Health Benefits of Ceylon Cinnamon
I’ve always I heard that cinnamon had amazing powers for the body and so I wanted to do more digging to see if this super spice could be more than just a tasty additive to my pumpkin pie recipes. In my research, I came across Ceylon cinnamon and found that this spice had been studied quite a bit for its healing powers.
Since then, I have been using it for about two years now and really love adding it to everything possible. After much studying I found, here is what I found…
Top Benefits of Ceylon Cinnamon for Your Health:
- Boosts weight loss
- Improves metabolic disorders
- Acts as an anti-cancer agent in the body
- Assists in preventing acne
So what exactly is Ceylon cinnamon and how does it do all these wonderful things?
What is Ceylon Cinnamon?
Ceylon cinnamon, also known as true cinnamon, is an evergreen tree that belongs to the class Lauraceae. This tree is native to Sri Lanka, and the spice is obtained from the bark of this tree.
Besides it is used as a spice, cinnamon has been used for thousands of years as traditional medicine. Today, cinnamon is also used as a dietary supplement for medical conditions such as lack of appetite, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders. According to scientists, cinnamon is among the most popular herbs and medicinal spices in the world. Its protective antioxidant levels make cinnamon the most common medicinal herb in the world.
Several studies have been performed to find out the medicinal value of cinnamon. In 2012, a study was conducted on people who were diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. The randomized clinical trials concluded that the consumption of cinnamon could lead to a significant drop in the levels of fasting blood sugar.
Besides its benefits to people with diabetes, cinnamon is also considered useful for other ailments, including gynecological problems, respiratory conditions, and neurological conditions.
How Does Ceylon Cinnamon Help With Weight Loss?
Several studies explain the use of cinnamon during weight loss trials. One study was published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2011. The study used rats to find out the effect cinnamon had on post-meal blood glucose level.
The researchers concluded that cinnamon was a potential remedy for hyperglycemia and the spike in blood glucose levels that occur after a meal. Another study was published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2003. The study assembled 50 people who had been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. The individuals were then divided into two groups and the study lasted for a total of 40 days. The first group was put on either 1, 2, or 3 grams of cinnamon on a daily basis. The second group was administered a placebo.
Once the study was concluded, the researchers found out that the group taking the cinnamon had reduced their blood sugar level by 18-29 percent. It was also found that the levels of triglycerides in the body of these people had dropped 23-30 percent.
Other changes that were observed included a reduction in the amount of total cholesterol by 12-26 percent and a reduction of LDL cholesterol by 7-27 percent.
The research results on cinnamon consumption have shown a positive control of blood sugar and insulin levels in the blood. Low-blood sugar and increased insulin levels are also associated with more significant weight loss, meaning that the consumption of Ceylon cinnamon could have a positive effect on those who are trying to lose weight. Plus, studies have also shown that the impact brought on by the consumption of cinnamon is almost immediate. According to researchers, people with liver problems should only consume Ceylon cinnamon to avoid toxicity that can occur in high levels of cassia cinnamon.
How does Ceylon Cinnamon help metabolic disorders?
Metabolic disorders are known to be among the leading causes of death globally. A metabolic syndrome is a group of diseases that comprise of hyperglycemia, hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance.
Metabolic syndrome is also one of the primary causes of cardiovascular diseases. People who are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome had an increased risk of acquiring long-term cardiovascular disorders. Statistics have shown that close to 17.5 million people succumbed to cardiovascular disease in the year 2012. This number represents about 31 percent of global deaths.
According to recent scientific studies, cinnamon contains active ingredients such as cinnamate, cinnamic acid cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol. These active compounds have been shown to have therapeutic effects against metabolic disorders.
Metabolic disorders are largely caused by insulin resistance. This resistance to insulin has been shown to cause other metabolic complications such as dyslipidemia, obesity, and hypertension. Scientific studies show that cinnamon can help activate the insulin receptor kinases, which helps enhance the performance of the insulin receptor.
The active components in cinnamon that have anti-diabetic effects have been shown to activate glycogen synthase enzyme. This enzyme is involved in the synthesis of glycogen from glucose. The conversion of glucose to glycogen helps reduce blood glucose levels. The chemical compounds lower glucose absorption in the small intestine by increasing the concentration of glycosidase enzymes.
A study that was published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry by Anderson et al., found that the bioactive compound, methylhydroxychalcone polymer extracted from cinnamon, stimulates the phosphorylation of insulin receptor . Another study that was published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology by Qin et al., revealed that cinnamon extract potentiated the effect of insulin in rats by stimulating glucose uptake in adipocyte cells. The rats were administered with cinnamon extract at a dose of 30 and 300 mg/Kg body weight. The study lasted for a period of three weeks .
Other bioactive compounds such as catechins, rutin, and quercetin extracted from cinnamon had insulin-like activity. The anti-diabetic activity of cinnamon extract depends on its polyphenolic content.
Cinnamon has an antioxidant that is known to help treat several metabolic disorders. Metabolic disorders have been associated with the presence of free radicals as well as oxidative stress. The presence of reactive oxygen species may cause several metabolic disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and hypertension. Cinnamon’s extract, such as the essential oil and the bioactive compound eugenol, contains a robust radical scavenging activity. The studies conducted on the therapeutic effect of insulin on metabolic disorders have shown that the medicinal plant can help reduce the morbidity and mortality rates that are associated with metabolic disorders.
How Does Ceylon Cinnamon Help in Preventing Acne?
Studies show that the antibacterial effect that Ceylon cinnamon has can help prevent and reduce acne because it has therapeutic activity against the bacteria that is responsible for the development of acne. The bioactive compound, cinnamaldehyde, kills the bacteria by inhibiting the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. The reduction of nitric oxide helps prevent inflammation which is associated with acne. The other mechanism involves the inhibition of the cyclooxygenase 2 enzyme, also known as COX-2. This enzyme also plays a significant role in the process of inflammation.
The Anti-Cancer Property of Ceylon Cinnamon
Extractions from cinnamon have been shown to inhibit the activity of the vascular endothelial growth factor subtype 2. The enzyme inhibition prevents angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels), a condition that is common in cancer patients. Scientific studies have shown that cinnamon can be used in the prevention of cancer because it prevents the development of these new blood vessels.
A study that was published in Journal of Nematology by Kong et al., showing that CB403, a compound that is made from 2′-hydroxycinnamaldehyde can prevent tumor growth. The anti-tumor activity of CB403 has shown that cinnamon can be utilized as an anticancer agent .
How is Ceylon Cinnamon Made?
Ceylon cinnamon is synthesized from cinnamon sticks. Young branches are obtained from trees and left overnight for fermentation to take place. After fermentation, the external and median crust is removed. The inner crust is then dried and then either ground into a powder or shaped into sticks. You can then use these forms of Ceylon cinnamon to flavor several different types of foods and drinks.
Where Can I Buy Ceylon Cinnamon?
There are several Ceylon cinnamon brands available on the market. Some of the most common ones include the Indus Organics which is available in the form of sticks. Sticks can be steeped into hot teas, coffee and soups.
Other Popular Brands of Ceylon Cinnamon Include:
- Feel Good Organics
- Simply Organic
I love the brand Organic Wise, which I found on Amazon because it is ground into a powder which makes it the easiest to use in recipes.
These Ceylon cinnamon brands can be bought from Amazon or at your local grocery stores. Amazon has a variety of brands from which you can choose from, and if you really love it, you can do a subscription service which makes restocking super easy.
How to add Ceylon Cinnamon to your diet
There are two ways you can add this spice to your diet. The first is the way I take it and that is just by using loose the loose powder and adding a tsp to my smoothies, sauces, and other desserts. It is so easy to add and tastes amazing in my favorite chocolate smoothie. I buy it on Amazon so that I can save money on their autoship option. Another great way to add it to your diet is to dust it into your morning coffee as an added flavor or into your nightly tea with some honey (use raw organic honey for max benefits). You can find my recipe for nightly tea on the blog.
Tops Ways to Add Ceylon Cinnamon to Your Diet:
- Chia or black tea
- Nighttime teas
- Cinnamon buns
I also love to offer simple tricks so you can add more Ceylon cinnamon into your diet, and because I’m so in love with cinnamon I also have some cinnamon capsules. I still think it’s important to use organic capsules so I use the brand Nutriflair which has capsules that contain organic Ceylon cinnamon. These are convenient to add to your morning routine, especially if you do not like the taste of cinnamon or are in a hurry.
- Anderson, R. A., Broadhurst, C. L., Polansky, M. M., Schmidt, W. F., Khan, A., Flanagan, V. P., … & Graves, D. J. (2004). Isolation and characterization of polyphenol type-A polymers from cinnamon with insulin-like biological activity. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 52(1), 65-70.
- Kong, J.-O., Lee, S.-M., Moon, Y.-S., Lee, S.-G., & Ahn, Y.-J. (2007). Nematicidal Activity of Cassia and Cinnamon Oil Compounds and Related Compounds toward Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Nematoda: Parasitaphelenchidae). Journal of Nematology, 39(1), 31–36.
- Qin, B., Panickar, K. S., & Anderson, R. A. (2010). Cinnamon: Potential Role in the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 4(3), 685–693.