Diabetes – Cinnamon, an old spice re-visited

Dr Paul Clayton 2003

Cinnamon looks increasingly as if may be the spice of life, as far as diabetics are concerned. It contains a number of active compounds, but the most therapeutic appears to be methylhydroxy chalcone polymer, an antioxidant and a flavonoid usually abbreviated to MHCP.

In 2000, a trial carried out by the US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Unit at Tuft’s University in Boston found that MHCP increased the ability of fat cells to metabolise glucose an astonishing 20 times(1). Subsequently, other researchers found that MHCP mimicked insulin, and increased the ability of insulin to clear glucose from the blood stream(2); and a third research team showed that MHCP did indeed switch on the same cellular sequences as insulin(3).

This makes cinnamon a must-have spice for Type 2 diabetics. For best results, they should combine cinnamon with the other micronutrients needed for insulin function (including chromium and manganese), AND a low GI diet. Throw in a little exercise – and, in the majority of cases, the signs, symptoms and health problems related to diabetes will fade, or even disappear altogether.


1 Anderson RA, J Agric Research 48:21, 2000

2 Karalee JIT et al, J Am Coll Nutrition, 20:327-336, 2001

3 Radosevich JI et al, Horm Res, 50:177-182, 1998