January 25, 2012
What to take with cinnamon
We’ve known for thousands of years that cinnamon is great for your health. In recent decades, studies have shown that it fights diabetes, cancer, and arthritis. A new study out of Israel shows that an extract of the spice has the ability to fight dangerous viruses such as influenza, herpes, and even HIV. But that’s not all. This same group of researchers from Israel showed that the same extract inhibits Alzheimer’s disease.
As you may know, one key indicator of Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of the destructive beta amyloid protein. This protein kills neurons. Israeli Zoology Professor Michael Ovadia discovered that cinnamon extract can prevent and even reverse the accumulation of this protein.
The first part of the study showed that it stopped the formation of the amyloid protein. But, the researchers were surprised to discover that the extract actually disassembled the larger toxic proteins that had already formed. This was clear evidence that not only can the extract prevent a key step in Alzheimer’s, but actually treat it! So, they took it to the next step with live animals.
In the second phase of the study, they followed mice they genetically altered with five mutations that rapidly lead to Alzheimer’s. They also followed fruit flies they had genetically altered to produce early beta amyloid protein. In both creatures, the genetic alterations led to shortened life span. The extract also reduced the animals’ normal aggressive behavior.
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The researchers then added the extract to the flies’ food or to the drinking water of the mice. They found that it inhibited the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The treated animals were similar to healthy members of their species, both in terms of life span, and behavior. The extract substantially decreased the Alzheimer’s plaques in their brains. The difference between the treated and control groups was extraordinarily significant.
With all this great news, I still don’t recommend that you run out and scarf down a ton of cinnamon. It does contain compounds that can harm your liver. Prof. Ovadia says that you can consume 6-10 grams per day without harming the liver. However, to get the benefits of the substance he extracted, you’d need to consume “tens of grams per day at least, which starts to become dangerous,” according to Prof. Ovadia. For that reason, his team is researching the extraction process of the active compounds. Tel Aviv University has submitted a patent application for the substance and its activity. The report states the extract is inexpensive and very safe. But it’s not yet available in this country. So what can you do?
I suggest you add up to one teaspoon of cinnamon powder to your food every day. This will give you some of the benefits of the spice without damaging your liver. Then take other nutrients with the cinnamon. Some that I recommend include luteolin, ginkgo biloba, blueberry, acetyl l-carnitine, and other brain-protecting nutrients. Taking these nutrients will give you a multi-pronged protective effect. And you get the protection without any side effects. You can order these additional nutrients in the product Advanced Memory Formula from Advanced Bionutritionals.
Ref: PLoS One. 2011 Jan 28;6(1):e16564.
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