The Spice to Boost Human Intelligence: Cinnamon
A Chicago research team has revealed that Cinnamon turns poor learners into good ones, at least in studies involving mice.
Lead researcher Dr. Kalipada Pahan with Rush University and the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Chicago, said the study offers the 1st tantalizing evidence the spice might also boost human intelligence, too.
“The increase in learning in poor-learning mice after Cinnamon treatment was significant,” says Dr. Pahan. “For example, poor-learning mice took about 150 seconds to find the right hole in the Barnes Maze Test. On the other hand, after 1 month of the spice treatment, poor-learning mice were finding the right hole within 60 seconds.”
Dr. Pahan’s research, published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, shows that the effect appears to be due to sodium benzoate, a chemical produced as the spice breaks down in the body. Food makers use a synthetic form of the chemical as a preservative. It is also a US Food and Drug Administration-approved drug used to treat hyperammonemia, too much ammonia in the blood.
Dr. Pahan’s lab studies show that different compounds within Cinnamon, including cinnamaldehyde, which gives the spice is distinctive flavor and aroma stimulate activity in the hippocampus, the brain’s main memory center.
Cinnamon, like many spices, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So it could be expected to exert a range of health-boosting actions, and it does have a centuries-long history of medicinal use around the world.
The study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.
I have Cinnamon in my coffee every day, try it.
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