Cinnamon extract supplement boosts muscle mass

Even if you do no exercise you can build up more than a kilogram of muscle in four months if you take a supplement containing cinnamon extract. Nutritionists at the French research institute Inserm write about it in PLoS One.

The researchers did an experiment with 52 subjects, all of whom were well on the way to developing type 2 diabetes. They all needed to lose some body fat and their glucose levels were on the high side too. They really needed to change their lifestyle, but they weren’t prepared to do that. They were prepared to take a couple of capsules a day though.

Cinnamon extract supplement boosts muscle mass
The researchers gave half of the subjects a placebo every day for four months. The other half were given two capsules of Glycabiane, a product manufactured by the French company PiLeJe, every day at lunchtime.

The subjects in the experimental group consumed about 460 mg of a Cinnamomum cassia extract, 200 mg carnosine and 20 mcg chrome chloride daily. The Cinnamomum cassia extract is the most important component of Glycabiane. It contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins-A. Cinnamomum cassia, like other varieties of cinnamon, contains substances that make the insulin receptor more sensitive, and stimulate muscle cells to absorb more glucose from the blood stream.

Groupe PiLeJe sponsored the study. Three employees of PiLeJe worked on the study.

The subjects who took the cinnamon supplement had a lower glucose concentration in their blood in the mornings – a positive sign. The less glucose there is in your blood early in the morning the better your cells listen to insulin and the less likely you are to develop type 2 diabetes.


At the same time the subjects who had taken the cinnamon supplement also built up over one kilogram of lean body mass, which was probably main muscle.

The amount of muscle mass the subjects in the experimental group built up increased the more insulin sensitivity their cells developed. The figure below shows the relationship between on the one hand the increase in lean body mass and on the other the increase in insulin sensitivity [QUICKI].


“In conclusion, a 4-month treatment with a dietary supplement containing cinnamon, chromium and carnosine decreased fasting plasma glucose and increased fat-free mass in overweight or obese prediabetic subjects”, the researchers summarised. “Whether the dietary supplement tested in this study can prevent the risk of type-2 diabetes and related complications remains to be established in larger studies with longer treatment and follow-up durations, using clinical endpoints.”

“Higher cinnamon doses as well as other sources of cinnamon extracts may also need to be tested.”

A Dietary Supplement Containing Cinnamon, Chromium and Carnosine Decreases Fasting Plasma Glucose and Increases Lean Mass in Overweight or Obese Pre-Diabetic Subjects: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial


Preventing or slowing the progression of prediabetes to diabetes is a major therapeutic issue.

Our aim was to evaluate the effects of 4-month treatment with a dietary supplement containing cinnamon, chromium and carnosine in moderately obese or overweight pre-diabetic subjects, the primary outcome being change in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) level. Other parameters of plasma glucose homeostasis, lipid profile, adiposity and inflammatory markers were also assessed.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 62 subjects with a FPG level ranging from 5.55 to 7 mmol/L and a body mass index ?25 kg/m2, unwilling to change their dietary and physical activity habits, were allocated to receive a 4-month treatment with either 1.2 g/day of the dietary supplement or placebo. Patients were followed up until 6 months post-randomization.

Four-month treatment with the dietary supplement decreased FPG compared to placebo (-0.24±0.50 vs +0.12±0.59 mmol/L, respectively, p = 0.02), without detectable significant changes in HbA1c. Insulin sensitivity markers, plasma insulin, plasma lipids and inflammatory markers did not differ between the treatment groups. Although there were no significant differences in changes in body weight and energy or macronutrient intakes between the two groups, fat-free mass (%) increased with the dietary supplement compared to placebo (p = 0.02). Subjects with a higher FPG level and a milder inflammatory state at baseline benefited most from the dietary supplement.

Four-month treatment with a dietary supplement containing cinnamon, chromium and carnosine decreased FPG and increased fat-free mass in overweight or obese pre-diabetic subjects. These beneficial effects might open up new avenues in the prevention of diabetes.