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Cinnamaldehyde induces fat cell-autonomous thermogenesis and metabolic reprogramming. - NCBI
25 November 2017, 02:55 | Todd Saunders
Cinnamon Might Help With Weight Loss
Scientists discovered that when cinnamaldehyde was applied to human cells, there was an increase in activity of the metabolic proteins Ucp1 and Fgf21.
Researchers at the University of MI in the U.S. wanted to better understand cinnamaldehyde's action and determine whether it might be protective in humans too.
Cinnamaldehyde is an essential oil that helps give the spice its distinctive flavour and has been proven to protect mice against obesity in previous studies.
Researchers from University of MI tested the effects of the essential oil that give the spice it's flavor, cinnamaldehyde. Speaking about the motivation for her study, Wu says, "Scientists were finding that this compound affected metabolism".
'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'.
In the study, appearing in the journal Metabolism, when human cells were treated with cinnamaldehyde, there was a spike in expression of several genes and enzymes that enhance lipid metabolism.
A group of researchers under the leadership of candidate of technical Sciences Jung-Woo made a decision to look for "catalysts" which would launch the process of thermogenesis in human cells, so they are not hoarded and spent "fuel inventories".
"Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it", said Jun Wu, Research Assistant Professor at the University of MI. Wu said he hopes that this spice that has been part of the human diet for centuries could offer protection against obesity that is becoming a rising epidemic worldwide.
There are many ways to enjoy cinnamon and honey together.
To observe cinnamaldehyde's actions, the researchers gathered fat cells from volunteers ranging in body mass indices, ethnicities, and ages. From an evolutionary standpoint, that stored energy can be used by the body during periods of food shortage, or converted to heat during colder months.
Adipocytes store lipids, which can then be burned for energy.
Dr. Wu explained that energy surplus and its storage in the adipocytes is a new phenomenon for humans with the abundance of food. "So any energy-consuming process usually turns off the moment the body doesn't need it. Cinnamaldehyde could be a natural trigger for this fat burning process in lieu of traditional drug regimens".
The researchers caution that more research is needed to figure out the ideal way to use cinnamaldehyde to trigger thermogenesis without causing any side effects. First, Wu believes that more studies will be needed to further understand the metabolic benefits of cinnamaldehyde, and we don't know its side effects yet. Australian researchers found cinnamon will help lower the stomach temperature - which aids digestion - up to two degrees. The researchers also examined mice fat cells.
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