Researchers recently proved that adding cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its distinctive flavor and smell, to the diet of mice protected the mice against colorectal cancer. In response to cinnamaldehyde, the animals' cells had acquired the ability to protect themselves against exposure to a carcinogen through detoxification and repair. The research was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
'This is a significant finding,' the researchers said. 'Because colorectal cancer is aggressive and associated with poor prognoses, there is an urgent need to develop more effective strategies against this disease.'
'Given cinnamon's important status as the third-most-consumed spice in the world,' the researchers added, 'there's relatively little research on its potential health benefits. If we can ascertain the positive effects of cinnamon, we would like to leverage this opportunity to potentially improve the health of people around the globe.'
The next step in the research is to test whether cinnamon, as opposed to cinnamaldehyde, prevents cancer using this same cancer model. Because cinnamon is a common food additive already considered safe - it's not a synthetic, novel drug - a study in humans may not be too far off.
Based on material originally posted by University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy.(Image source)