Cool Spice

Ever wondered why cinnamon is so popular in hot climate countries?

Adding cinnamon to your diet can cool your body by up to two degrees, according to recent Australian research. And the spice may also contribute to a general improvement in overall health.

The research has been published in the journal, Scientific Reports.

The study, which used pigs, pointed to cinnamon maintaining the integrity of the stomach wall.

Project leader Distinguished Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, from RMIT’s School of Engineering, said, “When pigs feed at room temperature, carbon dioxide (CO2) gas increases in their stomach.

“Cinnamon in their food reduces this gas by decreasing the secretion of gastric acid and pepsin from the stomach walls, which in turn cools the pigs’ stomachs during digestion.

“When the pigs are hot, they hyperventilate, which reduces CO2 production. With cinnamon treatment, CO2 decreases even further.

“This not only cools the pigs but leads to a significant improvement in their overall health.”

The research found that altogether cinnamon cooled the stomach by up to 2C and helps explain its popularity in the cuisines of warm to hot regions where it makes people feel better and gives them a feeling of cooling down.

The research is part of a bigger study at RMIT into gut health using swallowable gas sensor capsules or smart pills, developed at the University.

Kalantar-zadeh said gut gases were the by-product of digestion and could provide valuable insights into the functioning and health of the gut.