Being overweight or obese is the result of consuming too many calories and expending too little energy. Changing your diet is key to weight loss — but, can cinnamon and green tea help?
Having too much body fat for your height and weight can lead to numerous physical problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and hypertension. Even losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help prevent some of these diseases and conditions, according to MedlinePlus.
Green tea and cinnamon might help in achieving your weight loss goals, but check with your doctor before using these supplements.
Medicinal Properties of Cinnamon
Knowledge of the health benefits of cinnamon dates back as much as 5,000 years. First used by the Egyptians, then the ancient Romans and Chinese, it was used not only as a spice for foods, but also for its medicinal properties.
Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree. It is sold in rolled scroll-like cylinders called quills, and as ground powder. Two types of cinnamon exist: Cassia, which is more refined and slightly sweeter, and Ceylon, which is the type you normally see on your grocery shelf.
Cinnamon and Glucose Control
While there isn't a direct link between cinnamon and weight loss, the interaction between insulin secretion and blood glucose plays a role in metabolism, especially if you are insulin resistant or have diabetes. According to an article published in the August 2018 issue of International Research Journal of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, cinnamon has a positive effect on blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin release.
However, research on the topic is conflicting. A small study published in the July-September 2013 issue of the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine examined the effects of a daily cinnamon supplement in patients with Type 2 diabetes and found no change in blood sugar levels over 60 days, when compared to a control group.
Green Tea Extract
China and India were the first to cultivate the Camellis sinensis plant from which green tea, black tea and oolong tea come. The distinction between the three is the fermentation process of the leaves. Green tea leaves are unfermented, oolong leaves are only partially fermented and black tea is completely fermented. The more the fermentation, the more the caffeine and the less the polyphenols. It is the polyphenols that give green tea its medicinal properties.
Green Tea and Weight Loss
Green tea is an ingredient in many weight loss supplements, but research on its effectiveness is conflicting. According to an article published in May 2014 by Canadian Pharmacists Journal, although some studies show weight loss from green tea consumption, it is not statistically significant. In addition, the article points out that researchers often use green tea extract rather than brewed green tea — the most common way people consume this ingredient.
In contrast, an article published in the July-December 2015 issue of the International Journal of Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences pooled the results of 11 studies and concluded that green tea does cause weight loss. However, it was noted that caffeine consumption and ethnicity could also play a role.
- International Research Journal of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences: "Anti-Diabetic Activity of Cinnamon: A Review"
- Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine: "The Effect of Cinnamon on Glucose of Type 2 Diabetes Patients"
- Canadian Pharmacists Journal: "Can Green Tea Preparations Help With Weight Loss?
- International Journal of Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences: "Green Tea and Weight Loss: An Update (Meta-Analysis)"