The People's Perspective on Medicine

Cinnamon Helps Control Triglycerides

Bunch of ceylon cinnamon on brown – herbs and spices

Q. I had high triglycerides until I read about taking 1/4 teaspoon a day of cinnamon. My triglycerides have been perfect ever since. Sugar is the culprit in high triglycerides.

A. Other readers have also found that cinnamon can help control triglycerides. Cinnamon blunts the rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin after a meal. Ask your doctor to monitor your liver enzymes to make sure that taking cinnamon every day does not have a negative effect on the liver.

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    About the Author
    Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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    While the efficacy of research on the benefits of Triglycerides is tenuous with no known research data to back such claims it does help with blood sugar control, Candida, IBS, gastric cancer, stomach flu just to name a few. For these there are research studies.
    If somebody does not want to drink tea or coffee, presumably because of the caffeine, then boil Cinnamon sticks and make a tea out it. But leave the milk out because my feeling is that milk destroys the efficacy of tea and Cinnamon.
    The best and only Cinnamon to take on a regular basis is Ceylon Cinnamon which has ultra low levels of Coumarin (0.04%) while all other types of Cinnamon have higher levels of Coumarin and could damage your liver. Saigon Cinnamon has even higher levels of Coumarin (something approaching 8-9%)and should be avoided.
    If you can, get the Ceylon Cinnamon that has zero Sulpher dioxide and is non-irradiated. As for Organic that is not such a big deal because the use of chemical fertilizer in Sri Lanka is quite limited because it is a tropical country with very rich soil, chemical fertilizer is expensive and there are natural sources of fertilizer like Cow dung that is cheap and effective.

    Dear A you did not mention why you need the benefits of cinnamon, since you prefer not to drink tea and coffee and just prefer milk you can put a teaspoonful of cinnamon in your hot milk, but you must know that full cream milk contains fat in it and this fat can raise your triglyceride and your cholesterol level if you’re in normal condition this creamy milk will not affect your health.

    I found this page very information but am in doubt, I neither drink tea nor coffee, but do have a cup of milk everyday, so please suggest a best way to take cinnamon to get the better results.

    An English book entitled Herbal Remedies by Andrew Chevallier suggest an infusion of 1 tsp of cinnamon before retiring. I am testing this out now.

    I also wonder about the differences in cinnamon. The health food store people tell me that it’s all the same, from the grocery store or his store. I notice zero nutrition value on the label. How can this cinnamon be beneficial? I put this cinnamon and honey on toast pretty regularly, and wonder if it does any good.
    People’s Pharmacy response: The research was done with common cinnamon (cassia cinnamon), which is the usual kind in the grocery store. It is not very realistic to expect it to lower blood sugar or triglycerides, though, if you are eating it with honey on toast. Honey is full of fructose and most toast will raise blood sugar quite quickly. The cinnamon is working as hard as it can just to counteract the toast, and may not be able to do more.

    Where do you answer these questions and comments?
    People’s Pharmacy response: When we know the answers, we may enter them below the questions, just like this. We don’t always know the answers.

    I was studying triglycerides and read of the 5 major foods that could help bring triglycerides down: blueberries, grapefruit, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and pomegranate. So I bought a bottle each of blueberry, pomegranate and grapefruit juices, mixed in a packet of melted dark chocolate and added plenty of cinnamon. It is kind of an ugly color, but every day I pour about 6 ounces in a large cup and add very hot water. I have a lovely tea that does all kinds of nice things besides tasting excellent.

    I read where the cinnamon you buy at the grocery store – “Ground Cinnamon” isn’t real Cinnamon, it is something else. Does it make a difference or do we need to buy the “REAL 100% Cinnamon” at health food store for the effect?

    I agree about sugar being the culprit in having high triglycerides. Since going off sugar completely over 2 years ago – and that includes limiting fruit intake due to the high sugar content in a lot of fruits – my triglyceride levels range below 70. Limiting processed carbs really helps, also.

    So you have to take cinnamon with each meal?

    On August 1, my Triglycerides level was 243. I got my act together (no drugs), and exactly 90 days later it was down to 121. I was pleased. The problem now is my LDL, which was only 79, went all the way up to 101. I can’t imagine why that happened. My HDL went from 44 to 49, and my total cholesterol, from 172 – 174. Do you have any ideas or suggestions for me?

    How does one “take” cinnamon — ?? Perhaps stirred into hot water, or tea? Are there additional (simple) ways that a 1/4 tsp could be consumed? thx / nd
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: It can be added to food, but we prefer making it into tea (steeping a cinnamon stick) or adding powdered cinnamon to coffee grounds. That way you get only the active ingredient and not the dangerous one.

    This is great to know. I have a half cup of oatmeal (1 cup cooked) every morning with a bunch of cinnamon… (reminds me of a Cinnabon…haha) I thought it was supposed to be healthy, but never knew what exactly cinnamon does for me. Thanks for the encouraging information. I’ll keep doing it!

    Any particular type of Cinnamon?

    More specific information would be helpful…. as there are different types of cinnamon. Is it best in powder form added to food or taken in a capsule? I had read that the only effective form is cinnulin which is difficult to find and much more expensive.

    I too found better triglyceride control with adding cinnamon to my morning cup of tea.

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