Have you been struggling to shed some extra pounds around your belly? A certain kitchen ingredient may come handy in your drill, suggests anew study. Cinnamon, a common household spice may have abilities to improve your metabolic rate and aid weight loss, suggests a new study.
The study published in the journal Metabolism revealed that that cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavour, can boost metabolism, which ensures faster burning of fat cells. Cinnamaldehyde, acts directly on fat cells, or adipocytes, inducing them to start burning energy through a process called thermogenesis.
"Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it," said Jun Wu, research assistant professor at the University of Michigan. "So if it can help protect against obesity, too, it may offer an approach to metabolic health that is easier for patients to adhere to," Wu said.
Cinnamon's trusted fame in the food industry may convince patients to stick to a cinnamon-based treatment than to a traditional drug regimen, said researchers on an optimistic note.
The findings revealed that when the human cells were treated with cinnamaldehyde, there was a spike in expression of several genes and enzymes that enhance lipid metabolism. There was also an increase in Ucp1 and Fgf21 - important metabolic regulatory proteins involved in thermogenesis.
The scientists explained, that adipocytes tends to store energy in the form of lipids, which could then be used by the body in times of scarcity or in cold temperatures to prompt adipocytes to convert stored energy into heat - a defense mechanism used by our distant ancestors, who had much less access to high-fat foods and thus a much greater need to store fat.
But with the rise in obesity, researchers have beenona lookout for ways to trigger fat cells into activate thermogenesis, turning those fat-burning processes back on. "Cinnamaldehyde may offer one such activation method," Wu noted.