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10 Proven Health Benefits of Cinnamon: Science-Backed Insights
Cinnamon is a popular spice that has been used for centuries in both culinary and medicinal applications. Not only does it add flavor to foods and drinks, but it has also been shown to have numerous health benefits. Cinnamon is a rich source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and other bioactive compounds that have been linked to a range of health benefits, from improving blood sugar control and heart health to reducing inflammation and fighting infections. In this article, we will explore 10 proven benefits of cinnamon, backed by scientific research and insights from health professionals.
May help regulate blood sugar levels
Cinnamon has been shown to have antidiabetic effects by lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that consuming cinnamon for 40 days led to a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels and an improvement in insulin sensitivity (1).
Has anti-inflammatory properties
Cinnamon contains compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that cinnamon extracts and cinnamaldehyde (the compound that gives cinnamon its flavor) were able to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (2).
May improve lipid profile and cardiovascular health
Consuming cinnamon may also have beneficial effects on lipid profile and cardiovascular health. A randomized controlled trial published in the journal Nutrition found that consuming cinnamon for 12 weeks led to significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting blood glucose levels (3).
Has potential anticancer properties
Cinnamon has been found to have potential anticancer properties. A review published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics found that cinnamon and its compounds were able to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells and inhibit the growth of tumors in animal models (4).
May help manage type 2 diabetes
Cinnamon has also been shown to have beneficial effects on key metabolic enzymes relevant to type 2 diabetes. A study published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology found that polyphenolic compounds from cinnamon were able to stimulate insulin secretion and improve glucose uptake by cells (5).
Has antimicrobial properties
Cinnamon has been found to have antimicrobial properties against a variety of microorganisms. A study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that methyl cinnamate, a compound found in cinnamon, was able to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi (6).
May improve satiety and aid in weight management
Cinnamon may also aid in weight management by improving satiety and reducing food intake. A study published in the journal Metabolism found that consuming cinnamon with a carbohydrate-rich meal led to a slower rate of gastric emptying and a reduction in blood glucose levels, which in turn led to increased feelings of fullness and a reduction in food intake (7).
May help improve oral health
Cinnamon has been found to have antimicrobial properties against oral microorganisms that can cause dental caries and periodontal disease. A study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology found that cinnamon bark extract and its fractions were able to inhibit the growth of oral microorganisms (8).
Cinnamon is a versatile spice that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, and modern research has confirmed many of its health benefits. From improving blood sugar control and reducing inflammation to protecting against heart disease and fighting infections, cinnamon's bioactive compounds have been shown to have a range of positive effects on human health. While cinnamon is generally safe to consume in moderate amounts, it's important to note that high doses or long-term use may have adverse effects. As with any supplement or natural remedy, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating cinnamon into your diet or treatment regimen.