Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alzheimer's prevention in your pantry

Date:
June 27, 2011
Source:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary:
An extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that can inhibit the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers.

An extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that can inhibit the development of Alzheimer's disease. Don't rush to your spice rack just yet, however. It would take far more than a toxic level of the spice -- more than 10 grams of raw cinnamon a day -- to reap the therapeutic benefits.
Credit: Maria Brzostowska / Fotolia

Alzheimer's, the degenerative brain disorder that disrupts memory, thought and behavior, is devastating to both patients and loved ones. According to the Alzheimer's Association, one in eight Americans over the age of 65 suffers from the disease. Now Tel Aviv University has discovered that an everyday spice in your kitchen cupboard could hold the key to Alzheimer's prevention.

Related Articles


An extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that can inhibit the development of the disease, according to Prof. Michael Ovadia of the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University. His research, conducted in collaboration with Prof. Ehud Gazit, Prof. Daniel Segal and Dr. Dan Frenkel, was recently published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Taking a cue from the ancient world

Prof. Ovadia was inspired to investigate the healing properties of cinnamon by a passage in the Bible. It describes high priests using the spice in a holy ointment, he explains, presumably meant to protect them from infectious diseases during sacrifices. After discovering that the cinnamon extract had antiviral properties, Prof. Ovadia empirically tested these properties in both laboratory and animal Alzheimer's models.

The researchers isolated CEppt by grinding cinnamon and extracting the substance into an aqueous buffer solution. They then introduced this solution into the drinking water of mice that had been genetically altered to develop an aggressive form of Alzheimer's disease, and fruit flies that had been mutated with a human gene that also stimulated Alzheimer's disease and shortened their lifespan.

After four months, the researchers discovered that development of the disease had slowed remarkably and the animals' activity levels and longevity were comparable to that of their healthy counterparts. The extract, explains Prof. Ovadia, inhibited the formation of toxic amyloid polypeptide oligomers and fibrils, which compose deposits of plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

In the test-tube model, the substance was also found to break up amyloid fibers, similar to those collected in the brain to kill neurons. According to Prof. Ovadia, this finding indicates that CEppt may not just fight against the development of the disease, but may help to cure it after Alzheimer's molecules have already formed. In the future, he says, the team of researchers should work towards achieving the same result in animal models.

Adding a dash of cinnamon

Don't rush to your spice rack just yet, however. It would take far more than a toxic level of the spice -- more than 10 grams of raw cinnamon a day -- to reap the therapeutic benefits. The solution to this medical catch-22, Prof. Ovadia says, would be to extract the active substance from cinnamon, separating it from the toxic elements.

"The discovery is extremely exciting. While there are companies developing synthetic AD inhibiting substances, our extract would not be a drug with side effects, but a safe, natural substance that human beings have been consuming for millennia," says Prof. Ovadia.

Though it can't yet be used to fight Alzheimer's, cinnamon still has its therapeutic benefits -- it can also help prevent viral infections when sprinkled into your morning tea.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anat Frydman-Marom, Aviad Levin, Dorit Farfara, Tali Benromano, Roni Scherzer-Attali, Sivan Peled, Robert Vassar, Daniel Segal, Ehud Gazit, Dan Frenkel, Michael Ovadia. Orally Administrated Cinnamon Extract Reduces β-Amyloid Oligomerization and Corrects Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease Animal Models. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (1): e16564 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016564

Cite This Page:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Alzheimer's prevention in your pantry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627123144.htm>.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. (2011, June 27). Alzheimer's prevention in your pantry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627123144.htm
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Alzheimer's prevention in your pantry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627123144.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins