Helping cope with Diabetes using Cinnamon

jlaw2_2008January 2, 2008

Cinnamon may be more than a spice  it may have a medical application in preventing and combating diabetes. Cinnamon may help by playing the role of an insulin substitute in type II diabetes.

"Cinnamon itself has insulin-like activity and also can potentiate the activity of insulin," said Don Graves of UCSB. "The latter could be quite important in treating those with type II diabetes. Cinnamon has a bio-active component that we believe has the potential to prevent or overcome diabetes."

Any comments.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diabetes and Cinnamon Relation

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Well seeing as I couldn't find any article explaining how or why it works aside from what you've said, it's hard to comment. I do disagree that it has no side effects, however, as people with problems such as GERD (reflux, overacidic digestion, etc.) can definitely have a problem with it.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 1:40PM
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Hi Lucy,
you can check out
and for the article on cinnamon and diabetes.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 12:49AM
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There are many plants or plant compounds with insulin-like activity, including bitter gourd, blueberry leaf, and anthocyanin pigments. And cinnamon.

There are 3 recognized studies on cinnamon and diabetes; 2 found that it lowered fasting blood glucose (10-30%). 1 found no change. One important factor - none of the studies found that it lowered HbA1c, which is a marker of long-term damage from high blood glucose levels. So while it may be of some use, cinnamon alone does not appear to be enough. If combined with a low glycemic diet and exercise (and careful monitoring), cinnamon may make sense - more so for people with relatively mild/recent onset diabetes.

As far as GERD/acid reflux goes, herbalists consider cinnamon to be a decent treatment for the condition (I am not aware of any controlled studies on it). While individual responses vary, spicy foods are not usually the cause. Anyone can become more aware of their stomach if they suddenly start consuming more spices than they are used to, but the stomach generally adjusts to the spice load quickly, and may actually improve within days of upping the spice.

Another note - there are a variety of related species of trees that have a sweet bark that is marketed as cinnamon - common cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, Burmese cinnamon, and Saigon cinnamon. The diabetes studies mentioned in the article below all used cassia cinnamon.

Here is a link that might be useful: a systematic review of the safety and efficacy of common and cassia cinnamon bark.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 12:19AM
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Many herbalists may consider cinammon to be the holy grail, but as a person who cannot have it, or many other things, without a real problem afterward, I just thought it would be a good idea to mention it. It may not cause GERD, but it can certainly aggravate it in some people. That's all :-).

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 9:49AM
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Also you can check out the use of vinegar for type II diabetes. By doctor Carol Johnston of the university of Arizona. You can look it up on Google. She recommends 2 tablespoons of apple vinegar just before you go to bed.
Just be extra carefull!! vinegar is a light acid and bigger portions could end you up with a serious stomach problem.
:-) Happy new year to everybody.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Looking at Johnston's 2004 publication on this subject, it appears that vinegar intake had a minimal effect on insulin response in diabetics. It had a greater positive effect on people with insulin resistance who had not yet developed diabetes. The limiting factors in her work included very small study size and a very short period of observation - so it did not claim to show that vinegar was definitely useful (by itself or in combination with standard diabetes drugs) in either preventing or controlling diabetes.

Since Johnston is theorizing that the acetic acid in vinegar may have positive effects on blood sugar control, it's uncertain why she used apple cider vinegar (ACV) in her testing, since all vinegar contains acetic acid and there's nothing special about ACV, apart from the folk mythology concerning it. Standard vinegar might well be even cheaper than ACV, and certainly less expensive than the hyped-up versions of ACV marketed over the Internet.

There's a followup study by Johnston and another author e-published this past summer which looked at Type II diabetics. The full text doesn't seem to be available online for free, but if I can locate it elsewhere I'll post more about it.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 9:37PM
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Distilled acetic acid might well be less expensive than fermented vinegar - the savings might amount to one or two cents per day! Distilling does remove a number of organic acids and short chain fatty acids - for example, acetaldehyde, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate and isoamyl acetate. Are these important with respect to diabetes? I don't know, and I don't think there is any research one way or the other.

I wouldn't describe kool-aid with 12% alcohol as wine. Such a concoction would be just as good as wine for getting buzzed, but might not have the same effects on heart disease as a real wine.

I wouldn't call acid-hydrolyzed soybeans soy sauce. Nor would I call a 4% acetic acid solution vinegar. Fermented vinegar is a food. The assumption that a food contains only one active ingredient should be re-examined. While it may ultimately prove that acetate is responsible for most or all of the effects seen in previous experiments, why assume that?

One alternative to any type of vinegar is fiber - which can be fermented to acetate, butyrate and propionate in the gut. And this should be from whole foods - many of the fiber tablets and powders are non-fermentable fibers. While such products may have some benefit, cellulose, methylcellulose and some of the other preperats do not increase short-chain fatty acids in the gut.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 2:07PM
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Some interesting links at shrubmed:

These pages are pointers to the research - no guarantee that each herb is proven to help. But it is a good index to what has been done.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 2:26PM
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I have found Billberry leaf powder very effective in managing diabetes.Boil two glasses (8 oz. each) of water.Add to it one teaspoonful of Billberry leaf powder and shut down the heat.Place coffee filter on strainer and pour the hot Billberry leaf water .Use the filtered water to prepare tea.It has a tendency to bring down sugar quickly.Check the blood sugar if you experirnce the symptoms of low sugar in the body and take proper action.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 10:30PM
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