Lab studies shows Cinnamon may possess anti-Alzheimer's activity

When it comes to cinnamon nutrition, the first notion that comes to mind is a blood sugar. It helps support regulation of blood glucose as well as the support for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Oddly enough cinnamon was investigated to have cognitive function in certain applications. Researchers has undergone in-depth coverage unraveling the potential effects on brain health. Here’s are some published studies of cinnamon’s therapeutic effects on cognition.

Cognitive Studies

Researchers investigated cinnamon’s neuroprotective mechanisms on brain trauma. When the brain goes through a traumatic event, it can sustain substantial damage through the vessels, neuronal region and fibrous tissues. The injuries can result in dead tissue damage, swelling, oxidative and other neuroinflammatory issues. Ultimately, it effects cognitive behavior, learning, memory, and overall function if not treated appropriately.

1. Multiple reports unveiled cinnamon’s activity against Alzheimer’s by engaging in insulin signaling and pro-cognitive functions. Most of the studies were aimed to ameliorate the issues of Alzheimer’s by testing cinnamon’s role in a neurological setting.

One study recorded cinnamon to have anti-amyloid activity by suppressing β-secretase enzyme. (1)

Toxic beta-amyloids are proteins that form plaques between neurons and cells which may interrupt cell communication. The enzyme responsible for the development of these proteins is called the beta-secretase. This precursor enzyme is the main constituent which can lead to neurodegenerative disorders.

In a study conducted on Chinese hamsters’ ovarian cells, researchers experimented the effects of cinnamon bark extract on β-Amyloid. Ovarian cells contained amyloid precursor proteins produced by β-secretase and γ-secretase enzymes. After the test, they discovered cinnamon’s chemical profile, medioresinol and cryptamygin A, both of which were responsible for most of β-Amyloid reduction of 50% and 60% respectively. (2)

It was noted that cinnamon’s constituents played a significant role in decreasing β-secretase. These results suggest that these metabolites exerted anti-amyloid production and induced therapeutic action against Alzheimer’s.

In conclusion, cinnamon possesses anti-amyloidogenic activity by reducing the levels of β-secretase. Cinnamon’s inhibitory effects is one of various mechanisms researchers have documented in the quest to treat Alzheimer’s.

"These results suggest that the antiamyloidogenic activity of cinnamon bark extract was exerted by medioresinol and cryptamygin A via a reduction in the amount of β-secretase. The extract of cinnamon bark contains potentially valuable antiamyloidogenic agents for the prevention and treatment of AD. " (2)

2. In another study, researchers tested the effects of cinnamon both in lab and on mice. Researchers introduced mice with an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s disease and tested it with an aqueous cinnamon extract form. During the study, cinnamon was observed to inhibit beta-amyloids formation by preventing the growth of pre-beta-amyloid molecules from maturation. (3)

Exploring other measures, researchers discovered that cinnamon was able to decrease beta-amyloid fibrillation. (4) Fibrils are a collective formation of soluble proteins into insoluble proteins which makes them resistant to degradation. Therefore, these plaque-like proteins can be difficult to breakdown naturally which can lead to neurological damages.

After comprehending cinnamon’s neuro-mechanisms, researchers began another experiment with cinnamon and mice with Alzheimer's. The mice ingested cinnamon through their drinking water for 120 days. Researchers discovered a significant improvement in memory and cognitive behavior compared to the untreated group. They concluded that cinnamon may have cured cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s but not the disease entirely. (5)

Further examination, cinnamon was able to decrease beta-amyloid fibrils by 60%, reduce other beta-amyloid plaque by 63%, and overall beta-amyloid reduction by 35%. This suggest that the active compounds of cinnamon may provide may have a inhibitory effect on neurodegenerative substances from Alzheimer’s. (6)

In conclusion, cinnamon does seem to have a profound impact on Alzheimer’s base on a study with mice. It was observed to decrease pre-beta-amyloid formulation in lab studies by decreasing fibrillation.

Subsequently, cinnamon tested on mice with an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s discovered a significant reduction in beta-amyloid and its constituents. This resulted in an improvement in the mice’s memory as well as cognitive behavior.

Base on mice studies, cinnamon was shown to have a substantial benefit in their cognitive recovery. But more clinical studies are needed to verify these consistencies on human subjects.

"Treatment with CEppt led to a remarkable reduction of 60% in the level of the 56 kDa toxic Aβ oligomer...Frontal sections of the hippocampus treated vs. untreated mice were stained with the Aβ-specific 6E10 antibody and revealed a reduction of 42% in plaque load following treatment with CEppt. Furthermore, when stained with Congo red, a specific amyloid-binding dye, a 63% reduction in amyloid plaques was observed. Aβ reduction of about 35% was calculated from the total insoluble Aβ fraction as determined by western blot analysis." (6)

3. Cinnamon was also reported to exhibit antioxidant effects by upregulating nuclear pathways in the brain. Researchers discovered that cinnamon was able to increase antioxidant pathways such as nuclear erythroid factor-2 and regulate inflammatory responses through nuclear factor kappa B. (7)

Nuclear erythroid factor-2 (Nrf2) is a principal transcription factor that regulates antioxidant enzymes and cytoprotection proteins. Essentially, the activation of Nrf2 exerts cellular protection and reduce oxidative stress.

As for nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), this is an inflammatory signaling pathway that induces pro-inflammatory cytokines and pathological responses in various cellular regions. Depending on the inflammatory region and complexity of the signaling, NF-κB can also exhibit anti-inflammatory response.

But in the case with cinnamon, it provided antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties during a traumatic brain injury. In a study with TBI-induce mice, researchers examined cinnamon’s effect on brain swelling and dead tissue cells. The results displayed cinnamon to decrease dead tissue volume, reduce swelling formation, and lessen oxidative injury in mice. (8)

In conclusion, it seems like cinnamon’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity may play a significant role in brain recovery and neuroprotection.

4. Other findings revealed cinnamon increased neural cell adhesion molecules which could be a potential treatment in neural cell production and axonal growth.(9) Neural cell adhesion occurs when cells attach to other cells and their surroundings. The importance is for cells to engage in better communication and regulation.

It also helps develop and maintain new tissues especially for neurons and axonal growth. Axons are branch-like nerve fibers that transmit electrical impulses of information throughout the nervous system. Cinnamon’s potential capability in neuron growth suggests a positive outlook in treating degenerative cognition.

In conclusion, cinnamon does seem to have a direct effect on cognitive recovery by increasing cell adhesion levels. which is important in generating new brain tissue and neuronal function. Although this discovery was experimented with mice, more studies are needed to confirm these claims on humans. It does open potential paths in treatments with against traumatic brain injuries.

"It should be noted that we also have revealed increased neural cell adhesion molecule levels after cinnamon treatment that is an important mediator of neurogenesis and axonal growth" (9)

5. Other study reported cinnamon to inhibit tau accumulations. (10) Tau is another byproduct of Alzheimer’s along with beta-amyloid. It’s essentially an overstimulation of enzymes on tau which leads to tau proteins to aggregate and form neurofibrillary tangles. Tau can lead to brain damages, memory, and learning impairment.

The cinnamon extract was observed to deconstruct tau tangles as well as other protein filament on Alzheimer’s cell samples. Cinnamon’s polyphenol compounds, proanthocyanidin and cinnamaldehyde, both demonstrated inhibitory effect on tau accumulation. (11)

Proanthocyanidin proved to be a potent inhibitor than cinnamaldehyde. Nonetheless cinnamon could be a potential advocate in deescalating neurodegenerative activity. In conclusion, other proponents of cinnamon may unlock cognitive recovery by inhibiting substance buildup from Alzheimer’s. (12)

"The extract of cinnamon efficiently inhibits tau accumulations, Aβ aggregation and toxicity in vivo and in vitro models. Indeed, cinnamon possesses neuroprotective effects interfering multiple oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory pathways." (12)

6. A study conducted an experiment on mice induced with monosodium-glutamate. Mice exhibited symptoms such as insulin resistance, hyperglycaemia, neuronal loss, and cognitive impairment. They received an oral administration of aqueous cinnamon extract for 20 weeks. The end of the trial, researchers revealed the mice’s physiological improvements. (13)

The cinnamon treatment on mice alleviated their insulin sensitivity, inhibited the breakdown of acetylcholine, and increased neuron cell count in mice. It was also noted the rats showed learning improvement due to acetylcholine protection and neuron growth. (14) Acetylcholine is a neurontransmitter that supports nerve responses such as muscle contraction, activates pain receptors, and sleep functions. Inhibitors of this compound can cause deficiencies which can lead to nerve impairment and disrupt various nerve endings around the body.

In conclusion, cinnamon does appear to have therapeutic and multi-action effects on mice’s physiological system. It was capable of significant amelioration in metabolic and cognitive state.

As great as it sounds the study was able to achieve these results only through rats. Clinical trials are still needed to verify cinnamon’s abilities in treating glucose and cognitive impairment. Limited studies pose a barrier in further understanding these effects on humans. Until new information emerges, cinnamon may have cognitive potential it is still far from ready to treat Alzheimer’s.

"The results demonstrated that CE treatment improved the insulin sensitivity, increased phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase-3β (pGSK3β), inhibited the cholinesterase activity, and improved the learning ability in NTAD rats." (14)

7. Another study explored the effects of cinnamon on mice with traumatic brain injury. Researchers applied a cold trauma method to simulate the brain damages. The mice were divided into 2 groups, one receiving cinnamon extract and the other received an injection. Researchers gather brain samples 24hrs after the administration. (15)

Cinnamon extract effectively reduced dead tissue and swelling formations. Not surprisingly, this finding was confirmed from previous studies. But nonetheless, these effects we derived from cinnamon’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Related oxidative and inflammatory parameters altered by cinnamon include nuclear factor-κB (NF- κB), interleukin 1-beta, interleukin 6, and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NFE2L2). (16)

Cinnamon was also seen to positively influence neural cells as well as antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. This study further verifies cinnamon’s cognitive effect by reducing oxidative and inflammatory stresses. (17)

In conclusion, cinnamon does demonstrate cellular protection and brain recovery through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This may suggest cinnamon’s multi-action benefits are applicable in the cerebral region.

It may have a potential future in treating traumatic brain injuries, but the application of cinnamon still requires thorough investigation to yield the same results in humans.

TAKEAWAY: Based on the numerous studies above, cinnamon was confirmed to have cognitive support through various mechanism in the brain. Majority of the observations of cinnamon seem to focus on ameliorating Alzheimer’s. There were no studies on how cinnamon was able to improve overall brain function on healthy subjects which shows limited data on cinnamon’s nootropic abilities.

Cinnamon was observed through cell samples and mice subjects. It was confirmed that cinnamon exerted neuroprotective, pro-cognitive, and brain recovery activity in various test models. Cinnamon was capable of reducing levels of β-secretase, pre-beta-amyloid fibrils, and other protein plaque buildup produced by Alzheimer’s. This suggest cinnamon contains inhibitory effect on neurodegenerative activity.

It was also confirmed that cinnamon displayed cognitive recovery through neuron cell adhesion, axonal growth, and inhibition of acetylcholine breakdown. This finding reveals cinnamon’s activity to support brain cellular rehabilitation.

Cinnamon’s neuroprotective abilities were induced through its phytochemical metabolites, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It was able to reduce oxidative stress and regulate inflammatory responses which lowered dead tissue volume and swelling. It may open new routes and future investigation in a natural approach to alleviate the crippling effects of Alzheimer’s.

There still isn’t enough evidence or studies to verify cinnamon as a natural prevention against neurodegenerative diseases in human trials. But it does in fact possess neuroprotective qualities when tested against Alzheimer’s.

But again, this is all just for educational purposes not for the intent to enhance or heal one’s cognition. For now, cinnamon is one of many spices that can enhance flavor profile and also provide surprising nutrition for the human body.