Most of us enjoy sprinkling a little cinnamon on our morning oatmeal or use the spice in our holiday recipes.

If you love the taste of cinnamon, continue to sprinkle away; however, if you use cinnamon in the hopes it will help manage diabetes, you might want to put it back on the spice rack.

Research results are contradictory;most results are mixed. Ultimately it is not clear if cinnamon improved blood sugar levels for people with diabetes and the American Diabetes Association does not condone the use of cinnamon to control blood sugar levels.

Several small studies have linked cinnamon to better blood sugar levels by lowering insulin resistance. In one study, volunteers consumed 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon for 40 days (one gram of ground cinnamon equals half a teaspoon); researchers in this study concluded cinnamon cut cholesterol by about 18 percent and blood sugar levels by 24 percent.

A 2012 review of several recent studies concluded that the use of cinnamon had a potentially beneficial effect on glycemic control. One study published in 2009 found that a 500 mg capsule of cinnamon taken twice a day for 90 days improved hemoglobin A1C levels in people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.

On the contrary, several other researcher studies have shown the spice did not lower blood sugar or cholesterol levels at all.

Ultimately, groups such as the American Diabetes Association, for example, state more research is needed to confirm these findings to determine exactly HOW cinnamon could lead to these benefits.

The studies promoting the positive effect of cinnamon are thought to be inconclusive because it is unclear the direct source of the cinnamon and the source of extraction.

Researchers state this may make a difference in terms of how cinnamon affects blood sugar levels and may offer an explanation as to why there is conflicting research.

Whether cinnamon can lower blood sugar is a topic of debate, however, most researchers and dietitians can agree if you have diabetes, treatment is a lifelong commitment of blood sugar monitoring, healthy eating, regular exercise and possibly medication/insulin therapy.

Your doctor and registered dietitian can devise a diabetes treatment plan which works for you and your medical diagnosis.

Carey Stites is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Carey is currently the Registered Dietitian working with Wellstone in Harker Heights. Contact her at carey.stites@smchh.org.

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