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Cinnamon May Slow Progression of Parkinson’s Disease

Cinnamon may be the latest addition to the list of recognized “brain” foods. The sweet spice contains a chemical that can help protect the brain and new research shows it may even halt the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center found that ground cinnamon eaten by mice with Parkinson’s improved their motor functions, stopped the loss of Parkin and DJ-1 and normalized neurotransmitter levels.

When eaten, the liver converts cinnamon into the chemical sodium benzoate, an FDA-approved drug for neural disorders.

The two most common types of cinnamon sold in the U.S. are Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamon cassia) and Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum). Both types convert to sodium benzoate, but according to Dr. Kalipada Pahan, the study’s lead researcher, Ceylon is better because it is more pure.

The next step is to test the effects of ground cinnamon on humans with PD.

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