Eh, if you're eating carbs at all and you have insulin resistance then taking cinnamon every time you eat carbs is the best idea.. the reason for this is because of the way cinnamon works regarding your stomach, digestion & blood sugar. Once a day will help, yes, but not as much.
I really think it just depends on the type of cinnamon and the dosage listed on the bottle. I'm the one who brought up the blood thinning effects, and I got that directly from a PCOS support website. The poster wrote this about cinnamon usage:
I Want To Try Cinnamon. What Do I Get, And How Do I Take It?
The Cinnamon you get is powdered Cinnamon bark, like what you buy at the grocery store. The variety is called Caissia Cinnamon. Some people prefer capsules, as it is easier to measure and you don't have to have Cinnamon with everything. If you do get capsules, be sure that it is the powdered bark, or at the very least, a water-soluble product. You want to be careful NOT to use Cinnamon Oil, as it is difficult to process and flush from your body, and it does not have the insulin-sensitizing effect. If you are using regular Cinnamon from the store, a teaspoon is about equivalent to 500 mg. You can take it sprinkled on cereal, in tea, on desserts, mixed in applesauce, and so on. While previously, dosages were recommended up to 4,500 mg/day, due to the discovery of Cumarin (a powerful blood thinner) in Cassia Cinnamon, we no longer recommend this. Now, dosages of 500 - 1,000 mg/day are recommended. It may take a little longer to be effective, but some studies show that a lesser dosage can be just as effective long-term. This also reduces the need to gradually work up to your dosage.
Cinnamon can bring your blood sugar down when first getting used to it, so if at any time you get hypoglycemic symptoms (the "shakes", dizziness, headache, nausea/hunger, confusion, the sweats, irritability), treat it with a sweet drink followed by a healthy snack that is high in fibre and protein. You may need to either reduce your dosage for a week, or adjust your eating/exercise routine to better adjust to it.
Remember to take your Cinnamon with an adequate amount of liquid, as you can get "Cinnamon burps". Some women have even burped up a cloud of Cinnamon!!! While funny, it can burn, so it's a good idea to avoid it!
But like any other piece of medical news, for every study you find that says "Yes, this helps" you find others that say "Nope, it does nothing".
I personally take one pill before each meal, so usually three per day but sometimes two. I do this because it really does make me feel better if I eat something that is high in carbs (which I try to avoid, but there are times when it's the only option). It definitely makes me feel less tired after a carb-heavy meal. Whether it has changed my blood work at all is an open question since I have not actually had any blood work done and was diagnosed based purely on symptoms rather than blood work since my insurance wouldn't even begin to pay for those blood tests, let alone an endocrinologist.
I always find it amusing that people recommend sugar for hypoglycemic symptoms though as that poster did. For people with insulin resistance the SUGAR is causing those symptoms. It's like treating your alcoholism symptoms with alcohol...sure, it might make you feel better for an hour or two but you're not helping yourself.
I have heard that the type of cinnamon you recommend doesn't have the blood thinning effects, but quite honestly I don't have the budget to go to the health food store and pay a ton of money for it. I figure as long as you aren't exceeding the recommended dosages of the cheaper cinnamon you can get from any pharmacy or wal-mart then you don't need to worry too much about the blood thinning effects.
I think the poster's point was that after you have the sugary something to bring up your number, you have to eat something with fiber or protein to regulate things back out. Even diabetics have to have OJ or a small candy when they are adjusting their meds and have hypoglycemia. Sugar causes the problems yes, but if you are having a hypoglycemic attack you will have more problems eating protein and waiting for an hour or more for your levels to get back up to the safe zone.
I love reading research papers, so I thought you all would be quite interested in these:
"Use of cinnamon showed a beneficial effect on glycaemic control (both HbA1c and FPG) and the short term (<4 months) effects of the use of cinnamon on glycaemic control looks promising."
Akilen R, et al., "Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis," Clinical Nutrition (2012), doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2012.04.003
"In summary, these results suggest that in insulin resistant rats fed a high fat/high fructose diet, addition of cinnamon (CN) to the diet alters body composition in association with improved insulin sensitivity."
Couturier, K., et al. "Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and alters the body composition in an animal model of the metabolic syndrome." Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 501 (2010) 158–161.
"The objective of this study was to determine the effects of cinnamon on glycogen synthesis, related gene expression, and protein levels in the muscle and liver...(I)n insulin-resistant rats, cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and
enhances liver glycogen via regulating insulin signaling and glycogen synthesis."
Couturier, K., et al. "Cinnamon increases liver glycogen in an animal model of
insulin resistance." Metabolism 60 (2011) 1590–1597.
So basically, medical research supports the idea that cinnamon helps insulin sensitivity!
well, i have reactive hypoglycemia. cinnamon helps very much with reactive hypoglycemia, but it will make me gain weight if i am not careful. i have read that chromium is good for reactive hypoglycemia, but i have not tried the combination.
rana, you lost 30 lbs! you feel that chromium was a big help?
belief, I'm curious to know how the cinnamon will make you gain weight? I'd like to try it to lower my bs and help with sugar craving that have reoccurred this month. Have you bought the chromium yet? And do you take metformin? Thanks
I read through the thread and didn't see anything about the specific kind of cinnamon. Things that are labeled 'cinnamon' can be from entirely different plants/trees, and therefore will have different properties. "True" cinnamon from cinnamon bark is called Ceylon cinnamon & comes from a plant called Cinnamomum zeylanicum.
Cassia is the plant source of the usually cheaper cinnamons: Saigon, Chinese, Java. This is the one that has natural coumarin, which is a blood thinner. Ceylon cinnamon has little or no blood-thinning properties.
Both are closely related and have been shown to regulate blood sugar--more conclusively with Ceylon than with Cassia from what I've read.
Love2b-I do not take metformin. Never have. I have reactive hypoglycemia and get very tired, anxious, and irritable whenever I eat a meal with lots of carbs. A while ago I discovered that if I took cinnamon with a meal loaded with carbs, I would not get hypoglycemia. Somehow cinnamon keeps my insulin under control where too much is not released driving my blood sugar too low.
But I also noticed my weight would go up very easily too, when I took the cinnamon with a carb loaded meal. I am not sure why. It works great for my reactive hypoglycemia blood sugar problem. I actually feel better in a lot of ways with cinnamon, but darn it, I gain weight. Cinnamon alone does not curb my appetite either. But maybe a combination cinnamon w chromium will curb my appetite.
I have not bought the chromium yet because I am doing the slow carb thing for a while to try to lose quickly. But really, my blood sugar issue is more important to my health and well being than weight. But I guess I want it all with stabilized blood sugar and weight loss.
Mars-I have tried Ceylon cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, and even a combination of the two by new chapter cinnamon force. Ceylon cinnamon works differently than cassia, but they both help my reactive hypoglycemia. Ceylon is more calming where cassia is kind of energizing. Hard to explain, but I like them both. I think the Ceylon does not make me gain weight as much as the combination product either...
Last edited by belief : 02-22-2014 at 08:43 AM.