Cinnamon may be the secret to losing weight, according to researchers at the University of Michigan who have studied how spice interacts with fat cells.
According to a new study, cinnamaldehyde , the organic compound that gives cinnamon its flavor, causes fat cells to burn calories to create heat , a process known as thermogenesis. This ability to turn fat into energy makes the substance gain importance in the fight against obesity.
The study, published in the journal Metabolism , recalls that cinnamaldehyde has already been shown to have an anti-obesity effect in rats , including in preventing hyperglycemia, which is a high blood sugar level. The new research has now analyzed in detail the mechanism behind this protective quality in cinnamon.
The team of researchers treated rat and human fat cells with cinnamaldehyde and found that the compound made the cells of both species have genes and enzymes linked to metabolic activity.
The analyzed human tissue was drawn from multiple donors, with different ethnicities and ages, and with a variety of BMI, body mass index.
According to a University of Michigan report, human ancestors did not have many high fat foods available, so their body stored fat, which was stored for use when it was cold. In many cases today, however, such fat storage has become excessive and unnecessary.
The new study provides “an explanation for the anti-obesity effects of cinnamaldehyde and its metabolic benefits in humans,” says Professor Jun Wu , a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute of Life Sciences and lead author of the study.
“Given the widespread use of cinnamon in the food industry, the notion that this popular food additive can activate thermogenesis rather than any drug can lead to new therapeutic approaches against obesity – which are much more widely adopted by participants,” he adds. the scientist.
“Cinnamon has been part of our diet for thousands of years, and people generally like it,” explains Jun Wu. “So if you can help us protect against obesity, it can also make it easier for patients to adopt it .”
Further research is needed to better understand the effects of cinnamaldehyde on the body, including possible negative effects of overeating , and to find out how best to use it in the fight against obesity. Until then, always in moderation, do not dispense a few cinnamon sticks in your sweet rice or cream cake.