The active ingredient in cinnamon may enhance the effect of insulin

| Nov 1, 2004

There is growing interest recently in the potential benefits of using cinnamon for treating diabetes.

Although cinnamon bark and cinnamon flowers are used medicinally, Chinese cinnamon, or Cinnamomum aromaticum, is the form used for diabetes.

The active ingredient in cinnamon includes the chemical hydroxychalcone, which might enhance the effect of insulin.

Specifically, hydroxychalcone may work on insulin receptors to increase insulin sensitivity and help promote glucose uptake into cells and tissues and promote glycogen (the storage form of glucose) synthesis.

Cinnamon has been used for type 2 diabetes and for gastrointestinal (GI) complaints, including flatulence, GI spasms, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.

Other common uses include treatment for common infections, the common cold, menopausal symtoms, rheumatic conditions, hypertension, angina and kidney disorders.

Cinnamon, of course, is a popular flavoring agent for foods and beverages and is a common ingredient in chewing gums, toothpastes, mouthwash, liniments, nasal sprays and suntan lotions.

Cinnamon may cause blood glucose to be excessively lowered when combined with agents that can cause hypoglycemia, such as sulfonylureas (Amaryl, glyburide or glipizide) or insulin. If you take any of these medications, your dose may have to be adjusted to prevent excessive lowering of blood glucose from reacting with cinnamon.

Note: There is a lot of exciting research underway evaluating the effects of cinnamon in type 2. When using cinnamon, it is important to check blood glucose frequently to make sure that it is not lowered excessively. If it is lowered too much, causing hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), contact your healthcare provider to discuss changing the dose of diabetes medications. Longer term effects on blood glucose control can be assessed by checking A1C levels.

Cinnamon Therapy for Type 2? Eating Cinnamon Buns Isn’t the Answer!

In a December 2003 Diabetes Care study, cinnamon was found to improve glucose and lipids in people with diabetes. Sixty patients with type 2 who were taking a sulfonylurea (glyburide) were given one of three doses of cinnamon (1, 3 or 6 grams per day) or a placebo for 40 days.

Fasting blood glucose declined by 18 to 29 percent after 40 days in all three cinnamon treated groups. Specifically, 1 gram per day decreased glucose from 209 to 157 mg/dl, 3 grams per day decreased glucose from 205 to 169 mg/dl and 6 grams per day decreased glucose from 234 to 166 mg/dl.

Patients then went without any cinnamon for 20 additional days, but their fasting glucose was still lower than at baseline for the previously cinnamon-treated groups, indicating that cinnamon had a sustained benefit. Furthermore, total cholesterol decreased by 12 to 26 percent, triglycerides decreased by 23 to 30 percent, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol also declined from 7 to 27 percent.

Taking cinnamon did not improve HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

Barking up the Right Tree

Cinnamon comes from the bark of an evergreen tree that grows to more than 20 feet. The tree has white aromatic bark and angular branches. Its leaves are about 7 inches long, and it has small yellow flowers that bloom in early summer. The tree grows in tropical climates. The bark is removed in short lengths and dried.

There are no serious side effects associated with the use of cinnamon.

Hypoglycemia may occur; as a preventive measure, the dose of diabetes medications may have to be lowered by the healthcare provider.

Adverse effects include skin irritation or contact dermatitis, if used topically.

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Posted by Anonymous on 7 December 2007

Has there ever been evidence that taking cinnamon as a supplement (1000 mg a day),causes blood to thin?

Posted by Anonymous on 31 December 2007

According to The People's Pharmacy newspaper column: Research has shown that cinnamon and vinegar can help keep blood sugar from soaring after a meal. Avoiding refined carbs also helps keep blood sugar down after meals. Cinnamon may contain coumarin, which can be toxic to the liver. We recommend a water-based extract for anyone using cinnamon regularly. -end of quote--I read elsewhere that if you put cinnamon in coffee..mix cinnamon with the coffee grounds, then place in filter...

Posted by Anonymous on 5 January 2008

I have had hypoglycemia for as long as I can remember, and I took a blood glucose test and was told by my doctor (at an integrative/alternative medicine clinic) that I have high blood sugar (prediabetes). I have been drinking cinnamon tea (Its Tazo tea and I assume its cassia) and eating it when I can (in non sugar cereal, oatmeal, etc,), and particularly after high-carb meals. I can say without a doubt that my hypoglycemia has improved significantly since I've started having the cinnamon regularly. I've even purposefully tested it out, and it seems like the hypoglycemia is practically gone. I dont know if I would no longer be considered to have prediabetes (I havent been tested again) but I am hopeful that since my hypoglycemia is in check it is normalizing my blood sugar/insulin levels. Has anyone experienced this, or know more about it?

Posted by Anonymous on 23 January 2008

I and my son are diebetic and we are both taking cinnamon and seeing a positive result.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 February 2008

I too am taking cinnamon (about 1/2 teaspoon) in soy milk after practically anything that I eat. I'm type 2,(managing mine with exercise and diet)last A1C was 5.6. I've noticed no spiking after eating a sensible diet and lowered fasting glucose levels ever since starting. Averaging about 100 to 103 in the morning. I'm trilled to have found cinnamon to be a REAL benefir to me. I feel normal (like before diagnosis) and the doctor said the last time that I was pre-diabetic at this point. I've only known about the type 2 for 1 year now when I started noticing changes in how I felt. I am very pleased with the cinnamon results.

Posted by HOFIII on 19 February 2008

I just entered a lengthy comment as anonymous and then registered to have it posted. I'll look forward to seeing it. It would be beneficial to the readers

Posted by Anonymous on 5 March 2008

I recently talked with a person that stated that she was on an oral hypoglycemic It gave diarreha so bad that she said she quit taking the meds and started injecting cinnamon.

Posted by Anonymous on 6 March 2008

I saw one comment that cinnamon may affect the liver. Has anyone else had that happen?

Posted by Anonymous on 22 March 2008

There are 2 types of cinnamon, and the benefit appears to be from CASSIA cinnamon. Some cinnamon contains COUMARIN which can be toxic to the liver and can interact with wayfarin/coumadin.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 March 2008

I have had the negative liver side effect from using the cinnamon capsules. I was taking 2 - 3xs a day.

I was really disappointed when I got the pain in my right side and it felt prickly all over my skin.

I was disappointed because the cinnamon was making me feel sooooo good! I had energy again, I was losing weight, and my blood sugars were very normal! That's with the cinnamon alone, no medication!(I'm newly diagnosed with diabetes and don't want to go on medication yet.

I now filter it in coffee, or I'll just filter it alone and add it to my water/drink. I still, however get the liver symptoms. I notice that the symptoms are worse when I drink alcohol of any type, so I make sure no drinking!!!

I've also started to take Milk thistle for the liver symptoms which does help.

Posted by Anonymous on 10 April 2008

If a person doesnt buy the cinnamon capsules, how do I measure how much to use?
Is there an amount per day or per meal?

Posted by Anonymous on 19 April 2008

I've heard taking cinnamon capsules for a
period of time, can cause liver damage.

Posted by Anonymous on 20 April 2008


The literature says 1/4 tsp per day is enough.

I use about 1/2 tsp filtered in my coffee in the am. I don't know if the dose should be weight dependent or if it varies with the severity of your diabetes, I guess research needs to be done in that respect.

You'll have to test your blood sugars, but I find for me it's a per meal thing.

If I use it before/with meals I find it effective on my 2hr post prandial readings.
I would say test your blood sugar before and after each meal for a while so you can get an idea of how much is good for you.
Use the minimal amount that will give you the effect you want. I hope that helps/

Posted by Anonymous on 29 April 2008

Can cinnamon cause gastric side effects? Has anyone had any problems when taking cinnamon in pill form?

Posted by Anonymous on 30 June 2008

You must be sure that you buy real Cinnamon and not Cassia. The Cinnamon sold in the US is actually Cassia , which has a high level of Coumarin and could be toxic.

Posted by Anonymous on 23 September 2008

I took cinnamon capsules thinking it was very safe. However after a few weeks I started getting irregular heart beats. I stopped taking it and the condition stopped. Maybe the capsules I was taking were not as they indicated. I really would like to try again, but how does one know if the capsules says cinnamon it indeed is? Also what is the best type of cinnamon to take?

Posted by Anonymous on 14 October 2008

Thank you all for the information. I did not know about the cinnamon, (I believe that I have mild diabetes, cause I am taking just one pill, Novonorm 1 gram in the morning with my breakfast. I just normally take about half a teaspoon of cinnamon with my half cup oats with two tablespoons of raisens and a banana for breakfast 5 times a week. Thank you once again.

Posted by Anonymous on 16 January 2009

I have been taking cinnamon 2-3grams per day, for last 2months, twice in a day. Resulting, Fasting blood sugar came down from 120ml/dl to 90ml/dl and post blood sugar level dropped from 155ml/Dl to 90ml/Dl. Triglycerides came down from 280 to170. Thus reduction in medicines by doctor. This is my Personal experience. K.V.Buchhi Babu

Posted by Anonymous on 19 January 2009

Yesterday, I took one cinnamon 1000mg tablet with Chromium that I bought from Walmart and I stayed in the bathroom all afternoon and late into the night then woke up with diahreah and other gastric conditions this morning until shortly after noon today. After about 24 hours, my symptoms are gone and I did not take another capsule this afternoon. I also weighed a couple of pounds less today but it wasn't fun losing any weight. I only wanted to control my sugar intake and help with lowering my LDL. I am not a diabetic. I think my problems were related to the Cinnamon tablets.

Posted by gsmspnj on 24 April 2009

I am diagnosed with type2 diabetes 2months ago. Cinnamon is really working for me.

Posted by gsmspnj on 25 April 2009

Breaking news!!!!
I am telling the truth here!!
I tested the power of Cinnamon.
Today I ate 2slices of breadfor break fast.
Then 90g of quacker oats from BJ's cooked in water along with 1/2 tomato 2 mushrooms(medium) and 1/2 onion. and then after 1h30min my glucose level was 201mg/dL the I immediately took 2g of ground cinnamon(McCormick company, bought in Wegmans)soaked in hot water for 2min the added cold water to bring it to room temp. After 30min my gllucose levels dropped to 149mg/dL.

Readers!!! You are requested to try this and report your observations. This will help lot other diabetics.

Posted by gsmspnj on 25 April 2009

Just to append my above message:

Eating cinnamon 1h 30min after a good meal reduced glucose levels form 201mg/dl to 149mg/dL in 30min and reduced to 97mg/dL 1h thereafter.

This is a proof Cinnamon really works!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 28 April 2009

why do you need to soak the cinnamon in hot water and then what drink it? strain it? are you making a tea out of it?

Posted by gsmspnj on 4 May 2009

No need to soak cinnamon.the thing is when taken it show the results. Cassia cinnamon is reported to be bad for liver on many websites. so celon(true) cinnamon is the better choice.

Posted by Anonymous on 4 September 2009

Has anyone taking cinnamon experienced light brown blotes on shins and arms and chest. Ive been taking 2 to 3 500mg cinnamon capsules for over a year and this skin disorder has been gettin worse and started since then; althougg it controls my blood sugar very well. Donna

Posted by Anonymous on 17 January 2010

how much cinnamon should i take and i take metforin can i take both

Posted by Anonymous on 11 February 2010

I think that the brown spots on the lady's legs may be what they call liver spots.

Posted by Anonymous on 11 February 2010

where can you get the real cinnamon

Posted by Anonymous on 1 April 2010

Telling you the truth, I'm a diabetic type2 and recently felt so weak that my stress made my blood glucose soaring 300 mg/dl my my medication was almost ineffective. I have taken one capsule of cinamon from Solgar for curiosity only but with my big surprise, I've felt my energy was revitalized on that night and my glucose down to 119mg/dl after two hours!!! It something that I've prayed for!!!So I'm continuing taking for almost a week and I felt that my health is continuing to improve each day!! Thanks to God!! Please pass this message to people that in need...

Posted by peacce7 on 4 January 2011

cinnamon extract tablets are water soluble. i was told the capsules arent. this is probably why it is messing up your liver. i take the tablets. 4000 mg i took today.

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