Objective: This study evaluated the effect of cinnamon on disease activity, serum levels of some inflammatory markers, and cardiovascular risk factors in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: In this randomized double-blind clinical trial, 36 women with RA were randomly divided to 2 groups, receiving 4 capsules of either 500 mg cinnamon powder or placebo daily for 8 weeks. Fasting blood sugar (FBS), lipid profile, liver enzymes, serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), blood pressure, and clinical symptoms were determined at baseline and end of the week 8.
Results: At the end of the study, there was a significant decrease of serum levels of CRP (p < 0.001) and TNF-α (p < 0.001) in the cinnamon group as compared to the placebo group. Diastolic blood pressure was also significantly lower in the intervention group compared with the control group (p = 0.017). Compared with placebo, cinnamon intake significantly reduced the Disease Activity Score (DAS-28) (p < 0.001), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) (p < 0.001), and tender (TJC) (p < 0.001) and swollen joints (SJC) (p < 0.001) counts. No significant changes were observed for FBS, lipid profile, liver enzymes, or ESR.
Conclusion: Cinnamon supplementation can be a safe and potential adjunct treatment to improve inflammation and clinical symptoms in patients with RA.
Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis; arthritis; cinnamon; inflammation; randomized controlled trial.