Could this common ingredient help prevent diabetes?
Not only is cinnamon a common ingredient, but a recent study found that it may also have health benefits for those at risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon supplements were given to participants with prediabetes in the Journal of the Endocrine Society’s study three times a day for 12 weeks. The 500 mg capsules helped the participants maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Participants also reported that carbohydrates were much easier for their bodies to process after taking the supplement as suggested.
“Cinnamon can help improve metabolic health by enhancing glucose uptake in skeletal muscles as well as increasing glycogen stores. Glycogen is the predominant source of energy and how the body stores carbohydrates for energy at the muscular level,” says Dr. Tony Hampton, family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group in Chicago.
One in every three adults in the United States have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prediabetes is diagnosed when a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal. When the high blood sugar levels progress, the person is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Hampton suggests the following to help reverse diabetes:
- Intermittent fasting: Under the guidance of a healthcare professional, this type of diet helps give the pancreas a break and time to heal from insulin production.
- Consume fewer carbs: Eating a diet consisting of low carbohydrates, such as less grains, sugar and starchy vegetables, help reduce the need for insulin production.
- Reduce stress and increase sleep: Chronic stress can often be triggered by lack of sleep. Elevated levels of stress can cause higher levels of not only insulin but also cortisol and inflammatory compounds.
- Regular exercise: Exercising one’s muscles helps efficiently utilize glucose which helps balance blood sugar and insulin levels.
Further studies may confirm whether cinnamon has a long-term impact of preventing prediabetes patients from developing Type 2 diabetes.
Want to learn more about your risk for diabetes? Take a free, quick online assessment by clicking here.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.