In a study from Birjand University of Medical Sciences, scientists found that cinnamon may play a role in preventing or reducing memory or learning impairments.
Cinnamon, the well-known aromatic spice that many of us use to bake cakes and cook savory dishes, is derived from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees.
In addition to its unique flavor, cinnamon could have other beneficial properties for humans.
For instance, studies suggest that cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties, and can also boost the immune system.
In the study, the team reviewed 40 past studies exploring the effects of cinnamon on cognitive functions.
Their analysis highlights the potential value of cinnamon for preventing or reducing memory or learning impairments.
Overall, most of the studies they looked at suggested that cinnamon could positively impact both memory and cognitive function.
In vivo studies (examining real living organisms, such as humans, rodents, or other animals) showed that using cinnamon or its components, such as eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, and cinnamic acid, could positively alter cognitive function.
In vitro studies (outside of living organisms, for instance by analyzing cells or post-mortem tissue) also showed that adding cinnamon or cinnamaldehyde to a cell medium can reduce tau aggregation, Amyloid β and increase cell viability.
Out of the two clinical studies included, one was conducted on adolescents and the other on pre-diabetic adults who were 60 years old or younger.
The first study asked the adolescents to chew cinnamon gum, while the latter asked participants to eat 2g of cinnamon on white bread.
The study on adolescents yielded positive results, suggesting that chewing cinnamon gum improved memory function and reduced anxiety.
In contrast, the clinical study on pre-diabetic adults found no strong changes in cognitive function following the consumption of cinnamon.
The team says most studies reported that cinnamon might be useful for preventing and reducing cognitive function impairment.
It can be used as an adjuvant in the treatment of related diseases. However, more studies need to be done on this subject.
They suggest that cinnamon and some of its active components could have positive effects on the functioning of the human brain, boosting memory and learning.
If you care about brain health, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and how alcohol, coffee and tea intake influence cognitive decline.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and Coconut oil could help improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease.
The study was conducted by Samaneh Nakhaee et al and published in Nutritional Neuroscience.
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