A study showed that consuming 1 gram of cinnamon (1/2 tsp) daily for 12 weeks reduced fasting blood sugar levels and improved markers of oxidative stress in people with type 2 diabetes!
Cinnamon may help support blood sugar management by increasing insulin sensitivity, decreasing blood sugar levels after eating, and reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications. Cinnamon is an aromatic spice that comes from the bark of several species of Cinnamomum trees. While you may associate cinnamon with rolls or breakfast cereals, it has actually been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine and food preservation.
To obtain cinnamon, the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees must be removed. The bark then undergoes a drying process that causes it to curl up and yield cinnamon sticks, or quills, which can be further processed into powdered cinnamon. Several different varieties of cinnamon are sold in the United States, and they are typically categorized into two different types:
Ceylon: Also called true cinnamon, this is the most expensive type of cinnamon.
Cassia: This type is less expensive and found in most food products that contain cinnamon.
While both types are sold as cinnamon, there are important differences between the two.
A single teaspoon (tsp), the average serving size of cinnamon, doesn’t contain a lot of vitamins or minerals. But many recipes call for more than just 1 tsp, and larger amounts of cinnamon do contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals. It also contains larger amounts of antioxidants, which provide many of cinnamon’s health benefits. In fact, one study in 84 people with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) found that taking 1,500 milligrams (mg) of cinnamon daily led to a significant increase in antioxidant blood levels after 8 weeks. Antioxidants are important because they help the body reduce oxidative stress, a type of damage to cells that is caused by harmful free radicals.
One study showed that consuming 1 gram (g) of cinnamon extract daily for 12 weeks reduced fasting blood sugar levels and improved markers of oxidative stress in people with type 2 diabetes.
This is significant because oxidative stress has been linked to the development of nearly every chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon is safe to eat in small to moderate amounts with most medications. However, taking too much may be an issue if you're taking medication for diabetes, heart disease, or liver disease. This is because cinnamon may interact with those medications, either enhancing their effects or intensifying their side effects. Cinnamon improves blood sugar control in people with prediabetes and could slow the progression to type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.
An average teaspoon of cinnamon weighs about 2.6 g, which means that each teaspoon of a non-Ceylon cinnamon contains 6.9-18 mg of coumarin. At these levels, a single teaspoon per day could put many average sized adults at risk of liver damage so keep to half a tsp daily max!