Cinnamon is most commonly known as a spice. It has a sweet, fragrant flavour, and is used in a variety of dishes and desserts. However, the health benefits of cinnamon for medicinal purposes should not be undervalued.
Cinnamon serves as an appetizer, it aids in digestion, and also has astringent qualities. Here we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of cinnamon for improving overall health.
The Advantages of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments, including promoting healthy metabolism, lowering cholesterol, improving circulation, and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. One clinical study found those who took 1,000 mg of cinnamon supplement per day were able to support sugar metabolism more effectively than those who did not.
A study by Ziegenfuss et al (2006), which was reported in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, looked at the effects of Cinnulin PF® (a water-soluble cinnamon extract) on fasting blood glucose (FBG), and body composition in men and women who were pre-diabetic; and had features associated with Syndrome X or metabolic syndrome. The researchers found that after 12 weeks, participants in the treatment group versus the placebo group, who had taken 500 mg of Cinnulin PF® daily, showed significant improvements in a number of features associated with metabolic syndrome. The improvements were seen in their fasting blood sugar level, systolic blood pressure, and body composition. These findings, if replicated can have a huge impact on cardiovascular disease. While it is commonly thought that cinnamon helps to control type 2 diabetes research findings are mixed. More research is required.
The Disadvantages of Cinnamon
Beside the many health advantages of cinnamon, there are a few issues that anyone considering this herb as a supplement should consider. As with any herb, consult your doctor for any potential adverse reactions that may occur due to interactions with any medications you are taking.
Cinnamon is not recommended for individuals with gastroduodenal ulcers (Pamplona-Roger, 2006). Additionally, some people may have an allergic reaction to powdered cinnamon. Common symptoms of allergic reactions include nausea, sore mouth, rash, or redness of face. In rare conditions, some cinnamon users experience swelling of the tongue or mouth ulcerations. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking the cinnamon and consult a physician immediately.