How Dangerous Is Cinnamon?

Most natural products have many different effects on human physiology. Some may be beneficial, but others may be harmful. This reinforces the wisdom of the old saying, “everything in moderation.”

Moderation is a great slogan for so many things that delight us naps in the afternoon, wine, ice cream and even spices we use to make our daily meals so delicious. Excesses can cause problems, as this reader has just recognized:

P I recently learned that cinnamon contains coumarin. I found an article about coumarin be carcinogenic ( Food and Chemical Toxicology April 1999 ).

I am concerned that despite the research is old because I’ve been a heavy drinker cinnamon over the last 15 years in my oatmeal in the morning. How dangerous is cinnamon?

A. Coumarin is a natural component of cassia cinnamon bark and can end in cinnamon powder found in your spice rack. The article cited the conclusion that the risk of cancer is low and the latest research suggests that coumarin may actually have anti-cancer activity ( Current Medicinal Chemistry , Vol. 17, No. 13, 2010 ).

Other dangers of coumarin in cinnamon

There are concerns, however, that excess coumarin can damage the liver. Because coumarin levels vary greatly from one product to another cinnamon, it is difficult to establish a safe amount of spice on a daily basis.

Because you are a heavy user of cinnamon, you should ask your doctor to monitor your liver to ensure that it has not exceeded its limit enzymes. may also be desirable to reduce the amount of cinnamon is used to flavor your oatmeal every day.

Our trick to avoid coumarin in oatmeal

We like to put a cinnamon stick with the liquid we use in our cooking cut oats. (This trick also works for oatmeal.) Oatmeal a little taste is given, but since we had the cinnamon stick and reused once or twice, we are consuming only water soluble compounds of cinnamon. Coumarin is not soluble in water, so do not have to worry about it.

You can learn more about the pros and cons of cinnamon in PeoplesPharmacy.com . This spice has numerous benefits, such as help control blood sugar and cholesterol. It just has to be used wisely, in moderation.

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