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Can Cinnamon Limit MS Symptoms?

August 12, 2015

While we’re not exactly going to tell you to start stuffing your face with the sinfully delicious Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, cinnamon itself has the potential to benefit your multiple sclerosis symptoms.

Spices are awesome—they are chemicals so they can potentially act like medications (nutraceuticals) in the body. Most spice studies have looked at curcumin, but it is now cinnamon that is being examined for the benefits it can offer MS patients.

The cinnamon we know and love comes from the Cinnamomum tree, which has been used in traditional medicine for upset stomachs, menstrual cramps, appetite stimulants and used for treating the common cold.

When consumed, the spice is converted to sodium benzoate in the liver. Not only is sodium benzoate a food additive used to prevent bacteria and fungi from growing in fruit juices and jams, but also a component in an FDA-approved medication known as Ucephan, which is used to treat metabolic disorders in children.

To study the spice’s effects on MSpatients, true cinnamon powder—cinnamon from Sri Lanka, also known as Cinnamonum verum—was fed to mice that had the animal equivalent to MS. Several aspects of the abnormal immune response seen in MS were then alt ered by the cinnamon and appeared to have preserved cells that re-regulated the abnormal response in MS.

Cinnamon also blocked inflammatory cells from invading the spinal cord and inhibited very damaging immune cells. In addition to this, remyelination of their damaged myelin had been observed as well. The overall result concluded that the cinnamon-fed animals had less severe MS-like symptoms than those that did not consume the spice.

 

Although the studies seem promising for MS, overloading your diet with cinnamon or cinnamon-containing products will not necessarily help control the inflammatory process in MS. Since this study was solely conducted on animals, more research is of course needed to fully determine if cinnamon has the same effect on people. 

Can Cinnamon Limit MS Symptoms? - Wed August 12, 2015 11:26 AM