Does cinnamon lower cholesterol levels?

Answers from Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.

There's little evidence that cinnamon can lower your cholesterol, and cinnamon isn't recommended as a treatment for high cholesterol. Eating a large amount of cinnamon (1 to 6 grams of cinnamon a day) can affect how your body processes sugar and fat. This could theoretically lower your cholesterol. However, there's not much evidence that this happens.

But even if cinnamon doesn't live up to its reputation for lowering cholesterol, it can be a healthy way to add flavor to foods, especially when used in place of adding more sugar or salt.

To reduce your cholesterol, focus instead on lifestyle changes:

  • Lose excess weight.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine.
  • If you smoke, stop.

If necessary, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medication.

Jan. 08, 2013 See more Expert Answers