If you have trouble learning new information, you might want to eat more cinnamon. A study on mice from The Rush University Medical Center found that rodents with poor learning ability became smarter after eating the spice.
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Scientists compared the hippocampus (a small section of the brain that generates, organises and stores memory) of good and poor learners. They found that those who struggle to learn and retain new information had less CREB (a protein involved in memory and learning) and more GABRA5.
How cinnamon improves the brain power of mice
When the ground cinnamon was metabolised by the rodents bodies, it became sodium benzoate - a chemical used as a drug treatment for brain damage. On entering the rodent's brains, sodium benzoate increased CREB, decreased GABRA5, and improved the hippocampal neurons ability to change – resulting in better memory and learning.
Just one month of being fed ground cinnamon was enough to make the mice smarter.
Kalipada Pahan, lead researcher and Professor of Neurology at the University, said: "We have successfully used cinnamon to reverse biochemical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with poor learning.
In previous research, Professor Pahan and his team found that cinnamon could reverse changes in the brains of mice with Parkinson's disease.