Consumption of cinnamon is associated with favorable reductions in plasma glucose and lipid levels, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine. Robert W. Allen, Pharm.D., of the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., and colleagues used data from 10 randomized, controlled trials involving 543 patients with type 2 diabetes to conduct an update of a previous systematic review and meta-analysis examining the effect of cinnamon consumption on glucose and lipid levels.
The researchers found that cinnamon, in daily doses of 120 mg/d to 6 g/d for four to 18 weeks, was associated with a significant reduction in levels of fasting plasma glucose (−24.59 mg/dL), but no significant effect on glycosylated hemoglobin.
Cinnamon intake also was linked to significant changes in lipid levels, including decreases in levels of total cholesterol (−15.60 mg/dL), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (−9.42 mg/dL), and triglycerides (−29.59 mg/dL), and increases in levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (1.66 mg/dL).
High degrees of statistical heterogeneity were detected in the analysis of all parameters except HDL-C. "Based on currently available literature, cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on fasting plasma glucose, LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes," the authors write. "The high degree of heterogeneity may limit the ability to apply these results to patient care, because the preferred dose and duration of therapy are unclear."