3 Benefits of Cinnamon for PCOS on Insulin, Ovulation and Cholesterol
There are many nutritional tips that can support PCOS, but most important is eating a whole food, high-fibre diet. Supplements can also aid your eating practices, including MyOva's Myoplus formula.
But there are also potential benefits hidden within certain cupboard staples. Spices like turmeric have long been associated with improved health for those with PCOS, but research also suggests that cinnamon could be packed with benefits.
3 benefits of cinnamon for PCOS
1. Controls blood sugar
One of the biggest impacts of PCOS on health is its impact on insulin levels and blood sugar control. While most studies performed in humans are small, a 2021 review looking into how cinnamon impacts PCOS found that supplementation resulted in a significant reduction of fasting glucose, insulin and insulin resistance.
One of the studies in the review suggested the reason cinnamon was so beneficial was that it increased glucose utilisation – meaning it is used by the body rather than maintained in the blood.
2. Blood fat control
The same review noted that dyslipidemia – an imbalance of fats in the body, including cholesterol and triglycerides – is the most common metabolic abnormality in PCOS, affecting up to 70% of people with the condition.
Some papers suggest that cinnamon supplementation can reduce total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in people with PCOS. As elevated levels of certain types of fat in the body, including the "bad" cholesterol HDL, is common in those with the condition, these results might suggest big benefits from taking cinnamon.
3. Could increase chances of ovulation
Anovulatory cycles are one of the biggest side effects of PCOS, leading to cysts, pain and infertility. But, in a small study on 45 women in 2014, researchers at Columbia University’s Department of Medicine found that women who took cinnamon every day for six months experienced more regular menstrual cycles and progesterone increases that suggest ovulation.
According to WebMD, two women in the cinnamon-taking group (as opposed to the placebo group) unexpectedly became pregnant, proving that ovulation had occurred.
In the 2021 review of cinnamon on PCOS, researchers suggested that cycle changes could also be due to the improvement in insulin sensitivity which can modify ovarian hormones and androgens.
Things to know about taking cinnamon for PCOS
While all of this research looks promising, it’s still very much in the early stages. Most of the studies are small and results can’t be taken as complete conclusions.
Most importantly, these studies aren’t just observing the impact of a pinch of cinnamon on your morning porridge. The benefits seem to come from 1-1.5g of the spice, which is a lot to get in your diet from cooking alone.
You can buy cinnamon supplements which contain higher doses, but it’s best to check with your doctor before trying any new treatments.