Relatively recent studies have shown cinnamon to be an insulin mimicker and therefore a blood glucose metabolizer, making cinnamon bark one of the latest viable weight loss supplements.
To bring you up to speed, an ‘insulin mimicker’ is something that resembles the effect of insulin in your body while still regulating sugars that you consume, but without an insulin spike that can result in insulin resistance, excess fat storage, and worse yet, eventually even Type 2 Diabetes…yikes! Basically, it’s a substance that assumes the same metabolic functions without flooding your bloodstream with more insulin.
How Cinnamon Bark Aids Weight Loss
Chemist Richard A. Anderson has published a study with colleagues at the Beltsville, Maryland Human Nutrition Research Center, in conjunction with two other universities.
The study observed test tubes containing fat cells, the “polyphenolic polymers” associated with cinnamon bark were found to increase sugar metabolism by an impressive 20 percent.*
“These new compounds increase insulin sensitivity by activating key enzymes that stimulate insulin receptors, while inhibiting the enzymes that deactivate them,” says Anderson, who is with the Nutrient Requirements and Functions Laboratory.
“Polyphenols are known for their antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory functions, but they have not been commonly known to improve insulin function,” he went on to say. “The polyphenolic polymers in cinnamon bark have antioxidant effects, which may provide synergistic benefits to persons with various forms of diabetes.”
As I pointed out in a previous article about fenugreek extract, any blood-sugar-lowering effect that works for individuals with diabetes also works for non-diabetics, and is therefore GREAT news for anyone trying to lose or manage their weight.
Furthermore, Britain’s University of West London conducted a 2012 meta-analysis of six carefully observed clinical trials testing the effects of cinnamon intake on blood glucose levels in over 400 patients.
The dosage amounts varied, from one gram to six grams of cinnamon daily by each of the patients, with regular and consistent blood glucose testing for a period of time ranging from 40 days to four months from the start of the study.
The study observed that mean glucose levels were reduced significantly, which compelled the researchers to logically conclude that the use of cinnamon for blood sugar management and control can be considered clinically viable.
There’s More Good News About Cinnamon Bark!
Author, patient advocate, and nutritionist/thyroid expert Mary Shomon states in an article she published about a study performed to observe subjects consuming daily cinnamon supplements that cinnamon also lowers blood cholesterol levels.
“Specifically, their blood cholesterol levels were lowered in the range of 10 to 26 percent, affecting overall cholesterol levels and reducing the LDL (known as the “bad” cholesterol), but not reducing levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol”), says Shomon.
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, as well as reduce “bad” cholesterol in your system.
Another noteworthy observation: the obvious place that most people carry around excess fat is in their belly areas. These fat cells in your belly are particularly sensitive to changes in insulin level because this area is so close to your vital internal organs. Blood flow is high around your torso area, which facilitates the storage of excess glucose levels.
In other words, your belly area is a fatty area for a reason, so cinnamon’s blood-sugar regulating abilities may be just what you need to get that six-pack ready for beach and pool season.
All Things in Moderation
Hopefully it’s obvious that this doesn’t mean you can now hit Cinnabon every day and gorge yourself on cinnamon rolls and other pastries. For weight loss/management, remember to use cinnamon in moderation.
Also, for best results, take the spice in a pure form, such as pure cinnamon bark. If you’re taking it for weight loss benefits, combine cinnamon with other weight-loss supplements such as fenugreek extract, berberis aristata, trans-resveratrol and r-alpha lipioc acid in a well-balanced formula, like Idealshape’s Ideal Carb Blocker. This herbal combination will enhance cinnamon’s effects and reduce possible negative side effects.
By Jonathan Crowell
*Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service