Background: Published studies have reported conflicting results regarding the effects of cinnamon on glucose, lipids and insulin. To gain further insight into the metabolic effects of Cinnamomum cassia we performed randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled study using euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp.
Methods: Twenty-one subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) were included in the study (10 or 11 subjects in each group). The study groups were matched for age, gender and body mass index (BMI). Waist-to-hip ratio, BMI, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein , HbA1c, ASAT, ALAT, bilirubin, ALP, GT and PK were measured before and after the intake of capsules equivalent to 6 g cinnamon twice a day for 12 weeks. The changes in insulin resistance were measured by euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp. The Wilcoxon signed rank sum test, the Mann-Whitney U test and Pearson's chi-squared test were used to analyse the data. Values of p < 0.05 were considered to indicate statistically significant differences.
Results: At enrolment, the groups were similar in terms of age, gender and BMI. Of the 21 randomized patients with IGT, 17 completed the study (8 controls vs. 9 treated). The ingestion of 6 g cinnamon twice a day for 12 weeks had no significant effect on insulin sensitivity, HbA1c, fasting glucose or BMI. No significant changes were seen in lipids or liver enzymes.
Conclusions: This study showed that ingestion of 6 g C. cassia twice a day for 12 weeks did not change the insulin sensitivity or liver enzymes in subjects with IGT.