Eating Well, Women's Health

Cinnamon Helps Burn Fat

At least one ingredient in holiday sweets may be good for you. Cinnamon, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, encourages fat cells to burn energy. In a news release from the school, researchers point out that fat cells normally store energy in the form of lipids, which was good thing for our distant ancestors, who needed to store fat. We, on the other hand, often need to lose fat, and the researchers think that cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavor, could help us do that. Scientists have known for a while that cinnamaldehyde appeared to protect mice against obesity and hyperglycemia, but they didn’t know how. When the researchers tested treated human fat cells with cinnamaldehyde, they noticed increased expression of several genes and enzymes that enhance lipid metabolism.  “Now,” the researchers write, “before anyone goes dumping tons of extra cinnamon in their egg nog in hopes of keeping holiday-season pounds at bay, further study is needed to determine how best to harness cinnamaldehyde’s metabolic benefits without causing adverse side effects.”




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