Does cinnamon lower cholesterol levels?

Answers from Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.

There's little evidence that cinnamon can lower your cholesterol, so cinnamon isn't recommended to treat high cholesterol. Although some cholesterol-lowering effects have been seen in animal studies, there's little evidence that this applies to humans. Most of the trials have shown no effect on blood cholesterol. Much more study is needed.

However, cinnamon can be a healthy way to add flavor to foods, especially in place of adding sugar or salt.

To reduce your cholesterol, focus instead on lifestyle changes:

  • Limit the amount of saturated fats — including butter, cream, bacon and red meat — you eat.
  • Limit the amount of trans fats — including shortening, partially hydrogenated oils — you eat.
  • Lose excess weight.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

If you can't reduce your cholesterol levels with lifestyle changes alone, your doctor is likely to recommend cholesterol-lowering medication.


Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.

Nov. 14, 2015 See more Expert Answers