Cinnamon is a spice made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. It is widely available and has many health benefits such as improve blood sugar, control and a reduce number of risk factors for heart disease.
There are two main types of cinnamon:
Cassia: Also known as “normal” cinnamon, this is the most commonly used.
Ceylon: Known as the “standard” cinnamon, Ceylon has a lighter taste and is less bitter than Cassia.
Cassia cinnamon is often found more often in supermarkets, as it is much cheaper than Ceylon cinnamon. Although Cassia cinnamon is safe to consume in a moderate amounts, overeating can cause health problems as it contains a large amount of a compound called coumarin. Research has found that eating too much coumarin can damage your liver and increase your risk of cancer. Furthermore, eating too much cassia cinnamon is associated with many other side effects.
1. May damage liver
Cinnamon Cassia is a rich source of coumarin. The coumarin content of crushed Cassia cinnamon can range from 7-18 milligrams per teaspoon of 2.6 grams, while Ceylon cinnamon contains only a small amount of coumarin.
The recommended daily intake of coumarin is about 0.1 mg / kg body weight, or 5 mg per day for a person weighing 59 kg. This means that just 1 teaspoon of Cassia cinnamon can take you over the daily limit.
Unfortunately, some studies have found that eating too much coumarin can cause liver toxicity and damage. For example, a 73-year-old woman with a liver infection suddenly caused liver damage after taking cinnamon supplements for just 1 week. However, this case involves supplements providing a higher amount than you would get from diet alone.
2. May increase the risk of cancer
Studies on animals have shown that eating too much coumarin, which is abundant in Cassia cinnamon, may increase the risk of cancers. For example, a rodent studie has found that using too much coumarin can cause cancerous tumors to grow in the lungs, liver, and kidneys, but the way in which coumarin can cause tumors is unknown. clear. However, some scientists believe that coumarin causes DNA damage over time, increasing the risk of cancer.
Most of the research on coumarin carcinogenicity has been done in animals. More human-based studies are still needed to see if the same link between cancer and coumarin applies to humans.
3. May cause mouth ulcers
Some people have experienced mouth ulcers from eating products containing cinnamon flavorings. Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, a compound that can cause allergies when consumed in large amounts. But a small amount of the seasoning does not seem to cause this reaction, as saliva prevents the chemical from being in contact with the mouth for too long.
In addition to mouth ulcers, other symptoms of a cinnamaldehyde allergy include: swelling of the tongue or a burning sensation or itchy white patches in the mouth. Although these symptoms are not too severe, they can be bothersome.
However, it’s important to note that cinnamaldehyde will only cause cold sores if you are allergic to it.Also, mouth sores seem to mainly affect people who use too much cinnamon oil and cinnamon-flavored chewing gum, as These products may contain more cinnamaldehyde.
4. May cause low blood sugar
Having chronically high blood sugar is a health problem. If left untreated, it can lead to diabetes, heart disease and many other health problems.
Cinnamon is famous for its ability to lower blood sugar. Studies have found that the spice can mimic the effects of insulin, a hormone that helps eliminate blood sugar.
Although eating a little cinnamon can help lower blood sugar levels, eating too much can cause it to drop too low. This is called hypoglycemia. It can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and possibly fainting.
Those who are most at risk for blood sugar are those who take diabetes medications. This is because cinnamon can enhance the effects of these drugs and cause your blood sugar to drop too low.
5. May cause breathing problems
Eating too much ground cinnamon at one time can cause difficulty breathing. This is due to its powder form, making it easy to inhale. Accidental inhalation of it can cause: coughing, choking, difficulty trying to breathe. In addition, the cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon is a throat irritant. It can cause additional breathing problems.People with asthma or other medical conditions that affect their breathing need to be especially careful when accidentally inhaling cinnamon, as they are more likely to have difficulty breathing. .
6. May react with some medications
Cinnamon is safe if eaten in small to moderate amounts with most medicines. However, taking too much can be a problem if you take medication for diabetes, heart disease or liver disease. This is because cinnamon can interact with those drugs, either enhance their effects or enhance their side effects.
Cassia cinnamon, for example, contains a large amount of coumarin, which can cause liver toxicity and damage if consumed in large quantities. If you take drugs that can affect the liver, such as paracetamol, acetaminophen, and statins, eating too much cinnamon can increase your risk of liver damage.
In addition, cinnamon can help lower your blood sugar, so if you take diabetes medication, this spice can increase their effect and make your blood sugar too low.