Diabetes is a condition in which your body doesn’t use the hormone insulin properly. This results in high blood sugar levels, which can lead to hardening of your arteries and decrease blood flow to your organs. If you’re diabetic, incorporating honey and cinnamon into your daily diet may provide a number of benefits.
Honey and Blood Glucose
Consuming honey might lower glucose levels, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Islamic Establishment for Education in the United Arab Emirates. They discovered that diabetic subjects consuming 250 milliliters of water with 75 grams of honey daily for 15 days experienced decreases in blood glucose levels compared with those ingesting dextrose. The findings were published in the spring 2004 issue of the “Journal of Medicinal Food.”
Honey and Cholesterol
Diabetics are at increased risk of developing high cholesterol levels, which can increase their risk for heart disease. Scientists at Medical Sciences University of Tehran in Iran investigated the effects of honey consumption on type 2 diabetics. Patients were assigned honey or a placebo daily for eight weeks. Scientists reported in the November 2009 issue of "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition” that those in the honey group experienced decreases in bad LDL cholesterol and increases in good HDL cholesterol compared with those who had taken a placebo. Researchers stated that honey should be used with caution, since they found that it increased hemoglobin A1c levels, an indicator of blood sugar control, over a three-month period.
Cinnamon and Blood Sugar
Cinnamon might reduce blood sugar levels, according to research reported in the May 2006 issue of the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Scientists at the University of Hannover in Germany observed that type 2 diabetics consuming cinnamon extract, which contained the equivalent to 3 grams of cinnamon powder, daily for four months lowered their blood glucose levels compared with those ingesting a placebo.
Cinnamon and Insulin Sensitivity
One of the ways cinnamon decreases blood sugar levels is by increasing insulin sensitivity, according to a review published by researchers at Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center. Increasing insulin sensitivity allows cells to respond better to insulin effects, which increases glucose uptake by cells. This in turn lowers glucose levels in the blood. Cinnamon dosage of 1 to 6 grams increases insulin sensitivity and reduces blood glucose levels, according to findings reported in the February 2008 issue of "Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.”
- "Journal of Medicinal Food"; Natural Honey Lowers Plasma Glucose, C-Reactive Protein, Homocysteine, and Blood Lipids Healthy, Diabetic, and Hyperlipidemic Subjects: Comparison With Dextrose and Sucrose; N.S. Al-Waili; Spring 2004
- "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition"; Effects of Natural Honey Consumption in Diaebtic Patients: An 8-Week Randomized Clinical Trial; M. Bahrami et al; November 2009
- "European Journal of Clinical Investigation"; Effects of a Cinnamon Extract on Plasma Glucose, HbA, and Serum Lipids in Diabetes Mellitus Type 2; B. Mang et al; May 2006
- "Proceedings of the Nutrition Society"; Chromium and Polyphenols From Cinnamon Improve Insulin Sensitivity; R.A. Anderson; February 2008