A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that cinnamon supplements may have a positive impact on blood glucose levels in individuals with obesity or overweight and prediabetes. The study involved 18 participants who were randomly assigned to receive either cinnamon or a placebo for a 4-week period. Continuous glucose monitoring devices were used to track blood glucose levels, and an oral glucose tolerance test was conducted at various time points.
The results of the study showed that participants taking cinnamon had consistently lower blood glucose levels and lower glucose peaks compared to those on the placebo. This suggests that cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar regulation. However, it’s important to note that the study had a small sample size, limiting the generalizability of the findings. Further research with larger and more representative samples is needed to confirm these results.
One aspect that sets this study apart is the use of continuous glucose monitoring, which provides a more accurate measurement of blood sugar levels. This adds a novel dimension to our understanding of cinnamon’s impact on glucose regulation. Previous studies on the effects of cinnamon on blood glucose levels have yielded inconsistent results, but a meta-analysis conducted in 2023 did find that cinnamon supplements reduced fasting blood glucose levels.
It’s worth noting that the study used maltodextrin as the placebo, which has a high glycemic index and can increase blood glucose levels. This could potentially affect the observed differences between the cinnamon and placebo groups. Future studies could benefit from using a non-glycemic placebo or accounting for the potential effects of maltodextrin in the analysis.
The researchers suggest that cinnamon’s beneficial effects on blood glucose levels may be attributed to its rich polyphenol content and diverse bioactive compounds. These compounds enhance insulin’s ability to regulate glucose uptake by cells, reduce inflammation, and support glycogen storage in the liver. Another proposed mechanism of action is the impact of cinnamon on the gut microbiome, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.
While cinnamon supplementation may have a role in managing prediabetes, it’s important to exercise caution. Cinnamon contains a compound called coumarin, which can be toxic at high levels. It’s always advisable to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements or making significant lifestyle changes. In addition to cinnamon supplementation, there are other evidence-based measures that can help control prediabetes, such as adopting a diet rich in healthy plant-based foods, practicing intermittent fasting under guidance, and engaging in mindful eating. Weight loss achieved through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise has been shown to be more effective in reversing prediabetic states than diet alone, particularly focusing on reducing abdominal fat due to its association with insulin resistance.