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Cinnamon can ‘help cool the body’

Cinnamon can ‘help cool the body’

Adding cinnamon to your diet could help cool your body and promote general improvement of overall health, a new study claims.

The study, undertaken by researchers at RMIT University in Australia, found that cinnamon has the ability to help maintain the integrity of the stomach wall.

Furthermore, animal models who consumed cinnamon as part of their daily diet cooled their body down by up to two degrees Celsius.

"No wonder cinnamon is so popular in warm regions as taking it makes people feel better and gives them a feeling of cooling down," said Dr. Jian Zhen Ou.

For the study, the researchers used four female crossbred pigs. The pigs were kept in four different conditions and were fed with a commercial ration supplemented with 0 or 1.5 per cent cinnamon. The pigs were housed under either thermoneutral or heat-stress conditions.

The researchers observed that carbon dioxide inside the pigs' stomach increases when they were fed at room temperature. When given the cinnamon supplement, the pig’s stomach cools down during ingestion. The cooling effect of the cinnamon is the result of reduced carbon dioxide concentration in the pigs' stomach. The cinnamon decreases the secretion of gastric acid and pepsin from the stomach walls, causing the reduction of carbon dioxide.

With their findings, the researchers hope to “revolutionise” food science by showing how ingestible gas sensor capsules can provide valuable insights into the functioning and health of the gut.

"Our experiments with pigs and cinnamon show how swallowable gas sensor capsules can help provide new physiological information that will improve our understanding of diet or medicine," said Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh.

Cinnamon is best known as a spice, sprinkled on toast and cappuccinos or mixed into meals. But extracts from the bark of the cinnamon tree have also been used traditionally as medicine throughout the world.

Some studies have found that a particular type of cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes, while other lab studies have found that cinnamon may reduce inflammation and have antioxidant effects. It is recommended that people have no more than half to one teaspoon (2-4 grams) of powder a day, as very high doses may be toxic.

The research has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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