Can Cinnamon Help Treat Alzheimer’s and Improve Cognition?

Can Cinnamon Help Treat Alzheimer's and Improve Cognition_
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While there is still no officially known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the list of natural compounds that can help sufferers treat it, manage it, or offset its harmful effects is starting to pile up.

Better yet, so many of these compounds are extremely common, easy to get, or perhaps in your pantry already.

Can we add cinnamon to the list?

Some very promising research out of Israel, published in January 2011 in the journal PLoS One seems to indicate we can.

Let’s check it out.

First of all, let’s establish what the researchers were studying.

It is believed that the accumulation of β-amyloid polypeptide (Aβ) plays an important role in Alzheimer’s pathology. The theory goes that if Aβ plaque formation can be inhibited, then perhaps the progression of Alzheimer’s can at least be inhibited as well as improving cognitive function.

How does cinnamon figure in?

The researchers tested a cinnamon extract on Alzheimer’s-afflicted mice (we are VERY against animal testing here and present these findings for informational purposes only). They found the cinnamon extract to lead to a marked decrease in 56 kDa Aβ oligomers (shown to be correlated with impaired cognitive function in mice) as well as an increase in cognitive behavior.

In fact, they found cognitive performance to be almost the same as non-AD mice that were studied, which is an astounding result!

This indicates that, should these results be replicable in humans, the simple spice cinnamon could be a valuable tool in potentially reducing the plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and improving cognition.

So what cautions should we take regarding these results?

First of all, although mice often serve as a good model for what to expect in humans, humans they are not. Until we know how real people respond to this treatment, we don’t know for sure.

Secondly, we do not know which part of the cinnamon extract was responsible for the positive effects, nor do we know if that part is able to cross the blood brain barrier.

Which means, if you do consume cinnamon for this purpose, you may not know yet whether or not the necessary compounds are able to get where they are needed.

Lastly, without knowing the compound in cinnamon potentially responsible for the positive effects, it is very difficult to know the proper dosage and whether or not cinnamon in its whole form can have a significant impact.

So while consuming cinnamon in its whole form could be helpful, we don’t know from these results whether or not it will be significant.

With all that said, the results here are extremely encouraging.

When added to the growing list of other common foods that have shown potential to help treat Alzheimer’s and improve cognitive function, we may be getting closer and closer to putting together a dietary plan to help Alzheimer’s sufferers.

If we haven’t already.

So, if you are safely able to consume cinnamon (if you are a diabetic, it can lower blood sugar so be careful), talk to your doctor to see if it is safe to add to your diet.

And here is a link to more studies regarding foods and their potential against Alzheimer’s. (You might be surprised how common some of the foods with potential benefits are!)

Thank you for being here and here’s to your health!


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