Skip to comments.Cinnamon and DiabetesóDisease Type Appears to Matter
Posted on 04/15/2007 12:53:48 PM PDT by neverdem
Cinnamonit's not just for perking up the flavor of pies and applesauce anymore. A teaspoonful of the spice can have medicinal properties, at least for most people with diabetes, several trials have indicated. However, the latest study identifies one population that cinnamon doesn't seem to benefit: individuals suffering from what was once referred to as juvenile diabetes.
"Ours is just one study," cautions team leader Kevin M. Curtis of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. It was also a small study. Just 57 teens completed the 3-month trial. However, Curtis notes emphatically, "we saw no benefit" in blood sugar control. If anything, he says, there were hints that people who were not getting the cinnamon might have fared better than those who did.
Insulin is a powerful hormone that the body needs to get energyin the form of blood sugar, or glucoseinto cells. Earlier studies tested cinnamon's potential to stabilize blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, the form of the disease in which the body makes ample insulin but cells don't respond adequately. Called insulin resistance, this condition typically occurs in people who are overweight and older than 40. However, with a rise in juvenile obesity in recent decades, a childhood epidemic of this type of diabetes is now under way.
Type 1 diabetes is a radically different disease. An autoimmune condition, it develops when the body mistakes insulin-secreting, or beta, cells for invaders and inappropriately attacks them. When enough beta cells die, the body can no longer make enough insulin to keep blood sugar in check. Its victims must regularly inject themselves with the hormone to survive.
The new 90-day study recruited adolescents 13 to 19 years old with type 1 disease and asked them to take a daily capsule that might contain cinnamon. Randomly assigned, half the volunteers got 1 gram of cinnamon a day, and the others instead received lactose, a complex sugar found in milk. All capsules looked the same and came packaged in identical pill bottles. During the trial, neither the teens nor the physicians administering the capsules learned who was consuming cinnamon.
Curtis' team selected adolescents for the study because their growth spurts and other body changes associated with puberty make tight control of blood sugar especially difficult. A lack of blood sugar control can result in serious complications, from heart disease to kidney failure, blindness, and even limb amputations.
The Dartmouth team looked primarily for changes in measures of hemoglobin A1C among the teens. A person's A1C reading indicates the proportion of red blood cells that have glucose stuck onto them. A high A1C reading indicates that the person's blood sugar has been too high for months. The researchers focused on this measurement, rather than periodic tests of blood sugar itself, because hemoglobin A1C "has clearly been the best predictor of complications in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics," Curtis told Science News Online.
At the end of the new study, teens taking both cinnamon and lactose had A1C values averaging roughly 8.75, according to a report in the April Diabetes Care.
By chance, the group assigned to receive lactose capsules for 3 months started the study with an average A1C value of 8.75. The teens getting the cinnamon capsules started the study with an average 8.4 A1C reading. Clearly, there was no advantage to getting the cinnamon treatment, Curtis says.
It's possible that the daily gram of cinnamon administered to the teens was too small to have a measurable effect in people with type 1 diabetes, the researchers say. On the other hand, the scientists note that this quantity was sufficient to improve glucose control in a 2003 study of people with type 2 disease (SN: 5/1/04, p. 282). More likely, Curtis' group concludes, is that "whatever effect cinnamon has on glucose uptake in type 2 diabetic subjects is not present in those with type 1 diabetes."
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Altschuler, J.A. . . . and K.M. Curtis. 2007. The effect of cinnamon on A1C among adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care 30(April):813-816. Abstract available at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/30/4/813.
Khan, A. . . . and R.A. Anderson. 2003. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 26(December):3215-3218. Available at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/26/12/3215.
American Diabetes Association. What is diabetes? Available at http://www.diabetes.org/for-parents-and-kids/what-is-diabetes.jsp.
American Diabetes Association. Type 1 diabetes complications. Available at http://www.diabetes.org/type-1-diabetes/complications.jsp.
Anderson, R.A., et al. 2004. Isolation and characterization of polyphenol type-A polymers from cinnamon with insulin-like biological activity. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 52(Jan. 14):65-70. Abstract available at http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/
Anderson, R.A. 2003. Chromium and insulin resistance. Nutrition Research Reviews 16(December):267-275. Abstract available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/NRR200366.
Raloff, J. 2004; Coffee, spices, wine. Science News 165(May 1):282-284. Available at http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20040501/bob10.asp.
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
Web site: http://www.diabetes.org
Kevin M. Curtis
Department of Emergency Medicine
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, NH 03756
From Science News, Vol. 171, No. 15, April 14, 2007
Copyright (c) 2007 Science Service. All rights reserved.
Cool. I'll take two, then.
One more reason to have some cinnamon, my favorite spice anyway!
...learned who was consuming cinnamon.
’ been taking cinnamon for a while. It’s supposed to be good at keeping cholestrol low. You WILL have a cinnamon ‘after-taste’ occasionally.
You mean like the way peanut butter sandwichs and hot dogs do?
Coffee is great with some cinnamon in it.
I’ve been putting cinnamon in my food for a while now, seems to have helped my blood sugar control. Wasn’t hard to do - I like cinnamon anyway. Cinnamon in coffee anyone?
This “report” is from the same man that promotes rectal evacuation as the cure all for almost condition or disease process affecting humans. Check out the “network” site. One other snake oil sales pitch from the same old snake.
May be so, but I'd heard it from some other sources as well. I asked my endocrinologist about it, and he said it may help - it doesn't hurt, so go ahead (just don't stop doing the other things).
No matter what I did, I couldn’t get a morning/fasting sugar lower than 100mg/dl. Then I started taking plain cinnamon caps. My morning sugars are in the low-normal range now. It really WORKS for Type II. Of course, this doesn’t mean I can once again start eating all the junk I was stuffing into my piehole before...
Hey thanks for this post.
Where can one obtain the cinnamon caps? Sounds like it’s worth a try.
I bought mine at GNC. I do not remember the cost, but they sell them in bottles of 100-150 capsules.
“Looks like its breakfast at the Savoy tomorrow for some of their plate size cinnamon rolls.”
Which would be completely counterproductive. The value of the cinnamon is in shocking the beta cells of the pancreas back into producing insulin, a part of the homeostasis that is failing in the patient with Type 2 diabetes. Part of the body cells have become insulin-resistant, because of excessive conversion of glucose into fat stores, rather than energy. The body systems react to the excess insulin produced, by signaling to the beta cells, to produce less. Then when the body again gets a surge of blood glucose, there is not enough insulin to properly metabolize this surge of glucose, and the individual cells of the body CONTINUE to store the excess glucose as fat. It becomes a tightening spiral, and eventually, the beta cells produce less and less.
Diet and exercise go far to reverse this progressive failure, by forcing the entire body to go to fat-burn, once the blood glucose is taken to relatively low levels. There is the distinct possibility that the individual may then become hypo-glycemic (low blood sugar, less than 50 mg/dL), at which point, the patient is stumbling, weak, sweating profusely, and shows signs of going into shock.
Cinnamon rolls, by their very nature (sugary, white-flour relatively high-fat pastries) have a high glycemic index, that is, they put one helluva surge of glucose in the bloodstream within minutes of consumption. The person with Type 2 diabetes, with the sluggish insulin production from dysfunctional beta cells, may experience an increase of blood glucose up to hyper-glycemic levels (250+ mg/dL), at which point there may be a “sugar high”, giddiness, hyperactivity, and strangely enough, signs of shock. To the casual observer, this looks almost exactly like the kind of shock that accompanies hypo-glycemia. But the two different situations are treated quite differently.
For hypoglycemia, the patient is administered glucose tablets. For hyperglycemia, injectable insulin is the emergency treatment of choice. Administering the wrong one only accentuates the condition of shock, and have been known to lead to death.
The cinnamon is only effective if taken in the absence of high-glycemic carbohydrates. Put it in your artificially sweetened tea. (Apple cider has a very high ratio of sugar, and consequently, a relatively high glycemic number.)
Thank you very much for this informative response. It is much appreciated.
Folks with Type II diabetes should never drink juice of any kind ~ NEVER NEVER NEVER.
Walmart, Sams, whatever. They are readily available locally, and online. Two minor things: 1. they might make your urine burn if you are taking too many. Just cut down and you will notice a difference. 2. THEY REALLY WORK. Check your sugar frequently to make sure it is not going too low. Cinnamon has no toxicity that I know of, but the blood-sugar effect is something to watch. I took two twice a day until my sugar got down into the lower range, then gradually eliminated one cap at a time. Now, one in the morning seems to do the trick.
“...never drink juice of any kind”
Amen to that. Unless you are in an emergency situation where you KNOW the problem is hypo-glycemia.
But don’t guess. Take a blood-glucose check first.
The same goes for most high-fructose soft drinks or sports drinks. Plain water is the most effective rehydration medium.
More has no additional effect.
BTW, you have to build up a certain background level ~ this stuff takes a week or so to wear off such that you'd notice it, and a month before there is no more effect.
First time you use it, though, you may very well feel tingling all over your body.
Do you take it in capsule form?
We travel through Indianapolis, Indiana several times a year and pick it up.
They do mailorder sales as well.
I'm not advertising for them but simply identifying them as a very responsive supplier for Saigon Cinnamon.
Hey, we order from Penzy’s, but not the cinnamon. Acc to Wikipedia, the kind of cinnamon that works for diabetes type 2 is cinnamomum cassia. WalMart sells Rexall Cinnamon 500mg
North American sassafras is ALSO in the cinnamon family. It produces some known carcinogenic chemicals. So do all cinnamon species, however, in far smaller concentrations. Since I use so much cinnamon I make sure I never include lipids (cream, e.g.) in my coffee or tea ~ just plain cinnamon.
Do not be misled by statements such as "true cinnamon" ~ that's simply an early (circa 6000 BC) marketing technique.
I became diabetic in the course of prednisone treatment for sarcoid. Some time after I started the Marshall Protocol to cure the sarcoid, I was able to give way the glucose monitor and toss the metformin. Others have had diabetes as the primary diagnosis used the MP for a cure. www.marshallprotocol.com
Your mileage may vary, but I doubt it.
BTW, all of the "diseases/conditions" mentioned in the Marshall Protocol sites (there are many) are also regularly misdiagnosed Celiac condition. What you do to "cure" that genetic situation is give up wheat gluten.
Now as to a good colon flushing.......
Wikipedia, my source.
Thanks for update.
I learn so much on FR. Worth the donation, huh?
cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants too.
You mean like the way peanut butter sandwichs and hot dogs do?
When, how often and how much are you taking? I take a bunch o’supplements and for some reason have just not been able to work cinnamon into the mix, even after buying a big jar of it. I’ve tried so many things that don’t work or don’t work consistently for me, that I hate to shove down another horse pill w/no real benefit.
Portion control and diet are still key, but every little bit helps. Since menopause I have had problems w/my a.m. bgs, tho the other readings seem to be manageable.
I haven’t yet taken the supplements. I’ve added cinnamon to my coffee (2-3 cups a day), and also add it to my morning cereal (best in oatmeal). Another good place is to add it to my fruit, especially apples.
I took cinnamon capsules I ordered from Puritan Pride for about 6 months to see if it would help with my blood sugar levels and it did nothing for me. Big waste of money.
Started taking Niacin and Cinnamon - haven't noticed much difference. One supplement I can definitely, anecdotally recommend for sufferers is Cranberry Juice Concentrate. Really flushes those kidneys out. Thanks for the article.
I was typically getting a blood sugar reading of 106. After taking cinnamon capsules for one month, my readings were around 96. My cholesterol results improved as well.
Thanks for the ping, Jeff.
Question: But what does the Cranberry Juice Concentrate do to your blood sugar readings?
CJC does nothing to my bg’s. With normal insulin and increased water consumption, however, I just vaguely feel a bit better. Urination is pleasant instead of fearful.
I take all my supplements with meals and shots, so it all just goes “into the mix”.
Oh, go ahead. I hear the freshly baked apple pie, with cinnamon, beckoning you: Over here redhead..... over here.... come on .....
Help me out, Jeff.
It is my son who has the diabetes, so I am not relating personally.
Did you have pain with urination?
No pain, but your urine composition is a fair indicator of bg control. When diagnosed, a very dangerous condition (ketoacidosis) is very well indicated by urine with an obnoxious, acetone-type odor.
As part of his assessment, your son’s doc will occasionally take urine samples (as well as blood A1C), to check on his kidney function. Small blood vessel damage can show up concurrently in the kidneys and eyes. In the urine, when the blood vessels aren’t optimal, protein can be passed, which is a very Red flag.
My diabetic husband takes cinnamon faithfully. We don’t think it helps him. But he still takes it because of the strength of what we’ve read.
Thanks...I was disappointed, of course that it won’t help my kaybugs.
BTW...I drink cranberry juice for my kidneys..and I don’t have diabetes..but I used to get bladder and kidney infections..
I don’t anymore.
Before getting DM1, I used to just LOVE the stuff to drink.
If they would make a CJ without ANY sweetener, I’d drink it. Love bitter/sour stuff.
What I take is, obviously, in capsule form, so no high-fructose corn syrup (or stupid federal farm subsidies) for me!
Just saw cinammon , either powder or capsules, yesterday at COSTCO. Was in a hurry and didn’t stop but it caught my eye. It is with all of their vitamins, next to fish oil.
My dad suposedly cured himself of diabetes by eliminating all forms of sugar, except fresh fruit, and he started running marathons. He was diabetes free for approx 20 years, then it came back and he’s been on insulin now for 10-15 years. I’m gonna tell him about the cinnamon thing. That would be really cool if he could go off insulin again.
Dang...yes, I hadn’t thought of that..I am still having to get used to thinking about things like that.
My granddaughter’s bs goes high so often that I am always having to test her ketones...I think she hates that more than testing her blood.