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Friday, July 22, 2011

Cinnamon For Diabetes: Does It Work?

That is the question of the hour. The American Diabetes Association claims that cinnamon has no place in the treatment of diabetes. In addition, there have been many studies that have shown that cinnamon has had no significant affect on blood sugar levels.

However, there have been other studies that claim cinnamon does lower blood sugar levels. In fact, so much so, that it has been recommended to closely monitor your blood sugar level if you are taking cinnamon or cinnamon supplements so that blood sugar levels do not fall too low.

Why would this warning be necessary if cinnamon therapy did not work? It appears that cinnamon may work on the endocrine system by decreasing the body's resistance to the hormone insulin.

In one such study, volunteers ate about a half a teaspoon of cinnamon for 40 days. The result of this study showed a 24% decrease in blood sugar levels by all of the participants. It was also noted that these same participants reported a 18% decrease in blood cholesterol levels.

More studies on the effect of cinnamon on cholesterol levels needs to be done to further prove the possible benefits of this spice on heart health. Cinnamon is a food, therefore, the FDA does not regulate its effectiveness or possible dangers.

The only health concern about cinnamon is for those with existing liver damage. A compromised liver may not be able to adequately process large amounts of cinnamon, therefore it may cause further liver problems.

Cinnamon is a slightly sweet, slightly strong spice used in many foods. It is commonly used in baking pastries, fruit pies, candied carrots, sweet potatoes and sprinkled on oatmeal. It is also adds zest and flavoring to hot drinks such as apple cider, eggnog and cappuccinos.

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