Diet and exercise are a step in the right path towards a healthier life. However, this may still not be enough to reduce cholesterol levels. Many people find themselves struggling to lower their cholesterol levels, which is a prevalent problem throughout the nation. A whopping 93 million adults (age 20 or older) in the United States have cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg/dL. Source
The potential of cinnamon as a supplement is powerful when it comes to lowering cholesterol levels.
A meta-analysis of 10 studies shows that cinnamon produced a significant decrease in glucose levels, cholesterol, triglycerides. It also increased HDL levels (good cholesterol). Source
A study with Ceylon cinnamon showed that healthy participants experienced a significant reduction in total cholesterol and low-density cholesterol levels after three months. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure lowered during the first month itself and was sustained through the follow-up. (Source) Additionally, the cinnamon extract is 20-fold compared to other spices in terms of insulin-potentiating effects. Source
How does cinnamon aid in lowering cholesterol levels?
Ceylon cinnamon also contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is known for its
antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic properties. It is the most important component that is responsible for cinnamon’s healing properties. This study, albeit the participants being mice, shows that the compound has great promise for patients looking to lower body weight or increase their HDL cholesterol levels (the “good cholesterol”).
Another component of cinnamon known for being a mimetic of insulin is hydroxychalcone. A study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that MHCP (the cinnamon
methylhydroxychalcone polymer) treatment mimicked the roles of insulin, stimulating glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis. All in all, the chemical can be used to treat insulin resistance, which has been linked to higher cholesterol levels. (source, source)
Cinnamic acid has been shown to have anti-obesity and antihypertensive effects in mice, which may also translate over to humans. When mice were fed a high fat diet paired with cinnamic acid, the cinnamic acid protected the aortic arch by preventing vasoconstriction. It also improved liver functions such as liver steatosis and kidney function (source). Thus, cinnamic acid holds great potential when it comes to using cinnamon as a preventative measure against obesity and cardiovascular disease.