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Cinnamon may help fight against obesity

Cinnamon May Help Fight Against Obesity.

Cinnamon May Help Fight Against Obesity.

New studies from the University of Michigan found how a common spice—cinnamon—can help fight against obesity.

Researchers had previously noticed that cinnamaldehyde (a basic oil responsible for cinnamon’s flavor) seemed to defend mice against obesity and hyperglycemia, but it was not well comprehended what prompted this effect.  More study on this process was necessary to see if it would carry over to humans with similar results.

According to their more recent findings, cinnamaldehyde promotes metabolic health by inducing fat cells (adipocytes) to start burning energy utilizing thermogenesis (the process of heat production in organisms).

When donated human fat cells were treated with cinnamaldehyde, some changes in the genes and enzymes improved lipid metabolism (the breaking down of fats in a cell).  An increase in some key proteins that affect thermogenesis was also observed.

Fat cells store energy in the form of lipids, a long-term storage strategy beneficial to our ancestors, as foods high in fat were hard to come by in those times.  These lipids could then be utilized during times of food scarcity or extreme conditions, by converting this stored energy into heat.  It’s in these fairly recent modern times that energy surplus has become problematic, whereas energy deficiency has always been the main problem.  This drastic change has caused our fat-burning process to turn off, so scientists are looking for ways to activate them again.

Research like this is important because the possibility of fighting obesity with cinnamon-based treatments is much easier and better received than traditional drugs.  Further studies are necessary though, to determine how to efficiently control cinnamaldehyde’s benefits and mitigate any side-effects.

Obesity as a major health risk for Diabetes.

Obesity (especially childhood obesity) is also one of the major risk-factors associated with type 2 diabetes and usually begins with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in where muscle, liver, and fat cells do not process insulin well.  Because of this resistance to insulin, the pancreas must compensate with even more insulin to keep glucose levels in check.  Over some time though, the Pancreas is not able to meet the body’s demand causing glucose levels to rise.

Other risk-factors include sedentary lifestyles, increasing age, bad diet, and even genetics in where genes can increase tendencies to become overweight.

Treatments for people with diabetes involve low carb / low calorie diets, regular blood glucose testing, insulin injections/pumps, and medication that helps improve response to insulin.

 

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