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Cinnamon Might Just Be the Spice of Life

Cinnamon Might Just Be the Spice of Life

The lore of cinnamon stretches way back — long before such trivial applications such as the popular Starbucks drink Cinnamon Dolce Latte. There are references in Egyptian history, Greek Literature, and even the Hebrew Bible, as it is in the Song of Solomon. But somewhere between the sacred and the profane lies the true gift of cinnamon – its inherent health benefits.

For years medical reports have shown that certain types (and dosages) of cinnamon can help in the lowering of blood sugar levels for diabetics. Additionally, other studies have found that cinnamon may reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects, and even fight bacteria. Now comes news published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease that cinnamon could help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that the cinnamon compounds cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin (the stuff that gives it both smell and flavor) could help stop “tangles” of tau protein — notorious in the memory-robbing neurodegenerative disease — from forming in the brain.

According to the research, Tau proteins are more likely to form clumps and tangles with age, but people with Alzheimer’s are known to have more of these clumps than people without the disease. However, this research is still very much at the preliminary stage, and medical officials are hesitant to recommend anything close to a megadose of cinnamon to ward off Alzheimer’s. Last year we saw the regrettable trend of cinnamon binging where, for the sake of novelty (and stupidity) people would try (in vain) to swallow a teaspoon of the brown stuff with varying results (see here, but do not try this at home).

Do you use spices, like cinnamon, as a natural method to ward off infection, or even disease? If so, what do you use, and what are your thoughts on the billing of cinnamon as a potential treatment to keep Alzheimer’s at bay.

Related:
Raw, Vegan Cinnamon Buns
10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Read more: Alzheimer's, Basics, Blogs, Diabetes, Diet & Nutrition, Following Food, Food, Health, , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

101 comments

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8:36AM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

I adore cinnamon and tend to use it a lot in winter. I like to add a stick in with my hot lemon, honey and ginger drinks. I also use the oil in my burner.

5:05PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Like it brewed in coffee with a bit of vanilla and sugar.

2:33AM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

It keeps the ants away.

6:28AM PDT on Jun 6, 2013

interesting post.

4:29PM PDT on Jun 4, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

Fascinating possibility!

6:49PM PDT on Jun 3, 2013

I love cinnamon, especially with honey...and with butter on toast! :)

12:39PM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

I love cinnamon-apple-pie. Thanks for sharing.

4:25AM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

love this spice
thank you

12:17AM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

Like it.

10:42PM PDT on May 31, 2013

One of my favorites and so healthy!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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gonna apply these lovely tips next time i'm at a restaurant.

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