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The Benefits of Cinnamon for Prediabetes

Chelsea Clark
November 10, 2020
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Cinnamon lovers, rejoice! This natural, flavorful spice isn’t just delicious – it also has some incredible benefits that can help keep you healthy and vibrant in the long run.

The latest research findings on cinnamon suggest that it just might help people with prediabetes to stay healthy and prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.

A prediabetes diagnosis: your chance to make a change 


You’ve probably heard of type 2 diabetes, a condition where insulin doesn’t work properly and which results in excessively high blood sugar levels in the body. What you might not know is that people develop something called prediabetes long before they get type 2 diabetes. 

Prediabetes is a condition where you have abnormally high blood sugar levels, but they aren’t yet high enough to warrant a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. It is very common; about 88 million adults have prediabetes, which is about 35% of the US adult population.[1]

If you have been given a prediabetes diagnosis, this is your chance to intervene and prevent yourself from getting type 2 diabetes down the line. You can consider prediabetes as a warning sign – and a serious one – that something needs to change. If things move along as they are, your blood sugar levels are likely to keep rising and you may end up with type 2 diabetes.

By making healthy changes in your life now, you can get your blood sugar levels back in control and ultimately reverse prediabetes. Luckily, there are many approaches you can lean on to support yourself through this process – one of which might be as simple as eating more cinnamon.

Cinnamon may slow the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes



New data published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society shows that taking cinnamon daily may help prevent people with prediabetes from getting type 2 diabetes down the road.[2

In the study, people with prediabetes were given either 500 mg of cinnamon or placebo three times per day for twelve weeks. After twelve weeks, the participants who took cinnamon had better blood sugar levels and had improved blood sugar responses after eating carbohydrates. These results suggest that cinnamon may have beneficial effects when it comes to improving blood sugar control, which may help slow the progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.[2]

This is important, because anything you can do to keep your blood sugars in check now can prevent more serious problems in the future. And if something as simple as adding a little cinnamon to your daily diet can help, then it may be well worth a try.

These research findings aren’t the only ones that point to the usefulness of cinnamon for people with blood sugar concerns. For some time now, researchers have been investigating the positive effects of cinnamon on blood sugar levels.

The benefits of cinnamon for blood sugar control


Cinnamon has natural qualities in it which can be very beneficial for people with blood sugar issues. The active compounds in cinnamon can help to regulate glucose, stimulate insulin, and otherwise positively impact carbohydrate metabolism.[3,4,5] Ceylon cinnamon, in particular, has shown favorable results for blood sugar regulation.[3]

There is a growing body of evidence to support the benefits of cinnamon for people with type 2 diabetes. For example, a study from 2012 found that diabetics given cinnamon along with dietary advice had significantly reduced blood sugar levels compared to people given just dietary advice alone. In the study, cinnamon supplementation was shown to be as effective as some oral diabetic medications for controlling HbA1c levels (which are an indicator of your average blood sugar levels over the past few months).[4]

Large review studies show positive outcomes from using cinnamon for blood sugar control, like modest reductions in blood sugar levels and glucose responses in people with type 2 diabetes.[6,7]

But while this sounds very promising, it is worth noting that not all of the data comes from strong studies and not all of the results are consistent. More extensive research is still needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn about the effectiveness of cinnamon for people with diabetes.[6,7]

Additional health benefits of cinnamon 


Along with helping to manage blood sugars, cinnamon has other healthy properties as well. 

Some possible benefits of adding cinnamon to your diet include:

  • Managing blood pressure
  • Keeping cholesterol levels in the healthy range
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Combating oxidative damage with natural antioxidant effects
  • Fighting off microbes [8]

How to use cinnamon for its health benefits 


If you want to try cinnamon as a natural, complementary option for supporting your health, there are several ways to do it.

One option is to use cinnamon the old-fashioned way, taking it straight out of the spice jar. Simply make a point to mix a little more cinnamon into your day-to-day cooking. This flavorful spice is really versatile in the kitchen, and it can be added to your breakfast in the morning, to spicy dishes like curry or mole, to a warming winter stew, or to some fresh fruit as a healthy snack.

You can also purchase cinnamon as a dietary supplement in capsule form. Just make sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any new supplements. 

Cinnamon is generally safe to take in reasonable amounts, like you’d use in daily cooking. But keep in mind that it can be problematic in large doses – especially for people with liver problems.[9] When purchasing cinnamon, look for a type called Ceylon cinnamon. It is a particularly healthy form of cinnamon.[3]

The bottom line


Experts have known for a while now that cinnamon has anti-diabetic properties that can support the body in regulating glucose and lowering blood sugars in people with type 2 diabetes. 

And now we are learning that cinnamon might not just be helpful once you’ve already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; it might also be helpful to prevent that diagnosis from occurring in the first place.[2] Some research even suggests that cinnamon might be helpful for healthy people, too, to keep their blood sugars in the normal range.[5]

If you are looking for an all-natural way to support healthy blood sugars and prevent your prediabetes from getting more serious, cinnamon may be worth considering. You can try adding more of this spice to your cooking, or you might opt to go with a supplement. Be sure to speak with your doctor before adding any new dietary supplements to your treatment regime.

Remember – you have options when it comes to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. And you do have the power to stop prediabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes.

Dietary changes, physical activity, lifestyle habits, and natural options like cinnamon can go a long way. If you want to try any diet or lifestyle choices for blood sugar control, Lark is here to support you. We’ve got you covered with blood glucose monitoring, personalized coaching, and more to keep your diabetes or prediabetes in check.

Author
Chelsea Clark