McCormick Science Institute

Cinnamon: Potential Health Benefits

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MSI Team

September 2007-- Learn about potential health benefits of cinnamon in this review conducted by Dr. Dugoua and others at the Leslie Dan School of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto.  Read the entire study (PDF)

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Potential Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Jean-Jaques Dugoua, Dugald Seely, Dan Perri, Kieran Cooley, Taryn Forelli, Edward Mills, and Gideon Koren

Common (Cinnamomum verum, C. zeylanicum) and cassia (C. aromaticum) cinnamon have a long history of use as spices and flavouring agents. A number of pharmacological and clinical effects have been observed with their use.
 
The objective of this study was to systematically review the scientific literature for preclinical and clinical evidence of safety, efficacy, and pharmacological activity of common and cassia cinnamon. Using the principles of evidence-based practice, we searched 9 electronic databases and compiled data according to the grade of evidence found. One pharmacological study on antioxidant activity and 7 clinical studies on various medical conditions were reported in the scientific literature including type 2 diabetes (3), Helicobacter pylori infection (1), activation of olfactory cortex of the brain (1), oral candidiasis in HIV (1), and chronic salmonellosis (1).
 
Two of 3 randomized clinical trials on type 2 diabetes provided strong scientific evidence that cassia cinnamon demonstrates a therapeutic effect in reducing fasting blood glucose by 10.3%-29%; the third clinical trial did not observe this effect. Cassia cinnamon, however, did not have an effect at lowering glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). One randomized clinical trial reported that cassia cinnamon lowered total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides; the other 2 trials, however, did not observe this effect. There was good scientific evidence that a species of cinnamon was not effective at eradicating H. pylori infection. Common cinnamon showed weak to very weak evidence of efficacy in treating oral candidiasis in HIV patients and chronic salmonellosis.

Reference

    Dugoua JJ, Seely D, Perri D, Cooley K, Forelli T, Mills E, Koren G. From type 2 diabetes to antioxidant activity: a systematic review of the safety and efficacy of common and cassia cinnamon bark. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Sep;85(9):837-47.  Read the entire study (PDF)

     

 

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