By Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
Chances are, you are familiar with both cinnamon and probiotics. Both have proven health effects in many areas. But did you know that together, cinnamon and probiotics are a powerful blood sugar balancing team?
Blood sugar balance and insulin control are extremely important for managing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) since they are often at the root of our symptoms. Many doctors still reflexively prescribe the drug Metformin, which is supposed to help in this area, but is not well tolerated by many. Fortunately, there are lots of natural ways to get blood sugar and, as a result, hormones in balance including diet and exercise as well as supplements such as berberine and inositol. Now we can add cinnamon and probiotics to the blood sugar management list!
Scientists think cinnamaldehyde is the compound in cinnamon which impacts blood sugar and insulin resistance. Many other compounds, such as cinnamic acid, coumarin, procyanidins, and eugenol also have a beneficial impact on glucose regulation, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and activation of insulin receptors and glucose transporters.
Several meta-analysis studies demonstrate cinnamon’s ability to improve glycemic control by lowering fasting blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, and decreasing HbA1C levels. Reducing insulin resistance is also important for regulating menstrual cycles which are often unpredictable or absent in women with PCOS. A 2014 study suggests that using cinnamon improves menstrual cyclicity. This study used 1.5 g of a cinnamon supplement per day for 6 months.
Probiotic’s Impact on Blood Sugar
Probiotics are undeniably helpful in many areas including immune system support, gut health and digestion, helping to balance metabolism, and reducing inflammation. A quality probiotic can also help balance blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance.
Research indicates that having a relatively low diversity in the gut microbiome is correlated with higher overall inflammation, as well as greater insulin resistance and other markers of metabolic diseases. Chronic gut inflammation alone also promotes insulin resistance.
In addition, your microbiome affects weight. Studies show that bacterial richness in the gut is associated with higher body fat, insulin resistance, and inflammation, compared to those with higher bacterial richness. This means having fewer numbers and variety of bacteria in the gut can lead to obesity. Probiotics can help that.
Cinnamon and Probiotics Can Work Together to Balance Blood Sugar
Separately, cinnamon and probiotics each work to balance blood sugar. Together, they may have an even greater impact. A 2019 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study looked at using cinnamon, probiotics, or both on blood sugar control. 136 patients were divided into four groups: the first group took 0.5 g of powdered cinnamon and 100 million CFU of Lactobacillus acidophilus, the second group took the probiotic, the third group took cinnamon, and the fourth group took a placebo. The study was conducted for 3 months, and at the conclusion, all three treatment groups experienced significant reductions in their fasting blood sugar and HbA1C levels.
Amy Medling, best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.