One of the most popular flavors today is that of cinnamon. We use it in desserts, to add flavor to coffees and teas, and even in many savory dishes as well. Now we have some very welcome news about our favorite cinnamon. It contains an ingredient that helps improve metabolic health…and may even aid weight loss. This ingredient is cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavor.
A recent research study has found that cinnamaldehyde causes fat cells to burn more energy using a process known as thermogenesis. Scientists have known that mice, given cinnamon were somehow protected from becoming obese, but little was understood about why this happened.
“Scientists were finding that this compound affected metabolism,” says Jun Wu, who also is an assistant professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School. “So we wanted to figure out how—what pathway might be involved, what it looked like in mice, and what it looked like in human cells.”
Wu’s team used cells from a wide range of humans across age groups, ethnic groups and weight ranges. They then applied the cinnamaldehyde to the cells. The cells then started to show signs of increased thermogenesis, or the fat-burning process.
There is much more research needed to fully understand why this happens and how it can be harnessed for use in the human battle against obesity. As new developments are released, I’ll report on them here. Stay tuned.