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The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cinnamon Supplements. An expert opinion.

By Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD

Cinnamon is a sweet spice derived from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree family and is found in popular autumn flavors like pumpkin spice. However, this spice, which is native to the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia, also has health benefits.

People have been consuming cinnamon since 2000 B.C. in Egypt as well as in later medieval times for ailments like coughing, arthritis, and sore throats. Most recently, cinnamon supplements show promise for those with digestive issues and diabetes.

Best Overall Ceylon Cinnamon Supplement

Nature’s Nutrition True Organic Ceylon Cinnamon

This extra potent Ceylon cinnamon supplement contains 1800 milligrams of organic Ceylon cinnamon per three veggie capsules serving. It may support the health of joints and the heart as well as metabolic and brain health. With its third-party testing of products and Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-registered facility, you can trust that what is on the label is what you’ll be purchasing.

Summary of Nature’s Nutrition True Organic Ceylon Cinnamon:

  • Made from the Cinnamomum verum tree imported from Ceylon Sri Lanka
  • No added artificial ingredients or binders
  • Non-GMO
  • GMP-certified
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • 100% organic
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, and natural
  • FDA-registered facility
  • Third-party tested
  • Made in a Food & Drug Administration (FDA) registered facility
  • Certified organic by the Utah Department of Agriculture & Food (UDAF)

Best Ceylon Cinnamon Supplement

NutriFlair Ceylon Cinnamon

This cinnamon supplement contains 1200 milligrams of high-quality organic Ceylon cinnamon per two veggie capsules serving. It is made from all-natural ingredients and may support heart and metabolic health. With its Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-certified status and third-party tested status can ensure that what you see on the label is what you’ll be purchasing.

Summary of NutriFlair Ceylon Cinnamon:
  • Organic high-quality Ceylon cinnamon grown in Sri-Lanka
  • Certified organic by UDAF
  • No fillers, binders, or chemical preserves
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Non-GMO
  • Third-party tested
  • Vegan, Gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free
  • Made in an FDA-registered and inspected facility
  • GMP-certified

Best Cassia Cinnamon Supplement

Nature’s Bounty Cinnamon Pills and Herbal Health Supplement

This organic cinnamon dietary supplement contains 1000 milligrams of cinnamon that may support sugar metabolism in just two veggie capsules daily. This cinnamon product, from the bark of Cinnamomum burmannii tree, is a form of Cassia cinnamon. It’s not the Ceylon form of cinnamon that you would equate with high-quality cinnamon, however, this brand uses ingredients from suppliers that meet stringent Quality Assurance Standards, as well as GMP supplement quality standards.

Summary of Nature’s Bounty Cinnamon Pills and Herbal Health Supplement:
  • Organic cinnamon product
  • No artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives
  • Non-GMO
  • Free of sugar, starch, milk, lactose, soy, gluten, wheat, yeast, fish, or sodium
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Laboratory-tested
  • Successfully audited by the United States Pharmacopeia and STR (Specialized Technology Resources), a leading independent dietary supplement quality evaluation firm

What You Need to Know

Just like with any dietary supplement product, when you are looking to use cinnamon, you should read the label carefully. Make sure that the product is third-party tested or laboratory-tested to ensure purity and potency of the product.

Also, be sure that you are not allergic to cinnamon or any of its ingredients to ensure your safety. You should also make sure that the manufacturer’s contact information such as phone number and address are clearly on the label as it’s important that if you have questions or concerns about the product, then you can talk to someone in the company about it. Furthermore, be sure that the expiration date on the label is beyond the date that you will be needing to take the supplement.

Types 

There are two major types of cinnamon known as Ceylon and Cassia, of which the latter is most commonly used and less expensive. Ceylon is often referred to as “true” cinnamon, and is thought of as higher quality, and has a milder taste than Cassia cinnamon.

There is not enough data to confirm a safe dosage of cinnamon, however, due to recent research, doses of cinnamon between 1 to 3 grams daily is considered safe. Experts suggest that children between 13 years to 18 years old should only take 1 gram daily of cinnamon supplements and for no more than three months.  

Benefits

There are not enough studies to support the use of cinnamon in weight loss or metabolic health, but it may reduce blood fats, glucose, and blood pressure. However, some studies do show more clearly that this spice may reduce pain, support digestive health, and improve wound healing. Research shows that cinnamon contains nutrients like manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium as well as antioxidant polyphenols that may provide its health benefits.

Cons

Cinnamon is generally safe for most people as long as people don’t take more than the suggested dose. However, those that are allergic to cinnamon, have liver disease, as well as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take cinnamon supplements.  Also, cinnamon exposure to the skin may cause irritation or allergic reactions in some people. Finally, there is not enough evidence on long-term use of cinnamon supplements, therefore, until further studies prove long-term safety, such supplements should not be taken for more than four months at a time.

Anything else a shopper should know to decide

When you’re looking to purchase cinnamon, be sure you choose a brand that you can trust. You can look for National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) on the label. Also, NSF registers products with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-certified status to reveal a trusted brand. GMP status ensures that what is listed on the label is what is in the package you purchase.

Why Would You Take A Cinnamon Supplement?

If you have an inflammatory condition like type 2 diabetes or heart disease, then you may benefit from a cinnamon dietary supplement. It can help reduce inflammation in the body that can place stress on many aspects of health. However, such a supplement should merely be a secondary supplement to prescribed medicines. Also, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

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