Researchers believe they’ve found a common ingredient that could aid with weight loss: cinnamon.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan looked at the effects of the spice’s essential oil, cinnamaldehyde.
With previous studies proving that the oil can protect mice from obesity, scientists looked at the benefits of cinnamaldehyde on human cells.
Treating human fat cells with cinnamaldehyde showed that the genes and enzymes that enhance lipid metabolism showed an increased expression.
Researchers were thus led to believe that cinnamon’s oil can active thermogenesis, a bodily process which burns calories in order to produce heat.
They concluded that cinnamon could have a whole host of metabolic benefits to the body including the ability to kickstart weight loss.
Although more research into cinnamaldehyde will be needed to confirm any benefits (as well as risks), the study’s lead author Jun Wu says that the results could help the rising obesity epidemic across the globe.
“Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it,” he commented. “So if it can help protect against obesity, too, it may offer an approach to metabolic health that is easier for patients to adhere to.”
Don’t get too excited though.
Unfortunately, the spice is usually found on things that aren’t exactly great for weight loss. Think cakes, calorific hot drinks and plenty of Christmas goodies.
It’s also unclear whether eating cinnamon translates to cinnemaldehyde actually entering fat cells or how much cinnamon you’d have to ingest to have any effect.
Whatever you do, don’t eat it on its own. Remember the Cinnamon Challenge?
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