Published: Thu, November 23, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Cinnamon may be the secret to weight loss this holiday season

Cinnamon may be the secret to weight loss this holiday season

New research from scientists at the University of MI (or U of M) revealed that cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives the spice its flavor, appears to have an anti-obesity effect, Newsweek reported.

Wu and his colleagues tested human adipocytes taken from volunteers, representing a wide range of ages, ethnic groups and indices of body weight. The obtained results indicate that cinnamaldehyde improves metabolic health by acting directly on fat cells, or adipocytes, prompting them to burn energy in the process of thermogenesis. When the adipocytes were treated with cinnamaldehyde, it resulted in increased expression in several enzymes and genes that have a hand in boosting lipid metabolism.

University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute researchers, led by Research Assistant Professor Jun Wu, aimed to use this research as a foundation to better understand cinnamaldehyde and whether these positive effects could be translated to humans.

The researchers do emphasize that these findings are in mice and human cells, not actual human beings. The scientists also observed an increase in Ucp1 and Fgf21, which are important metabolic regulatory proteins involved in thermogenesis.

This means adipocytes burn energy instead of storing it as fat, in a process called thermogenesis. This fat is then used by the body in times of shortage or low temperatures that induce the adipocytes to convert stored energy into heat.

Jun Wu said in a statement given to Michigan News that, "It's only been relatively recently that energy surplus has become a problem". "Throughout evolution, the opposite-energy deficiency-has been the problem".

Malaysia suffer drop in world football ranking
The top of the rankings remains unchanged with Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina and Belgium filling out the top five. Spain have climbed two places in the latest set of FIFA World Rankings into 6 by leapfrogging Poland and Switzerland.

With obesity becoming an increasingly problematic issue worldwide, researchers have been looking at improving fat-burning processes in humans, and cinnamaldehyde could be the first step towards achieving this.

And because it is already used widely in the food industry, it might be easier to convince patients to stick to a cinnamon-based treatment than to a traditional drug regimen, Wu noted.

'Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it, ' says Jun. After all, cinnamon is a spice that features in a lot of sugary and unhealthy treats.

While there's more research to be done, it looks promising.

In the meantime, cinnamon anyone?

Like this: