Cinnamon is a popular spice and has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. One of the most interesting health benefits of cinnamon is its ability to help breakdown sugars in the body. This is especially important for people with diabetes, as it can help regulate blood sugar levels.
How does cinnamon work?
Cinnamon contains an active compound called cinnamaldehyde, which has been shown to stimulate the insulin receptors on cells, thereby increasing the uptake of glucose into cells. This leads to a reduction in blood sugar levels.
In addition to its effect on insulin, cinnamon has also been found to slow down the rate at which the stomach empties after a meal. This means sugar is released into the bloodstream more slowly, reducing the likelihood of a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon also contains compounds to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down carbohydrates into glucose in the small intestine. By inhibiting this enzyme, cinnamon slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, further helping to regulate blood sugar levels.
Finally, cinnamon has been shown to increase the activity of an enzyme called AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase). AMPK plays a key role in regulating energy metabolism in cells, and its activation leads to increased uptake of glucose into cells, improved insulin sensitivity, and decreased production of glucose by the liver.
How much cinnamon should you take?
Studies have shown consuming between 1 and 6 grams of cinnamon per day can have beneficial effects on blood sugar levels. However, it is important to note cinnamon should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment for diabetes. If you have diabetes, it is important to work with your healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan.
Cinnamon is a delicious spice that has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including its ability to help breakdown sugars in the body. While it is not a cure for diabetes, incorporating cinnamon into your diet may be a helpful tool in managing blood sugar levels.