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Food Chem Toxicol. 2004 Nov;42(11):1757-68.

Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of microencapsulated trans-cinnamaldehyde in rats and mice.

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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Mail Drop EC-35, 79 TW Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


trans-Cinnamaldehyde is a widely used natural ingredient that is added to foods and cosmetics as a flavoring and fragrance agent. Male and female F344/N rats and B6C3F(1) mice were exposed to microencapsulated trans-cinnamaldehyde in the feed for three months or two years. All studies included untreated and vehicle control groups. In the three-month studies, rats and mice were given diets containing 4100, 8200, 16,500, or 33,000 ppm trans-cinnamaldehyde. In rats, feed consumption was reduced in all exposed groups. In mice, feed consumption was reduced in the highest dose groups. Body weights of all treated males were less than controls. Body weights were reduced in female rats exposed to 16,500 or 33,000 ppm and female mice exposed to 8200 ppm or greater. All rats survived to the end of the study but some male mice in the highest dose groups died due to inanition from unpalatability of the dosed feed. The incidence of squamous epithelial hyperplasia of the forestomach was significantly increased in rats exposed to 8200 ppm or greater and female mice exposed to 33,000 ppm. In mice, the incidence of olfactory epithelial degeneration of the nasal cavity was significantly increased in males and females exposed to 16,500 ppm and females exposed to 33,000 ppm. In the two-year studies, rats and mice were exposed to 1000, 2100, or 4100 ppm trans-cinnamaldehyde. Body weights were reduced in mice exposed to 2100 ppm and in rats and mice exposed to 4100 ppm. In rats, hippuric acid excretion was dose proportional indicating that absorption, metabolism, and excretion were not saturated. No neoplasms were attributed to trans-cinnamaldehyde in rats or mice. Squamous cell papillomas and carcinomas of the forestomach were observed in male and female mice but the incidences were within the NTP historical control range and were not considered to be related to trans-cinnamaldehyde exposure.

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