Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal spice and is already known for its effectiveness in preventing diabetes and lowering cholesterol. However, a new study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows new scientific evidence that cinnamon extract helps reduce the risk of certain factors associated with heart disease and diabetes.
Cinnamon’s Effect on Heart Disease and Diabetes
The USDA study found that using water-soluble cinnamon extract (Cinnulin PF) helped improve antioxidant levels in the participants by 13 to 23 percent which in turn decreased the participants fasting blood glucose levels. The study participants consisted of 22 obese people who were in the pre-diabetes stage. After 12 week of taking cinnamon supplements, the participants were at a lower risk of developing diabetes than before the study began.
A previous study had also found cinnamon extract to be effective in lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the clinical study that involved 60 participants who already had type-2 diabetes reduced their glucose levels as well as their cholesterol and triglyceride levels after 40 days of taking cinnamon supplements. Triglyceride levels were reduced by up to 30 percent, LDL cholesterol was reduced by up to 27 percent and total cholesterol was reduced by up to 26 percent. These are all factors associated with heart disease and diabetes.
Another earlier study found that taking cinnamon supplements not only reduced glucose levels in the participants but also helped to lower body fat and lower blood pressure.
How to Take Cinnamon Supplements
There are over 200 varieties of cinnamon so it is important to know which should be taken for heart health and diabetes prevention or control. The most studied form of cinnamon is what was also involved in the recent study, Cinnulin PF. However, Cinnamomum Burmannii and Cinnamomum Cassia have also been studied and are what is found most often in cinnamon supplements in North America. All are effective in lowering glucose levels and cholesterol levels. Check the labels to see what type of cinnamon is in the supplement before purchasing.
Cinnamon is found in capsule form, tincture and tea form. Sometimes the tea will also contain other herbal ingredients such as licorice root, so check the label before purchasing. The general dose to take of cinnamon supplements is 250 milligrams, twice a day. However, always talk to your doctor before taking any herbal or spice supplement, especially if you already have diabetes or heart disease or are on any prescription medications.
Cinnamon is well-tolerated and has very few recorded side-effects. If taken in large quantities, it can have blood-thinning effects. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take cinnamon supplements. Cinnamon supplements have not been tested in young children.
Using cinnamon is a natural and affordable way to lower blood glucose levels, lower cholesterol and possibly lower blood pressure. Talk to your doctor to see if cinnamon supplements are right for you.
University of Maryland Medical Center “Diabetes”
Science Daily “Cinnamon Extracts May Reduce Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease, Study Suggests”