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Old 08-07-2006, 09:21 PM   #1
unicornvr
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Default Cinnamon Dangers

Cinnamon contains a couple questionable compounds, the ones I've found being coumarin and cinnameldahyde (google these) which may create problems for long term use. I believe these compounds are fat soluble. Delightfully, the USDA teamed up with a nutracuetical company to make a water soluble cinnamon product for blood sugar. Cinnulin contains the water soluble cinnamon compounds which should make it safer for long term use than other fat-soluble counterparts.

This being said, I think it's probably better to be taking cinnamon if you have PCOS than it is to let your blood sugar go rampant! Still, I don't think there are any proven poor effects from cinnamon, perhaps speculation? If there are any studies of ill effects, hopefully someone will find them.
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:37 PM   #2
SherryRN
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In Canada we have Coumadin or Warfarin which is in the same drug class family as Coumarin, if not used interchangeably.(Blood thinners/Anticoagulants) So I think most of this still applies.

Warfarin (I think is the synthetic version) is also known as rat poison because of it's blood thinning/anticoagulant properties. It causes the rats to bleed out...
In humans however, it can cause blood thinning and therefore prevent clots from forming. They use it a lot to treat patient's with Atrial Fibrillation, with the goal of clot prevention, as well it is given to patients after surgeries such as orthopedics where the patient is generally not weight bearing or only partial weight bearing for a period of time.
It can be QUITE dangerous. Most patients that take it have their bloodwork (INR) monitored to titrate the dosing on a semi regular basis. I don't know how much Coumarin would be in an individual tablet, but if your daily intake is anywhere near that of the therapeutic dose, or even over a few days, I would be concerned. Especially when it comes to bleeding, and pregnancy (which I believe it is a contraindication). Your INR level could be higher than normal, which could over time put you at risk. If you're having an epidural: usually it is put into a person with an INR less than 1.4. Anything higher and risks of bleeding into the epidural space (which can cause paralysis) increase. A lot of anaesthetists however won't put one in at 1.4, they want it to be lower like 1.2-1.3 max.
I dont' know because I've never been pregnant, but I'd want to make sure that they check this level first before putting an epidural in. I'm not sure if it's part of their standard bloodwork screen during labour. For surgeries it is. Again, there probably isn't enough coumarin to be overally concerned about...but it's worth looking into the amount that you're taking and whether or not there is an actual risk associated with it.
Probably TMI, but it's always good practice to read and investigate what it is you're taking because we are all different and we all can react differently to medications, be it Rx, OTC or herbal!
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:54 AM   #3
Gen224
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Maybe the title of the thread should be changed to "cinnamon concerns" or "cinnamon warnings"--"cinnamon dangers" is far too inflammatory, IMO.

Now, I'm researching as you suggested (unicornvr) and found that cinnamaldehyde is water soluble, not fat-soluble. This comes from Wiki, and can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamic_aldehyde .

Quote:
Concentrated cinnamaldehyde is a skin irritant, and the chemical is toxic in large doses, but no agencies suspect the compound is a carcinogen or poses a long-term health hazard. Most cinnamaldehyde is excreted in urine as cinnamic acid, an oxidized form of cinnamaldehyde.
regarding the coumarin (again from Wiki, found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coumarin):


Quote:
Coumarin is a chemical compound found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean, woodruff, and bison grass. It has a sweet scent, readily recognised as the scent of newly-mown hay....

Coumarin is often found in tobacco products and artificial vanilla substitutes, though it has been banned as a food additive in numerous countries since the mid-20th century because it is moderately toxic to the liver and kidneys, with an LD50 of 275 mg/kg - low compared to related compounds. Coumarin is much more toxic to rats than humans because rats largely metabolise it to the 3,4-coumarin epoxide, a rather toxic compound that apparently is responsible for the damage to rat's livers and kidneys. Humans largely metabolise it to 7-hydroxycoumarin, a compound of low toxicity.... Concerns of coumarin damage to the kidneys and liver may to some extent be associated with coumarin derivatives, many of which are more toxic. Much of the concern also seems to stem from its high toxicity in rats.
and from http://www.phytochemicals.info/phyto...s/coumarin.php , you can see the following:

Quote:
Coumarin is found in several plants, including tonka beans, lavender, licorice, strawberries, apricots, cherries, cinnamon, and sweet clover....Coumarin has blood-thinning, anti-fungicidal and anti-tumor activities. Coumarin should not be taken while using anticoagulants. Coumarin increases the blood flow in the veins and decreases capillary permeability. Coumarin can be toxic when used at high doses for a long period
I guess my concern is this: we can NOT treat our condition and die or we can treat our condition and die. Death is the immutable here--it doesn't change. IF in the process of treating our condition we end up with a richer, healthier life, then I'm willing to take what comes with it. Because I've left my health untreated for years (prior to diagnosis) and I know what a miserable existence that is. And now that I'm having great results by treating with cinnamon, I know how much better I feel than how I did feel.

That is not to say that cinnamon is without risks. For a diabetic, there is the concern of lowering blood glucose levels too much. And I suppose there's a concern for those who are already on warfarin. But my thought is that since warfarin is derived from spoiled sweet clover (the root of the medication and how it was developed), there must be a much higher concentration in THAT than in cinnamon. Or they'd be using cinnamon as the root of the medication instead of the sweet clover. And having been on warfarin at one point, I know what it does and horrible I felt (hair loss by the handful, awful itching patches and necrotic skin on those patches, and hideous memory loss), I know what to look for in my own body and what coumarin/coumadin does to me. Additionally, those on warfarin (coumadin) generally have huge limitations on what they take and consume, as it is contraindicated with many other medications.

This is long, but I felt it was necessary to post full snippets of information so people on the board could make informed decisions about cinnamon. I have no problems taking it and find the results to outweigh any concerns about blood-thinning that might increase over extended use.

FWIW....
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:26 AM   #4
SherryRN
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Absolutely. I don't even think toothpaste is without risk these days.
I don't take cinnamon yet because I haven't been officially diagnosed, and again, I don't know how much coumarin is actually in the tablets (to know if it could even really be a moderate concern), but my guess is probably not enough to do any immediate harm. Unfortunately, unlike Metformin and other drugs, the Cinnamon probably hasn't been studied or trialed enough to really know ALL the side effects. Paying attention to your body and seeking medical attention for things that seem out of the ordinary (with drugs/without drugs) is something we should always do.
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:11 AM   #5
Rebecca A
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Default Damned if you do and damned if you don't

Gen says: "I guess my concern is this: we can NOT treat our condition and die or we can treat our condition and die."

Ain't it the truth. This thought goes through my mind all the time. People are warning me Atkins is unhealthy. Good Lord, being obese is unhealthy! The typical American diet is unhealthy!
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:15 AM   #6
unicornvr
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I specifically posted "cinnamon dangers" because someone asked for specifically that on another thread. It was not meant in any way to be inflammatory, just to let people know that there may be side effects and to be careful. I think there are risks associated with anything people take and it's best to know them just in case! If it was meant to really discourage people, I would not have said "it's probably better to be taking cinnamon if you have PCOS than it is to let your blood sugar go rampant."

I apologize about the fat/water soluble misinformation! Should have checked it out better.

Even with the noted possible issues, I have started on cinnamon preferring it to met and being unable to take met for a few months at least due to other health complications.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:58 AM   #7
Rebecca A
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Hi unicornvr: I didn't mean to jump on you. Of course, one should be aware of dangers and downsides to any "treatment" (it's weird to think of cinnamon - one of my favorite spices - as having a medicinal use). But I just feel the frustration of everything turning out to be dangerous in some way. Eventually I feel paralyzed.

My mom has been on me to lose weight for years. Now I'm losing weight, she's on me about the diet (Atkins). The other day she said, "I just cut down on cholesterol and lost weight even though I wasn't trying." She knows I was a vegan for 3 or 4 years. I had NO cholesterol in my diet. And I STILL gained weight. I put on 40 pounds while I was a vegan.

I'm just tired of the idea that it's all about cutting fat and counting calories and self-discipline. I'm tired of the idea that thin people are thin because they're somehow morally superior to me. I dare any of those thin people to spend the rest of their lives counting calories and feeling hungry and irritable.

After 3 weeks in Atkins induction phase, I sleep better, I'm losing weight, I feel good, and I'm not hungry, weak, and grumpy. My mood is better than it's been in years - maybe because my insomnia's gone?

Anyway, I hope the cinnamon is helpful to you.

Take care.
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:10 PM   #8
Piner99
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My endocrinologist himself takes 1 tsp of cinnamon a day just to improve metabolism.
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