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August 06, 2019
Cinnamon gum, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon in coffee, cinnamon apple sauce… Cinnamon is ubiquitous in our everyday taste experience. From lowering our risk of diabetes to improving our antioxidant status, if used in the right context, cinnamon can be very beneficial to our well-being.
There are two main varieties of cinnamon available on the market today:
The major compound in cinnamon is called cinnamaldehyde, which is oxidized into cinnamic acid. In the liver, this cinnamic acid is then oxidized into sodium benzoate (NaB) .
After it is consumed, NaB rapidly passes through the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB). Similarly, after the whole spice cinnamon was consumed, NaB was detected in the hippocampus of the brain .
The following benefits are attributed to the spice Cinnamon and/or its metabolite, Sodium Benzoate:
Ceylon cinnamon increases levels of the master antioxidant, glutathione (in rats) .
In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon ranked highest .
Cinnamaldehyde/Cinnamon activates Nrf2, the most important pathway for increasing our natural and innate antioxidant defense .
Both the twigs and leaves of Cinnamon – are highly anti-inflammatory [6, 7, 8].
A variety of Cinnamon from Sri Lanka (C. zeylanicum) showed some of the most potent anti-inflammatory activity out of 115 anti-inflammatory foods tested .
Cinnamic aldehyde, a constituent of cassia cinnamon, has strong anti-inflammatory activity .
Can inhibit the growth of Listeria and Salmonella [29, 30].
Is a potent inhibitor of E. coli .
Ceylon Cinnamon showed strong antibacterial activity against MRSA in test tube experiments .
Cinnamon can also help prevent tooth decay and bad breath [33, 34]. In fact, cinnamon was shown to be even more effective than clove for the bacteria that cause dental plaque .
Cinnamon most effectively inhibited HIV-1 out of all 69 medicinal plants studied (in test tube experiments) .
Cinnamon Essential oil , Cinnamon/Cinnamaldehyde [37, 36], Eugenol [37, 38, 36] found in cinnamon essential oil – are all Biofilm disruptors.
Hydroxycinnamic acids and Cinnamaldehyde are quorum-sensing inhibitors [40, 37].
Cinnamon shows anti-fungal activity against Candida albicans (“Candida“) [41, 42] and other infectious fungi such as Aspergillus niger (Black Mold), A. fumigatus, A. nidulans, A. flavus, C. tropicalis, C. pseudotropicalis, and Histoplasma capsulatum .
Cinnamon is antiparasitic (giardia and malaria) [43, 44].
Cinnamon increases Tregs , which can be important for clearing some infections. They are crucial for the establishment of a functional Th17 response after the infection in the gut (with the help of IL-2) .
Sodium Benzoate, a Cinnamon metabolite, has shown to be an effective treatment for the autoimmune disease Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) in animal models . The whole cinnamon spice shows similar potential for M.S. [46, 47].
Cinnamon extract suppresses experimental colitis/alleviates symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in mouse models [83, 21].
It shows potential for colon cancer in animal studies .
Cinnamon reduces insulin resistance [105, 106].
Cinnamon can function like insulin without insulin (insulin mimic) [107, 108].
In human trials, cinnamon can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 10-29% [109, 110, 111].
Indonesian Cassia Cinnamon (C. burmannii) tea helps significantly lower blood sugar levels after meals in non-diabetics .
Decreasing blood glucose may contribute to wakefulness (by increasing orexin) [109, 113].
The combination of cinnamon and vinegar increases satiety immediately after meals indicating an additive effect of the 2 substances .
Promotes collagen production for anti-aging effects in test tube studies [125, 126].
Cinnamon blocks the absorption of carbs in animal studies [114, 115].
Cinnamaldehyde significantly lowered ghrelin secretion in obese mice fed for five weeks with CIN-containing diet. It also significantly reduced their food intake and their cumulative weight gain and improved glucose tolerance without changing insulin secretion .
Cinnamon reduces risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. It does this by blocking the accumulation of tau protein in the brain, which is the main characteristic of Alzheimer’s [146, 147, 148].
It reduces the risk of Parkinson’s Disease. In a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helped to protect neurons, normalize neurotransmitter levels, and improve motor function .
Cinnamon reduced anxiety in lab rats .
Cinnamon reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, while HDL cholesterol remained stable . A big review study concluded that cinnamon also increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol .
It also reduces blood pressure (animal studies) .
Ceylon cinnamon reduces the breakdown of bones and can help prevent osteoporosis in test tube studies .
Cinnamon seems to reduce cancer risk. Overall, the evidence is limited to test tube experiments and animal studies, which suggest that cinnamon extracts may protect against cancer [200, 201, 202, 203, 204].
A metabolite of cinnamon (NaB) dose-dependently increased the neurotrophic factors BDNF and NT-3 in human neurons and astrocytes .
This article was first published by Joe Cohen, BS on selfhacked.com
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