Cinnamon Lowers Serum T3?

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Has anyone come across this study before? I don't have access to the full study but it would appear cinnamon lowers circulating levels of T3. Based on the keywords, I believe Ceylon cinnamon was used. The human equivalent dose, about 65mg per kg, is pretty high considering that it was an extract that was tested. Still, it might be prudent to use cinnamon sparingly given that it also contains the blood thinner coumarin and is known to affect blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Any thoughts?
 

PaRa

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there is not a lot of details i find
plus it's only serum and cardiac ventricles, what about all the body ?
lowered serum T3 could be bc of higher T3 uptake in other cells...
 

Randle Cyclist

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Right, I had considered that the lower levels might be due to higher cellular uptake. Who knows though. I am concerned because I've been using quite a bit of Ceylon cinnamon almost daily for over a decade. The flavor of Ceylon cinnamon is pretty weak so I use a lot to make up for it. Maybe I'll switch to Saigon cinnamon since it tastes better and just cut way back on my intake.
 

Mr.Bollox

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Right, I had considered that the lower levels might be due to higher cellular uptake. Who knows though. I am concerned because I've been using quite a bit of Ceylon cinnamon almost daily for over a decade. The flavor of Ceylon cinnamon is pretty weak so I use a lot to make up for it. Maybe I'll switch to Saigon cinnamon since it tastes better and just cut way back on my intake.
saigon is the costco stuff right? its not organic didnt it test much higher for levels of heavy metals or toxins or something i remembr there was some test and ceylon cinnamon tested the lowest... maybe it was coumarin
 

Randle Cyclist

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Saigon cinnamon is a variety of cassia cinnamon from Vietnam. It's also the highest in coumarin so it's best used sparingly. It has much more flavor than Ceylon cinnamon which is kinda dull but has very little coumarin. I'm not sure what cinnamon Costco sells but I bet it's some kind of cassia.

I've given the results of the study some more thought and I think Ceylon cinnamon does in fact have a negative effect on thyroid functioning, especially considering that cinnamon somehow blocks T3 signaling in certain organs. The amount used in the study is close to the amount that people take for blood sugar management so using just a dash or two a day should be fine.
 

Lejeboca

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I've given the results of the study some more thought and I think Ceylon cinnamon does in fact have a negative effect on thyroid functioning, especially considering that cinnamon somehow blocks T3 signaling in certain organs. The amount used in the study is close to the amount that people take for blood sugar management so using just a dash or two a day should be fine.

The results show that all the indicators that the authors could attribute to possible hypothyrosim are absent: the body mass for "cinnamon-extract" (CE) rats is lower, cholesterol is not increased, TRH and TSH are not increased either (indicating the lack of upregulating the pituarory). The liver function seems to be good to w.r.t. T4->T3. And "more studies are required for effects on the heart". (cf. a copy of the Results section below.)

Therefore, I think they didn't show anything negative vz thyroid and only positive vz hepatic gluconeogenesis decrease (lowered mGPDH enzyme activity). Furthermore, I think the problem with their study is that the authors consider only serum T3 whereas, to quote Dr. Peat, "When laboratories measure the hormones in the serum only, they have already thrown out about 95% of the thyroid hormone that the blood contained" [Ref] and much of the thyroid hormone is bound to albumin (which the authors do not consider).

N.B. For the sake of cross-referencing, this article is written by the same author (sub)group as the one discussed in
Thermogenesis and thyroid function in rats with fish oil? , which also seems to me biased in terms of types of experiments performed.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In this study, the cinnamon extract supplementation in healthy
rats promoted a lower body mass gain (8.250 ± 4.049 g) com-
pared with control group (28.17 ± 3.83 g) (70%, P = 0.0086). To
evaluate whether treatment with cinnamon has any influence on
thyroid function, serum T3, T4 and TSH levels were measured
(Fig. 1). The serum total T3 level was lower in the cinnamon water
extract group compared with that in the control group (32%,
P = 0.0438) (Fig. 1a). However, the serum total T4 and TSH con-
centrations were not altered by cinnamon supplementation com-
pared with those in the control group (Fig. 1b and c, respectively).
The serum total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
(HDL), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides
(TGs) were similar between the cinnamon-treated and control rats
(data not shown).
As depicted in Table 1, the cinnamon-treated rats did not show
significant changes in the mass of the thyroid or cardiac ventricle
compared with the control rats.
mRNA expression of TSHβ subunit (Fig. 2a), TRβ (Fig. 2b) and D2
(Fig. 2c) in the pituitary glands of the cinnamon-treated rats did
not significantly differ from that in the control rats.
mRNA expression of TRβ was lower in the livers of the ani-
mals that received the cinnamon water extract (58.6%, P = 0.0129)
compared with that in the livers of the control animals (Fig. 3a).
However, the protein expression of this isoform remained simi-
lar between the groups (Fig. 3b). As shown in Fig. 3c, the rats
treated with cinnamon extract did not exhibit altered expres-
sion of hepatic mGPDH mRNA compared with that in the con-
trol rats. However, mGPDH activity was significantly lower in the
cinnamon-treated rats with compared with the control rats (51.3%,
P = 0.0190) (Fig. 3d). In addition, as illustrated in Fig. 3e, the hep-
atic D1 mRNA level was similar between the cinnamon-treated and
control rats.
mRNA expression of TRα in the cardiac ventricles was lower in
the cinnamon-treated group compared with that in the control
group, as shown in Fig. 4a (83.2%, P < 0.0001). In addition, the
protein expression of TRα1 was reduced in the cinnamon-treated
group compared with that in the control group (Fig. 4b) (67.5%,
P = 0.0083). mRNA expression of SERCA2a and RyR2 was lower
(65.3%, P = 0.0138 and 25%, P = 0.0016, respectively) (Fig. 4c and
e) and the mRNA expression of phospholamban was higher (107%,
P = 0.0270) (Fig. 4d) in the cardiac ventricles of the animals supple-
mented with cinnamon extract compared with control group.
 

Randle Cyclist

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Thank you for taking the time to review the full study, Lejeboca. So, cinnamon's inhibitory effect on mitochondrial GPDH activity is beneficial? Can we say the same for its effect on T3 signaling in the cardiac ventricles? I know excess T3 can cause fibrillations but isn't that limited to the atrium? I'm wondering where the T3 is going if cinnamon doesn't decrease the conversion of T4 to T3. Perhaps it's attaching to receptors in myocytes and adipocytes or other organs? According to the study below, cinnamon is thermogenic via mitochondrial uncoupling. That might explain the lower weight gain in the study by Gaique, et al.

 

Lejeboca

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Thank you for taking the time to review the full study, Lejeboca. So, cinnamon's inhibitory effect on mitochondrial GPDH activity is beneficial? Can we say the same for its effect on T3 signaling in the cardiac ventricles? I know excess T3 can cause fibrillations but isn't that limited to the atrium? I'm wondering where the T3 is going if cinnamon doesn't decrease the conversion of T4 to T3. Perhaps it's attaching to receptors in myocytes and adipocytes or other organs?

Yeah, the lower body weight and mGPDH activity from cinnamon seem to be independent of thyroid levels in serum.
The "not-in-serum" blood T3 is probably in other components of the blood, such as red blood cells, as Dr. Peat suggests.

I'd venture to say that there is no harm from lower serum T3 to the heart since to quote the paper (p. 2891) "the cinnamon-treated rats did not show significant changes in the mass of the thyroid or cardiac ventricle compared with the control rats.".



Just skimmed the paper: Cannot judge how good are their methods. But from results (p. 8):
"...CE treatment significantly induced the expression of lipolysis protein pHSL in BAT [brown adipose tissue]."
Inducing lipolysis is not good, in general, even as a method of uncoupling, more so if the adipose tissue has lots of PUFA as it typically does with age.

Reading up on BAT from this forum is that it is not as good as the main-stream thinks of BAT compared with WAT. It sorts of "masks" hyporthyrodism. See
Thyroid Status Inversely Related To Brown Fat Activity

Fat Loss Through Topical Thyroid Or Thyroid Injections?

Based on the results of this paper, I wouldn't be taking cinnamon long-term. Only as a short-term remedy to dispel a cold-stagnation body state or for occasional recipes that call for this herb.
 

Randle Cyclist

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Thank you for your response. I've never noticed a thermogenic effect from cinnamon but that could be due to consuming it almost daily for so long. I'm definitely going to cut back to just a dash of it. I'll probably switch to Saigon cinnamon as just a dash of Ceylon cinnamon isn't really perceptible taste-wise. It's weak stuff, unless you get a brand that's been adulterated with cassia.

I had never before heard of any downsides to brown fat or at least to attempts at increasing it. I suppose it makes sense given that it is most typically increased by cold exposure which is a major stressor. The inverse relationship between BAT and thyroid function is really interesting though, especially since T3 induces BAT thermogenesis. Maybe an increase in BAT and its activity in such an instance is the body's way of preventing hypothermia during hypothyroidism.
 
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