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An investigation of the health benefits of cinnamon

Cinnamon is more than just a delicious spice that you sprinkle on toast and lattes to add flavor to your dishes and pastries. Research has found it contains components that can bring health benefits. But, while people generally agree cinnamon is a healthy food supplement, there have been mixed scientific research findings about the real benefits of cinnamon. We highlight some of the results of studies on the health benefits of cinnamon to help you make an informed decision.

Scientific study of cinnamon benefits

Laboratory investigations have found cinnamon may fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and have antioxidant effects. However, it is not absolutely clear how these likely benefits manifest in people. There have been studies on cinnamon treatments of yeast infections in people with HIV, but the results have largely been inconclusive. Studies have also been conducted on using cinnamon to lower bad cholesterol levels in people, but here too the results have been inconclusive.

Perceived benefits of cinnamon

While the health benefits of cinnamon are for the most part inconclusive, some studies have found that certain types of cinnamon like cassia cinnamon may lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Components in cinnamon have also been credited with helping to fight heart disease, reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol, regulate glucose and prevent dramatic changes in insulin levels in the body. All these health benefits promote your overall wellness.

Dosage of cinnamon

Because cinnamon health benefits and treatments are largely unproven, there is no established universal dosage requirement. However, it is recommended you use two to four grams (½ - 1 tablespoon) of cinnamon a day. Studies support an ideal dosage of between 1 gram and 6 grams. Keep in mind heavy doses of cinnamon can be toxic, especially to people who suffer liver problems. High doses may irritate the lips and mouth and cause painful sores. In extreme cases, excessive consumption of cinnamon can cause allergic reaction and redness of the skin.

Caution on using cinnamon supplements

Given the shortage of concrete evidence on the benefits of cinnamon and its safety, cinnamon supplements and treatments are not recommended for children and pregnant (or breast feeding) women. If you are under other medication, consult your doctor before you start using cinnamon supplements. Cinnamon supplements can interact with medications like blood thinners, diabetes drugs and antibiotics and cause other complications, such as liver problems.

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