Cinnamon the popular spice we all know is got from the bark of the tree that is native to Southeast Asia, China and India. There are several varieties of cinnamon but the ones which are commonly used are Cassia or Chinese cinnamon and Ceylon or ‘true’ cinnamon. Cinnamon has been used in traditional medicine to treat various health problems like gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, loss of appetite, bronchitis etc. Cinnamon bark is usually consumed as powder, capsules, liquid extracts or teas.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon for Men
Cinnamon offers many health benefits for both men and women. According to ‘Nutrition Data’, this product is a good source of vitamin K and iron and a very good source of calcium, manganese and dietary fiber. It also contains other important nutrients like vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, monosaccharide, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, selenium, choline, lycopene and more in trace amounts.
Diabetes: Studies have been conducted on the effects of cinnamon extracts in patients with type 2 diabetes. In a group of 60 people, 30 women and 30 men were selected and divided into 6 groups. While three groups were given 1, 3 and 6g cinnamon a day the rest of the groups received a placebo for 40 days in all. After this the fasting serum glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and levels of triglyceride were measured. The results found that the levels of all these parameters reduced and it suggests that if both men and women with type 2 diabetes add cinnamon in their diets, it could decrease the risk factors of not only diabetes but also cardiovascular diseases.
Erectile Dysfunction: This is also called impotence and affects many men. Usually men suffer from erectile problems for short periods and it could be caused due to stress, anxiety or lack of self-confidence. Sometimes, other health problems like cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure or diabetes could also cause erectile dysfunction. We have already seen that cinnamon could benefit men with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Some people claim that cassia cinnamon is useful for erectile dysfunction.
Alzheimer’s disease: Regular use of cinnamon is said to arrest signs of aging. Studies have found that CEppt an extract from cinnamon bark could inhibit the progress of Alzheimer’s’ and could even prevent it. Mice that had an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s were fed CEppt extracts and after four months, the progress of the disease was slowed down significantly and their longevity also improved.
Antioxidant: Cinnamon has been studied along with other Indian spices like ginger, garlic, mint, onion, pepper and cloves for its antioxidant benefits and its ability to reduce lipid peroxidation. Cinnamon was found to offer significant antioxidant benefits.
Other Possible Benefits:
- Anti-Clotting Actions of cinnamaldehyde has been studied. It was found to prevent the release of arachidonic acid an inflammatory fatty acid and hence could be used for inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
- Anti-Microbial: Cinnamon can prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria – especially Candida.
- Colon Health: Since cinnamon contains fiber and manganese, it can help with bile excretion and prevent damage of colon cells. To make more bile, cholesterol has to be broken down. This reduces cholesterol levels and is therefore helpful in preventing diseases like atherosclerosis. The fiber content in cinnamon provides benefits for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- HIV: Indian medicinal plants like cinnamon especially Cassia cinnamon was found to be effective in treating HIV.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Cinnamon could halt the progress of multiple sclerosis.
- Indigestion could be relieved by consuming cinnamon extracts.
Taken in small quantities (6g a day for 6 weeks), cinnamon is likely safe for most people. Those who develop an allergy must stop using this product. Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin that could affect blood clotting. Hence, those requiring surgery, those taking diabetes medications, those with breast cancer or liver problems must check before using cinnamon. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised against using cinnamon products. Excess use could cause mouth sores. Externally, cinnamon products could cause skin inflammation if a person develops an allergy