T Nation


The best cost/benefit alternative to improve insulin sensitivness is cinammon, i have researhed on it and tryed my self, for my postworkout meal, to help carb and creatine uptake, also if i have pig out too much i just take a whole tablespoon of it, so far is working just as ALA if not better,It tastes great with sweet foods, and it also blunts appetite while being a tonic and detoxifier of the G.INTESTINAL TRACT

I will try it with my post w. shake and my oatmeal :slight_smile:

Have you found any research showing that cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity in muscle cells because the only research I have seen shows it improves sensitivity in fat cells?

I too, have been using cinnamon with good results for a number of years since seeing it recommended as a powerful glucose disposal agent by Duchaine in “Bodyopus” where he suggested it as an alternative to Metformin. However, ALA also has other benefits as a powerful antioxidant and liver tonic as well as promoting energy at the mitochondria level. I use ALA but still use cinnamon liberally on oatmeal, MRP’s, etc.

How do you know its working?

wow ! why does cinammon work ??? how much do you need to take to have a positive effect ?

Thanks fo the tip. Who would not take the oppurtunity to replace ALA with somehting cheaper and better tasiting?!?!?
ANyway ideas on how it increases sensitivity???

Great post! I read the same thing about cinnamon in Bodyopus. But I haven’t used it regularly due to the fact I have no idea what an effective dose is. ALA is hellishly expensive, so it would be good if someone knew of an effective dose size. I do remember that 1 tablespoon used to make me sleepy after 15 minutes.

I know it works as I 1st started using cinnamon about 3 years ago after losing quite a bit of fat on a keto diet. I used cinnamon per Duchaine’s recommendation to restore insulin sensitivity in coming off the keto diet. I converted from a carb free diet to a relatively high but low glycemic carb diet and stayed under 7-8%BF for almost a year at which time I started bulking. For some reason, I quit using cinnamon (mainly because my diet changed do to bulking) and I started to gain fat rather quickly even though I hadn’t gotten calories that high. After staying extremely lean for a year while using cinnamon, to my chagrin, I started obviously gaining fat when I stopped using much cinnamon. I’m a believer now, but prefer using ALA although I still use lots of cinnamon with high carb meals like oatmeal or MRP’s. I really pour the cinnamon on and really got to enjoy the strong cinnamon taste. It definately works for me. To Apollo - I’m assuming you got sleepy due to low blood sugar as the cinnamon cleared glucose from the blood and stored extra glycogen.

Interesting. I remember Duchaine mentioning it in BO…however it seemed like it was only mentioned in passing, and no recommendation on dosage and how effective. ALA is not expensive if you know where to look. If you buy the powder in bulk it is dirt cheap compared to the pills. Doesn’t dissolve the best but it still works.

magnesium is also supposed to do the same thing. Truthfully I’ve tried cinnamon, high dose fish oils, and A.L.A. I seemed to notice some benefits from the fish oils for the first few days but after that nothing. The only insulin potentiating or mimicking substance I’ve found a discernable consistent difference with is vanadyl sulfate.

What about the claims that it incresases sensitivity in fat cells more than muscle cells, that has been mentioned a few times on this here forum? Does either side have studies to back up their arguments?

Bump. Any opinions from other knowledgable folks, or any with experience. Any chance we could get JMB’s input on this matter??

Hate to be a schoolmarm, but if you just do a search you’ll find not only dosage recommendations and research quotes, but some good info about what constitutes “real” cinnamon as well. (Just as a point of interest, I believe that both of Heb’s posts above have been lifted whole cloth from previous threads.)

char-dawg: Banging the look-it-up gong since 1991.

J Am Coll Nutr 2001 Aug;20(4):327-36

A hydroxychalcone derived from cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

Jarvill-Taylor KJ, Anderson RA, Graves DJ.

Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.

OBJECTIVES: These studies investigated the ability of a hydroxychalcone from cinnamon to function as an insulin mimetic in 3T3-LI adipocytes. METHODS: Comparative experiments were performed with the cinnamon methylhydroxychalcone polymer and insulin with regard to glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis. phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase dependency, glycogen synthase activation and glycogen synthase kinase-3beta activity. The phosphorylation state of the insulin receptor was also investigated. RESULTS: MHCP treatment stimulated glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis to a similar level as insulin. Glycogen synthesis was inhibited by both wortmannin and LY294002, inhibitors directed against the PI-3-kinase. In addition, MHCP treatment activated glycogen synthase and inhibited glycogen synthase kinase-3beta activities, known effects of insulin treatment. Analysis of the insulin receptor demonstrated that the receptor was phosphorylated upon exposure to the MHCP. This supports that the insulin cascade was triggered by MHCP. Along with comparing MHCP to insulin, experiments were done with MHCP and insulin combined. The responses observed using the dual treatment were greater than additive, indicating synergism between the two compounds. CONCLUSION: Together, these results demonstrate that the MHCP is an effective mimetic of insulin. MHCP may be useful in the treatment of insulin resistance and in the study of the pathways leading to glucose utilization in cells.

PMID: 11506060 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Horm Res 1998 Sep;50(3):177-82
Regulation of PTP-1 and insulin receptor kinase by fractions from cinnamon: implications for cinnamon regulation of insulin signalling.

Imparl-Radosevich J, Deas S, Polansky MM, Baedke DA, Ingebritsen TS, Anderson RA, Graves DJ.

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA.

Bioactive compound(s) extracted from cinnamon potentiate insulin activity, as measured by glucose oxidation in the rat epididymal fat cell assay. Wortmannin, a potent PI 3’-kinase inhibitor, decreases the biological response to insulin and bioactive compound(s) from cinnamon similarly, indicating that cinnamon is affecting an element(s) upstream of PI 3’-kinase. Enzyme studies done in vitro show that the bioactive compound(s) can stimulate autophosphorylation of a truncated form of the insulin receptor and can inhibit PTP-1, a rat homolog of a tyrosine phosphatase (PTP-1B) that inactivates the insulin receptor. No inhibition was found with alkaline phosphate or calcineurin suggesting that the active material is not a general phosphatase inhibitor. It is suggested, then, that a cinnamon compound(s), like insulin, affects protein phosphorylation-dephosphorylation reactions in the intact adipocyte. Bioactive cinnamon compounds may find further use in studies of insulin resistance in adult-onset diabetes.

PMID: 9762007 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]