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Q&A: Cinnamon to control diabetes?

Consumer Reports News: August 08, 2008 10:46 AM

I use cinnamon to help control my diabetes. But I just read that a new study found that cinnamon doesn’t help after all. Should I stop using it? —M.G., Bronx, N.Y.

No, especially if you enjoy the taste. The research you heard about combined the findings from previous studies and reanalyzed them, a process known as meta-analysis. While that study did conclude that cinnamon had no beneficial effect on blood sugar it's hardly the last word, since such analysis can distort the findings of the underlying data. And some of the best of those earlier studies suggested that as little as a half-teaspoon of cinnamon a day may help control type 2 diabetes, possibly by increasing cells' sensitivity to insulin. So it's fine to keep using cinnamon or cinnamon pills, though as an adjunct—not a replacement—for more-proven treatments (subscribers only).

This article first appeared in the August 2008 issue of Consumer Reports On Health.

Check out our Natural Medicine Ratings on cinnamon for diabetes (subscribers only), and if you're on prescription drugs for your diabetes, read up on how to save money (free).

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