Cinnamon is known as an excellent antioxidant that improves fasting blood sugars and prevents heart disease. Now new research offers yet another benefit and reason to add this potent spice to our daily diet.
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have confirmed that cinnamon helps protect against Alzheimer’s disease. They found that the cinnamon compounds cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin help stop the formation of “tangles” of tau protein in the brain, hallmarks of the memory-robbing neurodegenerative disease.
The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, says these powerful antioxidants that give cinnamon its potent flavor and scent defend mental function in a unique way. “Take, for example, sunburn, a form of oxidative damage,” explains Roshni Graves, of USC’s department of molecular, cellular and developmental biology. “If you wore a hat, you could protect your face and head from oxidation. In a sense, this cinnamaldehyde is like a cap” protecting against tau proteins.
The findings suggest that sufficient cinnamon consumption might stop the progression of Alzheimer’s or even prevent it.