Health Insider Update


Cinnamon and Type 2 Diabetes

Cinnamon and Type 2 Diabetes
September 13
15:53 2015

A few years ago my father, in his 70’s, fainted in a local drug store and was taken to the hospital. He was diagnosed with low blood sugar and subsequently with type 2 diabetes, a major development considering our family members are generally healthy into their 90’s.

His doctor put him on a strict regimen which he took very seriously, taking blood sugar readings, giving up all sugary sodas and taking his medication on schedule and as prescribed. My father is very analytical and good with numbers (you should see him play poker!), and soon found correlations between eating certain foods and jumps in his readings and the required medicine.

Of course in my dad’s age group, many of his friends also have type 2 diabetes (1 in 4 nationally…), one of whom recommended cinnamon pills to counter the effects of certain kinds of food and keeping blood sugar levels under control.

Cinnamon brought him great results!

He found if he had eaten something to cause his meter readings to rise, he could take a cinnamon pill (at about $7 per 100), and his meter readings would be back to normal within an hour.  He eventually (afer 2-3 years) got to the point where he knew exactly what would push his readings high.  He took a cinnamon pill before dinner and his readings never went up in the first place.

He still is very careful about what he eats (but allows himself occasional treats!) and takes his cinnamon pills religiously, but he has not had a high meter reading for at least 3 years. His doctor has backed him off the strict regimen and he no longer has to poke his finger daily.

According to the CDC diabetes affects an estimate 29 million people (about 95% have type 2 diabetes), certainly epidemic in the U.S. It is the 7th leading cause of death.  It is estimated to cost $245 Billion to the U.S. economy. Symptoms lead to stroke, blindness, amputation of lims and much more.

It affects roughly a quarter of seniors over 65 (about 12 million).  Causes are related to obesity, diet, lack of physical activity and stress.

In my father’s case, he was perhaps a bit overweight but certainly not morbidly so, and he is a farmer so physical activity was part of his everyday agenda.  But he did love his sugary snacks and fatty steaks. In the end he experienced relatively minor adjustments, and has not had to worry about the symptoms mentioned above.  The cinnamon pills helped greatly.

Medical opinions? A great many studies have been done, some with substantial results, other not.

According to one study “Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis” from 2013, “The consumption of cinnamon is associated with a statistically significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels, and an increase in HDL-C levels”

This means they find it to be helpful.

Another study says “Human studies involving control subjects and subjects with metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and polycystic ovary syndrome all show beneficial effects of whole cinnamon and/or aqueous extracts of cinnamon on glucose, insulin, insulin sensitivity, lipids, antioxidant status, blood pressure, lean body mass, and gastric emptying.”

Note it says “beneficial.”

While we will stop short of calling cinnamon a “miracle spice” as some advertisements have claimed, we have little doubt of the utility of cinnamon in a well supervised type 2 diabetes treatment regimen.


About Author

Joe Gilbertson

Joe Gilbertson

Related Articles