Some of the research presented is fairly-well known but there are some lesser-known gems to be found in this review:
Not only does consuming cinnamon improve the body's ability to utilize blood sugar, but just smelling the wonderful odor of this sweet spice boosts brain activity!
Research led by Dr. P. Zoladz and presented April 24, 2004, at the annual meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, in Sarasota, FL, found that chewing cinnamon flavored gum or just smelling cinnamon enhanced study participants' cognitive processing.
Specifically, cinnamon improved participants' scores on tasks related to attentional processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor speed while working on a computer-based program.
Participants were exposed to four odorant conditions: no odor, peppermint odor, jasmine, and cinnamon, with cinnamon emerging the clear winner in producing positive effects on brain function.
Encouraged by the results of these studies, researchers will be evaluating cinnamon's potential for enhancing cognition in the elderly, individuals with test-anxiety, and possibly even patients with diseases that lead to cognitive decline.
Joanna Hlebowicz, M.D.
Department of Medicine
Malm� University Hospital
University of Lund, Ingang 35
205 02 Malmo, Sweden [email protected]
�Effect of Cinnamon on Postprandial Blood Glucose, Gastric Emptying,
and Satiety in Healthy Subjects,�
Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1552-6. 46012 (10/2007)
Kirk Hamilton: Can you please share with us your educational background and current position?
Joanna Hlebowicz: I am a medical doctor. I did my residency at the Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital in Malmo, Sweden.
KH: What got you interested in studying the role of cinnamon and its effect on postprandial blood glucose and gastric emptying?
JH: Khan, el al, showed that cinnamon can reduce fasting serum glucose, triglycerides, and total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes when it was added to the diet for 40 days in doses of 1, 3, or 6 g/d.
The same study showed that, after the consumption of cinnamon for 40 days, the serum concentrations of glucose and triglycerides remained lower, even after a 20-day washout period , which indicated that it is not necessary to consume cinnamon every day .
KH: What is the physiology of cinnamon that might effect postprandial blood glucose?
JH: A water-soluble polyphenol type-A polymer from cinnamon has been isolated and shown in vitro to have insulin-like activity.
KH: What is the physiology of cinnamon that might effect gastric emptying?
JH: It is not known.
KH: Where did you come up with a dose of 6 gms of cinnamon? Was it consumed once per day with the rice pudding?
JH: Khan, et al, used 6 g/d in their study. In our study cinnamon was consumed only once per day.
KH: Can you tell us about your study and the basic effects?
JH: The present study showed that the presence of cinnamon in a semisolid meal reduces postprandial
glucose responses in healthy subjects and that the cause of this reduction could at least in part be do to delayed gastric emptying.
KH: Were there any side effects with the cinnamon�s addition to the pudding?
KH: Who is a candidate for cinnamon therapy? How would you use cinnamon clinically as an adjunctive therapy, if at all?
JH: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with insulin resistance might use cinnamon to control blood glucose concentrations. We do not use cinnamon as therapy in Sweden. Further investigation of the effect of cinnamon on insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus is needed.
KH: Do you have any further comments you would like to make on this very interesting subject?
JH: Further investigations on the effect of cinnamon is needed.
It is impossible to obtain the strong, sweet, and inviting aroma of cinnamon bread and cookies without cinnamon; however, cinnamon is more than just another flavoring agent.
One of today's most popular spices, it is also one of the oldest known flavorings. In medieval Europe, cinnamon was known as a staple ingredient in many recipes.
Cinnamon was also cited in the Bible and was used in ancient times as a beverage flavoring, medicine, and even as an embalming agent. Cinnamon was treasured during this period, considered more precious than gold. During this time, cinnamon received attention in China, evidenced by its inclusion in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine, dated around 2700 B.C. 1 Even today, cinnamon is considered one of the 50 Chinese fundamental medicinal herbs.