WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Cinnamon is one of the world’s most popular spices and is more commonly used for baking rolls, cookies, and bread.
- It offers amazing health benefits because it has anti-inflammatory properties, full of antioxidants, and helps fight infections.
- A new study reveals that cinnamon can also boost one’s metabolism and may help in losing weight.
Cinnamon is a popular ingredient because it can be used in baking pastries, mulled wine, and eggnog, to name a few. The spice has also been known to reduce the risk for diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, and relieve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Jun Wu, a research assistant professor of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan, and his team looked into the effect of cinnamaldehyde on the fat cells of both mice and humans. The findings of the study are published in the December 2017 issue of the journal Metabolism.
Cinnamaldehyde is the essential oil that gives out the color and flavor of cinnamon. The team found out that cinnamaldehyde may aid in boosting metabolism.
Adipocytes, commonly known as fat cells, store energy in the form of lipids. During the ancient times, the body uses fat in cold temperatures or in times when there is food scarcity.
“It’s only been relatively recently that energy surplus has become a problem,” Wu said.
The team of researchers discovered that through the process of thermogenesis, the mouse and human cells burn energy when exposed to cinnamon oil. Thermogenesis is the process of “burning calories to generate heat and keep the body warm.”
The study’s findings are good news given the obesity epidemic that is spreading around the world. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 36.5 percent of adults in the United States are obese.
Obesity has been associated with a wide range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. Another study linked the condition to the development of cancer.
The researchers said that it could be less challenging for patients to consider cinnamon-based treatment since cinnamon is already widely used in the food industry. Additionally, cinnamon is a better alternative to a traditional synthetic drug regimen.
“Given the wide usage of cinnamon in the food industry, the notion that this popular food additive, instead of a drug, may activate thermogenesis, could ultimately lead to therapeutic strategies against obesity that are much better adhered to by participants,” the researchers said.