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What are the health benefits of cinnamon?

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Quick Answer

The health benefits of cinnamon include reduction of blood sugar in diabetes patients and a possible reduction of inflammation and action against free radicals and bacteria. Research remains mixed, but the absence of harmful side effects means that trying cinnamon for those benefits does not carry risk, states WebMD.

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Full Answer

Cassia cinnamon is the type with links to lowering blood sugar in diabetics; however, the research regarding this benefit is mixed as well. Because of the lack of definitive proof, no set dose has been established for cinnamon. Some studies recommend 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per day, while others have used between 1 and 6 grams. Extremely high doses may prove toxic, according to WebMD.

Cinnamon is an added ingredient in many foods. Cinnamon purchased off the shelf on the spice aisle is generally Ceylon cinnamon or cassia cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon has a darker color than the Ceylon variety, notes WebMD.

In general, cinnamon has no side effects unless the consumer has an allergy. Heavy use can irritate the lips and mouth, and people with liver conditions can experience toxic results from extremely high doses. Coumarin, a component of some cinnamon products, may lead to liver conditions. Because of the indefinite research regarding cinnamon's health benefits and some of its risks, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take cinnamon as a medical supplement although it remains safe in food, as stated by Web MD.

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