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Cinnamon may help attack fat, fight obesity, study finds.

"University of Michigan research finds an essential oil in cinnamon attacks fat cells and could be used as a treatment to fight obesity," reported USA Today in November.

Attacks fat cells? That's a rather creative way to describe what happened when the researchers added the cinnamon's oil to test tubes that were holding fat cells. (1)

"The research found the oil cinnamaldehyde boosts metabolic health by prodding fat cells to start burning energy--a process called thermogenesis," explained USA Today.

The fat cells started burning energy? Not quite.

"The results found an 'increased expression' of genes and enzymes that boost metabolism while increasing proteins beneficial to thermogenesis," said the newspaper.

In fact, the researchers were trying to find out how cinnamaldehyde might boost fat burning. Whether--and if so, how much--that happens in people is still unclear.

Bottom Line: Cinnamon oil--not the sprinkle of cinnamon on your cappuccino--could someday turn out to boost fat burning. But it's a long way from test-tube research to a magic bullet to fight obesity. And despite other media reports, cinnamon doesn't lower blood sugar in well-controlled studies (see Jun., p. 7).

(1) Metabolism 77: 58, 2017.

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Author:Liebman, Bonnie
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Mar 1, 2018
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