While, there is no proven link between cinnamon and heart health, there are several reasons that friends, family and even those in the health industry may suggest cinnamon for heart health.
If you are interested in heart health, you should first understand the controllable risk factors. Type II, adult onset or diabetes mellitus, obesity, unhealthy cholesterol levels, physical inactivity and high blood pressure are among the risk factors that are considered controllable. This means that with proper diet, exercise and, in some cases, medication these factors can be treated or controlled.
Clinical trials in Europe in 2003 and 2006 support the use of cinnamon to lower blood glucose levels in patients with type-2 diabetes. Since this is one of the risk factors for developing heart disease, these studies may have lead to the promotion of cinnamon for heart health.
There is some confusion over which type of cinnamon was used in the trials. There are several types. In the United States, the most common type sold for flavoring is cassia. Some health agencies have advised against consuming high amounts of cassia, because of a component found in the plant which is toxic to the liver and kidneys.
Cinnamon is widely used in "fat-burners". You have probably seen them advertised in magazines on the internet or TV. They are typically sold in health supplement stores. These products are supposed to help you lose weight by helping your body burn more fat. There is no clear scientific evidence that they will work for everyone, but some research does support their use and some people swear by them.
The American Heart Association and other groups involved in collecting and researching information related to heart health has this advice about weight. If you are overweight, it is important for the health of your heart to lose the weight. But, it is also very important to keep the weight off. Gaining and losing twenty or thirty pounds over the course of your lifetime is believed to be unhealthy, possibly as unhealthy as chronic obesity. If someone has recommended that you try cinnamon for heart health and you are overweight, it may be because of cinnamons possible fat-burning attributes.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology in 1999 seems to support the use of cinnamon as a fat burner, possibly supporting a link between cinnamon and heart health. In this study, the type of cinnamon used was Cinnamomum Verum, sometimes referred to as "true cinnamon". Southern India is one of the places where this plant was originally cultivated. Unlike cassia, no health risks are associated with the use of cinnamomum verum, but it may be harder to find.
In the study, rats were fed a diet high in fat, complemented with cinnamon. Researchers did not see the expected increase in cholesterol levels in the blood stream. This may indicate that cinnamon can help reduce or control unhealthy cholesterol levels, but more research is needed.A Look At Cinnamon And Heart Health Research