Cinnamon and chromium dietary supplements may benefit your health. Cinnamon, a spice used in many traditional foods, is thought to help regulate blood sugar as well as providing other benefits. The Office of Dietary Supplements reports that chromium, a widely-used supplement, is vital for the metabolism of nutrients in your body. While thought to be beneficial, cinnamon and chromium supplements should only be taken under a doctor's supervision.
According to the website Organic Facts, cinnamon originally came from tropical Asia. For centuries, numerous cultures used cinnamon to treat ailments, such as diarrhea, arthritis, and colds. Today, cinnamon is used to boost brain activity, remove blood impurities, aid digestion, reduce infection and inflammation and for heart disease as well, reports Organic Facts. Although, most evidence points to cinnamon's ability to lower levels of blood sugar in the body.
Cinnamon and Glucose
Cinnamon is thought to reduce your levels of blood sugar. A study published in the February 8, 2007 edition of "Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism" determined the effects of cinnamon on blood-glucose levels in healthy male volunteers. T.P.J. Solomon and his team of researchers concluded that the ingestion of cinnamon reduced total plasma-glucose and improved insulin-sensitivity in the particpants. In addition, the effects of cinnamon on glucose levels remained for 12 hours.
Cinnamon and Lipids
Taking a cinnamon supplement may not only decrease blood-sugar levels, but may also lower your cholesterol. Research published in the December 26, 2003 edition of the journal "Diabetes Care," by a team of investigators led by A. Khan, determined that cinnamon improved glucose and lipid levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Sixty participants with Type 2 diabetes received various amounts of cinnamon or a placebo for 40 days. Researchers concluded that cinnamon, in all amounts given, reduced amounts of serum glucose, triglycerides and LDL and total cholesterol in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Humans need a limited amount of chromium, which is crucial for the insulin hormone to metabolize and store fats, carbohydrates and protein, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Chromium is difficult to absorb and dietary supplementation may be needed for those with a diet high in simple sugars, with infections and other conditions. The office of Dietary Supplements suggests that adult males under 50-years-old need at least 35 micrograms daily, and females, in the same age range, need 25 micrograms per day.
Chromium and Glucose
There is little evidence to support chromium's ability to help control glucose and insulin levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. The Office of Dietary Supplements reports that a review of 15 clinical trials, regarding the effects of chromium on glucose and insulin levels in subjects with diabetes as well as in non-diabetic subjects, found that chromium did not affect their glucose and insulin levels in any way. However, a Chinese investigation did show decreased levels of glucose and insulin in diabetic study participants, which may be attributed to a chromium-deficient diet, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.