Cinnamon has been valued throughout history for its delicious flavor and medicinal properties. It can help manage blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and protect against heart disease by supporting healthy cholesterol levels.
Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree, which is native to Southeast Asia. It has been used since Egyptian times and was considered extremely valuable and expensive due to its rarity. Today, cinnamon is reasonably priced and can be found in the spice section of almost every supermarket.
Below, you’ll find the best cinnamon supplements and their benefits, ranked and reviewed by our expert health panel.
Our best cinnamon picks
1. Ceylon Cinnamon Shop Premium Ceylon Cinnamon
Ceylon Cinnamon Shop makes a cinnamon supplement that contains pure Ceylon cinnamon bark in a vegan-friendly capsule and zero extraneous ingredients.
It’s not reconstituted from an extract like some of the competition, and on top of its organic certification, it’s fair trade certified too. These characteristics demonstrate a real commitment to quality, which earns this supplement the top spot in our rankings.
2. Nature’s Bounty Cinnamon
Cinnamon capsules don’t get more affordable or more effective than Nature’s Bounty Cinnamon. With 20oomg per serving and added chromium, you can be certain to reap all the blood sugar benefits and more.
Third-party lab tested and manufactured in a GMP certified facility, it’s a very solid option.
3. Nature’s Nutrition Ceylon Cinnamon
Nature’s Nutrition organic cinnamon supplements come in concentrations of 1800 mg. They are manufactured in the USA to ensure potency and quality.
They’re also pretty affordable, and each capsule is certified organic and vegan-friendly, making them a perfect supplement choice for those who are picky about purity.
4. NatureBell Organic Ceylon Cinnamon
NatureBell Ceylon Cinnamon supplements are incredibly affordable and useful for boosting metabolic health and heart function.
You get 180 capsules with 1800 mg per serving, and every batch is certified organic to ensure purity.
5. PrimeMD Cinnamon
Prime MD uses a multi-ingredient combination of natural supplements that fight inflammation, including cinnamon alongside apple cider vinegar, turmeric, and ginseng, plus bioperine for maximum absorption.
Though the cinnamon dosage is somewhat lower because of these other ingredients, it’s still a great pick if you want to use cinnamon to fight chronic inflammation in the body, as these other ingredients are known to have potent anti-inflammatory effects.
6. Sundown Cinnamon Capsules
Sundown cinnamon capsules are made with only non-GMO ingredients and are completely free of artificial flavors.
You get 200 capsules per bottle at a moderate dose of 1000 mg, making it a good choice if you want a less potent cinnamon supplement for your daily routine.
7. NOW Foods Cinnamon Bark Supplements
Now Foods Cinnamon supplements are created from cinnamon bark and come in concentrations of 600 mg to boost your metabolism.
You get 240 capsules for the very affordable asking price, so it’s arguably the best bulk cinnamon supplement you can find on the market.
8. Vimerson Health Ceylon Cinnamon
Vimerson Health Ceylon Cinnamon supplements are ideal for supporting your joints while improving blood sugar levels.
Each capsule is made with only 100% natural and organic ingredients.
9. Herbtonics Ceylon Cinnamon Capsules
Herbtonics cinnamon supplements are a high-quality option, featuring 120 capsules per bottle that each contain 1500 mg.
The powder comes directly from Sri Lanka, so you know you’re only getting the best ingredients.
10. Purely Holistic Ceylon Cinnamon Capsules
Purely Holistic Ceylon Cinnamon capsules come concentrated in 1500 mg dosages. The asking price is fairly affordable, and each capsule comes with an all-vegan cinnamon formula.
Purely Holistic’s cinnamon is extracted straight from the bark of evergreen Sri Lankan trees.
Best cinnamon overall: Ceylon Cinnamon Shop Premium Ceylon Cinnamon
Ceylon Cinnamon Shop provides a highly pure 500 mg dose of real, organic Ceylon cinnamon with no extraneous ingredients. Its purity and simplicity make it an incredibly flexible supplement that’s well-suited for a broad range of applications, from weight loss and blood sugar control to promoting cardiovascular health. This all-around strength earns Ceylon Cinnamon Shop our top overall spot.
Best cinnamon for weight loss: NatureBell Organic Ceylon Cinnamon
The higher dose in NatureBell Organic Ceylon Cinnamon makes it a good pick for weight loss, as larger people tend to require higher absolute dosages to get the same biological effects. NatureBell’s cinnamon supplement is also free of other ingredients, which makes it integrate well with other weight loss supplements without causing unwanted interactions.
Best cinnamon with chromium: Nature’s Bounty Cinnamon
Cinnamon and chromium are a popular combination thanks to chromium’s reputation for upregulating metabolism and improving blood sugar control. Nature’s Bounty provides 200 mcg of chromium alongside 1000 mg of cinnamon, roughly half of which is from “true” Ceylon cinnamon. For leveraging cinnamon’s synergistic effects with chromium, it’s our preferred choice.
Best cinnamon for inflammation: PrimeMD Cinnamon
PrimeMD is our pick for fighting inflammation because it uses cinnamon alongside apple cider vinegar, turmeric, and ginseng, each of which is a potent anti-inflammatory on its own. This combined-action strategy earns it our recommendation.
Best cinnamon for metabolic health: Ceylon Cinnamon Shop Premium Ceylon Cinnamon
Cinnamon’s ability to boost your body’s glucose control makes it a popular supplement for improving control of blood sugar. For this use case, we recommend Ceylon Cinnamon Shop thanks to its aggressively simple formulation. It’s the best way to mimic the protocols used in scientific research on cinnamon for blood sugar control, which use carefully controlled and highly pure doses of Ceylon cinnamon.
Best cinnamon for heart health: Ceylon Cinnamon Shop Premium Ceylon Cinnamon
Our top overall pick is also our top pick when it comes to taking a cinnamon supplement for heart health. The solid 500 mg dosage is a great way of garnering the anti-inflammatory and metabolic control properties that cinnamon is thought to possess, and the organic certification and pure formulation means you can be confident taking it for long periods of time without worrying about unwanted ingredients.
Who should buy cinnamon?
Cinnamon is one of the best health-boosting superfoods you can take. It’s been used as a spice throughout the world for literally thousands of years to support a variety of issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and systemic inflammation. Because of its proven safety record, it’s very safe to use with most people, especially those with other common allergens.
However, cinnamon can be a little dangerous for those who already have blood sugar issues. This is because it naturally lowers blood sugar naturally. As such, diabetics should avoid cinnamon supplements unless they speak with their doctor. People currently taking prescription medication should also speak to a doctor as cinnamon may interfere with the metabolism and absorption of the drug.
Pregnant and nursing women should be careful with cinnamon as the effects on their babies are not well studied. Children should be safe taking cinnamon. However, it should be taken in much smaller doses than those recommended for adults.
How we ranked
The first thing we looked at when ranking the best cinnamon was the sourcing quality. Cinnamon is mainly sourced from China, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, specifically from types of trees found in those areas. Such cinnamon is harvested “from the source”, so it’s typically of good quality and doesn’t have a lot of preservatives or pesticides.
However, many of the supplements listed above, like NatureBell, were also chosen due to their organic and non-GMO focus. This guarantees that harmful preservatives weren’t used in the transportation or creation of their cinnamon capsules.
Potency was also important to consider. Cinnamon capsules usually come between about 1-2 grams in total, allowing you to easily take one or two per day without accidentally going over the daily limit. However, people just starting out might favor cinnamon capsules with lesser concentrations as opposed to more potent capsules. To this end, we included capsules that have as low as 500mg and as high as 2000mg.
Lastly, we looked for added ingredients. Most cinnamon capsules contain just cinnamon, which is great for the purists reading this. However, there are a few that contain complementary ingredients like chromium. Chromium is a key nutrient that provides ancillary health benefits like appetite reduction and blood sugar management. When combined with cinnamon, the resulting supplement is a very potent blood sugar-lowering agent. This was a main reason why Nature’s Bounty took the top spot.
Other cinnamon supplements, like New Chapter, contain more than one variety of cinnamon. This can be helpful to some extent, as some types of cinnamon have different metabolic and antioxidant benefits. However, this is unproven which is why it wasn’t a major factor in our ranking process.
How is cinnamon made? Most of the cinnamon you’ll find is “Cassia cinnamon,” while “Ceylon cinnamon” is considered true cinnamon (33). Cinnamon is made by harvesting stems from cinnamomum trees; the inner bark is then extracted and woody parts are removed. The drying process yields strips that curl up into rolls. Cinnamon is sold in stick form or ground into a powder.
The oily part of the powder or stick is rich in cinnamaldehyde, which is what gives cinnamon the intense flavor and smell. This compound is also responsible for the powerful effects of cinnamon on metabolism and health (34).
How long have people been using cinnamon? Cinnamon is actually one of the oldest spices in the entire world. The ancient Egyptians were known to use cinnamon as both a spice and a gift that was largely enjoyed by royalty instead of the common classes. It was thought to have been imported from China even as far back as 2000 BC.
Interestingly, many Egyptians used to use cinnamon to embalm their mummies. These days, you can find cinnamon in every supermarket (although the variety used for cooking isn’t the same type of cinnamon you normally get in supplements).
What do cinnamon trees normally look like? The regular cinnamon tree is an evergreen plant that features oval-shaped leaves with berry fruits, plus thick bark. The bark and leaves are the parts of the plant usually taken for cinnamon harvesting purposes. Trees typically grow for about two years before harvesting begins.
Why should you supplement with cinnamon? Ultimately, you can take regular cinnamon powder or capsule supplements if you enjoy the taste of the spice, or just want to experience the health benefits. This includes a stronger metabolism, improved antioxidant production, normalized blood sugar levels, better insulin sensitivity, improved heart performance, less joint pain, and better mobility.
What is the most popular way to use cinnamon? The most popular way to use cinnamon is to add a little bit to your daily tea or coffee. Alternatively, you can use the cinnamon powder supplements listed above if you want to ensure you get a daily amount of the superfood without having to alter your diet or drinking habits too much.
Is there a big difference between cinnamon plants? Yes, there is a big difference between the cinnamon plants. Traditional or common Cassia cinnamon forms curls that go inward from both ends, forming a type of scroll shape.
Additionally, Cassia ground cinnamon is a little coarser when it comes to texture, features a more pungent aroma and flavor, and is a more reddish-brown color. Ceylon cinnamon looks more like a telescope in its stick form. When you grind it down, it’s significantly sweeter and more delicate than its counterpart and features a tanner color as opposed to reddish-brown.
Where is the best place to store cinnamon? Cinnamon of both varieties should be stored in cool, dark places, and preferably in airtight containers to keep the cinnamon fresh over the long-term. Ground cinnamon, including many of the cinnamon powder capsules listed above, will stay good for about six months before staleness starts to set in. Meanwhile, quilled (or stick) cinnamon will stay good for about a year if it is stored properly.
Is regular cinnamon better than high-quality cinnamon in terms of value and health? The number of capsules contained in a given cinnamon supplement can directly impact the value of the product. Bottles that contain higher numbers of capsules are ideal since they require you to purchase fewer bottles over the long-term, especially if you like to take one or two capsules per day. We found many top cinnamon supplement bottles that have both high numbers of capsules and very affordable asking prices, making them great budget-friendly choices.
You can also find good cinnamon supplements that have fewer capsules, but these are usually not as worth your time and money. While cinnamon quality is important, the difference between high-quality cinnamon and “regular” cinnamon isn’t as wide as you might think.
Who produces the most cinnamon in the world? At this time, despite many types of Ceylon cinnamon being sourced from Sri Lanka, China and Indonesia produce more than 75% of the cinnamon available on the planet. Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam combined produce 99% of the total world supply, and global production overall has more than 10x’d since 1970.
What are some of the side effects of cinnamon?
- Cinnamon can cause allergic and pseudo-allergic reactions. Some people have a rare pseudo-allergic response to cinnamon, which may also include least cinnamon-flavored agents. That’s because cinnamon contains something called cinnamaldehyde, which usually causes allergic reactions whenever you consume it in excessive amounts.
- You can tell if you’re allergic to cinnamaldehyde if you get rapid tongue or gum swelling, white patches in your mouth, or a burning and itching sensation (31). You should seek immediate medial attention if this happens.
- Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels excessively. As mentioned earlier, cinnamon can help you lower your blood sugar, which may be a benefit depending on your ambient blood sugar levels. However, if you eat too much cinnamon, you might accidentally cause your blood sugar to fall too low, resulting in a condition called hypoglycemia. This can lead to several negative side effects like dizziness, fainting, and general tiredness (32).
- Cinnamon may cause breathing issues. Eating too much cinnamon could cause several breathing problems, especially when people attempt the cinnamon challenge. This won’t likely be a big deal if you take cinnamon supplements pills, as the powder you consume is contained in veggie capsules in most cases.
- Cinnamon may interact with certain medications. You should, like with all types of supplements, consult with your doctor before taking a cinnamon supplement. That’s because cinnamon can interfere with some diabetic medications, which may result in the hypoglycaemia issue mentioned above.
Cinnamon has been used for centuries and can help fight infections, reduce the risk of developing heart disease, and lower blood sugar levels. It can also help bring out the flavor in foods and help curb sugar cravings, which can indirectly support weight loss.
Side effects are fairly minimal and can be mostly avoided by starting with small doses and titrating up. If you are taking any blood sugar medication, it’s important to speak to your doctor before adding it to your diet.
For BodyNutrition’s #1 recommended cinnamon, click here.