Cinnamon has been valued for thousands of years both for its taste and for its diverse health effects. New findings now point to another benefit: the blood sugar regulating effect of cinnamon. Find out here what makes cinnamon so interesting for diabetics.
The secret of cinnamon
Cinnamon, with the botanical name "Cinnamomum verum", belongs to the laurel family (Lauraceae). Cinnamon is the bark of twigs of the cinnamon tree that grows up to 20 meters high in Ceylon.
The spice plant cinnamon has been valued for thousands of years both for its taste and for its diverse health effects. New findings now point to another health benefit: the blood sugar-regulating effect of already one gram of cinnamon as a daily dose in the supportive treatment of type 2 diabetics.
Disturbed glucose metabolism
Characteristic of diabetes mellitus type 2 is that the body cells are no longer sufficiently responsive to the blood sugar-lowering hormone insulin and high blood sugar levels result. For the diabetic a balanced balance of blood sugar is of particular importance. According to research, non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetics already benefit from one gram of cinnamon to support the effect of remaining insulin.
The basis for type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance, which means that while the pancreas produces enough insulin, body cells are increasingly less responsive to this regulator. The organism tries to compensate for this with a higher insulin production.
The result is hyperinsulinism, which means that more and more insulin is released into the blood. The effectiveness of insulin is then more and more limited as the disease progresses. Insulin production usually ceases gradually as pancreatic performance is depleted, so that type 2 diabetics also need to inject insulin.
How does insulin work?
Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas. Only with the help of this hormone, the sugar from the blood can be absorbed into the cells. At the entrance to the cell, insulin acts as a kind of "door opener" via the so-called key-lock principle. Insulin (key) binds to specific binding sites on the cells (lock), so that the cell opens metaphorically and the circulating sugar can pass from the blood into the cell interior.
What advantages does cinnamon provide for a balanced blood sugar balance?
The ingredients contained in the aqueous cinnamon extract, the so-called methylhydroxy-chalcone polymers (MHCP), improve the insulin sensitivity of the body cells and thus the uptake of blood glucose into the cells. In this way, they support the effect of the body's own insulin, which regulates the blood sugar level to normal levels.
In a study with type 2 diabetics, small amounts of cinnamon (1-6 g daily) over a 40-day intake showed a marked improvement in the diabetic metabolic state. In addition to the positive influence of cinnamon on the blood sugar level, positive effects on fat metabolism (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides) and thus on cardiovascular risk have been observed.