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Cinnamon for Fertility Myth or Reality

cinnamon-for-fertility

There is so much conflicting information about the health benefits of cinnamon on the internet that a quick browser search and a couple of hours of reading can leave you exactly where you started, asking, “Is Cinnamon for fertility myth or reality?” But, if you narrow the scope of your search, and focus only on well designed studies carried out by reputable researchers, the answer becomes clearer.

The Hype

If you believe everything you read on the internet, cinnamon is capable of practically anything, from cleansing your kidneys to helping your digestion to paying your children’s way through college. When it comes to fertility, alternative medicine practitioners and supplement companies specifically claim that cinnamon is effective in boosting female fertility. They cite the fact that in East Asia, women having trouble conceiving rub a mixture of honey and cinnamon on their gums to increase fertility. The cinnamon is supposed to both help foster general organ health and help restore a balanced Yin and Yang function necessary to female fertility.

The Reality

At this point in time there is no research that indicates any direct link between cinnamon and increased male or female fertility. If cinnamon does have fertility boosting powers, it’s probably more related to its impact on blood sugar levels than to any effect it has on the body as a whole or on Yin and Yang. One study looking at the impact of cinnamon on women with polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that can affect female fertility and that researchers believe is linked to excess insulin production due to increased insulin resistance, indicated that participants taking cinnamon showed significant reductions in insulin resistance when compared to the control group taking placebos. The research is controversial, however, because it suggests that cinnamon should also be effective as a diabetes treatment, but so far only one study shows any indication that cinnamon may lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. No other studies have confirmed this finding, but others have shown that cinnamon doesn’t have a positive effect on hemoglobin A1C levels, which reflect the average of two or three months of blood sugar levels. At this time, doctors do not recommend cinnamon as a treatment for either female infertility or type 2 diabetes.

 

Resources

“Polycystic ovary syndrome: Causes – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/polycystic-ovary-syndrome/DS00423/DSECTION=causes.

Wang MD, Jeff G, Richard A Anderson PhD, George M Graham III MD, Micheline C Chu MD, Mark V Sauer MD, Michael M Guarnaccia MD, and Rogerio A Lobo MD. “The effect of cinnamon extract on insulin resistance parameters in polycystic ovary syndrome: a pilot study.” Fertility and Sterility 88.1 (2007): 240-243. The Official Journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Web. 15 Mar. 2010.

“Diabetes treatment: Can cinnamon lower blood sugar? – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes/AN00939.

 

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