Type 2 diabetes diet: Is cinnamon (Dalchini) the most potent spice to control high blood sugar?  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: Cinnamon (or Dalchini in Hindi) which is being used extensively in cooking and baking around the world, is linked to a number of health benefits. The sweet, aromatic yet pungent spice derived from the inner bark of the branches of wild cinnamon trees has been used as a home remedy to improve several health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
Research has found that cinnamon can help lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity naturally. Basically, treatment options for type 2 diabetes include medication and insulin injections, however, many people are also interested in alternative therapies and foods to help control their condition. Eating a healthy, balanced diet consisting of a variety of foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, can help control both weight and diabetes symptoms.
Does cinnamon help lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes?
A number of controlled studies have shown that cinnamon may be beneficial for people with diabetes. Findings from a clinical study published in the journal Diabetes Care suggested that cassia cinnamon (cinnamon bark) could improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, reported Diabetes.co.uk. It found that taking just 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon everyday for about 40 days reduced serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL or bad cholesterol and total cholesterol among 60 middle-aged diabetics. The research also suggested that cinnamon bark may help reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Another study reported in the Agricultural Research Magazine found that consuming just 1gram of cinnamon daily can increase insulin sensitivity and help manage or even reverse type 2 diabetes. Also, analysis published in 2007 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that consuming 6 grams of cinnamon slows stomach emptying and significantly lowers hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, after meals without affecting satiety.
With some scientific evidence showing anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, many health experts claim that the spice may be beneficial for managing blood sugar and treatment of type 2 diabetes.
However, it should be noted that some studies have failed to show or demonstrate cinnamon’s benefits on blood sugar, hence, research findings on the spice have been mixed. Furthermore, the American Diabetes Association does not recommend cinnamon’s use in diabetes treatment.
Perhaps, the spice, like many natural compounds, is yet to be medically approved for treatment or prevention of diseases, noted the Diabetes.co.uk.
Is cinnamon safe for you?
Among many health benefits, many studies suggest that cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and manage diabetes, and it’s generally safe for most people to enjoy the spice in food unless you have liver problems. Studies in rats have shown that cinnamon can be toxic to the liver due to its high coumarin content. Cassia cinnamon contains high amounts of coumarin, an organic substance found in many plants, which may cause liver damage.
Pregnant women, children and individuals with certain medical histories should speak with their doctors to be sure if the benefits of cinnamon outweigh the risks. If you’re suffering from diabetes and considering cinnamon supplements, we suggest you talk to your doctor first.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.