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Use Cinnamon to Improve Insulin Sensitivity

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Use Cinnamon to Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Cinnamon not only tastes great, but it improves insulin sensitivity…

 

While many of us know spices like cinnamon, tumeric, chili pepper flakes, and ginger as mere flavor boosters, they once had medicinal uses. In fact, the molecular structures of many drugs are based on natural substances.

Cinnamon is an example of an everyday spice that has an impressive roster of benefits, primarily due to a substance it contains known as “cinnamaldehyde“–the molecule that gives it its signature taste and odor (and the sweeter and more pungent the cinnamon, the more cinnamaldehyde it has).

Cinnamaldehyde can do some fun things like kill bad breath and repel insects, but its value goes much deeper than that. 

It has exhibited a wide variety of health benefits including anti-carcinogenic properties, the reduction of LDL (“bad cholesterol”), and the potential to fight the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but in this article I want to focus on one benefit in particular that has a direct impact on your physique.

This benefit relates to insulin sensitivity.

What is Insulin Sensitivity, and How Does Cinnamon Affect it?

When you eat food, your body breaks it down into various substances, one of which is glucose, or blood sugar.

Your pancreas releases the hormone insulin into your blood, which tells your liver, muscles, and fat tissue to take the glucose from the blood and store it. Your liver and muscles store the glucose as a substance known as glycogen, and your fat cells store it as as a substance known as triglycerides. The storage of glycogen expands the size of muscle cells, and the storage of triglycerides expands fat cells.

Now, in healthy humans, cells are sensitive to insulin. That is, they respond to insulin properly by taking in the glucose that the insulin is trying to shuttle out of your blood stream.

The more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the better they respond to its presence in your blood. As insulin sensitivity increases, your body needs to produce less insulin to successfully “convince” its cells to absorb glucose, and it accomplishes this quicker. This is a good thing, and helps maintain a lean, healthy body.

As cells become insulin resistant, however, they fail to respond to insulin in the ways they should. The body must then produce more insulin to force its cells into action, and the insulin must remain in the blood longer to get the cells to take the glucose. This is a bad thing, and leads to weight gain (especially in the abdominal region), increased risk of cardiovascular disease, sleepiness, high blood pressure, and more.

(And as a side note, type 2 diabetes is a condition wherein your cells have become very resistant to insulin and your body simply can’t produce enough to make them respond properly anymore. Thus, diabetics must inject insulin when they eat to strong arm their cells into accepting glucose .)

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Now, as the title of this article says, cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity

In one study conducted with 60 people with type 2 diabetes, the daily ingestion of 1, 3, and 6 grams of cinnamon per day for 40 days decreased blood glucose levels by 18-29% (meaning that their cells were responding better to insulin).The group eating 6 grams per day experienced a significant reduction in only 20 days.

These effects have also been noted in healthy adults, with the effective dosage being 3 grams per day. To put these dosages into perspective, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon is about 3 grams.

So, like stevia, cinnamon is one of nature’s tasty little treats that improves our health. Take a teaspoon per day to improve your insulin sensitivity, which will help you stay lean and healthy.

Do you like cinnamon? What are your favorite uses? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Great tip! I use it everyday

    • Thanks! Me too. I put a teaspoon of cinnamon in my post-workout shake.

      • tim

        Don’t you want to spike insulin levels post workout to shuttle nutrients to the muscles?

        • Michael Matthews

          Yes but you want your insulin to return to baseline levels quickly as well, which is what cinnamon helps with.

  • Marc Gibson

    Love the taste didn’t realise it had such benifits will get some today for my porridge .

  • qba

    Thanks for that, it will be next on my list of natural supplements, next to argan oil, bee pollen or ideally bee bread which I also truly recommend.

    • You’re welcome, and thanks for the recommendations! I’ve heard of all but haven’t looked into their benefits. I’ll check them out.

  • Alessandro

    I read a study that 6g at breakfast lowers blood sugar by 25% after 2h

  • Clemmie

    I sprinkle cinnamon on my oats in the morning. I find it adds to the flavour and it’s a great way to have your daily dose. I also love it on apples. 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Nice! I throw it into my post-workout smoothie. Delicious!

  • Mark

    I put cinnamon powder on my quark (its yoghurt like cheese) with stevia and almonds, tastes great and high in good macronutrients. I even sprinkle cinnamon over my peanut butter, you should defenitely try it once!

    • Michael Matthews

      Ah yeah, both of those things sound delicious!

  • Ben Wood

    I thought I would see if I could eat a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, I was almost sick, lol

    • Michael Matthews

      Lol yeah don’t try to eat cinnamon straight.

  • cerb erus

    i was having serious health problems magnesium and cinnimon with chromium helped a lot

    • Michael Matthews

      Glad to hear it!

  • David

    Which cinnamon are you referring to? There’s Ceylon and Cassia.

    • Michael Matthews

      Cassia is used in most of the studies cited.

    • pumpernickel000

      Ceylon is not hepatotoxic like Cassia, but unfortunately Ceylon doesn’t give you the benefits of cinnamon. So Cassia is the way to go for weight loss and blood sugar level control.

  • Gilbert Parral

    great article. would you get the same effect from drinking cinnamon tea ,(without sugar of course) instead of taking pills?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yeah, that’s totally fine.

  • Pingback: Insulin Sensitivity | Fitness and Nutrition()

  • Louis

    Mmmm… cinnamon! I have been taking advantage of you for quite some time now, never knew cinnamon has this much benefit.

    • Michael Matthews

      Nice!

  • ravi

    i have high blood sugar, and from few months i am feeling not tightness in my penis while releasing out the urine, what i should to do? please guide me

    • Michael Matthews

      Not sure brother. See a doctor?

  • Pingback: Recipe of the Week: Cherry Cinnamon Protein Blast | Muscle For Life()

  • Charlotte Appleby

    Fantastic article! Is cinnamon more effective in powder form or solid?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Not sure actually. Doubt it matters.

  • sundar

    My Parents are diabetic. Am 37 years old male. Married having a kid. Suddenly My weight has been lost to from 72 kg to 62 kg in 6 months. Assuming will have blood sugar, since my parents are diabetic. Still I have not taken any blood test. Please help me to improve my insulin naturally and to increase my weight. recommend me with natural supplementary.

    • Michael Matthews

      Supplements aren’t really the key here. Regular exercise will help a lot. Do you exercise?

  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

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  • Barbara

    Ceylon and Siagion are true cinnamon. What you buy on the shelf of every store is the fake cinnamon. Amazon has Organic Ceylon Cinnamon.

  • MansDrive

    Well Written article Mike. One thing I am confused about though.
    Does cinamon really improve your fitness level also ?
    I have read on http://www.mansdrive.com that spices actually have a negative effect on muscle building.

  • Kevin Quinn

    Nothing else needs to be said:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNcrrwQwskw

  • Bo Conroy

    Feel like I’m shilling Legion products but a good teaspoon or two of ceylon cinnamon with whole milk and a scoop of vanilla Whey+ is divine. Be sure to use Ceylon as the Saigon/Cassia stuff in the supermarket is toxic if using a lot daily.

  • ssohara

    Hi, just giving my experience – I got organic Ceylon cinnamon, started to take 2 grams a day, and my energy levels have improved and I’ve lost weight. Not a ton of weight, about 8 pounds in 6 weeks, but the thing is, I wasn’t even trying to lose weight, just wanted to try the cinnamon since my Mom is diabetic and I wanted to do something preventative. Anyway, it seems to be helping me. 🙂 In the morning, I add a gram to my coffee instead of sweetener, in the evening instead of a typical dessert I have a mashed banana mixed with yogurt, a drizzle of honey and the rest of the cinnamon. It tastes like a really indulgent dessert, but it’s pretty healthy. I use local honey so that helps with allergies, and home-made organic yogurt.

    • That’s great. The weight loss wouldn’t be related to the cinnamon per se but the energy levels could be related to improvements in insulin sensitivity.

  • I love hot stuff, chilies and animal fats, especially if its from beef.
    I also LOVE cinnamon in my coffee…lots of it!!!

    I don’t know if my high metabolism is due to the food I love to eat, or do I love those foods because of my metabolism.. I guess I would never know..

    Anyways, yeah,, I guess cinnamon helps

  • Timmy Atz

    Hey Mike what’s the best cinnamon to use in your oatmeal and protein shakes

    • I like Ceylon.

      • Jacob

        Yes, Ceylon is better than Burgmandi. It has less toxins.

  • Rita cachia

    My insulin resistance test came back at 15. Doctor said it’s nothing to worry about because my blood glucose is 5.8 average.
    Not sure . Should I bet a second opinion. ?

  • Cati

    Hi there
    Almost 2 month ago I started to drink a hot cinnamon tea like in the morning on empty stomach prior to my work out. I just love it and I do think that I became insulin sensitive. The thing is that I am 99% sugar free, I mean I am not interested even in honey. By body doesn’t ask for sugar anymore and sometimes when I eat it due to hormonal reasons, after eating the ice cream or cake, I don’t get the usual sugar cravings. Anyway I am using cinnamon in almost everything that I eat to balance the sugar in my body while eating. My Mom past way from heart disease and diabetes, so I am trying to do the best for my health.

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