According to healthline - There are many plants that are believed to be herbal medicines for diabetes, one of which is cinnamon. The use of cinnamon for diabetes has also been scientifically researched and proven to help lower blood sugar even though there are still many other factors that influence.
Benefits of cinnamon for diabetes
Apart from being a kitchen spice, the benefits of cinnamon for health are already widely used. Some studies say that cinnamon can reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and fight bacteria.
Not only that, cinnamon is also considered beneficial for diabetes. The following are some of the benefits of cinnamon for diabetes:
1. Mimics the effects of insulin
In people with diabetes (diabetics), insulin production in the pancreas is reduced, or the body no longer responds to insulin.
Insulin, which is supposed to convert blood sugar into energy, cannot work properly. As a result, blood sugar levels become high.
Cinnamon is said to mimic the way insulin works.
Insulin works like a key, which opens the body's cells, to get glucose into the cells. In these cells, glucose is then converted into energy.
According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, cinnamon can increase the transfer of glucose into cells.
This was proven by a study of 7 men who consumed cinnamon. The study proved that cinnamon increased insulin sensitivity immediately after consumption. The effect can last at least 12 hours.
Another study was also conducted on 8 men by giving cinnamon herbal supplements. As a result, insulin sensitivity increased after two weeks of consumption.
2. Lowers fasting blood sugar and HbA1C levels
Cinnamon is also useful for diabetes, especially in lowering fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1C.
HbA1C itself is a blood sugar test, to find out the levels for the past 3 months. So, it's more long-term.
This was proven through a study involving 543 people with type 2 diabetes.
The study found that fasting blood sugar levels could be better controlled.
Not only that, HbA1C levels also decreased after drinking cinnamon. However, HbA1C still needs further research.
The reason is, some studies show different results, namely no significant changes.
There may be differences in the dosage given and diabetes management. Since there is no clear dosage for cinnamon consumption for diabetes, you should consult your doctor.
3. Lowers blood sugar after meals
Blood sugar levels can rise dramatically, especially after a meal. The level will depend on the food you eat.
That's why, foods for diabetes should be high in fiber and low in glycemic index. Both, do not make blood sugar spike drastically after eating.
Well, a study shows that consumption of cinnamon can suppress blood sugar spikes after eating.
Still from the same journal, a study found that consuming 6 grams of cinnamon along with a large serving of pudding can make digestion go slower.
This means that glucose from food will be released slowly into the bloodstream. This helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
Another study showed that cinnamon can lower blood sugar after a meal by blocking digestive enzymes that break down carbohydrates in the small intestine.
4. Lowers the risk of diabetes complications
People with diabetes have twice the risk of heart disease than people without diabetes. Research published in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that cinnamon can help reduce the risk of these diabetes complications.
The study said that people with type 2 diabetes who consumed cinnamon were found to have reduced bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides.
Plus, this was also accompanied by an increase in good cholesterol (HDL).
Another study also found that supplementing two grams of cinnamon for 12 weeks can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Although the benefits of cinnamon for diabetes look very promising, more research is needed to prove its safety. You should consult your doctor before taking it.
Risks of taking cinnamon for diabetes
You should consult your doctor before consuming cinnamon as an herbal medicine for diabetes. This is because cinnamon's ability to lower blood sugar levels may increase the risk of hypoglycemia or lower than normal blood sugar.
Cinnamon may also interact with other diabetes medications that you are currently taking. This drug interaction can reduce the effectiveness of the drug or increase the risk of side effects.
In addition, cinnamon also contains coumarin, a harmful organic substance found in many types of plants. If consumed in high amounts, coumarins risk causing liver damage.
Cassia cinnamon, the type of cinnamon most commonly used as a food flavoring spice, has a much higher coumarin content than other types of cinnamon.
The European Food Safety Authority sets the tolerable daily intake for coumarin at 0.1 mg per kilogram (kg).
This equates to about half a teaspoon (2.5 g) of cassia cinnamon per day for an individual weighing 75 kg.
Other health benefits of cinnamon
Cinnamon is one of the spices that has been widely researched for its potential health benefits.
However, most of these health benefits are related to the use of ceylon cinnamon, which has a higher antioxidant content and lower coumarin content than cassia cinnamon.
Here are some of the health benefits of cinnamon:
Relieves arthritis pain
Boosts the immune system
Overcomes drug-resistant fungal infections
Has anti-clotting effect on blood
Reduces the proliferation (growth) of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells
Preserves food by inhibiting bacterial growth and food spoilage
Cinnamon is also a source of various essential nutrients, including calcium, fiber, manganese and iron.
However, as with many other natural compounds, cinnamon has also not been medically approved for the prevention or treatment of any disease.
Therefore, always consult your doctor before adding cinnamon to your daily diet.
Looking at various studies, how to lower blood sugar with cinnamon is usually done by taking supplements. Other methods, such as brewing or mixing it with food, may be possible.
However, these methods have their own difficulties, especially in measuring the right dosage. Plus, there are no studies that clearly explain the safe dosage of cinnamon for diabetes.
Despite its benefits, the American Diabetes Association does not recommend using cinnamon as an herbal diabetes remedy, as reported by the Cleveland Clinic. You also shouldn't make it the main treatment.
The best way to manage diabetes is still by improving a healthy lifestyle, through exercise and diet.
If you have been prescribed diabetes medication or insulin, you should not take cinnamon to help control your blood sugar.
Check with your doctor before taking any supplement to ensure it is safe and does not affect the medication you are currently taking.
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