ANSES has made a risk assessment for food supplements containing coumarin.
For some food types, there are existing maximum levels for coumarin, however, for food supplements, no maximum levels are defined. Several plants contain coumarin at very different levels, for example Cinnamonum cassia (Chinese cinnamon) contains much more than the traditional cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum). Tolerable daily intake for coumarin is defined in 0.1 mg/kg/bw by EFSA. Exceeding the TDI 3 times for 1-2 weeks do not cause adverse health effects in human.
Adverse health effects include hepatotoxic, gastrointestinal effects, lowering blood sugar levels and thereby make people with diabetes a sensitive population.
According to the results of the risk assessment, 40% of adults and 43% of children are exposed to coumarin via food. The intake of coumarin via food in the exposed population reaches about 20% of the TDI. The conclusion regarding food supplements was that coumarin intake via food supplements should not exceed 80% of TDI. This, according to a worst case scenario allows the intake of food supplements containing about 1.6 mg cinnamon which can be considered safe. It is to note that other exposition routes, for example inhalation by essential oils are not taken into account by the risk assessment.
EREN waits for EFSA member states to gather information regarding intake of food supplements to be able to decide on the increased exposure.