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NMU 65 – Cinnamon Supplementation Helps Reverse Pre-Diabetic State in High-Risk Individuals

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No. 65 (August 31, 2017)

with Dr. James Meschino


Research Topic: Cinnamon Supplementation Helps Reverse Pre-Diabetic State in High-Risk Individuals

Source: Journal – Lipids in Health and Disease (June 12, 2017)


The research I’m citing today comes from journal Lipids in Health and Disease (BioMedical Central), published on June 12, 2017. The study showed that supplementation with 3 grams per day of cinnamon for 16 weeks improved blood sugar regulation and other important cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with pre-diabetes or more accurately, individuals with metabolic syndrome. The participants in this double-blind randomized control study were Asian Indians, all of whom were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes).

Asian Indians are known to be susceptible to type 2 diabetes as a genetic variant is quite prevalent among Asian Indians that predisposes many Asian Indians to insulin resistance. This typically manifests when the person gains weight and/or becomes less active. With economic liberation and urbanization and mechanization, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has doubled in the past three decades in India and early onset and severe cardiovascular disease is frequently seen. So, this research is very relevant, as it showed that daily supplementation of 3 grams per day (3,000 mg) of cinnamon reversed many aspects of pre-diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in a group of individuals at very high risk for type 2 diabetes and serious cardiovascular events, such heart attack and stroke.

Compared to the placebo, the group supplementing with cinnamon saw the following improvement:

  • Decreased fasting glucose (blood sugar)
  • Decreased glycosylated hemoglobin (Hb1Ac) – a very important indicator or diabetic complications
  • Decreased waist circumference
  • Decreased body weight and body mass index

To some degree they also experienced:

A reduction in blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), triglycerides (blood fats), and an elevation of the good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol).

Overall almost 35% of all patients supplemented with cinnamon saw a significant reversal in the parameters of metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) compared to only 5% in the placebo group. How does cinnamon help? Well experimental studies show that certain active ingredients in cinnamon can do the following:

  1. Increase insulin sensitivity – this means that pancreas doesn’t have to pump out as much insulin. The cells can pick up blood sugar more easily and few carbohydrate calories get converted into fat, and thus the liver makes less cholesterol to transport those fats through the bloodstream.
  2. Increases the release of fat from fat cells, which enables body cells to burn fat more easily and thus, facilitate weight loss and reduce waist circumference.

The active ingredients in cinnamon appear to be:

  • Cinnamaldehyde
  • Cinnamic acid
  • Eugenol
  • Coumarin
  • And Procyanidin Oligomers of the Catechin and Epicatechin polyphenol group, which show impressive insulin-potentiating properties.

So, I did some investigating and I see that you can purchase cinnamon in 500 mg capsules from various supplement companies. To match the intake level of participants in this study, you would need to take 2 capsules, three times per day with meals to achieve a 3 gram or 3,000 mg total daily ingestion. If you have type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome or high sugar levels, then it’s best to use endurance exercise and a lower fat and lower glycemic diet to help improve your profile.  The study in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease suggests that also using a cinnamon supplement (3,000 mg per day), may further improve your overall blood sugar and cardiovascular risk profile. It will be interesting to see how future research unfolds on this subject.

I have included a link the cited research in the text below.


Jain SG, Purl S, Misra A, et al. Effect of oral cinnamon intervention on metabolic profile and body composition of Asian Indians with metabolic syndrome: a randomized double-blind control trial. Lipids in Health and Disease (BioMedical Central). June 12, 2017.

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great

Dr. Meschino

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