Health benefits of cinnamon

What are the reported health benefits of cinnamon?
A long list in no particular order. Cinnamon isn’t known as a Super Spice for nothing!

  • reduces blood sugar levels – particularly good for those with prediabetes (see below)
  • lowers bad cholesterol
  • helps weight control as a sweet, healthy alternative to sugar
  • very high in antioxidants (twice the level of turmeric)
  • antimicrobial, so helps to prevent infection and inhibits bacterial growth
  • a great source of vital nutrients including calcium, manganese, iron and fibre
  • has an anti-clotting effect on the blood
  • stops some medication-resistant yeast infections
  • helps sleep
  • improves skin condition
  • a centuries old cure for digestive ailments in Asian medicine
  • acts as an anti-inflammatory, reducing arthritis and other joint and muscle pain
  • antispasmodic properties help relieve menstrual cramps
  • boosts cognitive function and memory, including in alzheimers sufferers

Is your cinnamon gluten free?

Yes. Some brands of cinnamon specify that their ground cinnamon is gluten-free but most brands don’t. This is because flour is sometimes mixed with ground cinnamon to prevent it from caking. If you grate whole cinnamon sticks at home or use our pure cinnamon capsules, then you don’t need to worry.

How does cinnamon help people with diabetes?

Cinnamon is not considered to have any benefit for people with type 1 diabetes.

However, some studies have shown it may be effective in lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. A much-quoted research paper in 2013, which looked at a range of different studies, concluded that cinnamon brings “a statistically significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose”.

More recently there’s been encouraging news for people with prediabetes. An authoritative pilot study in the US in July 2020 concluded that “in individuals with prediabetes, 12 weeks of cinnamon supplementation improved FPG and glucose tolerance, with a favourable safety profile.” This is a major development and is likely to lead to more thorough research into the subject, at last.

The position held by most not-for-profit national diabetes advisory groups is that, whilst cinnamon may have benefits, it should not be used as a substitute for prescribed medication. And, whilst the American Diabetes Association goes as far as classifying cinnamon as a “Diabetes Superfood”, it continues to withhold judgement as to the actual benefits. More research will tell.

Is it true that a fresh cinnamon and honey combination helps you to lose weight?

Many people have asked us this question so in May 2017 we called for volunteers and set about our own experiment, looking to see if a daily intake of fresh cinnamon and honey can help people to lose weight.

In the event, 65% of participants (that's 26 of our 40 volunteers) recorded gradual weight loss of more than 1lb over the one month period. Volunteers also reported a range of other health benefits such as much better sleep, increased energy levels, reduced sugar cravings, improved skin and a general sense of well-being.

One volunteer said "With this new energy I think everything is going in the right direction. I am loving myself, my hair, my skin and really want to continue feeling this way and I am positive that my nightly drinks of cinnamon and honey play a big part in this new found energy and great feeling."

So the message from Cinnamon Hill is: if you like fresh cinnamon and honey, why not give it a go yourself? All you have to lose is a little weight!

What is coumarin and why the long faces?

Coumarin is a natural flavouring present in many plants. It occurs in negligible amounts in Ceylon cinnamon, but in higher amounts in Saigon cinnamon.

Back in 2006 the German health authorities observed that coumarin “can cause liver damage in a small group of particularly sensitive individuals” and recommended a Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.1mg coumarin per kg of bodyweight per day, which was subsequently adopted by the European and US food regulatory authorities.

So there is a risk but how much of a risk? In 2011 the UK Food Standards Agency did some research to compare actual coumarin consumption to the recommended limit. They found that adults on average consumed less than 2% of the limit and South Asians (chosen because of their much more spicy diet) consumed just over 20%.

How to manage this in practice? Back to the German health authorities who recommended that “especially in the run up to Christmas…cinnamon biscuits should be eaten in moderation….” Easy on those biscuits, then!

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