Ways In Which Cinnamon Benefits Health

February 7, 2024

Cinnamon is a delicious spice individuals have also used as a medicine since the time of the ancient Egyptians. It is made from the bark of trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum. Individuals make cinnamon by cutting off the tree’s stems and removing the woody parts. They extract the inner bark, which is the edible part of the tree and comes off in strips. As the strips dry, they curl up into rolls called cinnamon sticks. Individuals can use a cinnamon stick as is or grind it into a powder. Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which gives it its smell and flavor. Researchers believe it is the source of many of cinnamon’s health benefits. Get to know these health benefits now.

Cut Down Risk Of Heart Disease

In 2003, the journal Diabetes Care described a study in which researchers gave different amounts of cinnamon to diabetes patients, while a control group was given a placebo. After forty days, the researchers found the patients who had been consuming cinnamon had lower glucose, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol. By contrast, the cinnamon had no to little effect on patients’ high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol. The researchers concluded adding cinnamon to the diets of patients with type 2 diabetes would reduce risk factors linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Ten years later, the Annals of Family Medicine described a study in which researchers reviewed several different medical trials. They found cinnamon actually increased participants’ high-density lipoprotein cholesterol while reducing their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, and triglycerides. In 2014, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine described an analysis of various studies of cinnamon’s medical benefits. The scientists found cinnamon, in addition to reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and glucose, could also lower blood pressure by reducing constriction of the blood vessels. All of these effects can cut down the risk of heart disease.

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Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin regulates metabolism and helps transport blood sugar to the body’s cells. In individuals with conditions like diabetes, their body’s cells stop responding to insulin the way they are supposed to and become insulin-resistant. Conversely, if a patient’s cells respond to insulin normally, they are said to be inulin sensitive, and insulin sensitivity means the patient’s metabolism is working normally.

In 2008, The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society described an analysis of several different studies that demonstrated cinnamon’s effects on insulin resistance. Cinnamon is a good source of both chromium and antioxidants called polyphenols, and the researchers found both polyphenols and chromium improved insulin sensitivity. Two years later, the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology described an analysis of several different clinical trials. They found cinnamon could benefit healthy individuals by reducing risk factors associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome by improving their insulin sensitivity and lowering their blood sugar. Cinnamon also improved insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

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Lowers Blood Sugar

As mentioned earlier, cinnamon lowers blood sugar, and it does so through a variety of mechanisms. It can, for example, decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after eating. Researchers have found cinnamon does so by hampering various digestive enzymes and thus slowing the digestion of carbohydrates. This, in turn, reduces the amount of blood sugar in the body at any given time.

In 2001, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition described a study in which researchers found cinnamon contained a compound called methylhydroxy chalcone polymer that mimics the effects of insulin. The scientists believe this compound could be used to treat insulin resistance. Researchers believe individuals should take between one to six grams (0.5 to two teaspoons) to get the optimal results.

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Benefits Neurodegenerative Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are disorders in which the patient’s brain cells gradually lose their function or structure. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease are among the best-known examples.

In 2009, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported a study in which scientists determined an aqueous cinnamon extract inhibits the accumulation of the protein tau, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The extract could also disassemble the tau accumulations that had already developed, and it had similar effects on the filaments that also form in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. While promising, more research needs to be done with human subjects.

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Antibacterial And Antifungal Properties

Cinnamon has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Its component, cinnamaldehyde, may help treat different types of infection, and cinnamon oil can be used to treat infections of the respiratory tract caused by fungi.

In 2006, The American Journal of Chinese Medicine described a study in which researchers determined both pure cinnamaldehyde and cinnamon oil inhibited the growth of various types of bacteria and fungi. The bacteria studied included Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhymurium, and Vibrio cholerae, while the fungi included several different species of Candida, Aspergillus, and Trichophyton.

Five years later, researchers compared the efficacy of cinnamon oil to clove oil in treating tooth decay. While clove oil is often touted as an effective treatment, the researchers found cinnamon oil was even more effective. During that same year, the Journal of Clinical Dentistry described a study in which scientists determined cinnamon freshened breath by temporarily reducing the bacteria population in the mouth.

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