If you're a fan of cinnamon's warm, comforting aroma and taste, here's some good news: it may also offer potential health benefits, like lowering blood pressure. Let's explore the potential relationship between cinnamon and blood pressure, breaking down the science to see if that spice can actually manage to do this.
Blood Pressure and Cinnamon
Natural remedies like cinnamon claim to lend a helping hand with blood pressure levels that tip over the norm, but how much of this is true? After looking into it, I found a study that could shed some light on this.
The study involved overweight men consuming 2 grams of cinnamon powder daily with their meals. Results showed that cinnamon effectively reduced blood pressure levels in men with uncontrolled hypertension and positively affected weight loss. Other studies from a meta-analysis showed similar findings.
The consensus from the analysis was that 2 grams of cinnamon taken daily significantly lowered blood pressure levels over 8 weeks. Overall, these results prove cinnamon can positively affect blood pressure, lowering levels while providing additional benefits like weight loss.
None of the studies mention any serious side effects from supplementation, which shows us that cinnamon is not only an effective choice but also a safe one as well.
Understanding the Link Between Lowered Blood Pressure and Cinnamon
Now that we know cinnamon can realistically lower blood pressure, I'm sure the next question on your lips is, 'How?' So, let's get into that below and look at how cinnamon is believed to lower blood pressure:
The active ingredient in cinnamon promotes vasodilation, a process that widens blood vessels. When vessels are widened, it's easier for blood to flow through, easing the force of blood against the blood vessel walls, leading to reduced blood pressure.
Improves Insulin Function
Cinnamon's effect on insulin forms part of one of the spices' many benefits. Cinnamon imitates the effects of insulin (a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels), increasing the movement of glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into cells. This action contributes to lower blood sugar levels, ultimately reducing the strain on the circulatory system and heart by minimizing the need to rapidly eliminate excess sugar from the body—lower blood pressure levels.
Chronic inflammation can narrow and stiffen blood vessels, increasing blood flow resistance, which leads to a rise in blood pressure levels. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it might help calm down inflammation and which will potentially have a positive impact on blood pressure.
Moderation in Dosing is Key
From the studies I mentioned earlier, you would notice that 2 grams of cinnamon daily is the dosing sweet spot for effects that lower blood pressure. While you can try this dose to see if it would positively affect you, it's best to start low and gradually increase to the desired dose.
Consuming cinnamon in reasonable amounts is always recommended, with science dictating that the uppermost dose is 6 grams daily for anti-diabetic (blood regulation) purposes. Since one of the mechanisms behind cinnamon working for lowering blood pressure is through blood sugar regulation, I would say 6 grams daily should be the maximum threshold here as well.
However, before hopping onto cinnamon trail, talking to a healthcare professional for guidance is always a good idea. They can provide direction and advice tailored to your unique health circumstances.
Also, it is important to view cinnamon as a complement or support aid to a balanced diet, regular exercise, and any prescribed medical treatments you may have instead of looking at it as a standalone solution for hypertension.
After looking at cinnamon in more detail, I found several studies support the spice's effect on blood pressure, with their results showing notable reductions. These effects were paired with other benefits and no side effects—which, in retrospect, is the perfect outcome.
But while the evidence sings cinnamon's praises, caution still needs to be taken, like sticking to recommended doses and seeking guidance from a healthcare professional. This will ensure you gain all the benefits without experiencing any side effects.
Cinnamon should be embraced as part of a holistic approach to health issues, which means it can be a great support aid but can't be used as a standalone treatment for chronic blood pressure issues (hypertension).