Thursday, May 9, 2013

Can Cinnamon Cause Liver Damage


Before I start to scare you about cinnamon, let me tell you that cinnamon was a highly prized commodity in ancient times. It was deemed fit for kings and gods. It is a native to Bangladesh, Srilanka, Malabar Coast of India and Burma. It found its way into the Western world through the Arab traders, Venetian traders, Portuguese and Dutch traders.

A recent research has found that two compounds found in cinnamon cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin show promise to fight against the Alzheimer's disease. According to the researchers these compounds prevent the tangles formed in the brain which characterizes Alzheimer's disease. You know what? I updated this post with the latest information on cinnamon. Now back to our topic.

There are two types of cinnamon available. One is the true or Ceylon cinnamon and the other is dried cassia bark or cassia cinnamon. Now you might wonder, she writes about the history, latest information, the varieties and what does she actually want to say about? Coumarin is the substance which gives the cinnamon its delicious aroma. This substance caused the historically famous sweet clover disease.

Coumarin is moderately toxic to liver and kidneys. Researchers found that the true cinnamon or the Ceylon cinnamon which is generally very expensive has little coumarin. But the cheaper variety the cassia cinnamon has large amounts of this substance.

The sad news is that this cassia cinnamon is being used to flavor foods such as breads, sticky buns, beverages and food supplements mainly in the US. This is according to the researchers. I don’t have any idea about the other parts of the world.

Very high quantities of coumarin in cassia cinnamon may be harmful to people with liver damage. A health alert is being issued by healthyhomosapien to all people suffering from liver and kidney problems, diabetes and breast cancer. It would do a world of good if you stop using especially the cassia cinnamon.

Take care,
Swarnam

Photo by Grant Cochrane
Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net