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January 13

Cinnamon: Weight Loss & Other Health Benefits

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Filed under Diet, Health Benefits, Lose Weight, supplements | 15 Comments

Cinnamon and Weight Loss

How can a “simple” spice like cinnamon help you lose weight and what are its other health benefits? Read on and discover how cinnamon and weight loss go hand in hand…

Disclaimer: the following information is based on human studies and suggested by preliminary evidence. More research about how and when cinnamon works is needed, but the results so far are really promising. This article is purely informational, I am not a doctor.

Cinnamon and Weight Loss

Cinnamon sticks for weight loss, how does that work? Cinnamon will help you lose weight because it has the ability to reduce your blood sugar level.

It does this in 2 ways:

  1. Cinnamon slows down the rate at which your stomach empties after a meal (gastric emptying). As a result your blood sugar increase will be slower than normal and you won’t feel hungry so fast.
  2. One of the working substances in cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde improves the effectiveness of your insulin receptors, resulting in a quicker intake of glucose by your cells.

Why is reduced blood sugar good for weight loss?

When we eat carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar (glucose; our main source of energy). Your blood sugar level determines how hungry and how energetic you feel and also whether we store fat or burn it. When we have a high blood sugar level, a lot of insulin is produced and our body thinks there’s plenty of energy and starts storing fat instead of burning it. Another issue is that too much insulin causes too much blood sugar to be removed from our blood. As a result insulin and blood sugar levels drop, which makes us hungry and tired and want to eat.

Cinnamon Health Benefits

There are several other health benefits of cinnamon:

  • Diabetes type II: a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly.  Cinnamon improves the efficiency of the insulin receptors (see above).
  • Cinnamon decreases cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Cinnamon helps indigestion: this function of cinnamon has been known for thousands of years.  The Chinese used and use cinnamon as a cure for diarrhea.
  • Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and can be used as a relief for arthritis.
  • Cinnamon contains a lot of antioxidants (it has the highest dose known in a food substance).  Antioxidants terminate chain reactions started by free radicals in your body.  These chain reactions damage cells and DNA, causing diseases like cancer and heart diseases.
  • Cinnamon is antifungal: it can help to fight conditions like candidiasis (yeast infection).
  • Cinnamon is antibacterial: it prevents tooth decay (when used as an ingredient in mouthwash).
  • Cinnamon brings relief in case of allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
  • It is a good source of manganese, an important mineral that is used by a lot of enzymes in our body.

Types of Cinnamon

There are 2 main types of cinnamon:

  1. Ceylon Cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum), also known as “real” cinnamon: cultivated in Sri Lanka.
  2. Cassia Cinnamon (cinnamomum cassia), also known as “fake” cinnamon: cultivated in China, looks darker and doesn’t taste as sweet as Ceylon Cinnamon.  It’s easy to recognize because the cassia cinnamon sticks roll up at both sides, like a scroll. Cassia contains coumarin (see below).

In this picture, Ceylon cinnamon is on the left, Cassia is on the right:

cinnamon 

It is not clear which of these 2 is the most effective towards weight loss.  Some sources say Cassia is the most effective, but no one seems to be sure about that.

There are more types of cinnamon, like Saigon Cinnamon or Burmese cinnamon, but Ceylon and Cassia are the most important and the most readily available.

Cinnamon Side Effects & Dosage

Is cinnamon safe?  Cassia Cinnamon contains 2 substances that are toxic to your liver and kidneys, when consumed in high doses: safrole and especially coumarin.  Don’t consumer more than 4 grams/day.

Dosage:

  • Ceylon: 1 to 6 grams/day.  About 4 gram works best (one and a half teaspoons).
  • Cassia: 1 to 4 grams/day.  Don’t use more because of the coumarin.

Side effects: Cinnamon doesn’t have any side effects, but there are some conditions in which you can’t use cinnamon:

  • Pregnancy/Breastfeeding:  don’t use cinnamon when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding because cinnamon has abortion inducing effects.
  • Some people have a cinnamon allergy or are hypersensitive to cinnamon, although this is rare.  Symptoms are skin rash, acne, inflammation of tongue and lips, mouth sores, etc
  • Don’t use cinnamon if you have kidney problems.
  • Don’t use cinnamon if you take blood thinners, because cinnamon is a blood thinner as well.
  • Don’t use cinnamon oil, it’s toxic and not meant for consumption.

Honey and Cinnamon Cures

A lot of books and websites prescribe cinnamon and honey tea as a solution to lose weight.  I see the health benefits of cinnamon, but I don’t see the benefits of honey and cinnamon.  Honey is healthier than table sugar because it contains more minerals and vitamins, but it’s still sugar.  I can’t see how sugar or honey can help weight loss so I don’t believe in a honey and cinnamon diet.

Cinnamon Supplements

You can buy cinnamon in bulk or as sticks, but cinnamon powder is also available in the form of capsules.

Cinnulin-PF is a water soluble extract of cinnamon.  The advantage of cinnamon supplements like these is that toxic substances like coumarin are filtered out.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2011 at 4:00 pm and is filed under Diet, Health Benefits, Lose Weight, supplements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

15 Responses to “Cinnamon: Weight Loss & Other Health Benefits”

  1. Maxim on February 17th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Good article dude, I also think that the Cinnamon is a good herbal. Ayurveda medicine system uses Cinnamon more often for different purposes.

  2. Kevin on March 14th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Good article – all very true. I recommend cinnamon, cocoa, and vanilla as great ways to make food (especially coffee and tea) taste good without adding many calories (or relying to much on artificial sugars).

    Cinnamon is the best of the 3 since it has the benefits of lowering blood sugar like you mentioned.

    Glad to see people getting the word out about this.

  3. Mike on April 13th, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Thanks for the info. I really didn’t know that cinnamon is great for weight loss. I knew about cocoa like Kevin mentioned but never heard of the cinnamon benefits.
    Btw I found a note the other day on the fact that honey mixed with hot liquids releases some toxic substances… maybe you can write an article on this…

  4. William on April 18th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I remember reading an article on cinnamon a few months ago. Thanks for the reminder on it. Another good food for weight loss is hot peppers, as they elevate your metabolism.

  5. Stan on April 27th, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Nice. I like this post. I heard about cinnamon being good but it didn’t really explain why. @William I’ve heard the same about hot peppers. I think cayenne powder does the same thing.

  6. Bodybuilding Diets on May 27th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Wow! I never knew Cinnamon had a lot of health benefits! I did not even know it contributed to getting rid of excess fat! Now that I read your blog, I’ll be sure to put cinnamon on all the food I eat!

  7. David on February 12th, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Holy crap I never knew Cinnamon had any health benefits. I will be adding this to my coffee, I don’t know how else I can add a lot of cinnamon to my diet without eating the wrong foods.

  8. Dan on February 15th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    In addition to my coffee, I’ve also started making a daily whey isolate protein shake with fresh cinnamon in it. The high quality protein combined with the cinnamon is a great 1-2 punch in developing muscle while knocking out fat.

    I’m looking great and feeling great. It’s a terrific way to add a good amount of cinnamon to your daily diet.

  9. Heather on May 16th, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Since I’ve been adding cinnamon to my tea, I no longer need any sweetener. It definitely has helped boost my diet. David- shake it on low fat yogurt, cottage cheese, whole grain toast, apples, bananas, on chile…the list goes on- even my kids use it!

    Great blog- I also suggest adding raw organic apple cider vinegar to any diet to aid weight loss, lowering cholesterol, blood sugar and skin conditions!

  10. Sunj on May 23rd, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Hey i jus put a tea spoon of saigon cinnamon in a glass of water and knock it, just to get it in me for the benefits.. If you stir it for about 20 seconds constantly it kinda mixes in, =)

  11. Nanditha on March 12th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    I will definetly try this because anti oxidants will also help in reducing hair fall.

  12. jackie on March 20th, 2013 at 2:59 am

    It says not to take while breast feeding, does this hold true if my son is 14 months old and only nurses twice a day? I put cinnamon on my toast as a tea. It’s only 1-1.5 tsp a day.

  13. Anton on February 4th, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    In the Netherlands they put instead of cacao, cinnemon on your cappucino,

    In the book; Tibet Medicine from Dr Tamdin Sither Bradley, you can read; honey strengthens the nerves, enhances the sensory organs en helps reduce weight, only from natural organic honey, not the honey produced from bees fed with sucker.

    Myself I use for breakfast on a toast, honey and on top cinnamon, or oats with chai, cinnemon and honey, my oats are not cooked and cold.

    I don’t know about honey in hot tea, I think you loose all the benefits, because of the temperature, so I don’t do that, maybe I am wrong.

  14. Anton on February 4th, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I forgot to tell

    Cinnemon-extracts pus from the lungs, stops diarrhoea
    and helps circulation of the blood.
    Mam gave us always in the past a biscuit with cinnamon,
    when we had some diarrhoe.

    Ginger helps blood circulation, improves bodily heat no more cold feet? and prevents nausea, no more by a boat or cartrip, I buy young pieces of ginger, press and put the juice in ice cubs, then I use 1 cube, put that in water or other drink, if it is to strong, take the undefrosted left over and put that back in a container and use that the next time.

    It helps also for pain, my body was ful of ginger and after the operation I had no pain. but becareful start slowly and see how your body react.

  15. prescillafernandes on July 8th, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    excellant reminder as i know that the cinnamon is used in indian meat curries but i didnot know there are so many benifits like lowerising blood sugar relieving arthritis and reducing weight

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