- July 19, 2016
- Posted by: emobile
- Category: Researcher's Corner
The role of cinnamon on the ability to learn and remember events has been uncovered in a recent study published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology by some researchers. The study finds that mice that are considered poor learners improve in learning ability after consuming cinnamon.
Cinnamon is a warm, sweet spice that you can sprinkle on top of your latte while consuming a sticky cinnamon roll. It tantalizes your taste buds According to Klipada Pahan, “this would be one of the safest and the easiest approaches to convert poor learners to good learners”. It remains a mystery why some people are naturally good at learning while others struggle with learning.
In their study, the researchers have located proteins in the hippocampus (which is the part of the brain that is involved in memory formation, memory organization, and memory storing) that are present in poor learners.
In poor learners, less of the CREB protein (that plays a role in memory and learning – was present in the hippocampus. More of the alpha5 subunit of GABAA receptor or GABRA5 proteins that generates tonic inhibitory conductance in the brain) was observed in poor learners than those mice that learned more effectively.
The study fed the mice with cinnamon which improved their learning and memory by altering the proteins associated with poor learning. On consuming cinnamon, the mice metabolized the spice into sodium benzoate, which can be used as a treatment for brain damage.
The sodium benzoate had the effect on the mice of increasing the CREB in the brain and decreasing GABRA5 while increasing the ability of the hippocampal neurons to change. Consequently, these changes improved memory and learning. The mice were trained for 2 days in a maze consisting of 20 holes to observe if they could learn to find their target hole.
Pahan further said that they have successfully used cinnamon to reverse biochemical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with poor learning”. One month of feeding the mice cinnamon, those mice deemed as poor learners improved in memory and learning, and the good learners were unchanged according to the researchers.
The team notes that individual difference in learning and educational performance is a global issue. We need to further test this approach in poor learners. They are of the view that if the results are replicated in poor learning students; it would be a remarkable advance.