Do not hold out hope for the Cinnabon Diet just yet. A recent study published in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental indicates cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil (rather than a useless oil) that provides cinnamon its flavor, may possibly potentially help fat cells burn energy.
This study does not automatically mean that ditching a fistful of cinnamon in your latte can allow you to drop weight. The research was a laboratory experiment in which a team of researchers from the University of Michigan (Juan Jiang, Margo P. Emont, Heejin Jun, Xiaona Qiao, Jiling Liao, Dong-il Kim, and Jun Wu) got fat cells (also called adipocytes) from mice and various human volunteers who had undergone liposuction. After treating these cells with cinnamaldehyde, the researchers noticed some interesting changes. There was greater expression of genes and production of proteins that assist with lipid metabolism and fat burning. The researchers did point out that these findings are consistent with results from previous studies that gave mice cinnamaldehyde as supplements to their food and observed less weight reduction and better blood glucose control. Yes, cinnamon may be on a bit of a roll.
Of course, you probably are not a mouse. Additionally, your fat cells are often inside rather than outside your body. (If they were, losing weight would be a whole lot easier). Moreover, eating cinnamon might not be the same as placing cinnamaldehyde on your fat cells because cinnamon that goes into your mouth has to travel a long way to reach your fat cells and may not necessarily make it there. Therefore, it is not clear just how much cinnamon you’d have to consume to have any impact.
Another issue is that cinnamon is often on food that is not exactly known for their weight loss properties – such as cinnamon rolls, cakes, doughnuts or cookies. Consuming lots of cinnamon rolls to get rid of weight would be like buying dozens of plane tickets merely to get enough miles to get a “free” trip.
But, there is some evidence that cinnamon in a human diet may potentially have some metabolism- and weight-related advantages, besides causing you to burn off calories by coughing and coughing. For example,a study conducted a systematic review that analyzed results from 10 clinical trials found that eating cinnamon was associated with significantly lower fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and higher HDL cholesterol levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes. In another instance, a review article in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology summarized several studies in which healthy volunteers didn’t have as high increases in their blood glucose, had better insulin responses, and had slower draining of their stomach when they had cinnamon with their meals. Slower emptying of the stomach may help people feel fuller longer after eating.
Cinnamon may be a rather “complex spice.” Nonetheless, before you make any stronger conclusions about cinnamon being able to help with weight loss, consider the Andrea True disco song and wait for “more, more, more” scientific studies to be done.