When you are very overweight, just changing a few things in your daily routine can help you lose weight relatively quickly. However, after an initial burst of weight loss, many times you stop losing weight quickly or stop losing weight at all. After a few months of weight loss, many people find that they hit this weight loss plateau. One way to help avoid this weight loss plateau is by speeding up your metabolism. Incorporating Cinnamon into your diet, or taking it as a supplement, is a healthy and all natural way to speed up your metabolism and to lose weight.
I haven’t been able to find studies that directly tested cinnamon’s effects on the metabolism… However, in addition to its effects on the metabolism, there is another reason that cinnamon can lead to weight loss (and this is supported by studies).
More and more research is showing that Cinnamon can help people with Diabetes and pre-Diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels and increasing natural production of insulin. A Pakistani study in which patients with type 2 diabetes were given between one quarter and two teaspoons of Cinnamon a day, demonstrated the aforementioned affects on blood sugar and insulin production in addition to lowering cholesterol (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14633804?dopt=Abstract)! The reason this is all important to weight loss is because fat cells are very responsive to high insulin levels. A recent National Institute of Health Study, showed how insulin directly stimulates fat cells to take in glucose (http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2010/nichd-07.htm).
So, if you are having trouble losing weight, taking cinnamon as a daily supplement may be a good idea. It’s effects on the metabolism, blood sugar levels, and insulin levels can help to overcome the “weight loss plateau”.
Also, if the cinnamon doesn’t help you lose weight, its nice to know that it may have a lot of other health benefits. Studies have shown cinnamon to: stop resistant yeast infections, reduce cancer cell growth, reduce arthritis pain, prevent food spoilage, and to fight E. coli. I’ve read that one study even showed that smelling cinnamon could improve mental function! Eating cinnamon probably won’t cure you of cancer, but its many beneficial properties will likely improve your body’s function in some way, and it will definitely provide you with long term health benefits.
I take about one teaspoon of cinnamon a day. I like to mix it into my morning oatmeal. It tastes great with the oatmeal and I also do this because of the large quantity of carbohydrates in oatmeal (carbohydrates increase blood sugar and insulin levels).
I was informed by a reader that the cinnamon you buy at the market is not “true cinnamon”. The true cinnamon spice is called Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, yet most cinnamon products come from a similar species called Cinnamomum Cassia. This may not seem very important, but if you want to use cinnamon as a weight loss supplement it may be important. This is because Cassia Cinnamon contains very high levels of coumarin which could pose health dangers (it has actually been banned in Germany!). Coumarin in too high doses can even damage the liver!
If you read the reader’s comments below, Pat has recommended a source for true Ceylon cinnamon. One pound of Cinnamon sticks from the Ceylon Online website will cost you $26.00 . I thought this was a bit on the high side, so I did some research, and actually found amazon to be a good source of true cinnamon. You can get a pound of Cinnamon Ceylon Powder for $14 from a bulk spice dealer on Amazon. If you are willing to pay a little more, then I recommend these teaspoon cinnamon packets. The cinnamon comes prepackaged in 1 tsp packets, so its perfect if you are taking it as a supplement. It’s about $18 bucks for 36 packets, but this seems like a pretty fair price, because the Ceylon cinnamon in these packets is organic! Another option is to take cinnamon in capsule form. Nature’s Bounty sells cinnamon capsules on Amazon. A 100 capsules are about 7 bucks (but take notice that the cinnamon is not Ceylon and it is not organic).