Health Benefits of Cinnamon -- LDL

The following is a quote from a recently published Palm Beach Post newspaper column:


Question: "I am curious about the health value of cinnamon. A year ago, I ran across a Web site suggesting cinnamon to reduce bad LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. I do not have this disease, but I wanted to improve my LDL with this spice. I've been working to improve my cholesterol levels with exercise and healthy diet. For about 10 years, my typical LDL was 135, while my HDL was 35. My siblings have similar numbers. This year's numbers were 114 (compare with 135) and 43 (compare with 45). My total cholesterol dropped from 192 to 170, and my triglycerides went from 98 to 65. The only change that I made in the past year was to have 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in my breakfast every morning. I am pleasantly surprised. I like cinnamon and plan to continue taking it. Most members of my family are politely skeptical. Have you seen any research?"


Answer (Joe Graedon M.P., Terry Graedon Ph.D.): A randomized, placebo-controlled trail was published in Diabetes Care (December 2003). As you report, it involved type 2 diabetes. The scientists found that cinnamon can help lower blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. We hope there will be further research to confirm these findings for people like you."