The effect of a cinnamon-, chromium- and magnesium-formulated honey on glycaemic control, weight loss and lipid parameters in type 2 diabetes: an open-label cross-over randomised controlled trial



This randomised controlled trial assessed the acute and long-term effects of daily supplementation of kanuka honey, formulated with cinnamon, chromium and magnesium on glucose metabolism, weight and lipid parameters in individuals with type 2 diabetes.


Twelve individuals with type 2 diabetes received 53.5 g of a formulated honey and a control (non-formulated) kanuka honey in a random order for 40 days, using cross-over design. Fasting glucose, insulin, HbA1c, lipids and anthropometric measures were measured at baseline and end of treatment. A meal tolerance test was performed at baseline to assess acute metabolic response.


There was no statistically significant difference in acute glucose metabolism between treatment groups, as measured by the Matsuda index and AUC for glucose and insulin. After the 40-day intervention with honey, fasting glucose did not differ significantly between the two treatments (95 % CI −2.6 to 0.07). There was no statistically significant change in HbA1c or fasting insulin. There was a statistically significant reduction in total cholesterol by −0.29 mmol/L (95 % CI −0.57 to −0.23), LDL cholesterol by −0.29 mmol/L (95 % CI −0.57 to −0.23) and weight by −2.2 kg (95 % CI −4.2 to −0.1). There was a trend towards increased HDL and reduced systolic blood pressure in the intervention treatment.


The addition of cinnamon, chromium and magnesium supplementation to kanuka honey was not associated with a significant improvement in glucose metabolism or glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Use of the formulated honey was associated with a reduction in weight and improvements in lipid parameters, and should be investigated further.

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Conflict of interest

The honey products and study funding were provided by Honeylab Ltd. The authors have no financial interest in this company, and the company had no influence on the reporting of results. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

This study was approved by the Ministry of Health Central Regional Ethics Committee (13/CEN/91) and was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12613000624785). The study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. All participants gave written informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study.

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Correspondence to Patricia Whitfield.

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Whitfield, P., Parry-Strong, A., Walsh, E. et al. The effect of a cinnamon-, chromium- and magnesium-formulated honey on glycaemic control, weight loss and lipid parameters in type 2 diabetes: an open-label cross-over randomised controlled trial. Eur J Nutr 55, 1123–1131 (2016).

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  • Diabetes
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Chromium
  • Magnesium
  • Lipids