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-Cinnamon species-the good and the….well? Which species to avoid, for the sake of your liver!
As mentioned in recent blog posts, there’s evidence to show cinnamon’s health promoting effects on blood sugar control, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular health in type 2 diabetes and PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome).(1,2) In fact, in a recent Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (large study that pools together applicable studies for a big picture look), among those with type 2 diabetes, there was found to be a statistically significant decrease in fasting glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), and triglycerides, and an increase in HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) among the cinnamon group. (2) And, as it pertains to PCOS, a recent randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical trial showed, after 12 weeks, a statistical significant decrease in fasting insulin, insulin resistance, and LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) in the cinnamon group, vs. placebo. (1)
But, as you already know from here, there are multiple species of “cinnamon”, which vary in coumarins, the naturally occurring plant compounds, which possess anticoagulant, carcinogenic, and liver-toxic qualities.(3) Research shows that coumarin dietary intake, is mainly due to cassia cinnamon.(4) According to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, 1 tsp of cassia cinnamon powder would work out to 5.8-12.1mg of coumarin (1kg=2.1-4.4g); that’s above the tolerable daily intake set by the European Food Safety Authority.(4)
Likely due, at least in part, to the predominance of cassia cinnamon within North America, most of the research on cinnamon in type 2 diabetes and PCOS has