Early studies reported big reductions in blood sugar with 3 grams of cinnamon a day (roughly a teaspoon). But other studies didn’t show so much effect. Now, a Scandinavian study in which volunteers were given rice pudding, with or without cinnamon, finds that those given 3 grams cinnamon produce less insulin after the meal. Insulin is the hormone that effectively dumps excess sugar as fat. Excess insulin levels are a common hallmark of risk of diabetes. In an earlier study the researchers also found that cinnamon may slow down gastric emptying. This would have the effect of ‘slow-releasing’ the carbohydrates in a meal. This effect was seen with 6 grams of cinnamon, not 3 grams. That’s about 3 teaspoons.
The active ingredient appears to be an ingredient called MCHP. The cinnamon extract called Cinnulin® is very high in MCHP and, consequently, supplementing 1 gram of Cinnulin is equivalent to several grams of cinnamon extract. When pre-diabeticswere given a cinnamon extract called Cinnulin® for 12 weeks, there were improvements in several features of the metabolic syndrome (blood sugar levels, blood pressure and body fat percentage). Another study in diabetics found similar results. 39 patients were given cinnamon extract for 4 months and showed a substantial reduction in post-meal blood sugar levels and a 10% reduction in fasting blood sugar levels. Diabetics with the poorest blood glucose control showed the biggest improvements with cinnamon.
Cinnulin is also a good choice because it is very low in coumarin, a potentially harmful compound found in some species of cimmanon, if ingested in large quantities. Cinnulin is guaranteed to contain less than 0.7% coumarin, as well as having a high concentration of MHCP, the active ingredient. This means that if you supplemented 1 gram of Cinnulin the intake of coumarin would be well below the tolerable daily intake and not remotely pose any potential health risk, while giving all the potential benefits of cinnamon.
The combination of chromium, which is well known to help stabilise blood sugar levels in diabetics at daily doses of 500mcg or more. A study last year gave chromium to healthy overweight women, versus placebo, and found a reduction in food intake, hunger levels and fat cravings, and a tendency to decreased body weight.
Supplementing cinnamon and chromium, together with a low Glycemic Load (GL) makes a lot of sense for those struggling with weight, sugar cravings or diabetes.