Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cinnamon - My Daily Spice?

Cinnamon has been touted for years as a way to improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes.  It has been said that a teaspoon a day will help regulate these levels. Cinnamon may do this by decreasing insulin resistance.  This theory has not really been proven on a wide scale.  The study that has brought attention to this theory was performed in Pakistan in 2003 and it was a very small study (60 people).

There are two kinds of cinnamon.  There is Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon.  Cassia cinnamon is the kind most of us use for baking and cooking.  It is also the variety most researchers have used in this research. 
The main conclusion is that cinnamon seems to be safe for diabetics; beyond that, there is debate.  Interestingly, people with liver damage should be careful because large amounts of cinnamon may increase liver problems.

As with much scientific research, I am sure they will keep at it and discover that it does and doesn't help. 

Anyway, this does seem to have spawned the "Cinnamon Challenge".  Oh those daffy young people....  It seems that they challenge each other to eat a teaspoon full of straight cinnamon.  Apparently it can't be done.  Your mouth does not have enough saliva to take in that much cinnamon.  It can lead to serious breathing problems and even eye irritation. (i.e. you choke and clouds of cinnamon get blown out of your mouth and go into your eyes)   Interestingly enough, I saw a clip on TV of the Governor of Illinois eating in a teaspoon of cinnamon without a problem.  I am not sure what that says about him.  I wonder if when you talk to him you notice excess saliva.  (“It's like being in a shower....”)

Have you ever tried to use cinnamon for health reasons?   Please let me know why and if you thought it worked.

Thanks for reading!

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