Transcript: The Safer Cinnamon
Second in spice popularity only to black pepper, cinnamon is the powdered inner bark of four different species of cinnamomum trees. There’s Vietnamese cinnamom, Chinese cinnamon, Indonesian, and Ceylon.
A recent review raised concerns about one of them, because of a compound called coumarin, which new human data suggests may be toxic to the liver. It’s been banned as a food additive, but still can be found naturally in Chinese cinnamon—also known as cassia cinnamon. It is not found in significant amounts in so called true cinnamon—Ceylon cinnamon—and we don’t have enough data on the other two.
Now, these traffic lights are not for recreational users. These are only for people going out of their way to add like a teaspoon or more to their daily diet—which ideally should be everyone, since it appears so health promoting, and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, cardiovascular, cholesterol-lowering, and immunomodulatory effects. Especially useful for those with diabetes, or prediabetes.
So, if you’re eating cinnamon every day, great— just make sure it’s the right kind. In the U.K., if it says cinnamon, then it’s Ceylon cinnamon. Chinese cinnamon is labeled cassia. In the U.S., though, they can both just be labeled cinnamon, and since Chinese is cheaper, that’s what most cinnamon is on our shelves. So make sure it specifies Ceylon.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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