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Can Cinnamon Help You Lose Weight?

If you are struggling with weight loss compounded by a diabetes problem or insulin sensitivity or have been told you have metabolic syndrome, cinnamon can be a godsend. While reports hailing it as a weight-loss wonder are aplenty, its true power may lie in how it counteracts inflammation and improves your lipid profile, insulin sensitivity.

Over a third of all adults in the country are obese, with a 60 percent increase in obesity in the past two decades alone.1 If you’re struggling with weight loss yourself, the idea of the warm and heady cinnamon as a weight-loss remedy may pique your interest. But is this fact or a dieter’s myth?

Weight loss in an otherwise healthy adult may not come from just adding cinnamon to the diet, but the spice can help those with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and other insulin sensitivity or glucose metabolism-related weight issues. It can also help tackle problems like inflammation-induced obesity. So while cinnamon may not be the miracle cure everyone is looking for, it’s worth making it a part of your lifestyle for overall health – and for helping you get fit if you have any of these conditions.2

Inflammation-Induced Obesity

Cinnamon, like another popular Ayurvedic remedy turmeric, helps modulate inflammatory pathways and combat inflammation-induced obesity. The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon, which constitutes about 90 percent of the essential oil of the bark of cinnamon, is an active component that improves lipid metabolism.3

When taken as a water extract, it can help manage hyperlipidemia (elevated levels of lipids) in addition to improving obesity-related diabetes.4 Obesity is associated with the presence of TNF-alpha, a substance that causes the body to overproduce proteins that bind with lipids in the intestine. However, the cinnamon water extract can regulate gene expression and reverse this effect. It also counters inflammation-linked intestinal dyslipidemia (elevated levels of triglycerides/cholesterol).5

Decrease Total Cholesterol

Cinnamon bark extracts can help decrease levels of cholesterol in the body and improve your lipid profile. As one study found, test subjects given two 750 mg capsules of cinnamon daily over a 12 week period benefited from cinnamon intake. In addition to their total cholesterol levels reducing, their low-density lipoproteins and triglyceride levels also went down. This is also beneficial to those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who might otherwise be at risk of hepatic injury.6

Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Researchers have found that anyone with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or other insulin sensitivity issues can tap into the benefits of cinnamon to improve their insulin and glucose levels. Tests and studies, both human as well as animal and in-vitro, have found that cinnamon polyphenols can improve insulin sensitivity. As little as 1 to 6 gm of cinnamon a day can lower mean fast serum glucose levels by as much as 29 percent after just 40 days. The aqueous extract, rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory polyphenols, can also help women with polycystic ovary syndrome and improve glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and fasting glucose numbers – all factors that play a role in your weight-loss goals.7

References   [ + ]

1. Obesity, CDC.
2, 3. Aggarwal, Bharat B. “Targeting inflammation-induced obesity and metabolic diseases by curcumin and other nutraceuticals.” Annual review of nutrition 30 (2010): 173.
4. Sheng, Xiaoyan, Yuebo Zhang, Zhenwei Gong, Cheng Huang, and Ying Qin Zang. “Improved insulin resistance and lipid metabolism by cinnamon extract through activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors.” PPAR research 2008 (2008).
5. Qin, B., Harry Dawson, M. M. Polansky, and R. A. Anderson. “Cinnamon extract attenuates TNF-α-induced intestinal lipoprotein ApoB48 overproduction by regulating inflammatory, insulin, and lipoprotein pathways in enterocytes.” Hormone and metabolic research 41, no. 07 (2009): 516-522.
6. Askari, Faezeh, Bahram Rashidkhani, and Azita Hekmatdoost. “Cinnamon may have therapeutic benefits on lipid profile, liver enzymes, insulin resistance, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients.” Nutrition research 34, no. 2 (2014): 143-148.
7. Anderson, Richard A. “Chromium and polyphenols from cinnamon improve insulin sensitivity.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 67, no. 01 (2008): 48-53.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.