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  • 1 Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Belgrade-Faculty of Pharmacy, Vojvode Stepe 450, 11221, Belgrade, Serbia
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Cinnamon bark is used worldwide due to its characteristic flavour and medicinal properties. Ceylon cinnamon or “true” cinnamon bark refers to the dried inner bark of the shoots of Cinnamomum verum J. Presl, originated from Sri Lanka. The bark of some other species of this genus, Cinnamomum cassia Blume (Chinese cinnamon), C. burmanni (Nees & T. Nees) Blume (Indonesian cinnamon), and C. loureiroi Nees (Saigon cinnamon) are also marketed and sold as cinnamon. They are characterised by a significantly higher amount of coumarin compared to Ceylon cinnamon bark. Since coumarin may be potentially hepatotoxic, the aim of this study was to determine coumarin level in commercial samples of cinnamon bark and in cinnamon-containing dietary supplements present on the Serbian market. HPLC analysis showed lowest coumarin content in Ceylon cinnamon bark samples (0.08-0.15 mg g-1), whereas other samples contained a significantly higher amounts of coumarin (1.38-5.80 mg g-1). Cinnamon based dietary supplements contained 0.007-1.19 mg coumarin/tablet. The obtained results indicate that the majority of commercial samples of cinnamon bark on the Serbian market do not originate from the Ceylon cinnamon but from other species of this genus, and that consumed amount of certain products should be taken into account since the tolerable daily intake of coumarin is limited.

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