Spice slashes blood sugar in just 12 weeks

If you’re diabetic, there’s one simple change you can make to your routine to improve your blood sugar control: Eat more cinnamon.

That alone could make the difference in how well you manage your blood sugar. In fact, a recent study published in the journal Diabetic Medicine found that cinnamon significantly improves blood sugar in just 12 weeks…plus, it even improves blood pressure in diabetics who take it every day!

World’s oldest spice has many health benefits

I’ve written before about the benefits of cinnamon. It is one of the oldest spices known to man and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. In fact, cinnamon contains powerful polyphenols, which have been shown to:

  • Boost brain function
  • Thwart infections
  • Zap bacteria
  • Speed healing
  • Relieve menstrual pain
  • Improve circulation
  • Soothe gastrointestinal discomfort

Cinnamon is also beneficial to anyone at risk for heart disease or stroke…and that covers just about everyone! Cinnamon contains oils that naturally thin the blood. In fact, these compounds prevent platelets from clumping together in your arteries, so unwanted blood clots don’t tend to form. Cinnamon also contains compounds that effectively reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and slash triglycerides.

Lastly, cinnamon is widely regarded — even among conventional docs — for its role in regulating blood sugar. First off, cinnamon slows down how quickly your stomach empties after eating a meal.

This means that — even if you’ve eaten a meal with a high-glycemic load — not all of the sugar gets dumped into your blood stream at once. Instead, the sugar enters your blood a little bit at a time. This gives your body adequate time to respond and produce insulin.

Cinnamon also re-activates your body’s worn-out insulin receptors. It also blocks the enzyme that damaged these insulin receptors in the first place.

A surprisingly small amount is all it takes

For the most recent study, researchers recruited 58 men and women with diabetes and randomly divided them into two groups. One group received about ¼ a teaspoon of cinnamon each day for 12 weeks. To be more specific, they took 2 grams of cinnamomum cassia, the common variety cinnamon found on your grocery store shelf. But they took it as a capsule. The other group received a placebo.

After the 12 weeks, the blood sugar levels of those taking the cinnamon fell eight percent. Plus, their systolic blood pressure came down about 3 ½ points and their diastolic number fell about 5 points.

Not too shabby for something as simple as adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to your morning oatmeal or even your coffee.

The placebo group didn’t fair nearly as well. In fact, they didn’t see any blood pressure improvements during the course of the study. In addition, their blood sugar actually rose 8 ½ percent over the 12 weeks!

The USDA has even jumped on the cinnamon bandwagon!

Last July government scientists found that diabetics who took cinnamon for just 40 days:

  • Lowered their fasting blood glucose levels by 18 to 29 percent
  • Slashed triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent
  • And cut total cholesterol 12 to 26 percent

And that was just by taking ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon of cinnamon each day. When study participants stopped taking the cinnamon, all their improvements disappeared.

Get control of your blood sugar this holiday season

Now, I realize that December isn’t the month most of us choose to make major health overhauls. But you can do this: Sprinkle cinnamon on your apples, oatmeal, yogurt or coffee.

Strive to get at least ¼ a teaspoon each day if you’re prone to blood sugar issues. Then, by January, you may want to have your blood work checked to see if your levels have improved.

There’s nothing special to know about buying good cinnamon. Any variety off your grocer’s shelf will do the trick. Though, I’d go for "organic" cinnamon if it were available.

Keep it in a sealed glass container in your cabinet. Ground cinnamon will stay fresh this way for about six months, and cinnamon sticks will last about a year. You can extend cinnamon’s shelf life by keeping it in the refrigerator.

To check for freshness, smell the cinnamon. It should smell sweet. If it doesn’t smell sweet, throw it out. Its time has come to an end.

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Dr. Allan Spreen

Dr. Allan Spreen

Nationally acclaimed as America’s “Nutrition Physician,” Dr. Spreen has been helping people stay healthy and disease-free as a private doctor, published author, and noted researcher.

In addition to his role as a Senior Member of the prestigious Health Sciences Institute Advisory Panel in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Spreen also coaches diving at the international and Olympic levels. NorthStar Nutritionals is proud to have Dr. Spreen as our Chief Research Advisor.

Dr. Spreen also writes the Guide to Good Health.

Please let us know what you think about this article. All comments will be moderated before being posted publicly.


  1. Anonymous says

    With all due respects, there is a big difference in the amount of coumadin in cassia, which is the regular ‘cinnamon’ in stores and the true cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon.

    From About.com, and other online sources:
    Cassia cinnamon, the kind of cinnamon normally found in grocery stores and in supplement form, naturally contains a compound called coumarin. Coumarin is also found in other plants such as celery, chamomile, sweet clover, and parsley.

    At high levels, coumarin can damage the liver. Coumarin can also have a “blood-thinning” effect, so cassia cinnamon supplements shouldn’t be taken with prescription anti-clotting medication, such as Coumadin (warfarin), or by people with bleeding disorders.

  2. Anonymous says

    I was Pre Diagnosed with a Possible weak Pancreis from One blood test. The Doctor never asked me what I ate or drank prior to that test, yet had me back the next day and put me on Lantus and all the garbage pills or type two Diabetes. Except for a high sugar count, I had NO diabetic systems Until I started taking this poison & was 20 pounds underweight. I quit these drugs for a week and gained 5 pounds taking Cinnamon alone. Made the rest up with supplements, but had stomach pain & went back on Lantus. Then found out that Cinnamon + Cromium + Biotin =’s Lantus/Insulin. D-Ribose is reversing and Curing Diabetes in other Countries and B-1 + Nician keeps sugar levels down. The FDA warns you to Not take these – they take in an average of $30,000 per year, per Diabetic. Do you think they are going to Help you? American Doctors Can’t help you when they don’t Know, or are afraid of loosing their License going aganist the FDA. The ones who Specialize in Natural Cures are not allowed to recomend a Cure for a Chronic Illness for the same reason. I’ve Cured All systems. HSI (Health Science Institude) is International, Which is a starting point and lead you to the others.
    Good Luck!

  3. Lori says

    To the first Anonymous: Please don’t use splenda. All artificial sweeteners can be neurotoxic on some level, not to mention that they encourage the liver to store fat as a result of their level of sweetness. They can literally confound the brain (lots of sweeteness with no calories) and can increase carb cravings. Cinnamon is a wonderfully delicious spice with blood sugar lowering attributes, but it’s important to look at one’s entire diet. Protein and fat regulate blood sugar and carbs increase insulin production. That’s the bottom line. We should be telling diabetics to get their carbs from beans and vegetables instead of grains, and eat plenty of protein and real, whole fats.

  4. Durbandon says

    I find this all very confusing. There was a recent scientific paper touting the benefits of eating a bit of cinnamon. Then it was pointed out, that they were using cassia. My wife makes a splendid Cassia Chicken recipe. I can no longer find cassia in our local shops, but using cinnamon it tastes fine. I was led to believe that coumarin was found in true cinnamon but not cassia. Finally, I bought some long cassia and cinnamon sticks from one shop. They looked pretty similar, but the cassia was cheaper. It looks like it might be time to call in the labeling rangers. FDA?HXAH

  5. Goody Goody says

    I love adding cinnamon to my smoothies, yogurt, coffee, etc. I’m happy to read this wonderful information!

    A simple and tasty fruit salad of cut apples, coated with Greek honey yogurt and cinnamon is my favorite snack. Sometimes I add cut grapes to the mix when they’re fresh. Everyone loves it!

  6. AnonymousPablo Trillana,11 says

    You are doing a lot of service to humanity………. please continue your mission and with our prayers be super healthy yourself.Thanks and more power.

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