A half to a whole teaspoon of cinnamon daily may help control blood sugar levels – both in healthy people and diabetics.
This is highly important for those who want to lose weight or maintain their ideal weight, as large blood sugar fluctuations increase the risk that excess calories in the blood are stored as fat.
Cinnamon’s effect on blood sugar was discovered by Richard Anderson and his co-workers at the US Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.
In lab tests, the most active ingredient in cinnamon (MHCP) was able to boost sugar (glucose) metabolism by around 20 percent. In other words, this compound helps cells convert sugar into energy.
According to Richard Anderson, cinnamon has a regulating impact on levels of blood sugar and even on levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. People who are overweight or suffer from type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome (an early stage of type 2 diabetes) often have deviating levels of all three things.
A group of Swedish scientists from Malmö has also demonstrated cinnamon’s positive effect on blood sugar levels. The researchers discovered that cinnamon in food may help slow down the gastric transit time of food, thereby reducing the blood sugar increase that follows after a meal.
The study is described in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2017 (volume 85).
What is the best way to consume cinnamon?
MHCP (methylhydroxychalcone polymer), the active compound in cinnamon, is water-soluble and therefore does not occur in spicy essential oils. If you are trying to lose weight, cinnamon is not a wonder drug (especially not if you get your cinnamon from cakes). It is always best to choose healthy cinnamon sources.
You can find various supplements and teas with cinnamon on the market. It is harmless to consume cinnamon in the recommended dosages.
Cinnamon and coumarin
Cinnamon contains coumarin that, if ingested in large quantities, may burden your liver. Authentic cinnamon from Ceylon contains very little coumarin, whereas you find the highest coumarin content in inexpensive cinnamon from China. Coumarin has medicinal properties, and the compound is found in anticoagulants like Warfarin.