The study was a collaborative effort from researchers at the National Institute of Forest Science, Andong National University, and Kyonggi University in South Korea. In particular, they took an extract from the twigs of the Chinese cinnamon, which they studied its ability to prevent cell growth and induce cell death (apoptosis) in human colorectal cancer cells. To understand the antiproliferative effect, that is, the ability to inhibit growth, of the extract – as well as the change of protein or mRNA levels – of the extract, researchers used an MTT assay to check cell activity, including a Western blot, and RT-RCR, respectively.
Based on the findings, researchers discovered that extracts derived from the twigs of the Chinese cinnamon were able to reduce the chances of human colorectal cancer cells to infiltrate other cells successfully. In particular, this was successful because the extract decreased cyclin D1 protein levels, which had a role in cell proliferation. They also found that the extract stimulated apoptosis by activating ROS-dependent NF-?B and ATF3.
The researchers then concluded that Chinese cinnamon could be used as an agent in treating colorectal cancer. "This study may support the anti-cancer property of TC-HW [C. cassia extracts] from and our data will provide the complementary and alternative use of TC-HW for cancer treatment," they wrote.
In the U.S., the most common type of cinnamon sold is the cassia variety. On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon (C. zeylanicum) is another variety of cinnamon that is more difficult to find, making it more expensive. Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the Cinnamomum tree, in which the inner bark is then extracted while the woody parts are removed. Upon drying, it forms strips that curl into rolls called cinnamon sticks, which can be grounded to form the cinnamon powder. The oily part of cinnamon gives its distinct smell and flavor. This part is also abundant in a compound called cinnamaldehyde. This compound is responsible for most of the beneficial effects of cinnamon. More than just a spice, cinnamon has been known for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. (Related: Chinese Cinnamon Twig Tea for Your Summer Cold.)
Listed below are some of the health benefits of cinnamon:
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