Saigon Cinnamon Health Benefits

Saigon cinnamon is derived from the bark of cassia trees, which are native to Southeast Asia. Saigon cinnamon, also known as Vietnamese cassia, is one of the sweetest and strongest varieties of cinnamon. It's a member of the Cinnamomun cassia family -- the predominant cinnamon variety sold in the United States, according to Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Saigon cinnamon provides valuable health benefits common to all cinnamon varieties.

A large bowl of ground cinnamon. (Image: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images)

Type 2 Diabetes

Spices such as Saigon cinnamon display insulin-enhancing properties. Of the two main classifications of cinnamon, Cinnamomum cassia has shown greater benefits for blood glucose levels and insulin levels than Cinnamomum Zeylanicum. An article published in "Diabetes Care" in December 2003 noted a study conducted on 30 men and 30 women with Type 2 diabetes found that after consuming cinnamon for 40 days -- whether the dose was 1, 3 or 6 grams -- the test subjects showed reduced blood sugar levels, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol. The study also suggested that including cinnamon in the daily diet might reduce diabetes and heart disease risk factors in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Anti-Inflammatory and Antimicrobial

Inflammation is one of your body's natural defense mechanisms against infection and injury, but when uncontrolled it could result in painful inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and cancer. According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in vitro studies -- those conducted in laboratory vessels or in a controlled laboratory environment, but not on humans -- have demonstrated cinnamon's anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Possible Cancer Protection

Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly one out of every four deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. An article published in "BMC Cancer" in July 2010 noted a study that tested the anti-tumor activity of cinnamon extract on various tumor cells. The tests were performed in vitro and in living mice. The results showed that the cinnamon extract suppressed cell tumor growth and caused tumor cell death.

Safety Considerations

Saigon cinnamon is generally safe when used in amounts commonly found in foods, according to MedlinePlus. Cassia varieties of cinnamon -- including Saigon cinnamon -- contain significant amounts of coumarin, which is linked to potential liver damage. If you have liver disease, avoid dietary supplements containing cassia cinnamon, but using cinnamon for seasoning should be fine. If you have any concerns, however, talk with your doctor before consuming cinnamon. Additionally, because not enough is known about Saigon cinnamon use during pregnancy, talk with your doctor before using it if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

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