Glucose is the simple sugar that circulates in the blood. Our cells rely on it for energy, so glucose needs a way to get from the bloodstream into cells. Insulin is a hormone that also circulates in the blood. When insulin attaches to insulin receptors on the outside of cells , it’s as if doors to the cells swing open and glucose is allowed in. In people with type 2 diabetes, cells resist this effect of insulin, so glucose doesn’t get into cells and builds up in the blood instead.
Cinnamon contains several chemicals that stimulate insulin receptors so glucose can get into cells and that means levels in the blood go down. There’s some debate about exactly which chemicals are the critical ones. While the evidence for a cinnamon benefit on blood sugar is suggestive, it is not sufficiently high level to allow us to advocate substituting it for conventional medicine. Still, exercise, maintenance of a body mass index of 20 to 25, and a bit of cinnamon are all reasonable. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.
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