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      Evaluation of pharmacodynamic properties and safety of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) in healthy adults: a phase I clinical trial

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          Cinnamon is considered as a treatment for many ailments in native medicine. Evidence suggests that Cinnamomum zeylanicum (CZ) has anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-oxidant, blood glucose lowering properties and beneficial cardiovascular effects. The present study aims to evaluate Pharmacodynamic properties and safety of CZ in healthy adults using a Phase I Clinical Trial.


          This phase I clinical trial was conducted at the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Thirty healthy adults were recruited for the study, conducted for a period of 3 months, with the dose of CZ (water extract) increased at monthly intervals (85 mg, 250 mg and 500 mg). Data collection was carried out at baseline and during each monthly follow up visit. Anthropometric, clinical and biochemical assessments were done at baseline and during follow up. Adverse effects and drug compliance was also evaluated.


          Twenty eight subjects completed the three months follow up. Mean age was 38.8 ± 10.4 years and 50% were males. There were no significant changes in the anthropometric parameters during the three months follow up. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure reduced significant during the 1st month and this reduction was sustained throughout follow up. Full blood count, renal function tests, liver function tests, fasting blood glucose, HDL-c, VLDL-d and triglycerides remained within the normal range without any significant alteration during the 3 months. A significant reduction in the TC ( p < 0.05) and LDL-c ( p < 0.001) was noted at the end of the 3 months follow up period. There were no serious adverse effects (including hypersensitivity) noted. In two participants dyspepsia necessitated the discontinuation of study participation. Drug compliance was between 85 and 95% during the study period.


          This is the first phase I clinical trial in health adults evaluating efficacy and safety of CZ. Our results demonstrate no significant side effects and toxicity of CZ, including hepatotoxicity and anti-coagulation properties. CZ demonstrated beneficial anti-hyperlipidaemic and blood pressure lowering effects among healthy adults. Further studies with larger samples and longer durations may be able to elucidate other side effects and better describe the pharmacodynamic properties.

          Trial registration

          SLCTR/2013/001 (Sri Lanka Clinical Trials Registry: (Date of Registration: 01/01/2013).

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          Most cited references 25

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          Cinnamaldehyde--a potential antidiabetic agent.

          Cinnamonum zeylanicum (cinnamon) is widely used in traditional system of medicine to treat diabetes in India. The present study was carried out to isolate and identify the putative antidiabetic compounds based on bioassay-guided fractionation; the compound identified decreased the plasma glucose levels. The active compound was purified by repeat column and structure of cinnamaldehyde was determined on the basis of chemical and physiochemical evidence. The LD(50) value of cinnamaldehyde was determined as 1850+/-37 mg/kg bw. Cinnamaldehyde was administered at different doses (5, 10 and 20 mg/kg bw) for 45 days to streptozotocin (STZ) (60 mg/kg bw)-induced male diabetic wistar rats. It was found that plasma glucose concentration was significantly (p<0.05) decreased in a dose-dependent manner (63.29%) compared to the control. In addition, oral administration of cinnamaldehyde (20 mg/kg bw) significantly decreased glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1C)), serum total cholesterol, triglyceride levels and at the same time markedly increased plasma insulin, hepatic glycogen and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels. Also cinnamaldehyde restored the altered plasma enzyme (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase and acid phosphatase) levels to near normal. Administration of glibenclamide, a reference drug (0.6 mg/kg bw) also produced a significant (p<0.05) reduction in blood glucose concentration in STZ-induced diabetic rats. The results of this experimental study indicate that cinnamaldehyde possesses hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in STZ-induced diabetic rats.
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            Medicinal properties of ‘true’ cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review

            Background In traditional medicine Cinnamon is considered a remedy for respiratory, digestive and gynaecological ailments. In-vitro and in-vivo studies from different parts of the world have demonstrated numerous beneficial medicinal effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (CZ). This paper aims to systematically review the scientific literature and provide a comprehensive summary on the potential medicinal benefits of CZ. Methods A comprehensive systematic review was conducted in the following databases; PubMed, Web of Science, SciVerse Scopus for studies published before 31st December 2012. The following keywords were used: “Cinnamomum zeylanicum”, “Ceylon cinnamon”, “True cinnamon” and “Sri Lankan cinnamon”. To obtain additional data a manual search was performed using the reference lists of included articles. Results The literature search identified the following number of articles in the respective databases; PubMed=54, Web of Science=76 and SciVerse Scopus=591. Thirteen additional articles were identified by searching reference lists. After removing duplicates the total number of articles included in the present review is 70. The beneficial health effects of CZ identified were; a) anti-microbial and anti-parasitic activity, b) lowering of blood glucose, blood pressure and serum cholesterol, c) anti-oxidant and free-radical scavenging properties, d) inhibition of tau aggregation and filament formation (hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease), e) inhibitory effects on osteoclastogenesis, f) anti-secretagogue and anti-gastric ulcer effects, g) anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity, h) wound healing properties and i) hepato-protective effects. The studies reported minimal toxic and adverse effects. Conclusions The available in-vitro and in-vivo evidence suggests that CZ has many beneficial health effects. However, since data on humans are sparse, randomized controlled trials in humans will be necessary to determine whether these effects have public health implications.
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              ABC of hypertension: The pathophysiology of hypertension.


                Author and article information

                0094 714 039413 ,
                BMC Complement Altern Med
                BMC Complement Altern Med
                BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
                BioMed Central (London )
                28 December 2017
                28 December 2017
                : 17
                [1 ]ISNI 0000000121828067, GRID grid.8065.b, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, , University of Colombo, ; Colombo, Sri Lanka
                [2 ]ISNI 0000000121828067, GRID grid.8065.b, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, , University of Colombo, ; Colombo, Sri Lanka
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0470 8524, GRID grid.473355.3, Industrial Technology Institute, ; Colombo, Sri Lanka
                [4 ]ISNI 0000000121828067, GRID grid.8065.b, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, , University of Colombo, ; Colombo, Sri Lanka
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: University of Colombo
                Award ID: AP/03/2012/CG/08
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                © The Author(s) 2017


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