Cinnamon used to just be a tasty spice we added to our food to make it taste good. Smelling cinnamon still brings to mind thoughts of cinnamon buns and pumpkin pie. But recently, it’s gotten a lot of press as a health food. Turns out, cinnamon can confer a host of beneficial effects. But it can also come with a few side effects. Read on to learn what they are.
The number-one health benefit of cinnamon supplements is their ability to regulate your blood sugar. This is so important, because so many modern foods are loaded with hidden sugars and carbohydrates (including the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup). And eating too many carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar to run rampant, leading to insulin resistance and even diabetes! But keeping you blood sugar level stable can help protect against that, in addition to keeping your energy levels consistent and preventing weight gain. One study showed that this effect became noticeable when subjects took six grams a day
Cinnamon supplements might also be good for your cardiovascular system. They can lower LDL cholesterol—the bad kind—while creating healthier arteries and reducing heart disease due to the antioxidant properties of polyphenols. Cinnamon supplements also show an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
Other Beneficial Effects of Cinnamon Supplements
Cinnamon might help to cure the common cold, according to an old Chinese remedy. It can also be used as a food preservative to stave off bacterial growth. It was shown in one study to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. It also contains the nutrient manganese, fiber, iron calcium, and vitamin K.
Side Effects of Cinnamon Supplements
With all those benefits, why doesn’t everybody take a cinnamon supplement? Well, there are some downsides to it. For one thing, as a dietary supplement, it’s not regulated by the FDA. So you can’t be entirely sure of what else they’re putting in those pills. Some brands include synthetic chromium picolinate, which can build up in your body and increase lipid peroxidation, resulting in damage to your DNA. Yikes!
Some brands also coin coumarin, which can cause liver damage in a fetus. You might want to avoid cinnamon supplements if you’re pregnant.
It might also interact with blood-thinning medications.
Lastly, taking too much cinnamon might increase your heart rate to an unhealthy degree, and can even lead to an irregular heart rate. It can also affect breathing, so be careful if you have asthma.
Thanks for reading about cinnamon supplements. What should you make of all these facts? Cinnamon can be a really healthy addition to your diet. But take it in moderation, and above all, make sure you take a high-quality supplement.