A review of 18 studies suggests that cinnamon might lower blood sugar. When it comes to nutrition, more is not always better. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits. Studies show that this spice and its antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory properties (8, 9). The promise of cinnamon was reinforced in the Annals of Family Medicine (Sept.-Oct., 2013). Numerous human studies have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by 10–29% (18, 19, 20). Try Cinnamon Tea: Add a stick of cinnamon to your coffee or tea. Apart from the beneficial effects on insulin resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several other mechanisms. Ceylon cinnamon, also known as true cinnamon, is frequently used in other countries. All rights reserved. Whether it’s cinnamon rolls or cinnamon on toast, cinnamon is a go-to spice for many people. Antioxidants fight off oxidation caused by … It’s high in cinnamaldehyde, which is thought to be responsible for most of cinnamon’s health benefits. Perhaps it could be used as a natural preservative in foods and cosmetics. You may not have ever thought about the nutritional content of cinnamon. Honey and Cinnamon: A Powerful Remedy or a Big Myth? The problem is that many people are resistant to the effects of insulin. Human trials are needed to confirm these effects. Fat. Cinnamon has been proven to fight fungal, bacterial, and viral elements in foods: It’s no surprise that in the Middle Ages, when food spoilage was far more frequent due to lack of refrigeration, many recipes, both sweet and savory, were flavored with the spice. The use of cinnamon dates back thousands of years and was highly prized among many ancient civilisations. Cinnamon is sourced from the inner bark of various species of cinnamon trees. Ceylon (“true” cinnamon) is much better in this regard, and studies show that it’s much lower in coumarin than the Cassia variety (39). In fact, cinnamon has been shown to reduce several of the most common risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure to keep your heart healthy and strong. But does cinnamon have therapeutic value? READ MORE Cinnamon lowers hyperlipidemia, fights low blood pressure, obesity, and other heart problems. It’s been suggested that cinnamon also might help with: But many of the studies done have been done in cells or animals. It’s not a good idea to eat a lot of it either. Cinnamon has quite a few health benefits for adults, but babies can reap the rewards too! This article reviews the…. 2. The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon are due to the oily part, which is very high in the compound cinnamaldehyde (2). 10 Delicious Herbs and Spices With Powerful Health Benefits, 8 Health Foods That Are Harmful If You Eat Too Much, Ceylon vs. Cassia — Not All Cinnamon Is Created Equal, How Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar and Fights Diabetes, What to Do If You Have a Cinnamon Allergy, Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI. The effective dose is typically 1–6 grams or around 0.5–2 teaspoons of cinnamon per day. There is much more good news, however! Overall, the evidence is limited to test-tube and animal studies, which suggest that cinnamon extracts may protect against cancer (25, 26, 27, 28, 29). Antioxidants protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Manganese can also control blood sugar levels, prevent epileptic seizures and help with the metabolism of various vitamins like vitamin B1 and E. Some studies have used between 1 gram and 6 grams of cinnamon. Darker-colored cassia cinnamon is the one most commonly sold in the United States. Cinnamon is a popular spice. Fresh cinnamon has greater nutritional value than store-bought, industrially-processed, old cinnamon. In Ayurvedic medicine, cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds, and can help balance a person's kapha (physical and emotional energies). The antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower your risk of disease. The Shelf Life of Cinnamon: Cinnamon should be kept in a cool, dark area with a tight seal to reduce oxidation of its powerful nutrients. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are two of the most common types. Cinnamon has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. The cinnamon you buy at the store could be one of the two main types, Ceylon or cassia, or a mixture of both. It has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Cinnamon is well-known for its ability to decrease blood sugar levels to support glycemic control. Cinnamon extracted from Cassia varieties is thought to help fight against HIV-1, the most common strain of the HIV virus in humans (36, 37). Cinnamon is well known for its blood-sugar-lowering properties. 9. Just make sure to get Ceylon cinnamon or stick to small doses if you’re using the Cassia variety. According to one large review in Annals of Family Medicine, cinnamon consumption has been linked to lower blood sugar levels when used between four to 18 weeks. Here are 10 of the world's healthiest herbs and spices, supported by science. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To add a daily dose of cinnamon to your diet, you can try: sprinkling cinnamon on your toast; mixing cinnamon into your oatmeal or other hot cereal It acts by reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors and appears to be toxic to cancer cells, causing cell death. Natural Standard Patient Monograph: “Cinnamon.”, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: “About Herbs: Cinnamon.”, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Cinnamon.”, Nutrition Journal: “The glycaemic outcomes of Cinnamon, a review of the experimental evidence and clinical trials.”, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: “Differentiation of the four major species of cinnamons (C. burmannii, C. verum, C. cassia, and C. loureiroi) using a flow injection mass spectrometric (FIMS) fingerprinting method.”, Pharmacological Research: “Cinnamaldehyde in diabetes: A review of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and safety.”, Complementary Therapies in Medicine: “The impact of cinnamon on anthropometric indices and glycemic status in patients with type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials.”, Diabetes Care: “Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes.”, Clinical Nutrition: “Cinnamon supplementation positively affects obesity: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.”, U.S. Department of Agriculture: “Food Data Central: Spices, cinnamon, ground.”, Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Cinnamon: A multifaceted medicinal plant.”, Cancer Letters: “Cinnamaldehyde induces apoptosis by ROS-mediated mitochondrial permeability transition in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells.”, Current HIV Research: “Effects of plant extracts on HIV-1 protease.”, Comparative Study: “Cinnamon bark oil, a potent fungitoxicant against fungi causing respiratory tract mycoses.”, Comparative Study: “Comparative study of cinnamon oil and clove oil on some oral microbiota.”, Randomized Controlled Trial: “A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study of intranasal standardized cinnamon bark extract for seasonal allergic rhinitis.”. Cassia Cinnamon- which is the most common cinnamon found in stores could be harmful in higher amounts. Cinnamon may improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Cinnamon is a popular spice with many health benefits. Cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka is known as Ceylon cinnamon. Consuming normal amounts of cinnamon isn’t likely to have a big impact on your health. But it isn’t clear that it works. Here’s our process. By increasing insulin sensitivity, cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, as discussed in the next chapter. Many delicious ingredients are also exceptionally healthy. It can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella (32, 33). It’s used in flavorings and fragrances. The spice boosts satiety, mimics sweetness, and offers antioxidants. In a study in mice with Parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helped protect neurons, normalized neurotransmitter levels and improved motor function (24). Cinnamon comes from Indonesia (Korintje cinnamon) , China (Cassia cinnamon), Vietnam(Saigon cinnamon) and Sri Lanka. An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away — Fact or Fiction. It has been used as an ingredient throughout history, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. Cinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants. Cinnamon has been given Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status by the FDA.5 At dosages of up to 6 g/day, no significant adverse reactions have been reported.13, 17, 18, 19 Human consumption of large quantities of cinnamon bark or moderate quantities of cinnamon oil has been shown to increase heart rate, intestinal motility, respiratory rate, and perspiration via a chemical stimulation of the vasomotor center. Cinnamon is a sweet but pungent spice that is derived from the inner bark of the branches of wild cinnamon trees, which grow in tropical areas across Southeast Asia, South America and the Caribbean. It may also help control blood sugar in people with diabetes. Cinnamo, often used in cooking […] Cinnamon does have antioxidant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties, but for now, there aren’t enough studies to prove it works that well in people. Cinnamon has been shown to lead to various improvements for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in animal studies. There are four major types of cinnamon. First, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters your bloodstream after a meal. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Unfortunately, most cinnamon found in supermarkets is the cheaper Cassia variety. Cinnamon's main, active ingredient is cinnamaldehyde; oils made using this ingredient can help treat ailments from respiratory tract infections to the flu. Contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects. For some great cinnamon recipes and more information on cinnamon, check out the brain healthy foods section of our website or view all our brain healthy recipes! It used to be rare and valuable and was regarded as a gift fit for kings. The antioxidants in cinnamon have been found to … Cinnamon offers anti-clotting and anti-microbial benefits, boosts brain function and contributes to a healthy colon. Antioxidants can help protect the body from disease and are found in fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. However, the evidence is limited and so far cinnamon has not been shown to reduce infections elsewhere in the body. Some experts suggest 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-4 grams) of powder a day. The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon may also help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath (34, 35). It’s also essential for transporting blood sugar from your bloodstream to your cells. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells. Cancer is a serious disease, characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. It’s sometimes used for irritable bowel syndrome or other stomach or intestinal problems. Refrigeration helps extend this lifespan. But extracts from the bark as well as leaves, flowers, fruits, and roots of the cinnamon tree have also been used in traditional medicine around the world for thousands of years. Cinnamon has also been shown to reduce high blood pressure, which is another risk factor for heart disease or a stroke. HIV is a virus that slowly breaks down your immune system, which can eventually lead to AIDS, if untreated. Well, let’s just say that it is extremely beneficial for the heart. Cinnamon is a spice, sprinkled on toast and lattes. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Not all cinnamon is created equal. However, inflammation can become a problem when it’s chronic and directed against your body’s own tissues. Here are 8 foods that are incredibly healthy, but can cause severe harm if eaten in excess. Cinnamon has been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the WebMD, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Becoming a Vegetarian: Foods to Choose From, Fast Flavors: Herbs, Spices and Other Speedy Taste Boosters, 6 Best Herbs and Spices You're Not Using But Should Try. Here are 10 health benefits of cinnamon that are supported by scientific research. But it didn’t affect hemoglobin A1C, which is an indicator of blood sugar levels over a long period. Researchers found over 40 different compounds that can contribute to overall immune health. Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment. At the end of the day, cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet. This greatly improves glucose uptake by your cells, though it acts much slower than insulin itself. The downside to cassia is that this species contains a higher level of a naturally occurring blood thinning component called coumarin. In this study, cinnamon also increased “good” HDL cholesterol levels (11). So, what do you do if you have a cinnamon allergy…. Scientists believe that this compound is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism. These effects need to be studied further in humans. 3. All cinnamon should have health benefits, but Cassia may cause problems in large doses due to the coumarin content. In one study, Ceylon cinnamon brought insulin levels in diabetic rats to close to … The authors concluded that, “Based on currently available literature, cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on fasting plasma glucose, LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.” The Bad News About Cinnamon: In fact, it is so powerful that cinnamon can be used as a natural food preservative (7). You may be able to find Ceylon in some health food stores, and there is a good selection on Amazon. Ceylon (true) cinnamon is healthy, while the Cassia variety can be harmful in large amounts. In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon is used for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods. Cinnamon does not cause health problems when it's consumed in the amount typically found in foods. This is known as insulin resistance, a hallmark of serious conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon can be good for reducing blood sugar levels. Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi. Mayo is a popular condiment for sandwiches and often used as a base for salad dressings and sauces. If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately. These findings were supported by test-tube experiments, which showed that cinnamon activates protective antioxidant responses in human colon cells (31). By Sandi Busch Updated November 28, 2018. For a list of 13 foods that could potentially lower your risk of cancer, you might want to read this article. However, human research is lacking. Of all the spices in your larder, cinnamon is probably the one with huge heart-protective benefits. Second, a compound in cinnamon can act on cells by mimicking insulin (16, 17). It can help protect the body from digestive symptoms and the common cold and offers a boost to the immune system. Ceylon (true) cinnamon is healthy, while the Cassia variety can be harmful in large amounts. This state of accelerated body function is followed by a period of centralized sedation that inclu… There are two main types of cinnamon (1): Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. Cinnamon has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels, having a potent anti-diabetic effect at 1–6 grams or 0.5–2 teaspoons per day. Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties. Cinnamaldehyde has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may reduce infections and help fight tooth decay and bad breath. Here's how this wonder spice can help beat heart disease. High doses might be toxic. Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the branches of trees of the Cinnamomum family. It’s true that cinnamon contains almost no protein or fat and won’t play a big role in your overall nutrition. A study in mice with colon cancer revealed that cinnamon is a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth (30). Note: Please consult a doctor before adopting our suggestions. Others (Korintje , Cassia and Saigon) are cassia varieties. Cinnamon powder can reduce the risk of severe heart diseases, which has eventually turned out to be one of the most common causes of death these days. Cinnamon is effective against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Add it to your dishes: Add a few sticks of cinnamon to your soups and curries not just to get a great flavor, but also all the aforementioned benefits. However, eating too much could cause these 6 side effects. In addition to tasting great, though, cinnamon also holds a number of properties that are very healthy for us. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Because cinnamon is unproven as a treatment, there isn’t a set dose. Cinnamon benefits to health go far and beyond its promise as a helpful addition to the diet to facilitate blood sugar control! Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees scientifically known as Cinnamomum. Cinnamon provides immune support through its ability to reduce free radical damage due to its high antioxidant content. Strips of the bark are dried and rolled into sticks, ground into a powder, or made into an extract. It may be responsible for some of cinnamon’s possible health benefits. It helps your body fight infections and repair tissue damage. Its ingredients can help to protect us against a wide range of complications such as cancer, diabetes, infections and even Alzheimer’s. The use of cinnamon may lower bad cholesterol. It reduces triglycerides and LDL cholesterol by around 25%. One of the most important active ingredients in cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde. Is cassia cinnamon healthy? It’s used in cooking and baking, and added to many foods. 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