- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Diabetes Natural Cures: Can Cinnamon Cure Diabetes Mellitus?
Cinnamon is not only one of the most delicious and popular spices in the world today, it also has many unexpected health benefits.
One of the most interesting benefits of cinnamon is its role in glucose metabolism. Studies have shown that cinnamon may improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, also known as adult onset diabetes.
Studies so far have been small, but very promising. Although not conclusive, their results suggest that as little as 1 gram of cinnamon every day (less than 1/4 teaspoon) may improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Not only that, but the beneficial effects are long lasting. Participants in cinnamon studies have shown improved insulin sensitivity and other beneficial health effects more than two months after they stopped taking cinnamon supplements.
Type 2 diabetes is caused when the body loses sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that helps convert sugars into energy. When insulin sensitivity is lost, glucose levels in the blood remain high. If untreated, high blood glucose levels can lead to many serious health problems, and even death.
Researchers have learned that cinnamon contains a type of antioxidant called polyphenols that boost levels of several proteins involved in insulin signalling and blood glucose transport. Another compound in cinnamon has insulin-like properties itself, and under laboratory conditions has been found to work cooperatively with insulin to lower blood glucose levels. These beneficial compounds are not found in cinnamon oils.
Other Health Benefits of Cinnamon
- Cinnamon is high in dietary fiber, which improves bowel function, contributes to maintaining a healthy hormone balance, and helps prevent heart disease and diabetes.
- A compound in cinnamon called cinnamaldehyde is known to help prevent inflammation and blood clots.
- Studies have found that the odor of cinnamon improves brain function and alertness.
- In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon is used for its warming qualities and as a cold and flu remedy.
The Dangers of Cinnamon
Unfortunately, in most western societies, cinnamon is most commonly associated with sugary deserts and other foods that have a high glycemic index - exactly the sort of foods diabetics are supposed to avoid!
Diabetics who view the health benefits of cinnamon as an excuse to eat lots of sugary cinnamon rolls and cinnamon buns are likely to find that their diabetes becomes worse, not better.
Healthier alternatives for enjoying cinnamon in foods include many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes which include cinnamon and other healthful spices sauteed or simmered with vegetables and lean meats.
Some diabetics have also successfully been able to improve their glucose tolerance with unsweetened cinnamon tea.
If these food options do not appeal to you, cinnamon supplements are available. Consult your doctor to determine what dose is best for you. Like most foods, cinnamon does contain compounds that can be toxic in large amounts, and consuming large amounts of cinnamon may also interfere with certain medications.
Can Cinnamon Cure Diabetes?
By itself, cinnamon cannot cure diabetes. However, when combined with dietary and lifestyle changes, cinnamon can be an important addition to any natural treatment regime for diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes mellitus is life-threatening when left untreated or treated improperly. The advice in this article should not be substituted for the advice of a personal physician. Consult with your doctor before starting or increasing your intake of cinnamon and never, ever replace physician-prescribed medications with cinnamon.