September 30, 2013
Cinnamon Back in the News
Again, cinnamon is back in the news. People just won't admit that there is very little benefit for blood glucose management long term with cinnamon use. There have been more studies, but even these have not proven any long-term benefits. There have been some short-term benefits, but to-date this has not translated into any long-term benefits.
The authors, researchers at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, who conducted the meta-analysis caution that the cinnamon supplement studies they looked at had been fairly short. Longer duration studies might show that cinnamon does have a positive effect on A1c.
What is not admitted is important. The funds for long-term studies are not available and probably never will be and small short-term studies are not yielding the proof of what the cinnamon advocates have claimed.
The best that can be expected to-date is this - “Now a meta-analysis of 10 studies of type 2 patients who have taken cinnamon supplements concludes that while cinnamon can have positive effects on cholesterol and blood glucose levels, it does not seem to have a significant effect on A1c levels.”
The opening statement from the abstract says, “Cinnamon has been studied in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for its glycemic-lowering effects, but studies have been small and show conflicting results. A prior meta-analysis did not show significant results, but several RCTs have been published since then. We conducted an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs evaluating cinnamon’s effect on glycemia and lipid levels.”
Studies that are small have not proven valuable. This is also the conclusion of the abstract which states, “The consumption of cinnamon is associated with a statistically significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels, and an increase in HDL-C levels; however, no significant effect on hemoglobin A1c was found. The high degree of heterogeneity may limit the ability to apply these results to patient care, because the preferred dose and duration of therapy are unclear.”
The full meta-analysis can be read here as well as the abstract.