A friend of ours was recently diagnosed with T2 diabetes and mentioned that she was advised to sprinkle cinnamon on her brekkie as it was helpful in lowering blood sugars. So we decided to investigate if that was true.
Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices and is derived from the inner bark of various trees in the species Cinnamomum. It has been used for centuries in herbal medicine to treat things like bronchitis, and is also used as a flavour in sweets, savouries and beverages. It has a very pleasant taste and smells delicious. But does it help in managing diabetes?
According to the Mayo clinic, although there have been several studies on whether cinnamon really does lower blood sugars there is no real evidence to suggest that it does. Some studies say yes and others say no. And of course it depends on what doses are being used in studies, and who they are testing them on.
The idea behind this is that cinnamon may help the body to use insulin more efficiently - but again, there are no studies that have proved this to be true. Cinnamon in high doses can be very dangerous for people with liver disease.
Cinnamon has been to show the following benefits:
- Have an anti-clotting effect on the blood
- Relieve pain in arthritis sufferers
- Boost the body’s immune system
- Stop medication-resistant yeast infections
- Help in relieving indigestion
- Reduce the proliferation of leukaemia and lymphoma cancer cells
- Preserve food by inhibiting bacterial growth and food spoilage
- Be a great source of vital nutrients, including calcium, fibre, managanese and iron
So there are various studies showing that cinnamon does help in lowering blood sugar but there are also studies showing it doesn't. It's always best to check with your health professional.
At the end of the day cinnamon is a delicious and aromatic spice that can be enjoyed on many dishes.
Here at The Diabetes Kitchen our dietitian and food technologist are in the midst of developing our new Vanilla with a touch of cinnamon meal replacement now - it's simply delicioius and launches next month.