In the diabetes community, cinnamon has quickly become a home-remedy for controlling blood glucose levels. While I like to think that I keep up with professional reading, I first heard about this phenomenon from my Dad.
At least in animal studies, cinnamon seems to affect the insulin receptors found on cells. The result, improved insulin signaling (sensitivity), glucose transport and glycogen storage, all favorably impact serum glucose levels after meals.
Physicians tend to associate insulin resistance with overweight and obesity. We know that a 7-10% loss of body weight can significantly improve blood glucose control. But is cinnamon a sound strategy for control while we work on our weight issues?
In a study published in the November 2012 Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, authors Magistrelli and Chezem were able to demonstrate the effect in both overweight and normal weight young, healthy human subjects. No one in the study was over the age of 30 and or had type 2 diabetes among other limitations.
While we can’t make broad generalizations from this one small study, if you like the taste of cinnamon enough to use a full teaspoon at a time, I don’t think that it would hurt to at least give it a try.