Federal Institute warns of coumarin in cinnamon

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Cinnamon Rolls: Federal Institute warns of coumarin in cinnamon spices

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) warns of excessive consumption of cinnamon. Especially at Christmas time, the spice is used for Christmas cookies, cakes and cookies. The plant substance coumarin is naturally contained in cinnamon. With regular and high consumption, this can damage the liver. This has been shown by recent studies, as the Federal Institute announced.

If coumarin is ingested in large quantities, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and sleepiness can be triggered. These are the first clear warnings that consumers should take seriously. Even small doses can lead to liver damage in sensitive people, as stated in an updated opinion based on new BfR study findings.

No more than six cinnamon stars a day
Since 2011, according to the European directive, a tolerable maximum of 0.1 milligrams of coumarin per kilogram of body weight per day for an adult has not been considered harmful to health. For small children with an average weight of 15 kg, the tolerance dose is around six biscuits with cinnamon (e.g. 30 grams of cinnamon stars) or 100 grams of gingerbread that has been seasoned with cinnamon. "This amount should not be exceeded regularly," said the experts.

If the maximum amount is slightly exceeded during the Christmas season for a manageable time frame (one to two weeks), according to the BfR experts, this should not be a cause for concern. However, young children weighing less than 15 kg should never consume more than 0.5 grams of cinnamon type Cassia for a long time. Adults weigh around 60 pounds, the maximum recommended amount is 2 grams of cinnamon per day.

"The consumption of cassia cinnamon should be moderate", so the recommendation of the BfR. Alternatively, Ceylon cinnamon low in coumarin can be used. Due to the health risks, coumarin must no longer be added to food in Germany as a flavoring. Some studies with animals also suggest that high consumption is carcinogenic. A high single dose can even lead to paralysis, respiratory arrest and coma. (sb)

Read on:
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Image: Joujou / pixelio.de

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