File this under news that kinda sorta makes our day. According to a recent study out of Rush University Medical Center, cinnamon may soon give some of our beloved superfoods a run for their money when it comes to cognitive benefits. Yep, cinnamon may in fact make you smarter.
The study conducted by neurological scientists found that by feeding mice cinnamon, their learning and memory retention improved. The science behind why and how this could possibly be true is fascinating, and centers our attention to the hippocampus, the part of the brain that generates, organizes, and stores memory.
After being fed the pure ceylon cinnamon, the mice's bodies began metabolizing it into sodium benzoate—a good turn of events, because sodium benzoate, as it turns out, is a chemical used in the treatment of brain damage. As the sodium benzoate entered the mice's brains, it increased CREB levels (a protein involved in memory and learning) and stimulated the plasticity of hippocampal neurons, among other unexpected effects. The result, in short, was markedly better memory and learning skills judged by the study mice's performance in a typical maze experiment.
"This would be one of the safest and the easiest approaches to convert poor learners to good learners," shared Kalipada Pahan, the lead researcher of the study. In the meantime, we're going to go ahead and take this as science-approved encouragement to whip up some of these mouth-watering chai pear cinnamon rolls.
Tell us: Would you up your cinnamon intake based upon these findings?