Cinnamon May Be Used to Halt the Progression of Parkinson’s disease

Cinnamon May Be Used to Halt the Progression of Parkinson’s disease

Study Results Published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology

(CHICAGO) – Neurological scientists at Rush University Medical Center have found that using cinnamon, a common food spice and flavoring material, can reverse the biomechanical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The results of the study were recently published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

“Cinnamon has been used widely as a spice throughout the world for centuries,” said Kalipada Pahan, PhD, study lead researcher and the Floyd A. Davis professor of neurology at Rush. “This could potentially be one of the safest approaches to halt disease progression in Parkinson’s patients.”

“Cinnamon is metabolized in the liver to sodium benzoate, which is an FDA-approved drug used in the treatment for hepatic metabolic defects associated with hyperammonemia,” said Pahan. It is also widely used as a food preservative due to its microbiocidal effect.

Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamonum cassia) and original Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamonum verum) are two major types of cinnamon that are available in the US.

“Although both types of cinnamon are metabolized into sodium benzoate, by mass spectrometric analysis, we have seen that Ceylon cinnamon is much more pure than Chinese cinnamon as the latter contains coumarin, a hepatotoxic molecule,” said Pahan.

“Understanding how the disease works is important to developing effective drugs that protect the brain and stop the progression of PD,” said Pahan. “It is known that some important proteins like Parkin and DJ-1 decrease in the brain of PD patients.”

The study found that after oral feeding, ground cinnamon is metabolized into sodium benzoate, which then enters into the brain, stops the loss of Parkin and DJ-1, protects neurons, normalizes neurotransmitter levels, and improves motor functions in mice with PD.

This research was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health.

“Now we need to translate this finding to the clinic and test ground cinnamon in patients with PD. If these results are replicated in PD patients, it would be a remarkable advance in the treatment of this devastating neurodegenerative disease,” said Dr. Pahan.

Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive disease that affects a small area of cells within the mid-brain known as the substantia nigra. Gradual degeneration of these cells causes a reduction in a vital chemical neurotransmitter, dopamine. The decrease in dopamine results in one or more of the classic signs of Parkinson's disease that includes: resting tremor on one side of the body; generalized slowness of movement; stiffness of limbs; and gait or balance problems. The cause of the disease is unknown. Both environmental and genetic causes of the disease have been postulated.

Parkinson's disease affects about 1.2 million patients in the United States and Canada. Although 15 percent of patients are diagnosed before age 50, it is generally considered a disease that targets older adults, affecting one of every 100 persons over the age of 60. This disease appears to be slightly more common in men than women.

18 Replies

  • Sweet.

  • Most of the Indian spices contains Cinnamon ; in my mother tongue " Kannada" we would say: ದಾಲ್ಚಿನ್ನಿ - Daalchini or ಲವಣ ಪಟ್ಟೆ - Lavana Patte.

    Infact we drink tea " MASALA TEA " , this is good in winter , takes care of Cold , Cough, Soar throat , Breathing problem. I am expert in making this tea at home. You can also try , very simple :

    Boil water with following .for two cups preparation :

    > Ginger smashed : 20 grams or little more is also ok

    > Cinnamon powder : 1/2 to 3/4 TBS

    > Clove : 2 or 3 Nos ; powder it

    > Black Pepper : 2 or 3 Nos ; powder it

    You can later alter the proportion to suit your taste and you will become perfect .

    Pour the above preparation to Indian Darjeeling Tea leaf ( with 3 TBS Tea Leaf ) pot . Keep it closed for 5 Mins Max. Filter the preparation .

    Boil milk , 1/2 to 3/4 cup ; add the above preparation , add required amount of sugar ( 3 TBS).

    Indian Masala tea is ready ; please sip the tea leisurely and tell me how do you feel it.

  • I am wary of all these spices, apparently Cinnamon has many toxic effects also. I took circumin for a while, it was after about 10 days I had abdominal pains and stopped taking it. Only a few weeks ago I thought I would retry it, but after the first dose I had awful abdominal pain. Obviously not for me!

    I presume that if such spices do work then they would need to add something to combat the toxicity for long term use, or genetically remove the bits that cause it. I presume that within its makeup there will be a chemical that makes the PD better, but do the promoters of such actually know what it is?

    The report says it worked in the brains of mice, but does not say what happened to the mice who had it.

    did it cure the PD, but the toxic effects in the liver kill it?

    I always take everything I read now with a pinch of salt.

  • The problem with curcumin is it is not bioavailable and is difficult to absorb through the gut - there is an alternative to high dose curcumin in order to lower the dose of curcumin and to increase curcumin's efficiency - combine it with piperine. Piperine is the alkaloid in black pepper that gives it its pungency and it makes supplements/drugs more easily absorbed at the minimum of 30 %. In the case of curcumin, it increases bioavailability by 2,000 percent.

    Resveratrol, another herb that is great for PD, has its bioavailability increased by 1,544% when combined with piperine:

    Plus, if you are jaded against curcumin, a combination of resveratrol and piperine may be for you.

    As a bonus, piperine is neuroprotective in PD:

    The only downside of piperine is if you are on drugs and take piperine alone (at large doses) it increase your drugs bioavailability and the side effects many times over thus creating a health crisis.

    Though, the combination of piperine and either of the above herbs is done at low doses to increase the herbs efficacy. I doubt piperine + resveratrol will not have any effect on any of the drugs you are taking.

  • Thankyou for your reply,and of great interest. Black pepper can be an irritant to the stomach, it is not recommended for people who have stomach problems. white pepper is better apparently.

  • Thank you Owdsod for your experience re spices. However, to put some balance into the discussion I offer the following. In respect of Curcumin, there is a blog called 'Margaret's Corner' run by a lady who has a form of cancer and has been taking Curcumin for several years. As I recall, she has taken up to eight grams a day with no ill effects, only benefits.

    Owdsod, as you may be aware, Curcumin is a derivative of Tumeric and is possibly too powerful for some people's digestive systems, so it might be worthwhile trying Tumeric in its less processed form to see if it is kinder to their systems.

    As for Cinnamon, well it's use to help control blood sugar levels in people with Diabetes2 has been known for several years. Some research has been carried out on Ceylon Cinnamon (supposedly, the best type) and the results are positive. So I, for one, intend on taking Cinnamon tablets (obtainable from Amazon) even on the strength of this research on mice with Parkinson's.

    Intuitively, I like the idea of taking spices and the like to try and promote my health in preference to allopathic medications (though, I still take Sinemet four times a day).

    Unprocessed or minimally processed food is I feel, vitally important too! Remember, many of us develop health conditions by going away from Nature and before John Pepper reminds me, yes, exercise is important as well.



  • There is a big difference in body mass between mice and men. To be or work, how much Ceylon Cinnamon is required per day or once a week? One teaspoon full or one cup full?

  • Excellent Q , but I have no answer . I just take with INDIAN MASALA TEA , with Cinnamon. All Indian Spices has Cinnamon , Turmeric , Clove , pepper etc.... , may be good or bad I have no knowledge. I just posted what was published just for information.

  • And I'm thankful for yours and RoyProps contributions all the same.


  • remember absorption of curcumin is greatly improved by also taking black pepper. this page includes lots of helpful details plus links to 233 scientific papers on curcumin:

    i prefer to use tumeric and pepper when cooking (vs supplementing).

  • also, good info on cinnamon here:

  • Great !! thanks for more inputs on Cinnamon

  • Hello Stopnibbling

    Thank you for two excellant references.




  • "The study found that after oral feeding, ground cinnamon is metabolized into sodium benzoate, which then enters into the brain, stops the loss of Parkin and DJ-1, protects neurons, normalizes neurotransmitter levels, and improves motor functions in mice with PD."

    Why not just use sodium benzoate? It is a common food preservative, and we probably get plenty of it in our diet anyway.

  • How much cinnamon would I need to take per day? I try everything out for myself to see how it works.

  • Alleymay1957

    I bought my first lot from a UK source and the recommended daily dose is 2000mg


  • Thank you!

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