Cinnamon compound may prevent colon cancer

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Published: June 17, 2015 7:37:55 PM

A compound that gives cinnamon its distinctive flavour and smell may have the potential to fight colon cancer, a new study has found.

A compound that gives cinnamon its distinctive flavour and smell may have the potential to fight colon cancer, a new study has found.

Researchers have found that adding the compound cinnamaldehyde to the diet protected mice against colorectal cancer also known as colon cancer or bowel cancer.

In response to cinnamaldehyde, the animals’ cells had acquired the ability to protect themselves against exposure to a cancer causing agent through detoxification and repair, researchers said.

“This is a significant finding,” said co-author Donna Zhang, professor at the University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

“Because colorectal cancer is aggressive and associated with poor prognoses, there is an urgent need to develop more effective strategies against this disease,” Zhang said.

“Given cinnamon’s important status as the third-most-consumed spice in the world, there’s relatively little research on its potential health benefits,” said Georg Wondrak, associate professor at the University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy.

“If we can ascertain the positive effects of cinnamon, we would like to leverage this opportunity to potentially improve the health of people around the globe,” he said.

The next step in the research is to test whether cinnamon, as opposed to cinnamaldehyde, prevents cancer using this same cancer model.

Since cinnamon is a common food additive already considered safe for consumption, a study in humans may not be too far off, the researchers said.

The study will appear in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

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