Cinnamon could be a spice to lose weight because it can burn fat


Put an extra pinch of cinnamon on your pie recipe this holiday season.

A property in cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde, has the power to help reduce obesity by burning energy in our fat cells, say researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute.

Scientists already knew that cinnamon had the ability to burn fat from lab tests with mice, but new research showed it could also be effective in humans.

In the tests, the scientists, led by Jun Wu, took human fat cells, called adipocytes, from volunteers of different ages, ethnicities and body mbad indexes. When the cells were treated with cinnamaldehyde, the cells went through a process called thermogenesis, which is when the cells begin to burn energy.

Cinnamaldehyde is the organic compound that gives cinnamon its flavor and odor. It makes up about half of the cinnamon oil and is used to flavor chewing gum, ice cream, sweets and drinks, as well as perfumes. Cinnamaldehyde is also used as a natural fungicide and as an insecticide.

  Remember, when you add cinnamon to your dishes, what other ingredients are very high in fat.

Remember, when you add cinnamon to your dishes, what other ingredients are super high in fat.

(Brent Hofacker)

As the researchers explained in a companion article in Michigan News, fat storage in adipocytes was useful for our ancestors who had less access to high-fat foods and, therefore, , a greater need to store fat in the body for winter or food shortages.

"It's relatively recently that the surplus of energy has become a problem," Wu told the Michigan News. "Throughout evolution, the opposite energy deficiency has been the problem, so any process that consumes energy usually disappears when the body does not need it."

Wu says that cinnamaldehyde could naturally trigger this fat-burning process instead of traditional drug regimens. He also says that more studies should be done on the benefits and side effects before people start using the Cinnamon Challenge to lose weight.

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