It’s pumpkin spice latte season, and that’s good news for pumpkin fans and health advocates alike.
Adding that touch of cinnamon somewhere in your diet, be it through fancy pumpkin beverages or otherwise, could be beneficial to your health, according to a new study. The researchers say their findings suggest the spice lowers stomach temperature, while aiding in digestion.
The study was conducted by Australian researchers from the RMIT University School of Engineering in Melbourne, Australia. They analyzed the gut health of pigs specifically, using gas sensor capsules.
From their results, published in the journal Scientific Reports, they concluded cinnamon in the animals’ diet lowered the carbon dioxide levels in their stomachs, making their bodies cooler. The pigs who ate the cinnamon-infused food enjoyed a significant boost in overall health.
“When pigs feed at room temperature, carbon dioxide (C02) gas increases in their stomach,” explained Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, who led the research study.
“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’ stomach during digestion.”
Prof. Kalantar-zadeh also noted the cinnamon seemed to guard “the walls of the stomach and small intestines, basically protecting the integrity of the gut.”
And while the entire study was conducted on swine, the research team is confident their results will translate to humans.
“Altogether, cinnamon cooled the stomach by up to 2C,” said researcher Dr. Jian Zhen Ou.
“No wonder cinnamon is so popular in warm regions, as taking it makes people feel better and gives them the feeling of cooling down.”
Kalantar-zadeh added: “Supplemental cinnamon (cinnamomum verum) is chosen as a representative therapeutic agent due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and free radical scavenging properties in the gastrointestinal tract.
“These advantageous characteristics make this spice an ideal candidate for maintaining normal digestive functionalities and intestinal barrier integrity under the heat-stress condition, while at the same time it has relatively minor adverse-effects that cause minimal disturbance on the intestinal microbial community.”
So don’t feel guilty about indulging in those pumpkin spice lattes – your stomach appreciates it, in more ways than one.