Confused about cinnamon


#9

If coumarin could build up in the body to dangerous levels we wouldn’t be able to consume cinimon ever. A daily dose above a specific amount ups the odds of liver damage. Eventually the law of averages will catch up with you.


#10

That link says:

As expected the report shows that Ceylon Cinnamon has ultra low levels of Coumarin as to be totally insignificant, while all other types of Cinnamon exhibited high levels of Coumarin, especially Saigon Cinnamon.


#11

So it sounds like Ceylon is perfectly safe, but just to confirm, Ceylon has the health benefits associated with cinnamon?

I think I read most studies were performed with cassia


#12

It would appear that it does… at least from what I read.


#13

Thats the site’s conclusion, but the site links to this study which says the above thing i mentioned. Thats the reason i posted that link in the first place.


#14

Clearing some things up in this thread with some simple math and reading:

Ceylon indeed does have coumarin, but in VERY LOW amounts compared to cassia.

There is no evidence that supports @Tark’s statement of low amounts of accumulation of coumarin to be dangerous. As @horsfield said, if it could build up to dangerous levels in the body, then we shouldn’t consume cinnamon on any regular basis, ever. That is why there is a TDI - tolerable daily intake - that is to say, on average we do not want to go over 0.1mg/kg of our body weight in coumarin.

As far as the website’s conclusion, that is a correct conclusion based on the very article that @Tark linked, and there is no “but”. Let’s look at some numbers from the article:

Assuming a modest body weight of 150lbs, or 68kg, a person’s coumarin consumption is not to exceed 6.8mg per day.

From the article, in Table 1, looking at the coumarin column of the C. verum (Ceylon) cinnamon we can see that the average coumarin content is about .015g/kg, or 15mg/kg. That means for a person weighing 150lbs, one would have to consume about 0.45kg or 1lb of cinnamon in order to reach the TDI. That is a TON of cinnamon.

Looking at the most prevalent cinnamon imported into the US, C. burmannii (90% of the imports into the US during the last 5 years as stated in the article), we have an average coumarin content of about ~6g of coumarin per 1kg of cinnamon. Note that this number more highly variable, but the low/max as reported in their samples is 2.14 and 9.3g, respectively. This means that for a person weighing 150lbs, one would have to consume about 0.00113kg or 0.0025lbs to reach the TDI, which is much more likely.

Personally, I use 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per day for my Soylent. According to the calculator here:
http://www.aqua-calc.com/calculate/food-volume-to-weight/substance/spices-coma-and-blank-cinnamon-coma-and-blank-ground
That is about 0.0058lbs of cinnamon per day, a bit more than double what the TDI would be if I were using Cassia cinnamon.

TLDR: Based on current evidence, Ceylon cinnamon is safe for consumption as a daily additive to Soylent, while Cassia cinnamon is not, just as most of the voices in this thread have stated previously.


#15

Another place you can buy cinnamon is from Penzey’s spices. They have several cinnamon blends, and they have the pure ones too.


#16

So you are saying that it would be safe to ingest cassia cinnamon every day as long as it doesn’t exceed the TDI? Which would be something like 0.5 lbs?


#17

It would be safe to consume Ceylon cinnamon everyday. Adjust for your weight, but the max would be about 1lb of cinnamon for someone who is 150lbs.


#18

If coumarin doesn’t accumulate then you could consume cassia cinnamon every day if it didn’t exceed TDI right?


#19

The problem with Cassia is the daily amounts are so low.


#20

Would seasoning your pitcher of Soylent with a few shakes of ground cassia cinnamon be too much?


#21

It wouldn’t short term, but I guess the problem is the time it takes to break down the Courmarin for the liver at larger doses than the TDI, makes it accumalate. If you stick to the TDI, it shouldn’t be a problem short term or long term… but it might put a little extra strain on your liver long term.

As you saw in some of the other examples above, people can “safely” consume 6 grams a day over 6 weeks, if they take a weeks break afterwards, giving the liver times to break it down and recover. But they also mention that you could take it at that amount 5 days a week and 2 days rest.

Try and see how many grams of cassia you need to get the taste you want, if it is low enough, you don’t need to worry at all, but I personally recommend switching to Ceylon when you get the chance if you plan to use it everyday regardless.


#22

Depends what a few shakes are. @axcho for example uses 4.3 grams of Saigon cinnamon in Schmoylent Cinnamon. The amount seem in line with what people use to flavor Soylent. @marvin737 did some math on the limits that looks good to me.

0.00113kg is 1.13 grams. So it would seem Schmoylent cinnamon has 4 times the TDI (well, potentially more - saigon cinnamon vs cassia?)

1.13 grams is pretty small. http://www.aqua-calc.com/calculate/food-volume-to-weight calculates 1 teaspoon as 2.6 grams. So we’re talking 1/2 teaspoon.

In my opinion, Ceylon is a no brainer if you’re using cinnamon to flavor Soylent.


#23

Assuming these numbers are correct, it seems that if you have a bottle of cassia cinnamon to use up, it will be safe if you use a half teaspoon or less, per day. It would be best if you don’t use it every day, because a day off will give your liver an extra day to catch up with cleaning the coumarin out of your blood.

If you need a full teaspoon to get your flavoring effect, it might be wiser to use it every other day.

Either way, when you finish the bottle… get ceylon.


#24

I’m considering switching to Ceylon for my next round of recipes, but the reason I’ve been using Saigon is because Tim Ferris recommends it over other cinnamon varieties for its effect on blood sugar. :stuck_out_tongue: My understanding was that coumarin was (in addition to being toxic at too-high doses) also the agent responsible for these beneficial effects, but I may be mistaken. My research since then has been focused on “normal” nutrition, I guess, rather than extra modifying factors.

Can anyone speak to the blood sugar regulating effects of Ceylon versus Saigon cinnamon?


#25

We seem to be at the stage where we’re still figuring out what components of cinnamon are the mechanisms of its various actions. We’ve just recently finished establishing the the effects are genuine. Most published studies I find are clarifying the effects of cinnamon on different conditions, but not attempting to isolate the active compounds or exact mechanism. In fact, most studies don’t seem to specify the kind of cinnamon they used!

This PubMed article on the potential benefits of cinnamon in treatment diabetes mentions that Cassia is the type most often used in the research. However, the second page of the article notes the various suspected mechanisms; they mention a variety of suspects, but coumarin is not among them:

The mechanism by which cinnamon increases GLP-1 is unknown, but its effects may be similar to the GLP-1 analogues exenatide and liraglutide, or the dipetidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors sitagliptin, saxagliptin, and linagliptin.

Cinnamon may also be involved in the activation of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptors (PPAR)-γ and PPAR-α.[3,13,14] Thiazolidinediones, including pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, target PPAR-γ and promote insulin sensitivity. The fibrate class of anti-hyperlipidemics target PPAR-α, which lowers plasma triglycerides and elevates plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Finally, rodent models suggest that cinnamon may inhibit hepatic 3-hydroxy- 3-methyl-glutaryl CoA reductase activity.[15–17] This mechanism parallels that of the popular statin drug class.

I don’t even see mention of the family that includes coumarin. (For reference, coumarin, also called 1-benzopyran-2-one, is in the benzopyrone chemical class.)

So… the fact that Ceylon is low in coumarin is not a problem. However, it may also be low in whatever else is in Saigon and Cassia which have the beneficial effect. That remains to be seen. For now, the, most of the knowledge is about Cassia, specifically.


#26

How many pumpkin pies can I eat per day before my liver explodes, that’s all I wanna know.


#27

Thanks for the clarification, @MentalNomad. :slight_smile:

@Larry, somehow I don’t think cinnamon is the limiting factor in that scenario… :wink:


#28

Cinnamon is bark, and undigestible. Delicious yeh, but undigestible. The tiny particles irritate your guts, perhaps exacerbate leaky gut. IMO, particles–almost don’t matter which–are just as much a problem for leaky gut as big bad gluten, and dairy, etc. Use cinnamon, IMO, as a flavor, in tiny amounts, and enjoy it, but don’t use it as a medicine. If you must use it as a medicine buy–and stop squawking about cost–the water-soluble cinnamon extract with harmful stuff removed. If you need cinnamon for blood sugar issues, you got a problem cinnamon won’t cure anyway. Cure the sugar issues by not ingesting anything which spikes your blood sugar, and be sure to burn your blood sugar after meals with activity, all day, evry day–not “excercise”, not frantic “workouts”, but activity. Forget cinnamon for sugar issues.