When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls,
called cinnamon sticks. These sticks can be ground to
form cinnamon powder.
The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon are due to the
oily part, which is very high in the compound
Scientists believe that this compound is responsible for
most of cinnamon's powerful effects on health and
Cinnamon Is Loaded With Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your body from oxidative damage
caused by free radicals.
Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such
In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of
26 spices, cinnamon wound up as the clear winner,
even outranking "superfoods" like garlic and oregano
In fact, it is so powerful that cinnamon can be used
as a natural food preservative
Inflammation is incredibly important.
It helps your body fight infections and repair
However, inflammation can become a problem when it’s
chronic and directed against your body's own
Cinnamon may be useful in this regard. Studies show
that this spice and its antioxidants have potent
Cinnamon has been linked to a reduced risk of heart
disease, the world's most common cause of premature
In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram or about half
a teaspoon of cinnamon per day has been shown to
have beneficial effects on blood markers.
It reduces levels of total cholesterol, “bad” LDL
cholesterol and triglycerides, while “good” HDL
cholesterol remains stable
More recently, a big review study concluded that a
cinnamon dose of just 120 mg per day can have these
effects. In this study, cinnamon also increased
“good” HDL cholesterol levels
In animal studies, cinnamon has been shown to reduce
When combined, all these factors may drastically cut
your risk of heart disease.
Insulin is one of the key hormones that regulate
metabolism and energy use.
It’s also essential for transporting blood sugar
from your bloodstream to your cells.
The problem is that many people are resistant to the
effects of insulin.
This is known as insulin resistance, a hallmark of
serious conditions like metabolic syndrome and type
The good news is that cinnamon can dramatically
reduce insulin resistance, helping this important
hormone do its job
By increasing insulin sensitivity, cinnamon can
lower blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon is well known for its blood-sugar-lowering
Apart from the beneficial effects on insulin
resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by
several other mechanisms.
First, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the
amount of glucose that enters your bloodstream after
It does this by interfering with numerous digestive
enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates
in your digestive tract.
Second, a compound in cinnamon can act on cells by
mimicking insulin .
This greatly improves glucose uptake by your cells,
though it acts much slower than insulin itself.
Numerous human studies have confirmed the
anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it
can lower fasting blood sugar levels by 10 to 29%.
Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by
progressive loss of the structure or function of
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease are two of the
most common types.
Two compounds found in cinnamon appear to inhibit
the buildup of a protein called tau in the brain,
which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease
In a study in mice with Parkinson's disease,
cinnamon helped protect neurons, normalized
neurotransmitter levels and improved motor function
These effects need to be studied further in humans.
Cancer is a serious disease, characterized by
uncontrolled cell growth.
Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential
use in cancer prevention and treatment.
Overall, the evidence is limited to test-tube and
animal studies, which suggest that cinnamon extracts
may protect against cancer
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.
A study in mice with colon cancer revealed that
cinnamon is a potent activator of detoxifying
enzymes in the colon, protecting against further
These findings were supported by test-tube
experiments, which showed that cinnamon activates
protective antioxidant responses in human colon
Whether cinnamon has any effect in living, breathing
humans needs to be confirmed in controlled studies.
Cinnamaldehyde, one of the main active components of
cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection.
Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat
respiratory tract infections caused by fungi.
It can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria,
including Listeria and Salmonella
However, the evidence is limited and so far cinnamon
has not been shown to reduce infections elsewhere in
The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon may also help
prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath .
HIV is a virus that slowly breaks down your immune
system, which can eventually lead to AIDS, if
Cinnamon extracted from Cassia varieties is thought
to help fight against HIV-1, the most common strain
of the HIV virus in humans .
A laboratory study looking at HIV-infected cells
found that cinnamon was the most effective treatment
of all 69 medicinal plants studied .
Human trials are needed to confirm these effects.
Not all cinnamon is created equal.
The Cassia variety contains significant amounts of a
compound called coumarin, which is believed to be
harmful in large doses.
All cinnamon should have health benefits, but Cassia
may cause problems in large doses due to the
Ceylon ("true" cinnamon) is much better in this
regard, and studies show that it’s much lower in
coumarin than the Cassia variety
Can You Have Too Much? Possible Cinnamon Side
Effects and Precautions
When used in moderation, cinnamon is generally safe
and can be consumed with minimal risk of side
effects. High amounts of cinnamon — and cassia
cinnamon in particular — can cause several adverse
symptoms. This is due to the presence of a compound
called coumarin, which has been shown to damage the
liver in large amounts.
While Ceylon cinnamon contains only trace amounts,
cassia cinnamon is much higher in coumarin. Excess
consumption of the coumarin found in cassia cinnamon
has also been linked to other health problems,
including an increased risk of cancer development.
Because of its anti-diabetic properties, cinnamon
may also contribute to low blood sugar levels,
especially if you’re taking blood sugar-lowering
medications already. Cinnamon consumption has also
been associated with breathing problems and mouth
sores in some people.
Cinnamon is not known to cause negative reactions or
allergies, especially when used in small amounts the
way that it most commonly is. At times, when
taking cinnamon extract supplements or using
cinnamon essential oil, it’s possible to take too
much, which can interfere with other medicines and
Cinnamon can become unsafe if you take too many
cinnamon supplements, especially if you’re pregnant
or breastfeeding, have diabetes, have liver disease
or recently had surgery. Always make sure you read
the recommended dose of cinnamon extracts and other
herbal extracts and don’t consume more than is
recommended without speaking with your doctor first
in order to avoid complications.