Cinnamon is one of those heavenly sweet smells that is the essence of comfort food. It’s been topping our desserts and sweet beverages for generations, providing comfort to our ancestors as much as ourselves. But could it be that the link between sweet, sugary treats and cinnamon has a more subconscious connection?
Just in time for Diabetes Awareness Month, a study published in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine has found that type II diabetic patients were effectively able to lower their blood glucose levels using cinnamon in conjunction with their usual care.
The researchers randomly assigned two groups of type II diabetics, giving one group 1000 mg of cinnamon along with their usual treatment for 90 days. They measured hemoglobin A1c levels — a type of blood cell that helps to identify the average blood glucose levels over time — both before the cinnamon treatment and at the conclusion of the study. They then compared the two measurements.
The results of the study showed that the group taking cinnamon with their usual treatment lowered their hemoglobin A1c levels by 0.83%, compared to a 0.37% drop experienced by the treatment alone group. The use of cinnamon more than doubled the effectiveness of blood sugar lowering treatment.
Less than one percent may sound negligible, but when you consider that a drop from 7.9% hemoglobin A1c to 7.0% was associated with a significantly lowered risk of macrovascular disease, retinopathy and nephropathy in diabetic patients, according to the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study, the numbers take on their proper perspective.
“This study gives diabetes care providers and diabetic patients an easily accessible, likely safe and cheap alternative to help treat type II diabetes,” said the study’s researchers.
It has been widely believed in the holistic health community for some time that cinnamon indeed helps with blood sugar control. However, past studies on the subject have come up with conflicting results. This study may pave the way for acceptance of this “wonder herb” as an effective means of blood sugar control. Other medicinal uses for cinnamon include reducing arthritis pain, treating colds and relieving coughing and sore throats.
This holiday season — which is bound to be loaded with sugary indulgences — don’t spare the cinnamon. Sprinkle it onto hot or cold holiday beverages and desserts, or supplement it to help counteract the blood sugar spikes that seem to come part and parcel with the holidays.
Author by Doug DiPasquale