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
- Letinsky D, et al. Is cinnamon safe and effective for treating lipid disorders? The Journal of Family Practice. 2011;60:43.
- Cassia cinnamon. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Oct. 8, 2012.
- Vafa M, et al. Effects of cinnamon consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and body composition in type 2 diabetic patients. International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2012;3:531.
- Ulbricht C, et al. An evidence-based systematic review of cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Journal of Dietary Supplements. 2011;8:378.
- Grundy SM, et al. Implications of recent clinical trials for the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III Guidelines. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp3upd04.pdf. Accessed Oct. 8, 2012.
- Prevention and treatment of high cholesterol. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/PreventionTreatmentofHighCholesterol/Prevention-and-Treatment-of-High-Cholesterol_UCM_001215_Article.jsp. Accessed Oct. 8, 2012.