Cinnamon - Why he can hurt

Cinnamon in pregnancy

It has been known for some time that cinnamon can cause allergies in sensitive people. Interestingly, the consumption of cinnamon can lead to allergic reactions even in people who are allergic to herbal pollen (for example, mugwort) (so-called cross-allergies). In pregnancy, cinnamon should be consumed with caution - its oil can cause contractions.

When does cinnamon have a harmful effect?

For some years, it has been known that phenylpropanoids (especially coumarin, but also safrol), which are naturally present in cinnamon, can be harmful to health. Coumarin in particular can cause liver inflammation in high concentrations in a certain proportion of the population.

While coumarin is common in Cassia cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon is not critical. Although some studies have found a carcinogenic effect of coumarin in animals, this result could not be confirmed for humans.

Maximum values ​​for coumarin

Due to the disease-causing property, Zimtsterne have been trading for a few years. For ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks, however, no coumarin limit is given. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the daily dose of coumarin is exceeded if a 60-kilogram adult consumes two grams of cassia cinnamon or more than six milligrams of coumarin daily. This quantity can be reached with heavily loaded products already with three cinnamon stars, warns the BfR.

According to the institute, the limit for a 15-kilogram child is 0.5 grams of cassia cinnamon. That's about six small a day or 100 grams of gingerbread.

Challenge for the consumer

However, studies show again and again that the limit values ​​are often exceeded in cinnamon-containing foods. In part, this is because finished products almost always use the much cheaper Cassia cinnamon, which has a much higher coumarin concentration than Ceylon cinnamon.

Since manufacturers are not obliged to indicate the cinnamon type used, it is difficult for the consumer to determine whether it remains below the permitted limit of 0.1 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, including foods such as muesli or cola cinnamon, and one Absorption via the skin (for example, soap) can be done.

Cinnamon: enjoyment only in certain quantities

This limit is quickly reached, especially for children - the federal government and the states, for example, recommend that children do not exceed

  • 4 cinnamon stars à 5, 6 grams or
  • 1 gingerbread à 30 grams or
  • Rice pudding with cinnamon and sugar 200 grams or
  • 2 cereal bars à 35 grams or
  • Ready Muesli 75 grams

should consume. Why, instead of the recommendations, a disclosure or restriction of the ingredients is enforced remains unclear.

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