Cinnamon Health Benefits

By , Jason V., SparkPeople Contributor

Cinnamon awakens the senses and makes people think of pumpkin pie, spiced coffee, and the aroma of the holidays. However, cinnamon doesn't just have a pleasing smell; many often fail to recognize how much of a positive impact cinnamon may have on health. Cinnamon carries many benefits, which include antioxidant and microbial properties. Take a look at how cinnamon can make you healthier.

Cinnamon and Diabetes

Cinnamon has been widely used throughout human history for a myriad of medical treatments. Among these ailments, cinnamon has been shown to improve the prognoses of those with diabetes. In October 2013, a comprehensive analysis of cinnamon and its effect on diabetes was conducted, reports the National Library of Medicine. Throughout the two-year study of 543 patients, the levels of fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides decreased with the assistance of a cinnamon supplement. 

Cinnamon and Bacteria

Oils from the leaves of Ceylon cinnamon trees act as a natural disinfectant. Kansas State University studied the effects of cinnamon on different strains of bacteria as well. Out of these trials, cinnamon was found to have antimicrobial properties against the potentially fatal Escherichia coli bacterium, or E. coli, within contaminated, unpasteurized juices.

Reduced Risk For Fungal Infections

Since cinnamon inhibits the growth of bacteria and resists moisture, it has the potential for preventing fungal infections. Some use cinnamon as a paste to treat fungal infections of the feet, and it also has been used as a dietary supplement to treat yeast infections, which result from the growth of yeast and other fungi.

Cinnamon and Alzheimer’s

Cinnamon contains an extract, CEppt. This compound inhibits the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by affecting the levels of neurotransmitters within the brain. Part of the impact of cinnamon derives from its ability to prevent the formation of amyloid polypeptide oligomers, which result in lesions in the brain and degeneration of neural activity.

Cinnamon as an Antioxidant

Cinnamon is also used as an antioxidant to reduce the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. In many different metabolic processes, such as the chemical reaction to access stored energy in ATP molecules, oxygen atoms become dislodged from their covalently bonded molecules. When an oxygen molecule becomes free, or radicalized, it can damage any tissue it comes into contact with as it attempts to bind to the tissue. Cinnamon acts as a safe binding site for free radicals, which are then excreted from the body.

Less Storage of Fat Following Unhealthy Meals

Cinnamon has been linked to reduced storage of excess fats and sugars following unhealthy meals. This is partially due to its significant link to diabetes. However, the exact compound responsible for this result remains unknown. Furthermore, cinnamon has been used to calm nausea, reduce vomiting, and lessen abdominal discomfort and gas by promoting healthy bowel habits.  

Decreased Progression of Multiple Sclerosis

Since cinnamon improves the communication of neurons, or brain cells, it acts as a natural way to treat Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis occurs as neurons lose their protective myelin sheaths, which enable rapid, continuous communication. Furthermore, cinnamon’s anti-brain lesion properties help to prevent progression of MS.

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MJ7DM33 5/4/2021
Good read! Thanks! Report
CECELW 5/4/2021
this is rather interesting Report
ANAKYRIA 5/4/2021
Please update with references and recommended daily amounts! Report
Lots of assertions, few references to the scientific literature. Was it written by the cinnamon marketing board, or someone who is concerned with sharing scientific facts? I'd hate have people start cinnamon treatment and go off their prescribed meds after reading this article. Report
AALLEY2 5/4/2021
Very informative! I have been using cinnamon for years now. I love it! Report
HEDSTS58 5/4/2021
Interesting article but how much do you take, how often, and how to take it. It needs to be updated to incorporate this information. Report
ETHELMERZ 5/4/2021
Article needs updating badly, or to be removed! Report
7STIGGYMT 5/4/2021
Interesting article. Report
NEPTUNE1939 5/4/2021
ty Report
CANDICE2021 4/8/2021
This was an interesting read. Thank you Report
Needed this info in '76. Good read@ Report
I loved this article! Report
This is interesting. I did not know. Report
My appetite for cinnamon consumption is boundless Report
I wonder what amounts are recommended? Report
What about the use of cinnamon essential oil?? Report
The artical is lacking in content if amounts and types to use are not provided to the reader. I do love smell though. Report
i love how it curbs my cravings for carbs Report
Great article Report
Good article Report
I love cinnamon and I incorporate it into my diet. But I would like to what amounts I need to make it beneficial. Report
It would be nice for SP rise above blog standards and post references, especially when making big health claims. Report
I would like to see the scientific references cited. I would like primary sources, who did what studies, with what product and how? Otherwise this is all hearsay. Report
I answered that below... here is a copy and paste...

The doses used are clearly listed in the study that is linked.
The key, though, is that the study produced these results ONLY in people with type 2 diabetes. If you do not have type 2 diabetes and if you do not take those dosages, you will not get the same results. - 8/25/2015 10:06:12 PM Report
Really nice article..I didn't know the health benefits of Cinnamon. But the same question I much Cinnamon should be used??? Report
Yes it would be good to know the amount needed to make it beneficial. Report
Whilst part of your article refers to Ceylon Cinnamon which is considerably lower in Coumarin content, the picture is Cassia cinnamon.
Cinnamon taking in a quantity "More then Small" should be Ceylon and NOT Cassia Cinnamon as cassia C has the potential for "Liver Damage".

Otherwise, as Great article! Report
The doses used are clearly listed in the study that is linked.
The key, though, is that the study produced these results ONLY in people with type 2 diabetes. If you do not have type 2 diabetes and if you do not take those dosages, you will not get the same results. Report
Yes—I agree with previous posters—please tell us how much cinnamon was used in those tests citing lowered cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, etc. Mixed with cereal is 1/2 teaspoon daily enough? Report
I use 1 to 2 teaspoons in my smoothies or sprinkle it on buttered toast. I even treat myself to a pinch of the white stuff.(sugar) : ) Just now and then. Report
Great article! Would like to see a lot more of these. I have the same question; I hear and read so much about the benefits of some of these herbs and oils but nothing really telling what form or in what amount. Report
This is a very interesting article, but the next question for me is - how much is enough, and how should it be used - for instance, is putting a teaspoon on my oatmeal adequate or should a supplement be used to ward off Alzheimer's and diabetes? Report