The spice of life—cinnamon cools your stomach
Adding cinnamon to your diet can cool your body by up to two degrees, according to research published today.
And the spice may also contribute to a general improvement in overall health.
The research has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Project leader Distinguished Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, from RMIT's School of Engineering, said the results of the study, which used pigs, seemed to show that cinnamon maintained the integrity of the stomach wall.
"When pigs feed at room temperature, carbon dioxide (CO2) gas increases in their stomach.
"Cinnamon in their food reduces this gas by decreasing the secretion of gastric acid and pepsin from the stomach walls, which in turn cools the pigs' stomachs during digestion.
"When the pigs are hot, they hyperventilate, which reduces CO2 production. With cinnamon treatment, CO2 decreases even further.
"This not only cools the pigs but leads to a significant improvement in their overall health."
Fellow researcher Dr Jian Zhen Ou said: "Altogether cinnamon cooled the stomach by up to 2C.
"No wonder cinnamon is so popular in warm regions as taking it makes people feel better and gives them a feeling of cooling down."
The research is part of a bigger study at RMIT into gut health using swallowable gas sensor capsules or smart pills, developed at the University.
Kalantar-zadeh said gut gases were the by-product of digestion and could provide valuable insights into the functioning and health of the gut.
"Our experiments with pigs and cinnamon show how swallowable gas sensor capsules can help provide new physiological information that will improve our understanding of diet or medicine.
"They are a highly reliable device for monitoring and diagnosing gastrointestinal disorders. They will revolutionise food science as we know it."
Scientists at the University of Melbourne and Monash University also contributed to the paper, entitled "Potential of in vivo real-time gastric gas profiling: a pilot evaluation of heat-stress and modulating dietary cinnamon effect in an animal model."