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According to Nutrition Research, a study in China followed 66 people being treated for type 2 diabetes, divided into three groups. For three months, the first group received 120 mg of cinnamon extract per day, the second group received 360 mg of cinnamon extract per day, and the third group received a placebo. The cinnamon extract was highly concentrated—40 grams of crude cinnamon was used to make each gram of extract— and given as tablets. All of the participants also used an antidiabetic drug called gliclazide throughout the study.
At the end of the study, the researchers found the following, which are consistent with a number of previous studies:
“Based on our observations as well as other groups' reports, we propose that cinnamon be considered a promising supplement for the therapy of type 2 diabetes when hyperglycemia [high blood glucose levels] cannot be satisfactorily controlled by other strategies such as diet, exercise, and prescribed medication,” the researchers said.
Cinnamon is an important herb in both traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medical systems. Historically, it has been thought to strengthen the immune system, promote good circulation, ease digestive ailments, and fight bacteria and viruses.
The amount of cinnamon used in this study to reduce blood sugar levels is more than most people would want to take as food—about 1.5 teaspoons to 1.5 tablespoons of powdered cinnamon per day—so an extract may be the best way to get a good amount of cinnamon. Here are some ways to add at least some of your cinnamon to your food:
(Nutr Res 2012;32:401–12)