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kholden

Animal study: Cinnamon may be used to halt the progression of PD

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I'm not getting excited just yet; this is an animal study. But I will be watching for further research. -Kathrynne

8-Jul-2014

Contact: Deb Song
deb_song@rush.edu
312-942-0588
Rush University Medical Center

Cinnamon may be used to halt the progression of Parkinson's disease

Study results published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology

(CHICAGO) – Neurological scientists at Rush University Medical Center have found that using cinnamon, a common food spice and flavoring material, can reverse the biomechanical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with Parkinson's disease (PD). The results of the study were recently published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

"Cinnamon has been used widely as a spice throughout the world for centuries," said Kalipada Pahan, PhD, study lead researcher and the Floyd A. Davis professor of neurology at Rush. "This could potentially be one of the safest approaches to halt disease progression in Parkinson's patients."

"Cinnamon is metabolized in the liver to sodium benzoate, which is an FDA-approved drug used in the treatment for hepatic metabolic defects associated with hyperammonemia," said Pahan. It is also widely used as a food preservative due to its microbiocidal effect.

Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamonum cassia) and original Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) are two major types of cinnamon that are available in the US.

"Although both types of cinnamon are metabolized into sodium benzoate, by mass spectrometric analysis, we have seen that Ceylon cinnamon is much more pure than Chinese cinnamon as the latter contains coumarin, a hepatotoxic molecule," said Pahan.

"Understanding how the disease works is important to developing effective drugs that protect the brain and stop the progression of PD," said Pahan. "It is known that some important proteins like Parkin and DJ-1 decrease in the brain of PD patients."

The study found that after oral feeding, ground cinnamon is metabolized into sodium benzoate, which then enters into the brain, stops the loss of Parkin and DJ-1, protects neurons, normalizes neurotransmitter levels, and improves motor functions in mice with PD.

This research was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health.

"Now we need to translate this finding to the clinic and test ground cinnamon in patients with PD. If these results are replicated in PD patients, it would be a remarkable advance in the treatment of this devastating neurodegenerative disease," said Dr. Pahan.

Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive disease that affects a small area of cells within the mid-brain known as the substantia nigra. Gradual degeneration of these cells causes a reduction in a vital chemical neurotransmitter, dopamine. The decrease in dopamine results in one or more of the classic signs of Parkinson's disease that includes: resting tremor on one side of the body; generalized slowness of movement; stiffness of limbs; and gait or balance problems. The cause of the disease is unknown. Both environmental and genetic causes of the disease have been postulated.

Parkinson's disease affects about 1.2 million patients in the United States and Canada. Although 15 percent of patients are diagnosed before age 50, it is generally considered a disease that targets older adults, affecting one of every 100 persons over the age of 60. This disease appears to be slightly more common in men than women.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-07/rumc-cmb070814.php

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Hi Kathrynne,

 

I've been eating apple sauce and wheat germ mixed with a heavy dose of cinnamon every night as an aid to my constipation for over a year now.  Unfortunately, I still seem to be progressing.  I wonder how much cinnamon must be ingested for it to have a positive effect.

 

Dave

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Hi Kathrynne,

I guess I'll add this to my diet. I love cinnamon.

Any suggestions on how much to take daily? I will start with a tbsp. in my fruit smoothie and see what happens.

 

Thanks,

Karen

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While we wait for further research would it be a problem to try a supplement. Any side effects that you are aware of?

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Wow.  It does sound too good to be true but hope springs eternal.  Thanks for posting.  Any word on the amount to be ingested to generate the positive reaction?

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Daven, because the study was conducted on mice, we don't know what an appropriate amount would be for humans. The study used Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) powder, not Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamonum cassia), which may contain coumarins, a substance that in very large amounts over time could cause liver damage.

 

In practice, cinnamon in the amounts of one gram, three grams, and six grams has been found to slow stomach emptying and lower fasting blood sugar in diabetes; it seems, therefore, that up to six grams daily would be safe; although in the case of those with gastroparesis (slowed stomach emptying) it would be best to experiment carefully. Delayed stomach emptying can also cause delayed medication uptake. Whether 6 grams would be effective for PD, we don't know at this time. Six grams = 1.217 teaspoon [uS].

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Karen, see my response to Daven. To my knowledge up to six grams / day has been used for blood glucose control (that's a little over one teaspoon), but whether that would affect PD, we don't know yet. Do be certain to use Ceylon cinnamon, not cassia, which in large amounts could affect the liver. I will certainly post any new information that comes my way.

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Patricia, a Google search will bring up several sites. To identify and be certain you are getting the true cinnamon, it may be best to purchase it in stick form. This site tells how to identify cassia from Ceylon (true) cinnamon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamon

 

Here are two sites that purport to sell the true cinnamon, although I have no experience with the products and could not verify the integrity of the sellers:

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=organic+ceylon+cinnamon&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=3521208376&ref=pd_sl_77jqu2ptg4_b

 

http://www.ceylon-cinnamon.com/About-Us.html

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Thank you Kathrynne,

As always you provide us with such good info!

 

Thanks,

 

Karen

 Karen, I receive so much more from this forum than I could possibly give back!

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Wow.  It does sound too good to be true but hope springs eternal.  Thanks for posting.  Any word on the amount to be ingested to generate the positive reaction?

 

Rogerstar, in other types of studies (diabetes, for blood glucose control), up to 6 grams per day for 40 days has been used, so it seems that amount should be safe. But we don't know whether or what amount would be effective for PD, as human trials have yet to be conducted.

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While we wait for further research would it be a problem to try a supplement. Any side effects that you are aware of?

Noah, I don't see any problem with trying up to 6 grams per day -- that amount has been used in trials for diabetes so it appears safe. I would choose Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum), as the more common cassia cinnamon found in most grocery stores contains varying degrees of coumarins, which in large amounts and for an extended period of time could cause liver problems.

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Finding Ceylon cinnamon in grocery stores, even Whole Foods is hard. I ordered from a store through Amazon, Organic (of course).  It was a pound. We put it on fruit (mango/blueberry/strawberry) in morning along with Flaxseed (we are vegan) but no or low protein in morning is good to not compete for uptake of meds. The high fiber and low glycemic value of mango plus antioxidants of blueberry plus the  energy boost all can help.

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Finding Ceylon cinnamon in grocery stores, even Whole Foods is hard. I ordered from a store through Amazon, Organic (of course).  It was a pound. We put it on fruit (mango/blueberry/strawberry) in morning along with Flaxseed (we are vegan) but no or low protein in morning is good to not compete for uptake of meds. The high fiber and low glycemic value of mango plus antioxidants of blueberry plus the  energy boost all can help.

DougZ, that has been my experience also. I had heard of true cinnamon years ago and wanted to try it. But I never found a local source, and I lost interest until this recent study appeared.

 

I, too, fix a bowl of mixed fruit in the mornings, and love mango when it's available. Love flaxseed too, and add it to my whole-wheat bread dough, it adds to both flavor and texture.

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I found ceylon cinnamon in our local health food store. Bought it today and grounded it up. Used 1tsp in my fruit smoothie! And flax seed and coconut oil!

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For a 1 1/2-pound loaf of whole-wheat bread, I use 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed. To me, it adds a pleasing "nutty" flavor to the bread. I do like the sound of your smoothies, though. I think I'm going to start experimenting, there is so much wonderful fruit available right now. Seems like a really good way to incorporate coconut oil, as well as the flaxseed.

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