Although there’s no cure for PCOS, there are lots of ways to reduce those unwanted symptoms, allowing you to regain control of your body.
Recent research sheds some light on a possible way to do so, and that is, supplementing with cinnamon.
And no, this does not mean binge eating cinnamon buns or donuts.
If only managing your PCOS were that delicious!
It simply means including more cinnamon in your diet, whether it be the spice or supplement, which is commonly referred to as cinnamon extract.
Without further ado, let’s explore this tremendously popular spice and how it can benefit any woman with PCOS.
BENEFITS OF CINNAMON FOR PCOS
Results from a number of studies suggest that cinnamon may be a therapeutic agent for the treatment of PCOS.
The most notable is the systematic review and meta-analysis, carried out in March of 2020.
Its aim was to evaluate five clinical trials, which looked into the benefits of supplementing with cinnamon for PCOS.
Here are the key findings:
CINNAMON REDUCES INSULIN LEVELS
70% of all women with PCOS will have insulin resistance (IR).
In IR, the cells of your body become resistant to the normal effects of insulin; a blood sugar-regulating hormone.
Basically, your cells don't recognize that insulin is there, causing insulin levels to rise (hyperinsulinemia).
And as insulin levels get higher and higher over a sustained period of time, they start to drive the symptoms of your PCOS.
Thus a reduction in insulin levels leads to the improvement of multiple PCOS symptoms like hair growth/loss and acne.
IT DECREASES FASTING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Firstly, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters your bloodstream after a meal.
It does this by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in your digestive tract.
Second, a compound in cinnamon can act on cells by mimicking insulin.
This greatly improves glucose uptake by your cells, albeit acts much slower than insulin itself.
IT REDUCES CHOLESTEROL LEVELS (LDL), AND TRIGLYCERIDES
High LDL, or “bad”cholesterol levels, increases the risk of heart disease.
The same is true for high triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood.
Due to the metabolic nature of PCOS, women with this condition are at higher risk of developing high LDL and high triglycerides.
Supporting evidence of cinnamon’s positive effects, however, is not limited to the meta-analysis of March 2020.
Various other studies have demonstrated cinnamon’s effect on women with PCOS.
Here are two more findings that are worth mentioning:
CINNAMON IMPROVES MENSTRUAL REGULARITY
In a prospective, placebo controlled, double-blinded randomized trial, 45 women with PCOS were randomized to receive cinnamon supplements (1.5 g/d) or placebo for 6 months.
During the 6 month intervention, menstrual cycles were more frequent in patients taking cinnamon compared with patients taking placebo.
IT IS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
A comparative study by Food & Function found that, although cinnamon is useful for reducing chronic inflammation, it is the cinnamon extracts in which most of the anti-inflammatory activity is observed.
Nevertheless, this spice and its antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory properties helping to lower inflammation which is an issue for many women with PCOS.
HOW TO TAKE CINNAMON FOR PCOS
Cinnamon is a versatile spice that can be added to your diet & lifestyle in many different ways.
Firstly, it contains no calories or carbohydrates which makes it a great option to use in foods.
And there’s a bonus: it’s quite delicious!
Here are some ideas:
• Blend it into a smoothie
• Add it to your morning tea
• Sprinkle it on cereal (low sugar cereal, of course)
• Add to home baking such as cookies and banana bread
• Mix it with greek yoghurt as a snack
Secondly, cinnamon can be taken as a supplement - usually known as cinnamon extract.
This is a great way to know exactly how much you’re putting into your body, and for creating a routine for taking it regularly.
HOW MUCH CINNAMON SHOULD YOU TAKE?
At this time there is no established dosage of cinnamon for women with PCOS.
However, the standard recommendation in terms of cinnamon tablet dosage is to take between 2 to 4 grams per day (2,000 to 4,000 milligrams), which is equivalent to about ½ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
If you have any further questions about cinnamon, either the spice itself or our supplement, then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org