With the increased levels of obesity in Canada, there has been a correlated increase in the number of people being diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Due to the serious complications that can occur with diabetes, many diabetics are searching for a diabetes cure. Research has started to look at alternatives to traditional medicinal treatment for diabetes as well as for a diabetes cure. The role of cinnamon in the treatment of diabetes has been investigated by a number of researchers and has shown positive blood sugar results but has not been shown to provide a diabetes cure.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that is characterized by high blood sugar levels. Diabetes can be broken down into:
a) Type I – this is usually diagnosed during childhood, but can be found at any age. With Type I diabetes, the body is unable to make sufficient insulin which results in high blood sugar levels if left untreated. Treatment involves insulin injections.
b) Type II – this is the most common type of diabetes, and is usually diagnosed in adulthood, but is now being seen in children and young adults. Type II diabetes occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin or when the body is not using the insulin properly. Type II is often seen in the obese population. Gestational – high blood sugar levels can be seen in women during pregnancy, even if they don’t have diabetes
Complications of Diabetes
If diabetes is left untreated, high blood sugar levels can lead to a number of complications including:
– Heart disease – up to 80% of diabetics will die of a heart attack or stroke
– Kidney disease – high blood sugar levels can impair the kidneys and prevent them from functioning properly and can even cause them to shut down in severe cases
– Eye disease – approximately 2 million Canadians have some form of eye disease as the result of diabetes (diabetic retinopathy)
– Nerve damage – diabetes can affect the circulation and immune system and can damage sensory nerves, especially in the hands and feet
– Impotence – men with long-standing diabetes, poor blood sugar control, smokers and those that have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease are at an increased risk
– Depression – approximately 25% of diabetics suffer from depression
Cinnamon as Treatment and Possible Diabetes Cure?
Cinnamon and its’ role in lowering blood sugar levels has been a topic of debate recently. Past research suggested that cinnamon may be added as a supplement to traditional diabetes treatments to help lower high blood sugar levels. Researchers have found that by adding a small amount of cinnamon to your diet, about ½ teaspoon, you will start to notice a decrease in your blood sugar levels. It will also help to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in Type II diabetics. To date, no research has proven that cinnamon is a diabetes cure.
While many people get excited when new findings are reported about a diabetic treatment option or a diabetes cure, it is best not to get too optimistic. Until a diabetes cure is found, the best way to manage diabetes and control blood sugar levels is to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. Maintain your blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and if needed, by taking medication to control your blood sugar. In combination with these treatments, adding a half teaspoon of cinnamon a day to your diet can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, but should not be confused as a diabetes cure. It is vital that additional research be conducted and focused on the mechanism of action of cinnamon as well as other herbs and spices to help develop additional treatment options as well as a potential diabetes cure.