Can Cinnamon Boost Your Brain Power?
A new study gives hope to those who struggle to learn new things, as it found cinnamon reversed the abnormal brain biochemistry associated with the problem. According to lead author Kalipada Pahan, Ph.D., “This would be one of the safest and the easiest approaches to convert poor learners to good learners.”
Although part of the reason some people have a better ability to learn new things is unknown, research has shown that the hippocampus plays a key role. This is a structure in the brain that stores, generates and organizes memory. Studies also indicate that people who struggle to learn have lower levels of CREB, a protein critically important in memory, and higher levels of GABRA5, a protein that slows down brain functions.
Cinnamon Produced Biochemical, Cellular and Anatomical Reversals in Brain of Poor Learners
In the new research from Rush University Medical Center, mice were fed cinnamon, which metabolized into sodium benzoate, a medication used to treat brain damage. The hypothesis was that when this metabolite entered the brain, it would increase CREB and decrease GABRA5, thereby improving learning ability. To test the theory, mice were trained in how to find a single hole in a maze, so the good learners and bad learners could be identified. Then the learning ability of the mice was reassessed after they were injected with dissolved cinnamon.
The results showed the performance of the bad learners improved, but the performance of the good learners remained the same. In addition, analysis of the mice’s brain cells revealed the bad learners’ neurons became more plastic and had a greater capacity to change. The findings suggest that while cinnamon won’t boost the brainpower of people who don’t have a problem with learning, it might be an effective means of helping people who have difficulty with it.
“We have successfully used cinnamon to reverse biochemical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with poor learning,” Pahan said.
If the results can be duplicated in students who are poor learners, “it would be a remarkable advance,” he added. The study was published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.
What Are Other Health Benefits of Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is definitely a health enhancer. In July of 2014, Pahan discovered the sodium benzoate metabolite of the spice could reverse changes in the brain of mice with Parkinson’s disease. Other studies show cinnamon may help fight cancer and regulate blood sugar as well as reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol.
Add Cinnamon to Your Diet
According to Pahan, Ceylon cinnamon is much purer than Chinese cinnamon, which contains a liver-damaging toxin. It’s easy to include the spice in your diet because a small amount perks up the flavor of almost anything. Add a dash to your coffee, tea, apple cider, smoothie or hot chocolate. You can also sprinkle some in your oatmeal, cereal, cottage cheese or yogurt.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.