For those with multiple sclerosis, waiting on Science to find a cure is a long and frustrating process. However, every now and then, Science throws us a bone. Today’s bone: Cinnamon rolls.
A neurological scientist at Rush University Medical Center has received a $750,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine if cinnamon can stop the destructive inflammatory process of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Cinnamon has been used as medicine for centuries. It may also counter the neurotoxic factors released by activated glial cells in the brain. These toxins kill the myelin-producing oligodendrocyte cells. Glial cell toxics are also suspected agents for Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s.
Prior research by the Rush team showed sodium benzoate, a component of cinnamon, inhibited inflammatory molecules and blocked MS disease progression in mice.
According to principal study investigatory Kalipada Pahan, PhD, “[Current MS] medications are expensive, have many side effects, and are only 30-40 percent effective in patients. If our study is successful, there may be a day when just a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon per day with milk, tea or honey, may help MS patients manage the disease process and significantly cut down the drug cost drastically to $10 per month per patient.”
Of course, we can add extra cinnamon to our diet right now if we want. I’m not big on “snake oil” cures, but there is some supporting science and relatively little downside (assuming you like cinnamon). If it turns out to be a dud, there isn’t much loss. It’s always best to check with your doc, but cinnamon appears to have few side effects, except for large and sustained doses.
Any good cinnamon recipes out there?
Yours truly, and still not dead yet, S.H.
Photo credit: By Live♥Laugh♥Love