Taking cinnamon as a supplement can have effects on health and disease. Supplements, however, are not monitored by the FDA and there might be concerns about quality, purity, and strength in varying brands of any supplements. People use cinnamon as a supplement to treat problems with the digestive system, diabetes, loss of appetite, and other conditions. It has also been used in traditional medicine for bronchitis.
Animal studies have suggested that cinnamon may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. According to researchers at Tel Aviv University, an extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that may inhibit the development of symptoms. Mice who received the extract experienced a decrease in disease markers, such as amyloid plaques, and improvement in cognitive behavior. If confirmed by further research, this extract, but not necessarily whole cinnamon, may be useful in developing therapies for Alzheimer’s.
A study of extracts of Indian medicinal plants found that cinnamon may help protect against HIV.
Of the 69 extracts tested in a lab, Cinnamomum cassia, or cinnamon bark, and Cardiospermum helicacabum, the cinnamon shoot and fruit, were most effective in reducing HIV activity. This does not mean that foods containing cinnamon can treat or prevent HIV, but cinnamon extracts could one day be useful as part of a therapy.