May 1, 2015

Cinnamon May Not Be Good for You

Someone had to say it! This article in WebMD explains why people should not depend on cinnamon to lower blood glucose levels. It is okay to sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal or to use it in baking when a recipe calls for it as it often improves the taste. Some people are claiming it will help you manage diabetes, but don't count on it.

I agree with the WebMD article when it says that it is not clear if cinnamon is good for diabetes. While it is true that research has produced mixed results, much of the research is limited by the lack of funds. Therefore, most of the studies are too short and too limited in the number of participants. This has caused the American Diabetes Association to reject cinnamon for use on diabetes treatment.

A few small studies have linked cinnamon to better blood glucose levels and a few studies have shown that is may help in lowering insulin resistance. In one study, volunteers ate from 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon for 40 days. (One gram of ground cinnamon is about half a teaspoon.) The researchers found that cinnamon cut cholesterol by about 18% and blood glucose levels by 24%. In other studies, the spice did not lower blood glucose levels or cholesterol levels.

Is cinnamon safe for people with diabetes? Generally, it is safe, but there are potential problems if you have liver damage. This means that you need to talk to your doctor and follow the doctor's instructions. If you have liver problems, such as fatty liver disease, be careful, because large amounts of cinnamon may exacerbate liver problems.

Talking to your doctor is even more important if you are taking other medications. This involves side effects and adverse reactions that may occur with some medications.

Then we have the complex interaction with herbs. Use caution if you also take other supplements that lower blood sugar levels, including:
  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • Bitter melon
  • Chromium
  • Devil's claw
  • Fenugreek
  • Garlic
  • Horse chestnut
  • Panax
  • Siberian ginseng
  • Psyllium

The same holds true with diabetes medications. If you and your doctor decide it's OK for you to try cinnamon, pay close attention to your blood sugar levels. Tell your doctor if your levels fall too low.

Taking cinnamon with drugs that affect the liver may make liver problems more likely.

No comments: