Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cinnamon-flavoured foods may harm liver

Scientists have found that many kinds of cinnamon, cinnamon-flavored foods, beverages and food supplements in the United States use a form of the spice that contains high levels of a natural substance that may cause liver damage in some sensitive people.

Cinnamon, which comes from the bark of certain trees, is one of the most important flavoring agents used in foods and beverages. Ceylon cinnamon is expensive, so most breads, sticky buns and other products in the United States use dried cassia bark, or cassia cinnamon.

Ceylon cinnamon contains very little coumarin, a naturally occurring substance that has been linked to liver damage in people sensitive to the substance.

However, cassia cinnamon can contain larger amounts of coumarin. When the scientists checked on the coumarin content of a wide variety of food products and they found that coumarin was present, sometimes in substantial amounts, in cinnamon-based food supplements and cinnamon-flavored foods.


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