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Can cinnamon help diabetes?

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Quick Answer

Cinnamon may be useful for people with Type 2 diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic. This is based on studies that have linked cinnamon capsules to glycemic control. However, the research remains sparse, and the role of cinnamon in blood sugar has yet to be confirmed as of 2015.

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Can cinnamon help diabetes?
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Full Answer

Some researchers have tentatively speculated that the positive effects may indicate that cinnamon improves insulin action. Cinnamon should not be substituted for conventional strategies for controlling diabetes, such as blood sugar monitoring, healthy eating, exercise and, if applicable, medical care, as outlined by Mayo Clinic. It is important to speak with a medical professional when considering alternative treatments for diabetes.

Various studies have found that supplementation with cassia cinnamon improves blood sugar levels in diabetics, according to WebMD. Type 2 diabetics are insensitive to insulin, a hormone which removes glucose from the bloodstream and into the body's cells for use. Cinnamon improves the body's sensitivity to insulin and reduces blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of sugar removed from the blood. A specific study found a 24 percent improvement in blood sugar levels and an 18 percent reduction in blood cholesterol levels in diabetics taking cinnamon, reports WebMD. Study participants consumed 1 to 6 grams of cassia cinnamon daily for 40 days.

Certain individuals must exercise caution when supplementing with cinnamon, warns WebMD. People with liver conditions and individuals taking liver-affecting drugs must consult a medical professional before using cinnamon, as large amounts of cinnamon can exacerbate liver issues. People taking blood sugar-lowering drugs or supplements must also exercise caution, as the synergistic effects of the drugs and cinnamon can potentially result in hypoglycemia.

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