cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon

Diabetes has become extremely prevalent, with approximately 9 percent of the population affected. Controlling blood sugar can be challenging. Although many medications may be prescribed to help, sometimes simple remedies such as cinnamon and apple cider vinegar make a difference.

Q. I have type 2 diabetes. Last summer my triglycerides were dangerously high (300), my cholesterol was 288, and my HbA1C was 8.2. I was taking Janumet and Trilipix, but they were not working.

I decided to try taking 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey every day. My triglycerides are now down to normal-121! My cholesterol has dropped to 260 and my HbA1C is good at 6.5. So this is really helping.

Cinnamon and Apple Cider Vinegar to Lower Blood Sugar:

A. The use of cinnamon to normalize blood sugar is controversial, but some research supports it (PLoS One, Feb. 14, 2014). In addition, cinnamon has been tested in rats and found to counteract the negative behavioral effects of an unhealthful diet high in fat and fructose (PLoS One, Dec. 13, 2013).

An Iraqi study of people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes also found cinnamon helpful (Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology, Feb. 21, 2016). Volunteers took 1 gram of cinnamon daily or placebo for three months. Those taking cinnamon lowered their fasting blood sugar and HbA1c, a measure of blood sugar over time, significantly more than those assigned to take placebo. Like you, these participants continued taking their regular diabetes medicine.

What Else Might Lower Blood Sugar?

An Australian review proposed that the polyphenol compounds in cinnamon and a number of other foods may help regulate insulin and glucose metabolism (Nutrients, Jan. 5, 2016). Some of the other foods that might be expected to help with blood sugar control include cocoa, tea and coffee, grapes, pomegranates, berries and olive oil. Most of these have not been well studied for their ability to lower blood sugar. Presumably apple cider vinegar also contains some polyphenols If so, these compounds might explain why cinnamon and apple cider vinegar seems to be a good combination.

We are not sure about the honey, though. One study of honey vinegar syrup (a traditional Iranian condiment) found no benefit for fasting blood sugar and undesirable effects on beneficial HDL cholesterol (International Journal of Preventive Medicine, Dec., 2014).

For more information about cinnamon, vinegar and non-drug approaches to help control blood sugar, we are sending you our Guide to Managing Diabetes. You will also find additional discussion and comments about controlling blood sugar at

It is important to remember that, like any agent that can alter our physiology or biochemistry, cinnamon can carry some risks. You can learn more about them here.

Vinegar and Blood Sugar:

Vinegar with or just after a meal that would normally raise blood sugar can blunt this response (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov. 2012). The research to date suggests that people without diabetes get more benefit (Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, online May 23, 2016).

The primary downside of vinegar is that it can soften dental enamel for up to an hour. As a result, you should wait a bit after consuming it before brushing your teeth.

Revised 7/14/16

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  1. HelenM

    It is supposed to be the acetic acid in vinegar that blunts the blood glucose rise. Better yet is to find things that increase insulin sensitivity. Lower insulin levels help with weight loss. However, as your time with diabetes increases, your pancreas’ ability to secrete insulin decreases, which is why many diabetics go on to insulin. I, for one, diagnosed in 1983.

    It is my not so humble opinion that doctors and other healthcare providers need to pay more attention to prevention. Inflammation should be treated at the cause, to prevent it from going on to many diseases, including diabetes. This crap we eat needs to be taken off the table, all who can grow their own food should, and we need to clean up our water and air. These chemicals are poisoning us and the doctors are allowing us to live longer, half dead. I am 78, believe me, I know what I am talking about.

  2. Victoria
    west indianapolis

    When I was a kid,I remember my grandmother & my mother putting fresh & fresh pickled radishes.cucumbers.turnips etc on the breakfast table along with fresh cut tomatoes. Fresh cut turnips are soooo good-when they are small. Everything was coming from a very small garden just outside the kitchen & lee to the wind(in our case-the east side). One of our favorites was lettuce/butter bread sandwiches which is just bread.butter, & fresh just picked) lettuce. OH! & so good white icicle radishes along side Thanks to my MOM & GRAMMY(her MOM) I learned how to love & appreciate GOD’S given bounty. THANK YOU GOD!! for ALL of it!! vicki.

  3. Paul
    Ridgefield, WA

    Caffeine is not recommended for type 2 diabetics, as it causes blood/sugar to spike. Additionally, coffee may be good for your heart and liver, but it can damage your pancreas. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. That way, you’ll know for sure. I drink naturally decaffeinated green tea. Hope this helps someone.

  4. Sally
    Dallas, TX

    Interesting solutions, but my son is allergic to cinnamon. In addition to eating grapes, pomegranates, berries and olive oil, what else can he do?

  5. Mary Jane

    Rather than seek to control the side effects of poor eating habits, people might consider changing their eating habits, e.g., eliminating sugar. I did so 15 years ago, and my taste buds changed, so much so that I no longer desire sugary food.

  6. Betty

    The taste of apple cider vinegar is okay, but balsamic vinegar is so good I could almost drink it. Wouldn’t it work as well as the apple cider vinegar? Say yes.

  7. rick
    United States

    how do you lose weight if you are taking diabetic medicine that is prescribed by your doctor he States i am eating to much, not the med’s to blame, number 2 why is their so many #2 Diabetic’s
    Thank You, Rick.I am bewildered

    • Steph

      You need to cut out all bread and most pasta, sugar, and anything that has high fructose corn syrup. Stick with protein and veggies and salads. Good luck.

  8. vimala j.c

    Cinnamon does not suit me so I use Salacia Oblongata root powder with ACV and Probiotic to control Type 2 Diabetes. Diet watch and exercise is mandatory. I have learnt to make ACV and also Probiotic at home in a very inexpensive manner. Metformin dosage keeps on increasing time to time and it causes severe acidity. Other medicines cause weight gain.

  9. Lisa

    Use a straw to drink the vinegar to limit the effects of it on the teeth.

    • Wayne

      How much of the desired effect is due to acid, to acetate, to other minor ingredients?
      The acid is easily nutralized with potasium hydroxide. Acetates have been reconmended to reduce hunger and thus promote weight loss.

  10. betty
    United States

    I am looking for something natural to replace Metformin since it has caused me to experience Tachycardia. I am trying the ACV.

  11. DS

    We keep a cruet with Bragg’s ACV on the table and add it to our white rice along with salt and butter, or to our potatoes. It is delicious.

  12. Rpe

    The cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, honey recipe for Type 2 Diabetes? Do you heat this mixture to get it to blend?

    • calvin

      Its better when you warm it, well it is for me..I also drop olive leaf extract in it to double the barrel..good luck

  13. Mary

    How much vinegar should I take to control blood sugar and when?

  14. cara

    I tried apple cider vinegar for about a week. I mixed it with water. I developed horrible stomach pains from it. I used Braggs.
    After stopping it, the pain left and hasn’t returned.


    the natural apple cider vinegar (with the mother) is excellent.

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