After having a discussion on the preventative benefits of Cinnamon on blood sugar and cholesterol levels, – I thought I would have a look for some solid evidence.
The most relevant recent review is at http://www.annfammed.org/content/11/5/452.full
In this review 10 trials (total of 542 patients) were analysed and the conclusion was drawn that “Based on currently available literature, cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on fasting plasma glucose, LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes” and if it works for them why not as a preventative for everyone.
There are a number of issues relating to research into cinnamon as pointed out in the limitations in the review – firstly there are a many varieties of cinnamon some seem to be more active medicinally than others. I tried to establish which variety are available in the spice section in UK, only Schwartz state in their blurb that it is the Cassia variety which unfortunately is the cheapest but the least active medicinally – the cynic in me thinks that the others available will be the same.
The most active medicinally is the Ceylon variety or Cinnamonium zeylandicum so if possible try and source this type.
Secondly dosage is an issue – it s estimated that you should use about half a teaspoon a day to achieve maximum results, this could prove tricky if you are not able to tolerate the taste but personal experience is to start small and work your way up, you will soon be at that dose.
Thirdly it is unable to establish how long to treat patients for, however as it is a preventative why not use it continuously or perhaps at a lower dose.
Interesting reading and as there are little reports about side effects etc – why not start including about half a teaspoon of cinnamon in your daily diet.
Add it to cereal, oats, fruit salad, yoghurt, smoothies or curries. Or visit your local herbalist of course – they could prescribe it as a tincture or a capsule at optimum dosage.
If anything it is certainly less controversial than statins….
Remember do not stop taking medication without first consulting your health care provider for further advice!