- Obesity risk could be lowered by eating more cinammon, scientists claim
- Essential oil cinnamaldehyde forces fat cells to burn energy
- Cinnamon could reduce the amount of energy stored in the body
- Adding more cinnamon to diet could be easier than creating supplements
Adding more cinnamon to our diet could reduce the risk of obesity, according to scientists at the University of Michigan.
The festive spice contains an essential oil – cinnamaldehyde – which forces fat cells to start burning energy.
Fat usually stores all of its energy, which could lead to weight gain.
But, the researchers said cinnamon could be a solution to the obesity epidemic, by reducing the amount of energy stored in the body.
“Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it,” said Jun Wu, researcher working on the study.
“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.”
Previous research had revealed cinnamaldehyde, which gives cinnamon its flavour, protected mice against obesity.
Until now, scientists weren’t sure how the spice managed to prevent weight gain, though.
Human fat cells were treated with cinnamaldehyde to uncover the findings. The cells were donated by a range of ages, ethnicities and body mass indices, the scientists said.
Seeing as cinnamon is already used extensively in the food sector, it may be easier for people to eat more of the spice, than to use medical supplements, said Wu.
“It’s only been relatively recently that energy surplus has become a problem,” said Wu.
“Throughout evolution, the opposite – energy deficiency – has been the problem. So, any energy-consuming process usually turns off the moment the body doesn’t need it.”
More research was needed to confirm that cinnamon could help to prevent obesity, however.
Meanwhile, whey protein has been found to blast fat while stoping dieters from feeling hungry.
In 2015, 58 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men were either overweight or obese, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Almost three-quarters of adults don’t eat the recommended five fruit or vegetables a day, it also revealed.