While doing research to find out if Ceylon Cinnamon can cure cancer, I came across a very interesting report from Pfizer. Sri Lanka and India have 95-100 cancer rates per 100,000 compared to the rate of 215-410 in the United States. Cancer rates also seem highest in North East Asian countries and lowest in South East Asian countries. I thought that was remarkably interesting.
TOTAL CANCER RATES PER 100,000
If you look at the gender distribution, both Sri Lankan and Indian cancer rates are almost identical. In the United States males suffer higher cancer rates than females. By about 25% more, while Sri Lankan and Indian males seem to suffer slightly lower rates than even their female counterparts. Again a very interesting fact.
Oral cancer however is more prevalent in Sri Lanka and Asia. I suspect this is because Sri Lankan and Indians have a tendency chew a beetle nut that is pretty corrosive. The incidence of breast cancer in the United States is twice or more than the rate observed in 15 Asian countries. Interestingly breast cancer rates in Sri Lanka is fairly high compared to the Asian norm, but liver cancer is very low. And I always thought Sri Lankan's could drink like fish.
Based on anecdotal data there strong evidence that Ceylon Cinnamon could be a major cancer preventer. The people of this tiny Indian Ocean Island of Sri Lanka consume high levels of Ceylon Cinnamon and Turmeric. It's in virtually every meal. Indonesia also grows a fair amount of Cinnamon (although the Cassia variety) and it seems to have the third lowest cancer rates in the world. But it has higher levels of liver cancer than the Asian norm. Interestingly Cassia Cinnamon if taken in high doses can cause liver (due to high Coumarin levels) while Ceylon Cinnamon does not. So it is possible that the right type of Cinnamon is what is needed?
Research shows that Cinnamon oil is a quite effective in the treatment Tumors, Gastric Cancers and Melanomas. Another study found good results with lymphoma, melanoma, cervix cancer and colorectal cancer. Cinnamon in its various forms have two chemical constituents called Cinnamaldehyde and Eugenol (From Cinnamon Oil). These have been used to develop nutraceuticals in this study that have proven fairly effective in fighting Human Colon Cancer Cells (Eugenol) and Human hepatoma cells (Cinnamaldehyde). As an anti-oxidant king with an ORAC value of 267536 ?mol TE/100g (USDA 2007 figures), Cinnamon is a top contender to prevent free radical formation and by extrapolation, the resultant cancers. Frustratingly however, The National Cancer Institute says clinical trails have reached inconsistent conclusions despite an equal number of studies that have found success with Cinnamon as a cancer cure.
Then I made a remarkable discover. Mexicans cancer rates are much lower according to this ABC article compared to the United States. Mexico consumes 80% more Cinnamon than the United States and has 60% less cancer. Nearly 95% of Mexican consumption is Ceylon Cinnamon. South America is the leading importer of Ceylon Cinnamon. Leading them to have one of the highest per capita consumption of Cinnamon. And interestingly they also have one of the lowest cancer rates compared to the US. Could it be that Ceylon Cinnamon has a powerful anti cancer effect on these populations?
Cinnamon Imports USA vs MEXICO
(From 6 leading Cinnamon exporters)
Source: United Nations COMTRADE
POPULATION (Google Public Data)
$ Value of Cinnamon Consumption per person
Cancer Rates Per 100,000
Sri Lanka Cancer Rates 107.18 per 100,000
Cancer rates source: GC 2008
According this cancer specialist, the cause of most cancer is the lack of Vitamin D. At first glance this seems plausible because the rates of cancer is highest in Northern Asia (with lower rates of sun) and lowest in Southern Asia which tends to be very hot and sunny. Could it be? It is possible I give you that. But that doesn't explain why the US still has cancer rates that are 3-4 times the Asian norm. Roughly 40% of the United States population live in areas with hot climates and plenty of sun all year around. Plus the United States, together with Europe and Australia (Australia is hot) has very high consumption rates of Milk, a major source of Vitamin D. Sri Lanka has very low consumption of milk and lower cancer rates. Is there a relationship?
A major cancer maybe the amount of GMO foods in the United States. Did you know that corn is infused with a chemical that can withstand all the pesticide they spray from the air? It kills everything but the plant. But the plant maybe killing us. I understand that we had to feed a lot of people in a hurry, but we have got to a stage in our country where we can tone done these aggressive genetic modifications. Lately some insects are developing a resistance to Monsanto’s famous insect resistant corn. Sri Lanka consumes relatively little GMO foods and this maybe one of many reasons why cancer rates are lower there.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests that tumors love sugars. The cells of solid tumors are known to have an altered metabolism, with high rates of glucose uptake and glycolysis, which allow cancer cells to avoid programmed cell death. According to this article from Duke Health removing the sugar led to cancer cells death. A look at US sugar consumption (150lb per head) compared to Asia shows much higher US sugar consumption levels. Maybe because the US tends to eat significantly more processed foods which we all know has a tonne of sugar and salt. The logical conclusion is that high sugar consumption allows cancer cells to maintain and even multiply their numbers although whether sugar causes cell death is not clear cut. I suspect Cinnamon because of its ability to control blood sugar may also be depriving cancer cells of sugar they need to survive.
The evidence is compelling. Ceylon Cinnamon is good for you. It tastes and smells great and adds flavor and character to a huge variety of food from cakes to Asian curries. It has no harmful effects unless you go crazy and consume gallons of the stuff. A bit of Cinnamon and honey will stop most sore throats, colds and the aches and pains of winter.
The data presented here also brings to mind a key observation, which is that Cinnamon may be a cancer preventer more than a cure. Most research and clinical trials focus on how to cure cancer. Shouldn't we also look at how to prevent it from happening in the first place? Could making Ceylon Cinnamon a part of your regular diet be the most effective weapon against cancer that we can all take? A preemptive strike if you will against this dreaded disease.
Please join the discussion. Bring data to support your theories and torpedo mine. Reasoned arguments backed with some data (however tenuous) is always credible as opposed to off the cuff comments.