Health & Spirit

Cinnamon for flavor, not weight loss

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on, a website devoted to all things coffee, has determined the Most Annoying Coffee Order Ever: a triple shot (one shot decaf, two shots regular), one pump white chocolate, two pumps peppermint and a half pump of hazelnut mochaccino, with an itemized receipt.

We say: "Whoa there! Where's the sprinkle of cinnamon?"

Whatever your high-fat, sugar-bomb coffee order may be, there's a good chance you'll top it off with something you think is virtuous -- cinnamon! That spice is touted for its multiple health benefits. Research indicates that it's anti-microbial; lowers blood glucose, blood pressure and lousy LDL cholesterol; works as an polyphenol that binds free radicals; and is a digestive aid, brain protector and more. And according to recent headlines, it's also a weight-loss aid.

Not so fast! In the study they're referring to, scientists placed fat cells in a lab dish and added one flavoring component of cinnamon, called cinnamaldehyde. Zap! It increased the cells' expression of genes and enzymes that help burn fat. But that does NOT mean ingesting cinnamon or supplements will cause weight loss.

There's true cinnamon, Cinnamomum zeylanicum (CZ) and Chinese cinnamon (CC); the latter is widely used in the ground spice. But levels of blood-thinning coumarin are high in CC. And coumarin is listed in the Food and Drug Administration's "Substances Generally Prohibited From Direct Addition or Use as Human Food."

So grate your CZ sticks, but don't take OTC coumarin or cinnamon supplements! And opt for a well-flavored, long-range plan to lose weight. That'll add spice to your life.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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