CinnamonDiabetes Mellitus

Another look at cinnamon and diabetes

It’s value is controversial. But researchers from Malmo University Hospital in Sweden take another look at the effects of cinnamon in diabetics.

First, the details.

  • 15 healthy adults ingested rice pudding with and without 1 or 3 grams of cinnamon.
  • All participants took each treatment in random order — crossover design.
  • A scoring scale was used to determine satiety among the subjects before and after eating.
  • Blood samples were evaluated for glucose, insulin, gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1), and ghrelin concentrations both before and after each mealtime.
    • GIP and GLP stimulate insulin secretion.
    • Ghrelin stimulates apatite.

And, the results.

  • The change in GLP-1 response was significantly higher after rice pudding with 3 grams of cinnamon but not 1 gram.
  • Cinnamon had no effect on gastric emptying rate, satiety, glucose, GIP, or the ghrelin response.
  • The insulin response was significantly lower after the rice pudding.

The bottom line?
The results indicate a relation between the amount of cinnamon consumed and the decrease in insulin concentration.

The authors concluded that cinnamon could be an important dietary supplement for poorly controlled diabetes. “The ability of cinnamon to control blood glucose concentrations in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes has not yet been fully evaluated,” Dr. Joanna Hlebowicz writes. “Clearly, a long-term clinical trial involving a…[large] number of diabetes patients is needed to evaluate the effects of cinnamon supplementation in type 2 diabetes.”

This is a follow-up to another study conducted by the same group of researchers using a higher dose of cinnamon (6 grams).

They think they’re on to something, despite other studies that reported negative results, including one where A1c (the best indicator of long-term diabetes control) was unaffected by cinnamon.

3/8/09 21:20 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.