You've no doubt already been enchanted by the warm, sweet aroma of cinnamon. cinnamonthis spice has been used for thousands of years in various cultures.
Much more than a simple ingredient to embellish your pastries or dishes, cinnamon is endowed with surprising therapeutic properties ! In fact, every year, thousands of people turn to cinnamon-based dietary supplements in search of health benefits.
However, like all natural remedies, cinnamon is not without its drawbacks. side effects and potential dangers of inappropriate use.
Find out more about the benefits of cinnamon, its potential dangers and how to use it safely!
What are the health benefits of cinnamon?
Before talking about the side effects and potential dangers of cinnamonHere is a brief presentation of health benefits of this spice :
An ally in blood sugar regulation
Consumption of cinnamon is often associated with blood sugar regulation (glycemic balance). Numerous studies have shown that daily consumption of cinnamon extract can reduce glucose levels, particularly in certain type 2 diabetic patients –.
In fact, this spice contains the active compound "Cinnamaldehydewhich mimics insulin (our body's hormone that lowers blood sugar levels) and improves glucose uptake by cells.
If you regularly consume cinnamonwhether in the form of spice or as dietary supplementyou help your body to better regulate blood sugar levels and benefit from protection against type 2 diabetes.
Remember, however, that for protect against type 2 diabetes and all its complications, it is essential to practise a healthy lifestyle. activity physical activity and have a healthy diet.
Anti-inflammatory benefits and virtues
Research has revealed that certain compounds in cinnamon may play a role in the reducing systemic inflammation. A systematic review of the literature published in Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine highlighted the efficacy of cinnamon in the treatment of inflammation and chronic inflammatory pathologies .
Thus, by adding cinnamon to their dishes or taking dietary supplements based on this spice, people suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis can benefit from relief of pain and other symptoms.
A positive impact on heart health
The WHO (World Health Organization) recognizes the use of cinnamon to treat disorders such as dyspepsia and gastroenteritisbut it is its impact on heart health that is particularly remarkable.
In fact, the regular consumption of cinnamon may contribute to reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL) while maintaining good cholesterol (HDL), as shown by studies in cardiology journals , .
In improvement cholesterol balancecinnamon can help prevent heart and cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes.
Antimicrobial and preservative effects
Cinnamon is traditionally used for its antimicrobial properties , , . It can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and fungiincluding candida albicans, responsible for the majority of fungal infections in humans.
This natural preservative effect is an asset not only for food preservation, but also for human health.
A boon for the digestive system
Historically, cinnamon has been used to help relieve digestive symptoms such as bloating and flatulence.
Compounds such as tannins present in cinnamon can have a significant astringent effect on stomach mucous membranescontributing to reduce gas, à ease gastrointestinal spasms and improve digestion.
A cerebral stimulant
Preliminary studies suggest that cinnamon could improve cognitive function , .
In fact, animal research has shown that cinnamon can reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other neurological deficits . These results open the door to more in-depth studies on neuroprotective effect of this spice in humans.
What are the potential side effects and dangers of cinnamon?
Although cinnamon cinnamon is revered for its many virtues, it is crucial to consider its other facet, that of the potential side effects and dangers health hazards. As with all active ingredients, cinnamon should be used with discretion and with knowledge of its possible contraindications.
Toxicity of coumarin
Cassia-type cinnamon, widely available on the market, contains coumarin. coumarina substance which, in large quantities, can cause liver problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against excessive consumption of this substance, which can cause liver damage. toxic to the liver and kidneys.
Studies published in toxicology journals recommend to monitor coumarin intakeparticularly in people with a history of liver disease.
Drug interactions (Ceylon cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon...)
Cinnamon, particularly Chinese and Ceylon cinnamon in excessive quantities (high coumarin content), can interact with certain medicationsincluding :
- Antidiabetic drugs
The different types of cinnamon can lower blood sugar levelswhich is normally beneficial, but when it's not combined with anti-diabetic drugsit can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
It is important for people on medications such as insulin or sulfonylureas to monitor their blood sugar levels closely if they consume cinnamon regularly.
Cinnamon has anticoagulant properties (it thins the blood) and can increase the risk of bleeding when taken with anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin, heparin, aspirin and other antiplatelet agents.
Patients on anticoagulant therapy should exercise caution and consult a health care professional before taking cinnamon supplements.
- Hepatotoxic drugs
Since Cassia-type cinnamon contains coumarinwhich can be toxic to the liver in large quantities, it can potentially interact with other drugs known for their hepatotoxicityamplifying their harmful effects on the liver.
The cinnamon in all its forms (powdered cinnamon, capsules, extract...) can interfere with the efficacy of antibioticsby either reinforcing their effect or hindering their absorption. It is therefore advisable to consult a doctor or pharmacist to adjust dosage if necessary.
- Cardiovascular drugs
People taking heart medicationssuch as beta-blockers or anti-hypertensive drugsshould be taken with caution, as cinnamon may affect blood pressure and potentially interact with these drugs.
- Drugs affecting the immune system
Cinnamon may modulate the immune responseresponse, which could interfere with immunosuppressive drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases or prevent transplant rejection.
It is therefore essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting cinnamon supplementation if you are taking medication.
From allergic reactions to cinnamonAlthough rare, allergic reactions to cinnamon can occur, especially in people sensitive to the spice's components. These reactions can range from hives to more severe symptoms such as breathing difficulties or skin reactions.
Risks during pregnancy (Consumption of cinnamon is not recommended for pregnant women)
Consumption of cinnamon, especially in large quantities, is not recommended during pregnancy due to its stimulating effect that can induce uterine contractions.
Health professionals generally recommend limiting cinnamon intake during this period.
Irritation of the oral mucosa
Cinnamon, in particular in essential oil formis highly concentrated and can be irritating to the oral mucosa.
Some cases irritation of the mouth or lips, ulcers or lesions of mucous membranes have been reported when cinnamon is consumed in excessive quantities or in excessively concentrated form.
Impact on the digestive system
Although beneficial for digestion in small quantities, in excesscinnamon can cause gastrointestinal disorders such as nauseanausea vomiting or diarrhea.
In addition, people suffering from gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome may find their symptoms worsen with high cinnamon consumption.
What are the contraindications to cinnamon?
All varieties of cinnamon are generally safe when consumed in regular food quantities. However, some people need avoid or limit their consumption due to specific health conditions or special situations.
Here are the main ones categories of people for whom cinnamon is not recommended, or even contraindicated:
- People with liver disorders;
- pregnant women
- People on anticoagulants
- People allergic to cinnamon
- Hypertension sufferers on hypotensive medication
Cinnamon is an age-old spice whose health benefits have been praised across cultures and eras. Its remarkable antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatoryand its ability to regulate blood sugar levels make it a valuable and tasty addition to your daily diet.
However, like all active ingredients, it comes with its own set of risks. effects side effects.
Consuming cinnamon is excellent for your health! But use it sparingly, especially if you are pregnantif you suffer from disorders liver disorders, cardiac or diabeticsor if you are taking that may interact with this spice.
The side effects and potential risksalthough generally associated with excessive consumptionare a reminder of the importance of moderation.
Before embarking on the use of cinnamon as a dietary supplementa consultation with a health professional is recommended, especially for people with underlying health conditions or those on medication.
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