Cinnamon supplement may benefit people with prediabetes, study finds

Prediabetes affects 38 percent of the U.S. population

Cinnamon supplements may help people with prediabetes to control their blood sugar levels, which could potentially slow the progression of type 2 diabetes, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

“In individuals with prediabetes, 12 weeks of cinnamon supplementation improved FPG and glucose tolerance, with a favorable safety profile,” according to researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

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In the randomized control trial, 51 patients were followed for 12 weeks. Patients took a 500 mg cinnamon capsule or placebo three times a day. The researchers in the small study found fasting plasma glucose levels (FPG) remained the same in the group that took the cinnamon supplements while the placebo group’s levels increased. The researchers stated the supplements not only helped lower fasting glucose levels but also improved the body’s ability to tolerate carbohydrates.

“This RCT of individuals with prediabetes showed that treatment with cinnamon 500 mg thrice daily resulted in a statistically significant between-group mean difference in FPG of approximately 5 mg/dl at 12 weeks, which was the primary outcome measure of the study. No change in FPG was noted at 6 weeks, which was one of the three prespecified secondary end-points.”

Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of heart disease, other studies show.

Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of heart disease, other studies show. (iStock)

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), prediabetes affects 38 percent of the U.S. population. The ADA says prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. It can progress to type 2 diabetes but experts also say this may be prevented by modifying your diet and lifestyle as well as weight loss and certain medications.

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In the majority of cases, however, it goes undetected, and 3 to 11 percent of those with prediabetes progress to type 2 diabetes each year, according to a discussion in the study.

"Therefore, identification of efficacious, durable, safe, and cost-effective strategies for type 2 diabetes prevention remains a clinically relevant unmet need, especially in low- and middle-income countries,” the researchers stated in the report.