Monday 17 October 2016

Could cinnamon hold the key to healthy digestion?

Hot apple punch with cinnamon

Adding just a sprinkle of cinnamon to your diet could be beneficial to your health, according to a new study that found that the spice lowers stomach temperature and aids digestion.
Australian researchers from the RMIT University School of Engineering in Melbourne, Australia, conducted a study into the gut health of pigs, using gas sensor capsules.
Publishing their results in the journal Scientific Reports, they found that including cinnamon in the animals' meals seemed to lower the carbon dioxide levels in their stomachs, making their bodies cooler.
The pigs that were fed food with cinnamon saw a significant improvement in their overall health.
Spices, including cinnamon
Cinnamon in food can help to reduce the amount of CO2 in our stomachs Credit: Abraham Nowitz/Getty
Project leader, Professor Kouroush Kalantar-zadeh, said: "When pigs feed at room temperature, carbon dioxide (C02) gas increases in their stomach.
[Cinnamon is] an ideal candidate for maintaining normal digestive functionalities and intestinal barrier integrity under the heat-stress conditionProfessor Kouroush Kalantar-zadeh
"Cinnamon in their food reduces this gas by decreasing the secretion of gastric acid and pepsin from the stomach walls, which in turn cools the pigs' stomach during digestion."

Prof Kalantar-zadeh also added that the cinnamon appeared to protect "the walls of the stomach and small intestines, basically protecting the integrity of the gut."
Though the study was carried out on pigs, the researchers believe the results are transferable to humans. Research Dr Jian Zhen Ou said: "Altogether, cinnamon cooled the stomach by up to 2C.
"No wonder cinnamon is so popular in warm regions, as taking it makes people feel better and gives them the feeling of cooling down."

Kalantar-zah added: "Supplemental cinnamon (cinnamomum verum) is chosen as a representative therapeutic agent due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and free radical scavenging properties in the gastrointestinal tract.
"These advantageous characteristics make this spice an ideal candidate for maintaining normal digestive functionalities and intestinal barrier integrity under the heat-stress condition, while at the same time it has relatively minor adverse-effects that cause minimal disturbance on the intestinal microbial community."
Rum punch with cinnamon stick
Cinnamon is thought to improve your ability to learn Credit: Alamy
This isn't the first time cinnamon has been suggested to be potentially beneficial to our health. Earlier this year a study suggested cinnamon could improve your ability to learn.
In an experiment on laboratory mice, researchers at The Rush University Medical Center in California found rodents with poor learning abilities were able to show significant improvement after being fed ground cinnamon.

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