While Ceylon Cinnamon has become popular for treating diabetes and other health ailments one must understand that the evidence is still not definitive. At least according to western science. But the greater danger comes when people start taking Cinnamon capsules.
1. SILICON DIOXIDE
Like most herbal supplements, Cinnamon capsules have an ingredient called Silicon Dioxide. This is widely used in the supplement industry as an anti caking agent. The problem is that it has a variety of side effects according this article, most notably Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. According to the article, Silicon Dioxide increases pressure on connective tissue, nerves and ganglia, interrupts neurological function, inhibits blood flow, inhibits proper metabolism, inhibits proper muscle function, inhibits adequate healing responses, inhibits proper nutrition absorption and toxin elimination.
2. MAGNESIUM STEARATE
Cinnamon capsules like most supplements also has a substance called Magnesium Stearate which according Dr. Mercola suppresses T cells—your natural killer cells and causes the collapse of cell membrane integrity—an effect that was found to be time and dose dependent—which, ultimately, can destroy cell function.
A refined wood pulp used as a texturizer, an anti-caking agent, a fat substitute, an emulsifier, an extender, and a bulking agent in tablet production. While generally safe, it can cause allergies and more frequent bowel movements.
4. DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE
Some Cinnamon tablets contain Dicalcium phosphate (DCP), a dibasic calcium phosphate formed by a reactive combination of calcium oxide and phosphoric acid. It is also virtually insoluble in water and used as a delayed release component, for time release cinnamon capsules. Accordiong to Livestrong too much dicalcium phosphate, or dicalcium phosphate taken in conjunction with other medications, can have negative consequence such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, stomach pain, thirst, dry mouth and increased urination
5. TOO CONCENTRATED
According to the US Department of health, Cinnamon appears to be safe for most people when taken by mouth in amounts up to 6 grams daily for 6 weeks or less. Most capsules are1000 mg which is well within the safe zone but we really have no way of knowing the potency of these Cinnamon capsules, which could be too high or too low to have any effect.
6. COUMARIN CONTENT IN CINNAMON CAPSULES
There is no indication which Cinnamon is used to manufacture most Cinnamon capsules. Cassia Cinnamon has high levels of Coumarin, a substance known to cause liver failure, while Ceylon Cinnamon has approximately 0.04% and does not represent any significant danger of liver failure. Some manufactures like Nowfoods for example have switched to Cassia Cinnamon ostensibly due to a shortage of Ceylon Cinnamon but it could also be due to the much cheaper price of Cassia Cinnamon.
7. CINNAMON CAPSULE QUALITY
As with all capsules, the process of distilling Cinnamon into capsule form maybe be significantly diluting the effects of Cinnamon. For example 2 sticks of real Cinnamon (8g ) has good levels of Fibre (13.5%), Manganese (73%), Calcium (8%) and Iron (4%). Does Cinnamon capsules strip away these beneficial compounds and thus negate it's blood sugar control properties too? We think it is the combination of these compounds that may make it work to control blood sugar. But we are more concerned about the manufacturing quality of these Cinnamon tablets often with no traceability to who manufactures them or a comprehensive ingredients list. Some manufactures list Cinnamon Extract (cinnamomum ramulus) (twigs) on their ingredients list, an obscure cinnamon of poor quality grown in Guandgong China.
8. CORROSIVE EFFECT ON STOMACH
Ever wondered why they tell you to eat something with your pills? Because a huge dose of something as potent a Cinnamon still has a chance of damaging your stomach lining. Sure you can eat something with your tablet, but there is still the danger unless you break apart the tablet and mix it well that the cinnamon tablet will damage your stomach lining. Put some cinnamon powder or chew on a cinnamon tablet on your mouth and hold it. If it burns imagine what it does to your stomach lining which is much softer. Ideally you want to mix Cinnamon and take it gradually. You can't do that with a tablet. Take the real stuff.
TAKING CINNAMON FOR HEALTH
If you are want to take Cinnamon for health reasons, try the real thing. Work with a doctor. Cinnamon has side effects that you may encounter as we list here.
Use Cinnamon in moderation as part of a healthy program of moderate exercise, good nutrition, quality non genetically modified food and never over indulging in anything, even Cinnamon.
Taking Cinnamon in large doses and expecting it to work miracles is not going to work per se. Make Cinnamon part of an overall program of health. Always consult a physician even before taking medication or even plain Cinnamon.
Live Science - May 14,2015 -Cinnamon Supplements May Be Risky for people taking Statins
CNN - Hidden dangers in Vitamin Supplements
Dr. Oz - The Hidden Dangers of Dietary Supplements
Consumer Reports - Dangerous supplements. The good and the bad.
NY Times - Safety of Herbal Supplements Pulls Proscuters together
NY Times - New York Attorney Targets Supplements at Major retailers