It’s fine to sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal or use it in baking. Go ahead and enjoy it if you like its taste. But if you hope that it will help you manage your diabetes, you might want to pause before you head to your spice rack.
It's not yet clear if cinnamon is good for diabetes. Research findings have been mixed, and the American Diabetes Association dismisses cinnamon’s use in diabetes treatment.
For most people, a blister, cut, or scrape on the foot is no big deal -- an "ouch!" and a hurriedly applied bandage, and it's over. Not so if you have diabetes; meticulous daily foot care is as important as monitoring blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.
"Unfortunately, diabetes foot-health awareness doesn't have a colored ribbon or national voice," says foot care expert James Wrobel, DPM, of the University of Michigan Medical School. "If you don't manage them early, small problems...
Several small studies have linked cinnamon to better blood sugar levels. Some of this work shows it may curb blood sugar by lowering insulin resistance.
In one study, volunteers ate from 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon for 40 days. (One gram of ground cinnamon is about half a teaspoon.) The researchers found that cinnamon cut cholesterol by about 18% and blood sugar levels by 24%. But in other studies, the spice did not lower blood sugar or cholesterol levels.
Is Cinnamon Safe for People With Diabetes?
Unless you have liver damage, it should be OK for you to enjoy it in food. If you do have liver problems, be careful, because large amounts of cinnamon may make them worse.
If you are considering cinnamon supplements, talk with your doctor first, especially if you take any medication. Also, look for brands labeled with a quality seal. These include the NSF International, US Pharmacopeia, or Consumerlab seal. This helps assure that the supplement actually has the ingredients stated on the label and doesn't have any contaminants or potentially harmful ingredients.
Unlike medications, supplement makers don't have to prove their products are safe or effective. But the FDA can order a supplement off the market if it proves it's unsafe.
Does Cinnamon Interact With Other Herbs or Drugs?
Use caution if you also take other supplements that lower blood sugar levels, including:
Alpha lipoic acid
The same holds true with diabetes medications. If you and your doctor decide it's OK for you to try cinnamon, pay close attention to your blood sugar levels. Tell your doctor if your levels fall too low.
Taking cinnamon with drugs that affect the liver may make liver problems more likely.
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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