrote about this here. Generally speaking, eating less of these blood sugar-disrupting carbs at meals means less blood sugar disruption and less evidence of diabetes in the long term, pure and simple.
1. Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Akilen R, et al. Diabetic Medicine 2010;27(10):1159-67