Types of Cinnamon
There are four major types of cinnamon. Darker-colored cassia cinnamon is the one most commonly sold in the United States. It’s grown in southeastern Asia. Ceylon cinnamon, also known as true cinnamon, is frequently used in other countries.
The cinnamon you buy at the store could be one of the two main types, Ceylon or cassia, or a mixture of both. Ceylon is easier to grind but it may not have the same health benefits.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
One of the most important active ingredients in cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde. It’s used in flavorings and fragrances. It may be responsible for some of cinnamon’s possible health benefits.
Some research shows cinnamon may be good for people with diabetes. A review of 18 studies suggests that cinnamon might lower blood sugar. But it didn’t affect hemoglobin A1C, which is an indicator of blood sugar levels over a long period. It may also lower cholerstrol in people with diabetes. Many of the studies don’t indicate what type of cinnamon was used or have other problems that make their findings uncertain. One review suggest that cinnamon might help with obesity and weight loss. It’s sometimes used for irritable bowel syndrome or other stomach or intestinal problems. But it isn’t clear that it works.
It’s been suggested that cinnamon also might help with:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Tooth decay
But many of the studies done have been done in cells or animals.
Cinnamon does have antioxident, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties, but for now, there aren’t enough studies to prove it works that well in people.
Consuming normal amounts of cinnamon isn’t likely to have a big impact on your health. It’s not a good idea to eat a lot of it either.
Because cinnamon is unproven as a treatment, there isn’t a set dose. Some experts suggest 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-4 grams) of powder a day. Some studies have used between 1 gram and 6 grams of cinnamon. High doses might be toxic.