The healing potential of cinnamon
When it comes to spices, cinnamon has been found to be one of the healthiest for you, not to mention its delicious taste. Cinnamon can have far reaching health benefits with recent research indicating that it can reduce blood pressure and even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It seems that numerous potential benefits can be obtained from this delicious, inexpensive spice.
Alzheimer’s prevention potential
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but hope may have been found inside cinnamon. In a recent University of California–Santa Barbara clinical study, it was found that two compounds within cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin) have the potential to ward off or even prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The protective power of these compounds lies in the fact that they can protect one of the foundational component proteins of neurons, called tau, from oxidative stress. This oxidative stress and the accompanying damage have been found to be a very common factor in Alzheimer’s. By protecting or preventing this from occurring, it allows the tau to function more properly, and thus the neurons function more properly.
Cholesterol lowering potential
Cinnamon has also been found to have the potential to reduce LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”). In a 2003 study, patients with type II diabetes were administered cinnamon for 40 days. The study demonstrated that 1, 3 and 6 grams of cinnamon daily were enough to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. On the other hand, a very similar study carried out in 2006 failed to find a significant cholesterol-lowering effect of cinnamon. More studies are needed to verify either result and give a better picture on the cholesterol-lowering potential of cinnamon; the verdict is still too close to call.
Other potential benefits
Another potential benefit of cinnamon consumption is its power to lower blood pressure. This was found to be really apparent in patients with type II diabetes. These patients consumed 2 g of cinnamon a day for 12 weeks and were found to have a significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure!
Lastly, a recent study found that the daily consumption of cinnamon can benefit women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) by improving the regularity of their menstrual cycles. This small study (45 subjects) from Columbia University was able to increase the frequency and cyclicity of menstrual cycles over a six-month period by simply adding cinnamon into the subjects’ daily diet!
The potential power of cinnamon is just starting to be truly understood. From preventing Alzheimer’s to reducing blood pressure, cinnamon has numerous potential benefits. The beauty of this spice is that it is delicious and an inexpensive potential remedy for numerous conditions. Supplementing cinnamon in a protein shake or on sweet potato fries can be an effective way to harness the potential power of cinnamon!
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