By Dr. Joseph Mercola
Researchers have been investigating a number of powerful natural agents that can help you stabilize your blood sugar, and once again, cinnamon has proven itself as a viable contender in the fight against diabetes, as the study in Diabetic Medicine reveals.(1)
One of cinnamon’s most impressive health benefits is its ability to improve blood glucose control.
For example, just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has previously been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. (2)
The more you can make use of natural therapies such as nutrition and exercise, the better your health will be.
However, as helpful as supplements like cinnamon can be, they should not be misconstrued as cures. They are not substitutes for proper diet and lifestyle choices. You cannot properly address your diabetes if you still maintain a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary choices — cinnamon supplementation or not!
How Cinnamon Can Benefit Diabetics
Below are five known ways cinnamon can be helpful to your metabolism:
1. Cinnamon can increase your glucose metabolism about 20-fold, which significantly improves blood sugar regulation. (4)
2. Cinnamon has been found to have “insulin-like effects” due to a bioactive compound, qualifying it as a candidate for an insulin substitute.
3. Cinnamon slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin.
4. Cinnamon actually enhances your antioxidant defenses. A study published in 2009 stated, “Polyphenols from cinnamon could be of special interest in people who are overweight with impaired fasting glucose since they might act as both insulin sensitizers and antioxidants.” (5)
5. A bioflavonoid found in cinnamon called proanthocyanidin may alter the insulin-signaling activity in your fat cells.
Other health benefits of cinnamon include:
• Supporting digestive function
• Relieving congestion
• Relieving pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
• Reducing inflammation and symptoms of arthritis
• Helping to prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
• Relieving menstrual discomfort
• Stimulating circulation with blood-thinning compounds
Clearly, adding ample amounts of cinnamon to your diet is incredibly safe and inexpensive. Just remember, unless you are adding it to a proper diet — high in vegetables and extremely low in fructose and grains — it is unlikely you will experience any benefit whatsoever.