Cinnamon May Improve Blood Sugar Control in People with Prediabetes

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.

It is estimated that nearly 90 million people in the U.S. have prediabetes, which occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal and often leads to type 2 diabetes. Identifying strategies to prevent the progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes is challenging, yet important for a large population.

“Our 12-week study showed beneficial effects of adding cinnamon to the diet on keeping blood sugar levels stable in participants with prediabetes,” said the study’s corresponding author, Giulio R. Romeo, MD, of Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Mass. “These findings provide the rationale for longer and larger studies to address if cinnamon can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over time.”

The randomized clinical trial investigated the effects of cinnamon supplementation in 51 participants with prediabetes. Participants were given a 500-mg cinnamon capsule or placebo three times a day for 12 weeks. The researchers found that cinnamon supplements lowered abnormal fasting glucose levels and improved the body’s response to eating a meal with carbohydrates, which are hallmarks of prediabetes. Cinnamon was well tolerated and was not associated with specific side effects or adverse events.

Other authors include Junhee Lee of the Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea; Christopher M. Mulla of Joslin Diabetes Center and the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany; Youngmin Noh of Joslin Diabetes Center and the Kyung Hee University; Casey Holden of Joslin Diabetes Center; and Byung-Cheol Lee of the Kyung Hee University.

The study was supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in South Korea.

The manuscript, “Influence of Cinnamon on Glycemic Control in Subjects with Prediabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” was published online.

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