In 2004, a small randomized controlled trial tested 40 days of cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) in 1, 3 and 6 gram doses–that’s 1/5 teaspoon, 2/3 teaspoon, and 1.2 teaspoons.
The middle dose dropped cholesterol and serum triglycerides in all three groups at day 40 (23 to 30%; p < 0.05). It also lowered blood sugar in diabetics, probably because it contains “methylhydroxychalcone polymer”, which acts like insulin. In Santa Barbara, doctors are testing cinnamon.
Cinnamon now joins other foods that lower cholesterol, as reported on Dr. La Puma’s program in The Wall Street Journal.
In the U.S., most “cinnamon” sold is Cinnamomum cassia, while in Europe and Mexico “cinnamon” cinnamon is Cinnamomum vera, or Ceylonese cinnamon. Canela is simply the Mexican word for cinnamon.
Nutritionally, both types appear to have the same attributes. Except that Cinnamon cassia has more cinnamic aldehyde. That aldehyde contains between 1-4% essential cinnamon oil. Ceylonese cinnamon has 0.5%- 1.5%. And the essential oil appears to halt the same enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that statins do, so that the liver makes less cholesterol.
More aldehyde means a stronger, spicier, more aromatic taste and nose. And possibly, more effectiveness.
Cinnamon…good medicine. Good tasting. And good for your cholesterol program.