Cinnamon Is Key to Digestive Health, Study Finds

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By Gillie Houston Posted October 12, 2016

A small dose of cinnamon helps lower carbon dioxide levels in the stomach.

Nothing puts the damper on a good meal like an upset stomach in its aftermath. However, new scientific findings show that one common household ingredient could be the key to curbing tummy aches and boosting digestive health overall.

In a recent gut health study, researchers at the Melbourne, Australia-based RMIT University School of Engineering determined that even a small dose of cinnamon helps to drop the carbon dioxide levels in the stomach—lowering body temperatures and aiding with digestion. The results, which were published in the journal Scientific Reports, reveal that cinnamon boosted the overall health of their test subjects—a group of pigs.

Scientists carefully monitored the gas levels in the pigs' stomachs using gas sensor capsules, and found that the animals who were fed food with cinnamon experienced surprising gut benefits. According to professor Kouroush Kalantar-zadeh, the increased carbon dioxide levels typically associated with feeding were reduced by the introduction of cinnamon into the diet. These lowered levels were likely due to a decrease in the "secretion of gastric acid and pepsin from the stomach walls, which in turn cools the pigs' stomach during digestion," Kalantar-zadeh says. In addition to a drop in the carbon dioxide levels, cinnamon also was shown to protect "the walls of the stomach and small intestines, basically protecting the integrity of the gut," the Telegraph reports.

Though the digestive systems of man and pig aren't identical, the study's authors believe that these results could be replicated in humans. According to Kalantar-zadeh, the spice is "an ideal candidate for maintaining normal digestive functionalities and intestinal barrier integrity under the heat-stress condition, while at the same time it has relatively minor adverse-effects that cause minimal disturbance on the intestinal microbial community."

While further tests on humans would be needed to confirm the spice's gut benefits, it couldn't hurt to introduce more to your diet in the meantime; after all, the wonder spice could even help improve your ability to learn new things.

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