Cinnamon is the name of a spice that is extracted from the dried bark of various types of cinnamon trees. As early as 2000 BC, cinnamon was used as a spice and as incense. However, cinnamon was not only popular for seasoning dishes. In the Middle Ages, the spice was an important remedy in Europe, which was used, among other things, for gout patients. Even today, cinnamon is of great importance in alternative medicine.
What can cinnamon do for you?
Cinnamon contains various valuable ingredients. This includes, for example, the plant substance methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP). This plant-based active ingredient and other ingredients can have various positive effects on your health.
- Stable blood sugar level For general health and above all for a stable metabolism, it is important that the glucose content in the blood remains relatively constant. A sharp rise in blood sugar levels can cause various ailments in the long term. Cinnamon extract can help maintain healthy fasting blood sugar levels. 
- Normal body weight Cinnamon extract is also suitable as a supportive measure in weight loss. Thus, cinnamon can not only contribute to a lower fasting blood sugar level but also to a reduced secretion of the hormone insulin. The lower the insulin level in the blood, the more likely the fat reserves in the body will break down. 
- Strong defence A strong immune system is a basic requirement for a healthy and vital life. Studies have shown that cinnamon can support the immune system in the fight against pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi and thus prevent infections.
Buying Cinnamon - What should you look out for?
When looking to buy cinnamon, you will find that there are many supplements to choose from. We'll tell you what you should really look out for when buying.
- Products and dosage forms
- Cinnamon variants
- Dosage and ingredients
- Application and tolerance
- Additives and allergens
- Price-performance ratio
- Satisfaction guarantee
Products and dosage forms
Cinnamon is available in powder and capsule form. We'll explain the most important advantages and disadvantages of the individual dosage forms to you.
If you buy cinnamon powder as a dietary supplement, make sure that it is a cinnamon extract. The cinnamon powder that you can find in the spice department of the supermarket, for example, is not suitable as a dietary supplement, but rather to refine your dishes. Cinnamon extract is much more concentrated than the spice variant. The recommended concentration is between 10:1 and 30:1. This means that 100 mg of extract corresponds to a whole 1 g or 3 g of cinnamon. The cinnamon powder can easily be stirred into water.
Cinnamon capsules contain a standardized dose of cinnamon extract. Again, the recommended concentration is between 10:1 and 30:1. Cinnamon capsules consist of a (plant-based) capsule shell that is filled with cinnamon powder. This variant is particularly suitable for us on the go and when travelling. Even if you don't like the slightly pungent cinnamon taste of the powder, you can still use capsules. Capsules with a plant-based capsule shell can also be taken as part of a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Basically, a distinction can be made between cassia cinnamon and ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon consists of the thin inner bark of ceylon cinnamon trees. On the other hand, cassia cinnamon is extracted from the bark of the cassia cinnamon tree. You can also buy this variant under the name Chinese cinnamon.
There is no official dosage recommendation for cinnamon. Experts recommend consuming at least 1 g of cinnamon daily for a good effect. You can significantly reduce this dose if you are taking an extract. Due to the extraction process, the relevant ingredients are contained in a higher amount. The manufacturing process also removes potentially harmful ingredients such as coumarins. Since the concentration of the extract differs depending on the dietary supplement, you should use the dosage recommendations on the packaging as a guide. You can also divide the daily dose into several individual servings for better absorption.
Application and tolerance
Hardly any side effects are known when taken at the recommended dosage. However, stomach and intestinal problems can occur in the event of an intolerance. Due to the cinnamon aldehydes it contains, cinnamon supplements should not be taken when you have a stomach and/or intestinal ulcer. For better tolerability, it is recommended to take it with meals.
The liver-toxic coumarin is often mentioned in connection with cinnamon preparations. It is an ingredient that can actually cause liver damage when ingested in large quantities. A high-quality preparation removes potentially irritating substances such as coumarins, but also essential oils, so that no negative effects on the liver are to be expected here.
Depending on the intended use, it is advisable to combine cinnamon capsules or powder with other vitamins and minerals. For example, chromium, magnesium, zinc and cinnamon can support each other in their effects. For an easier application, preparations are available that already contain these synergistic substances in combination.
Additives and allergens
When buying cinnamon, you should make sure that the product is free of unnecessary additives such as preservatives, colours, binders, or fillers.
If you have a known allergy to cassia cinnamon, you should of course refrain from taking cinnamon powder or capsules.
When buying cassia cinnamon, you will notice a huge difference in the prices. Before you buy a very cheap product, you should take a closer look at the ingredients and the concentration of the active ingredients. Very cheap food supplements often contain unnecessary additives such as colourings or preservatives. Also, cheap products are usually dosed lower which means, that they only contain a weakly concentrated cinnamon extract. In order to achieve the desired effect, you would have to take significantly more capsules or powder. The price is therefore only cheap at first glance, in the long term you will pay significantly more than for a higher-priced preparation with a better composition. A price comparison can therefore be particularly worthwhile. You can find cinnamon food supplements with a very good price-performance ratio online. Only raw materials of high quality and purity are used here. Likewise, with these products, you can be sure that potentially harmful ingredients such as coumarins have been largely removed.
As a dietary supplement, cinnamon is usually very well tolerated. But even with high quality products, intolerances can occur in rare cases. When you buy your cinnamon capsules from a retailer with a satisfaction guarantee, you are not taking any risks though. In the event of intolerance or dissatisfaction, you can return the product and get your money back.
Questions and answers about buying cinnamon
These questions and answers about buying cinnamon may also be of interest to you.
Where can you buy cinnamon?
You can of course buy cinnamon as a spice in any supermarket. But if you want to actively make a positive contribution to your health, you should use a dietary supplement with a cinnamon extract in standardized doses. You can get a large selection of such dietary supplements online. You can also get a limited range of products from pharmacies or drug stores.
Which cinnamon should you buy?
Food supplements usually contain cassia cinnamon. Here, however, it is important that you buy a preparation with an extract. Conventional cinnamon not only contains coumarins, which can have a blood-thinning effect in high doses, but also essential oils. These cause allergies or stomach and intestinal problems for some people. When purchasing a high-quality extract, these ingredients are removed so that you only benefit from active ingredients such as MHCP and avoid side effects.
Cinnamon Studies and references
- Khan, A. et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes Diabetes Care
- Borzoei A, Rafraf M, Asghari-Jafarabadi M Cinnamon improves metabolic factors without detectable effects on adiponectin in women with polycystic ovary syndrome Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 27(3), 2018, 556-563
- Hairi M, Ghiasvand R Cinnamon and Chronic Diseases Adv Exp Med Biol, 929, 2016, 1-24