How can cinnamon help people with diabetes?

Becky Oberg's picture

A new study shows that cinnamon may reduce blood pressure in diabetics for the short-term.

According to, cinnamon has been used as a spice for centuries all over the world. It has also been used as a medicine. For example, it has been used to improve stomach health and prevent gas. Only two species are approved for medicinal use, Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cinnamomum cassia.

The study, published by University of Toronto, searched medical literature for the effects of cinnamon on blood pressure. Three trials, published between 2000 and 2012, were selected for further study.

"Consumption of cinnamon (short term) is associated with a notable reduction in [blood pressure]," the study's abstract reports. "Although cinnamon shows hopeful effects on BP-lowering potential, it would be premature to recommend cinnamon for BP control because of the limited number of studies available. Thus, undoubtedly a long-term, adequately powered [randomized controlled trial] involving a larger number of patients is needed to appraise the clinical potential of cinnamon on BP control among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus."

Other studies show that cinnamon may influence both insulin and blood sugar levels, according to Cinnamon may reduce blood sugar and cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. However, results are inconsistent.

According to Wikipedia, a study by NWFP Agricultural University in Pakistan found that cinnamon "reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes and suggest that the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."

A study by Xuhui District Central Hospital in Shanghai, China, concluded "cinnamon supplementation is able to significantly improve blood glucose control in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes."

According to, in a survey of German parents who have children with type 1 diabetes and use complementary and alternative medicine to treat it, 5.6 percent reported using cinnamon.

Image Source: Wikipedia