Background: For years cinnamon has been used in treating a variety of ailments, in addition to its use as a spice. Recently, researchers have been looking at supplementation of cinnamon and its affect on Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 (DM II), a chronic condition that many people suffer from across the globe. Cinnamon may help in reducing the HBA1C because of its insulin potentiating activity. The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the efficacy of cinnamon on lowering HBA1C levels.
Methods: An extensive search using CINAHL, MEDLINE, Evidence Based Medicine Reviews Multifile and Web of Science was performed. Included in the search were non-insulin and insulin dependent DM II participants of either gender, any age, and from any country. Only randomized control trials were included in this systematic review. Studies that evaluated the effect of cinnamon on HBA1C, lipids, and fasting plasma glucose were included, only to extract the data in relation HBA1C.
Results: The initial search resulted in 30 articles. Of those, only 4 were randomized control trials that analyzed the efficacy of cinnamon supplementation on HBA1C levels were identified. Thus, 4 articles were included in this systematic review.
Conclusion: This systematic review illustrates that the efficacy of cinnamon supplementation on HBA1C is statistically insignificant, and the data thus far does not strongly support its use. Further research should analyze different variables, such as age, gender, race, insulin sensitivity, diet and diabetic regimen. Future research should also analyze any synergistic relationship that cinnamon supplementation may have with different diabetes medications. At this time, cinnamon supplementation for the purpose of controlling diabetes is not recommended. However, future studies may reveal that medicinal cinnamon is beneficial. As it is inexpensive, readily available, and potentially free of side effects, further investigation is warranted.
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