Submitted by Thiruvelan on Wed, 06/20/2012
Cinnamon May Help Lower Cholesterol

Cinnamon has a historical use as a spice and as medicine. Traditionally, it is in use to control blood sugar and high cholesterol levels and may also relieve digestive problems or improve your appetite.

What is Cinnamon? How does it lower Cholesterol?

What is Cinnamon? Cinnamon is the brown bark of a cinnamon tree. Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum. It is in use both as sweet and savory foods.

How does Cinnamon lower cholesterol? Cinnamon inhibits hepatic HMGCoA reductase activity and suppresses lipid peroxidation in the liver.  Suppression of this enzyme by cinnamon induces the expression of LDL receptors in the liver, which in turn increases the catabolism of plasma LDL and lowers the plasma concentration of cholesterol, an important determinant of atherosclerosis.

The widely available cholesterol-lowering drug statins are working similar to cinnamon. However, cinnamon has no or low side effects as compared to statins. Additionally, Cinnamon reduces your risk of cardiovascular risk.

How does cinnamon lower your risk for heart diseases and strokes?

Cinnamon can lower blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. Cinnamon can lower LDL cholesterol level responsible for the plaque formation. Cinnamon also has antioxidant property, which helps prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, thus prevent inflammation of arteries and further plaque formation.

8 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

  1. Cinnamon improves lipid profiles and attenuates body fat deposition to the body weight ratio.
  2. Cinnamon lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, raises HDL (good) cholesterol, and lower triglyceride’s levels.
  3. Cinnamon helps in weight loss and obesity treatment.
  4. Cinnamon normalizes the blood glucose level by improving insulin sensitivity.
  5. Cinnamon also improves your HbA1c level.
  6. Cinnamon reduces your risk to coronary heart diseases and strokes by reducing the plaque formation.
  7. Cinnamon can increase your brain function. It boosts your memory, contributes to a healthy brain function, and improves cognitive ability.
  8. Cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain.

Recommended cinnamon daily dosage

The daily dose of cinnamon you need to take for cholesterol control may vary depending on your age, weight and health status. Only your doctor can recommend the appropriate dosage for you, consult your doctor before you begin taking cinnamon supplements for cholesterol.

The daily dosage of 2 g to 6 g of cinnamon powder may improve the way your body uses fat if you have high cholesterol levels. Your doctor may adjust your dosage of cinnamon to meet your cholesterol regulation needs.

Cinnamon available in different forms

Over-the-counter cinnamon supplements are available in various forms; they are powder, oil, and tincture. Cinnamon volatile oil is much more concentrated compared to other forms, and it may cause temporary oral or skin irritation or burning.

How do you take cinnamon?

Cinnamon is importing especially in Mexico for the preparation of chocolates. It is also in use in various dessert recipes, such as apple pie, doughnuts, and cinnamon buns as well as spicy candies, tea, hot cocoa, and liqueurs.

You can also prepare a flavorful cinnamon tea by mixing 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon powder with boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes and can sweeten it with honey.

Bioactive constituents of cinnamon

Different terpenoids are present in the volatile oil of cinnamon; they are eugenol and cinnamaldehyde. Both cinnamaldehyde and cinnamon oil are potent antifungals, antibacterial, antiallergic, antihyperglycemic, and antihyperlipidemic properties.

Scientific evidence for Cinnamon as natural cholesterol herb

A study of this cholesterol-lowering natural herb as reported by Diabetes Care of the American Diabetes Association shows some positive sign about Cinnamon’s effect to control cholesterol. In 2003, a small study suggested that cinnamon might help lower blood-glucose levels, modest drops in LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides and total cholesterol.

Cinnamate supplementation enhances hepatic lipid metabolism and antioxidant defense systems in high cholesterol-fed rats this study is conducted by Lee JS, Jeon SM, Park EM, Huh TL, Kwon OS, Lee MK, Choi MS. at Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. This study result shows Cinnamate inhibits hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity, resulting in lower cholesterol content, and suppresses lipid peroxidation by improvement of antioxidant enzyme activities.

Possible side effects & medicine interaction of cinnamon

Cassia cinnamon is mostly safe when used in amounts commonly found in foods and in medicinal dose. However, in large quantity for long-term may cause some side effects.

People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Cinnamon may harm your liver if you already have a liver problem do not take in large quantities.