Cinnamon as a supplement? Benefits, Dosing and More Made Easy!

Cinnamon as a supplement? Benefits, Dosing and More Made Easy!

Cinnamon sticks
Yes, you read that correctly, THIS kind of Cinnamon.

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Alongside being an incredible addition to morning oats, Cinnamon also holds an incredible set of health benefits that I feel aren’t expressed enough.

For example, cinnamon has an impact on health markers ranging from insulin resistance[1] to cholesterol[1] helping with appetite suppression[2] and even arthritis! [3]

How does it do all of those incredible things?

By being so damn tasty. (haha, kidding… kind of.)

Let’s get into the details on it’s amazing properties down below!

Antioxidant powerhouse.

Cinnamon is a POTENT antioxidant, in fact, MOST spices are.
Antioxidants are measured by something called an “ORAC” score.
(Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)
However, the rating system is not based on average serving size.

ORAC scores are calculated based on 100g of the food or herb that you prepare.

Considering that you aren’t a complete lunatic like me or 99.99% of the health nuts I’ve dated.
You probably don’t consume over 10g of it a day.

So, let’s say you decide to have 5g a day (2 tsp) in your morning oats or just as a supplement:
The ORAC score for cinnamon is roughly 131,420. [4]

That means that just 5g of cinnamon is roughly 13,375.
For reference, below are the ORAC score for some typical “high antioxidant” fruits:

NameORAC Score (per 100g)
Blueberry 4,660
Blackberry 5,900
Strawberry 4,300 
Cranberry 9,000 
Reference: Cinnamon131,420

Quick note about anti-oxidants

Now if you’re thinking “Oh, well I’ll just take 5g of cinnamon a day and ditch those!”
I would strongly encourage against that, as they may be lower in ORAC score, but they DO contain different phytochemicals and phytonutrients that provide additional support for your body.

Rather, this is meant to illustrate how powerful this spice is in protecting against free radical damage even in such a minuscule amount.

If you’re wondering  “What are “free radicals” and why do we need to protect against them?
Great question! People much smarter than me have perfectly summed up this response here below.

Free radicals are produced in cells by cellular metabolism by exogenous agents. They react with molecules inside the cells (including your DNA) and result in DNA damage.
This is called Oxidative damage to DNA and is implicated in carcinogenesis as well as aging
.”5

Simply put, free radicals can make you age faster and can increase the likelihood of getting cancer alongside other inflammatory ailments like heart disease or arthritis.

Cinnamin’s role in Insulin sensitivity & Glucose management

not that kind of management, though I feel like if cinnamon was a manager, they’d be this handsome.

As mentioned in the beginning, cinnamon can help prevent insulin resistance and can ameliorate issues caused by it.1

In 2020 of October a “meta-analysis” of studies was concluded for this exact topic.

The meta analysis examined studies of diabetic people and women with PCOS that had cinnamon supplements in their diet.

It was determined that cinnamon had a statistically significant impact on both A1C and IR markers.

It’s speculated that the polyphenols in cinnamon help facilitate uptake of glucose in cells as well as targeting receptors for glucose transport and glycogen synthesis.

Alongside this, it was speculated that Cinnamon also improves insulin resistance by increasing nitric oxide. (Due to a protein called “IRS1” causing  a downstream enzymatic reaction that activates eNOS) 

I use this brand of cinnamon + chromium (chromium is great for insulin resistance as well).

Figure I’d throw that out there for anyone who doesn’t like cinnamon powder since it’s pretty cheap

Cinnamon as an…Appetite-suppressant?

hungry monkey eating a banana, probably didn't supplement any cinnamon
photo of me with a fresh haircut eating all of the carbs without my cinnamon intake.

Lastly, I’d feel bummed out if I didn’t get a chance to talk about this interesting peptide and the effect cinnamon has on it.

A few studies have been done on postprandial satiety and insulin responses on cinnamon, which mostly showed a positive result (some long-term studies had mixed results on a1c and fasting glucose, however.)

While I addressed insulin sensitivity and response briefly, the satiety issue is something else.

So there’s a peptide called GLP-1, (Glucagon-like peptide 1) and this peptide is a POWERHOUSE.

GLP-1 affects the suppression of appetite, delays gastric emptying, and insulin responses.
In addition, it also provides neuro and cardioprotective benefits.7

In fact, GLP-1 Agonists are approved for the treatment of type-2 diabetic people in most countries, under the pharmaceutical name, Semaglutide

Studies on the effects that cinnamon has on GLP-1 are fairly noticeable,

although it is only noted at a higher dose than what is typically consumed.

Typical Dose of Cinnamon.

If you’re relatively healthy, then 3g a day of cinnamon would be sufficient for general well-being2
(a little over a single tsp of cinnamon btw)

The literature I’ve referenced below suggests that upwards of 6g a day would be necessary for the improvement of poor biomarkers.

By the way, this is to see any improvements over the months following its daily intake.6

The reasoning behind needing nearly double (or even more) is due to the already disrupted state of insulin and blood glucose.

However; you don’t need a probably don’t need to be taking 6 grams or more a day.

Also, please make a note that higher amounts of cinnamon can cause GI problems.

Alongside of this, If you’re an individual with liver problems, it may be wise to limit your Cinnamon Consumption.

Cinnamon products metabolize in your liver.

If you have impaired liver or kidney function these metabolites could slowly cause additional stress on your liver.

Granted this is with consistent use of a dose at the upward limit or higher and assuming you aren’t taking care of your health to begin with.

1-3g of cinnamon is going to be of benefit for most people’s immune system and overall health.

Also, if you’re interested in other quick supplement write-ups, check them out here.

Citations.

  1. Cinnamon: Potential Role in the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes
  2. Effects of 1 and 3 g cinnamon on gastric emptying, satiety, and postprandial blood glucose, insulin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, glucagon-like peptide 1, and ghrelin concentrations in healthy subjects
  3. Cinnamon Consumption Improves Clinical Symptoms and Inflammatory Markers in Women With Rheumatoid Arthritis
  4. ORAC Values: Antioxidant Values of Foods & Beverages – Superfoodly
  5. Free radical-induced damage to DNA: mechanisms and measurement
  6. The effect of cinnamon supplementation on glycemic control in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis
  7. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1)

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