Cinnamon and chromium in diabetes
Cinnamon is one of the principal natural remedies classics of Chinese medicine traditionally used to treat symptoms of diabetes such as polydipsia and polyuria. It has been shown to have effects as insulin-like type and some of its mechanisms of action are similar to those of statins. Cinnamon seems to be the remedy of non-conventional medicine more widely studied, but since most of the studies on various types of assessments and extracts of cinnamon with a wide range of doses, the conclusions are not uniform. Unfortunately for this due to lack of clinical trials, neither the NCCAM or the American Diabetes Association recommends the use of supplements of cinnamon.
Comfort is a recent article published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine who summarized the clinical data published in the last 10 years, and concluded that:
- Only the cassia cinnamon (also called the Chinese cinnamon, in contrast to that of Ceylon, Saigon, or those Indonesian) has shown some clinical efficacy. The benefit is probably obtained from the capsules rather than the spice.
- However since the cassia cinnamon contains coumarin, known to cause hepatotoxicity reversible if taken in high doses daily, we must use it with caution in patients taking warfarin or are at risk of liver disease.
- Despite the mixed results, a significant amount of favourable studies suggest that cinnamon may be reasonable treatment option for patients with type 2 diabetes not controlled.
In another recent meta-analysis of 10 studies, a daily dose of 1-6 g (1-2 teaspoons) of cassia cinnamon has been suggested as a good option in combination with the use of traditional therapies.Together cinnamon, chromium has proved an excellent adjuvant in accompanying anti-diabetic therapies.
Chromium is an essential mineral that is found in foods such as whole grains, egg yolks, and broccoli. It plays an important role in glucose metabolism since it is seen that a deficiency is associated with insulin resistance and diabetes reversible. A small study has shown that a daily dose of 1 mg of chromium picolinate improves sensitivity to glucose in diabetics.