Q. I suffer from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and am wondering if cinnamon would make it even worse, since it helps diabetics lower their sugar? I certainly do not want my blood glucose any lower!

A. Cinnamon has been suggested as a way for people with type 2 diabetes to help control blood sugar after a meal. A review of research in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (online, Dec. 27, 2011) concluded that, “cinnamon has beneficial effects at least on fasting blood glucose.”

We could find no studies on cinnamon lowering blood sugar in people without diabetes. A low-carb diet and frequent high-protein snacks (nuts, cheese, egg, chicken, fish) can keep blood sugar from bouncing around in people with reactive hypoglycemia.

To learn more about a healthy low-carb diet, cinnamon and other foods that can help stabilize blood sugar, we suggest The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies, available in libraries and online (PeoplesPharmacy.com). You will also find some delicious recipes that can help control blood sugar in Recipes and Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy now at a 25% discount.

There are two kinds of cinnamon. The one that seems to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar is cassia cinnamon. Unfortunately, regular use or high doses may result in exposure to too much coumarin, a natural although undesirable component of this spice. Using a water-extracted concentrate (in capsules) or discarding the powder after pouring boiling water over it eliminates the coumarin and leaves the beneficial compounds.

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  1. MazterGee

    I get shaky, and low blood sugar on even the smallest amount of cinnamon,, it certainly does lower blood sugar..

  2. ladyliza

    I was diagnosed as type 2 in March of this year. I asked my doctor about cinnamon. He has a PHD in Nutrition and practices Integrative Medicine so he knows alot about alternative medicine and uses it regularly in his practice. He told me that table cinnamon is a carcinogin so not to take it. The cinnamon from Ceylon is safer.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: He’s right that just eating the powdered cinnamon you buy from the store could result in too much coumarin that could damage the liver. Instead, make yourself cinnamon tea with hot water, discarding the cinnamon sludge or cinnamon sticks. Ceylon cinnamon is fine as a spice, but it does not have the same effect on preventing blood sugar spikes after a meal.

  3. cpmt

    Maybe because some people may be sensitive to the cinnamon and can have their liver enzymes alter. If you are not sensitive it make sense you take it before meals. Added to tea or coffee also helps. This is just my opinion.

  4. HJL

    Cinnamon supplements instruct users to take the cinnamon before meals. Your comment and the research advises to take it after the meal. Can you elucidate further or does the study just speak for itself? Thank you.

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