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Know more: Cinnamon may help fight obesity

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

But that doesn’t mean that you can have endless spiced lattes, says Anindra Siqueira

How great it would be if we could, though! New research from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute (LSI) finds that a chemical that gives cinnamon its flavour could be used to fight off obesity and hypoglycaemia. Although the mechanism of how this works is not well understood yet, it was found that cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon protected mice against becoming fat.

The findings, published in the journal Metabolism, suggest that cinnamaldehyde acts directly on fat cells and causes them to start burning energy, which could lead to improved metabolic health. The research team even tested human fat cells in the lab. They observed, in short, increased fat burning.

Fat cells from a diverse group of people, with a range of ages, ethnicities and body mass indices, were treated with the chemical, and researchers noticed that certain genes were expressed more and that certain enzymes were produced more than usual. In turn, the proteins important for metabolic regulation were produced, which induced burning of energy in the fat cells.

The advantage of this discovery is that people might be more willing to stick to this form of therapy than a traditional drug regimen because cinnamon is already used widely in the food industry, according to Jun Wu, research assistant professor at the LSI.

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