High daily intakes of cinnamon: Health risk cannot be ruled out

High daily intakes of cinnamon: Health risk cannot be ruled out

Cinnamon capsules are sold as food supplements or as dietetic foods to reduce blood sugar levels in type II Diabetes mellitus, a severe chronic disease. The manufacturers recommend a daily long-term dose in the gram range although the safety of a cinnamon dose of this amount has not yet been demonstrated. Furthermore, the claimed ability of cinnamon to reduce blood sugar has not been sufficiently proven up to now. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) was, therefore, asked to assess the daily intake of high amounts of cinnamon from the angle of consumer health protection.

Small amounts of cinnamon have been used for thousands of years as a spice without any of side effects. By contrast, no reliable data are available on the effects of the daily continuous administration of amounts in the gram range. When it comes to cinnamon a distinction must be made between Ceylon and cassia cinnamon. Unlike cassia cinnamon Ceylon cinnamon hardly contain any coumarin which – when ingested in large amounts – can cause damage to the liver. The high coumarin levels measured by the control authorities in
cinnamon capsules indicate that the manufacturers use cassia cinnamon. Depending on the dose recommendation the taking of capsules with cinnamon powder can lead to an exceeding of the tolerable daily intake of 0.1 milligram coumarin per kilogram body weight that can be ingested daily over a lifetime without posing a risk to health (Tolerable Daily Intake, TDI)
established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Besides the high coumarin levels, the cinnamaldehyde levels in cinnamon powder capsules may possibly constitute a risk for pregnant women. Animal experiment studies indicate that taking cinnamaldehyde during pregnancy could lead to damage to the unborn offspring. BfR,therefore, recommends that products of this kind should carry warnings, something which has only rarely been the case up to now. No harmful levels of styrene have been identified in the cinnamon powder investigated so far. After harvesting, styrene can form in cinnamon
when the transport or storage conditions are unfavourable. It can also migrate from packaging material to the spice. BfR fundamentally believes that cinnamon products to reduce blood sugar should be classed as medicinal products and not as food supplements. In order to obtain marketing authorisation for their product as a medicinal product, the suppliers would have to provide corresponding proof of efficacy, record side effects and examine interactions with other medicines.

Read the entire report here: High daily intakes of cinnamon: Health risk cannot be ruled out

Image from Cinnamon and Cassia

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Cinnamon vs Cassia


Wow, never heard about it. I like to drink a cup of chocolate with cinnamon 2 times a day, but the problem is with the Cinnamon capsules, thank God !
Thanks for sharing the information.

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