Monday, January 14, 2019

Cinnamon Supplements Are Potentially Dangerous

Are you adding extra cinnamon to your food or taking it as a supplement? In addition to yummy-fying your oatmeal or smoothies, here's what cinnamon does for you:
  • Slows stomach emptying rate so blood sugar is more stable
  • Some studies report it lowers blood sugar, but there is not enough evidence that it is reliable and effective for controlling blood sugar in type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-clotting effect on blood platelets 
When I discovered cinnamon's health benefits, I went to the market, bought the biggest container they had, and started supplementing with liberal amounts every day. Do NOT do this. Here's why:
  • Most cinnamon found in your local supermarket is a variety called Cassia cinnamon
  • Cassia cinnamon contains a naturally occurring compound called coumarin
  • Coumarin tastes good, so until 1954 it was added to food products such as vanilla extract
  • In 1954 the FDA banned coumarin after researchers found it causes liver damage in animals
  • A 2006 meta-analysis published in the journal "Food and Chemical Toxicology" concluded that while a clear link exists between coumarin and liver cancer in animals, it's safe for human use in dietary quantities BUT CAN BE PROBLEMATIC WHEN TAKEN AS A SUPPLEMENT
So what happens if you eat a spoonful of cinnamon? Will you die if you eat too much? A spoonful on occasion probably won't have adverse effects. Eating too much at one time isn’t going to kill you, but it might be unpleasant! It's the repeated use, eating too much on a frequent basis, that has the potential to harm your health. What's the solution?
  • There is another variety of cinnamon called Ceylon, which is native to Sri Lanka and also grown in Madagascar and the Seychelles
  • Ceylon cinnamon contains only a trace, about 0.004% coumarin
  • Check not only the front label, but the ingredient list on the back. Make sure it's 100% Ceylon.
  • You probably won't find Ceylon in the supermarket
  • I buy Ceylon in bulk from Amazon. When I open the sealed bag it comes in, I transfer it to glass pyrex containers and keep in my kitchen cupboard.
  • You'll find organic cinnamon in health food stores, but don't confuse this for Ceylon. For example, the following bottles are Cassia cinnamon, not Ceylon: