Can Cinnamon Lower Uric Acid In Gout Patients?
Cinnamon is a spice that originates from India, China and Sri Lanka being one of the oldest spices known to man having been mentioned in a 2700 BC book on Chinese botanical medicine. Cinnamon has been mentioned in the Bible many times and was used in ancient Egypt not only to flavour beverages but as medicine as well. There are over 100 different varieties of Cinnamonum verum all over the world, the scientific name for cinnamon.
Cinnamon is the bark of the cinnamon tree, it is dried and it is rolled into “Quills” or you can find it also in powder form. In traditional Chinese medicine, it has been used for its warming qualities, providing relief when having the flu or cold, works especially well when mixed in a tea with some fresh ginger. Cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese, fiber and a very good source of calcium.
What is the evidence regarding cinnamon’s effect on the human body?
Now let’s dig in into the health benefits of cinnamon. Studies have show that just a small amount of cinnamon taken daily may significantly reduce blood pressure. Studies have also show that taking ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon powder daily may help decrease cholesterol for those with high cholesterol. When mixed with honey, ½ a teaspoon largely may also help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis and cinnamon may be used to relieve all kinds of joint pains including gout and arthritis!
Another study relating to gout shows that a concentration of cinnamon mixed with honey can reduce uric acid levels in gout patients. In the study, they divided 50 gout patients with gout into two groups. One group received the cinnamon extract with honey while the other group received 100mg of Allopurinol. They did this therapy for one week with one dose a day. They found that the first group experienced better results than the second group.
Another ingredient that works really well with cinnamon is Chrysanthemum indicum. A study that was conducted by the Korea Institute Of Oriental Medicine found that chrysanthemum mixed with cinnamon is able to reduce serum uric acid levels. The combination of these two ingredients worked better than when used alone to treat hyperuricemia.
Furthermore, cinnamon may help control the body’s blood sugar levels helping people with diabetes by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, limiting the rise in blood sugar after eating. (See the following study.) Cinnamon may also help people with type 2 diabetes improve their ability to respond to insulin by normalizing their blood sugar levels. Numerous studies conclude this from the US Agricultural Research Service from a study done on humans and the December 2003 issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice from a study done on rats.
A study published in Hormone Metabolism Research is very interesting; they fed rats a high fructose diet and were also given cinnamon extract. The rats’ ability to respond to and handle glucose was so greatly improved that the insulin levels were the same as the rats who were on a normal diet!
Researchers from China evaluated 122 different herbs and spices for their effectiveness at reducing uric acid levels, the main trigger for gout flare-ups and guess what? Cinnamon proved to be the most effective of them all, for inhibiting the enzyme responsible for producing uric acid and avoiding a gout attack.
Cinnamon is also an extremely powerful antioxidant that when compared to six other antioxidant spices which include ginger, vanilla, licorice, mint, nutmeg and anise; cinnamon was the unanimous winner, preventing oxidation more effectively than all the other spices except mint! This also helps you with your gout.
Other Health Benefits of Cinnamon
As discussed above, it’s clear that cinnamon is a great ingredient that you should include in your diet but you might not be aware of its other health benefits. Here are more of them.
Cinnamon can cut heart disease risk
Heart disease is one of the deadliest conditions but you might be able to reduce your risk for it by taking cinnamon. One review study found that taking a dose of 120mg of cinnamon per day increases good cholesterol in the body. This in combination with its ability to reduce blood pressure will drastically reduce your risk for having heart disease.
- Cinnamon can protect against neurodegenerative disease
Cinnamon can protect you against the most common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Several animal studies show that there are compounds found in cinnamon which inhibit hallmarks of these diseases and protect the neurons.
- Cinnamon may protect against certain cancers
Cinnamon is one of the top foods that can protect against cancer. It’s able to do so by reducing cancer cell growth and inhibiting the formation of blood vessels in tumors. In one study conducted on mice with colon cancer, they found that cinnamon was able to detoxify enzymes which prevented the cancer from growing further.
- Cinnamon may help fight HIV
HIV is a virus that affects your immune system making it weak over time. This makes you prone to developing AIDS later on. Cinnamon might just be able to help with that. In fact, one study has found that cinnamon was able to effectively treat cells infected with HIV compared to other 69 medicinal plants. Cinnamon can also fight HIV-1 which is the most common strain of HIV virus.
How does a gout sufferer use cinnamon?
Cinnamon is available in sticks and powder form found on Amazon. The sticks can be stored for longer, the ground powder has a stronger flavor. Powdered cinnamon will keep fresh for about 6 months while cinnamon sticks will remain fresh for about a year but you can extend their shelf life by storing them in the fridge. You can check to see if cinnamon is still fresh by simply smelling it and if it does not smell sweet then you should discard it.
A good way for gout sufferers to prepare cinnamon is by boiling water and mixing honey with cinnamon in it, then stirring it, to drink it as a tea. Although this sounds funny, a Copenhagen University study directed this exact compound to 200 people who suffered from severe arthritis. Over a third proclaimed reduced symptoms within a week and within a month; nearly everybody had significantly better mobility with far less pain. I personally sprinkle cinnamon on top of my green tea and other teas I drink. I also love to sprinkle it on top of a cappuccino and sometimes mix it in my water. Use it wisely also when you have a sweet tooth on top of rice pudding or simply toast some bread and spread some raw honey with some cinnamon on top, it is delicious!
If you’re having oatmeal, cinnamon makes for a perfect addition to make it more flavorful. Cinnamon can also be added to pancakes and muffins although you want to be moderate when consuming these food items as they can be high in sugar. Naturally sweet food items such as sweet potatoes, apples and grapefruit can also taste better when added with cinnamon. The great thing about these is that you don’t have to worry about the sugar content since their vitamins and minerals cancel out the negative effects of the sugar.