A randomised, controlled, double-blind, crossover trial has found a modest daily intake of 4g of cinnamon supplements over four weeks led to a significant reduction in average blood glucose levels, particularly in people with obesity and prediabetes.

Previous research has been contradictory towards cinammon’s effect on blood glucose levels.

However, researchers in America have explored the potential of cinammon to affect blood glucose levels in a 4 week trial extended with continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) data.

Food intake records were maintained, as was dietary compliance.

Participants were provided 4 grams of cinnamon or a placebo capsulse.

What is cinammon?

Cinnamon has been a staple spice in many cultures for thousands of years and explored for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Its polyphenol content has been studied by researchers as it is believed to enhance glucose metabolism and homeostasis.

However, many previous studies have produced conflicting outcomes meaning a well-controlled investigation on the benefits of cinnamon is welcome.

While the study offers valuable insights into cinnamon’s role in glucose regulation it raises questions about the specific compounds in cinnamon responsible for these effects.

What were the outcomes?

Key findings of the study included:

  • Cinnamon significantly lowered 24-hour glucose concentrations and mean glucose peaks compared to the placebo
  • The average 24-hour net area under the curve (netAUC) for glucose was significantly lower with cinnamon. A lower netAUC indicates that blood glucose levels were maintained within a more desirable range overall.
  • The glucose peaks during cinnamon supplementation were lower compared to placebo.
  • There were no significant differences in the mean starting peak time, time to peak, and mean duration of the peaks between cinnamon and placebo groups.

Researchers concluded that cinnamon, a widely available and low-cost supplement, may “contribute to better glucose control when added to the diet in people who have obesity-related prediabetes”.

Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind cinnamon’s impact on blood glucose and to determine its long-term benefits and safety.

This study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that dietary supplements like cinnamon could play a role in managing blood glucose levels.

However, it’s important to approach such findings with a balanced perspective and consider the need for lifestyle changes alongside any supplementation for effective blood glucose management.

Read the research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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