What is Cinnamon?
On toast and in lattes, cinnamon is a spice. But for thousands of years, extracts from the cinnamon tree’s bark, leaves, blossoms, fruits, and roots have also been utilised in traditional medicines all throughout the world. It is added to many foods and used in baking and cooking.
The four main types of cinnamon are as follows. The variety of cinnamon that is most frequently offered in the US is cassia, which is darker in colour. Southeast Asia is where it is raised. True cinnamon, commonly referred to as Ceylon cinnamon, is widely utilised abroad.
One of the two primary varieties of cinnamon i.e. Ceylon or Cassia, or a combination of the two—could be the cinnamon you purchase at the shop. Ceylon is easier to grind, but its health benefits might not be as good.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamaldehyde is one of the most significant active components in cinnamon. It is utilised in scents and flavourings. It might be the cause of some of cinnamon’s potential health advantages.
According to certain studies, cinnamon may benefit diabetics. According to a study of 18 studies, cinnamon may help reduce blood sugar levels. Hemoglobin A1C, a marker of blood sugar levels over time, was unaffected, nevertheless. In diabetics, it may also decrease cholesterol.
Numerous studies lack information about the sort of cinnamon they used or have other issues that cast doubt on the accuracy of their conclusions. According to one analysis, cinnamon may aid in reducing obesity and weight gain. Irritable bowel syndrome and other stomach and intestinal issues are occasionally treated with it. But its effectiveness is unclear.
Cinnamon has been proposed to be beneficial for
- Heart condition
- Alzheimer’s condition
- dental decay
However, a large number of research have used animal or cell models. Although cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties, there are currently insufficient studies to support their effectiveness in treating human conditions.
Side effects of Cinnamon
Cinnamon consumption in moderation is unlikely to have a significant negative influence on your health. Consuming excessive amounts of it is also not recommended.
There is no established dosage for cinnamon because it is an unproven treatment. Some experts advise taking 2-4 grammes of powder, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, per day. The amount of cinnamon used in some studies ranged from 1 to 6 grams. High doses could be harmful.
May Cause Liver Damage
A 130-pound (59-kg) person can consume 5 mg of coumarin daily, or approximately 0.05 mg per pound (0.1 mg per kilogramme) of body weight. Accordingly, consuming even a single teaspoon of cassia cinnamon could cause you to exceed the daily limit.
Unfortunately, a number of research have revealed that consuming too much coumarin may harm and poison the liver.
As an illustration, after only one week of taking cinnamon supplements, a 73-year-old woman experienced a sudden liver infection that resulted in liver damage. But in this instance, the dose was larger because of the supplements used than it would be from food alone.
May Increase the Risk of Cancer
An excessive intake of coumarin, which is present in large quantities in Cassia cinnamon, has been linked to an increased risk of some malignancies in animal experiments.
For instance, research on rodents has revealed that consuming too much coumarin might result in the growth of malignant tumours in the lungs, liver, and kidneys. It’s unclear how coumarin might result in tumors.
However, some scientists think that over time, DNA damage brought on by coumarin increases the risk of cancer.
May Cause Mouth Sores
Mouth sores have been reported in certain consumers after consuming items with cinnamon flavouring.
When taken in excessive quantities, the chemical cinnamaldehyde found in cinnamon may cause an allergic reaction. Small doses of the spice don’t appear to trigger this reaction because saliva keeps chemicals from coming into prolonged contact with the mouth.
Other signs of a cinnamaldehyde allergy besides mouth sores include:
- tongue or gum enlargement
- a feeling of burning or itching
- mouth with white spots
- Although not always serious, some symptoms can nonetheless be uncomfortable.
It’s crucial to remember that cinnamaldehyde only causes mouth sores in people who are allergic to it. A skin patch test can be used to check for this kind of allergy.
It is commonly known that cinnamon can reduce blood sugar levels. According to studies, the spice can replicate the actions of the hormone insulin, which aids in removing sugar from the blood.
Although consuming a small amount of cinnamon may help lower blood sugar, doing so excessively may cause it to drop too low. It is known as hypoglycemia. It may cause fatigue, wooziness, and even fainting.
Those who are taking diabetes treatments are particularly at risk of having low blood sugar. This is due to the possibility that cinnamon could intensify the effects of these drugs and cause your blood sugar to drop too low.
May Cause Breathing Problems
This is so that it won’t be difficult to inhale due to the spice’s fine texture. Its accidental inhalation can result in:
- trying to catch your breath is difficult
Additionally, the cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon irritates the throat. It might result in additional respiratory issues. Being unintentionally exposed to cinnamon should be avoided by those who have asthma or other breathing-related illnesses because they are more prone to have breathing difficulties.
Interact with Certain Medications
With the majority of drugs, cinnamon is safe to consume in small to moderate doses. If you are taking medication for diabetes, heart disease, or liver disease, taking too much may be a problem. This is due to the possibility that cinnamon may interact with such drugs, either amplifying their effects or causing more severe side effects.
For instance, cassia cinnamon has a lot of coumarin, which is poisonous to the liver and might harm it if ingested in large quantities.
A lot of cinnamon may increase your risk of liver damage if you use drugs that could harm your liver, like paracetamol, acetaminophen, and statins.
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