What are Coumarins?. Coumarins side effects.
Coumarins are sweet smelling plant substance or plant compound found in many plants. It was first identified in 1820s and has been used in perfumes since 1882. Coumarin can be found in many plants like Tonka beans, sweet clover grass, vanilla grass, sweet grass, sweet woodruff and mullein. This fragrant chemical compound can also be found in lavender, licoric and cinnamon.
Although, coumarins has been used in many foods as aroma-enhancer but generally it is banned because it can be toxic to the liver. Coumarin has strong anticoagulant properties. For this it is used as anti clotting agent. There’s a similarity in the construction of coumarins and Vitamin K. This has led to assumptions that the substance functions against prothrombin (a protein in blood plasma that is the inactive precursor of thrombin) that leads to blood clotting. This belief has only been strengthened by the fact that vitamin K acts against the effects of coumarin.
Coumarin can be easily digested by the body. Coumarin contains anti-bacterial properties but it is used cure fever in animals. Although, coumarin has anticoagulant properties but high consumption of coumarin in regular basis can be harmful for health. It is toxic for liver and kidneys. Coumarin can be found in vanilla products and tobacco but it is a banned food additive in numerous countries. Coumarin can also be found in cassia bark and it is advisable not to consume cassia bark in a high amount as that can be dangerous for the health. But when consumed in moderation, it is unlikely that cassia will create any health risk due to present of coumarin.
Although, many countries have banned coumarin to be used as human food but it is still used as a flavoring additive around the world.