At Mercola.com, Dr. Joseph Mercola examines research from the journal Cancer Prevention Research that suggests cinnamon could inhibit early-stage prostate cancer. He writes:
Cinnamon is enjoyed worldwide, prized not only for its warming aroma and flavor but for its powerful medicinal properties. With antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects,1 cinnamon is also receiving increased attention for its potential role in cancer prevention.
Research published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research revealed the spice may help inhibit early-stage prostate cancer,2 adding another tool to fight back against this common chronic disease.
Cinnamon May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer
It’s estimated that 12.9% of men will develop prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime.3 In the U.S., about 288,300 new prostate cancer cases may be diagnosed in 2023 alone, making up 14.7% of all new cancer cases.4 A study on rats suggests cinnamon — and two of its active ingredients, cinnamaldehyde and procyanidin — may help.
Rats fed cinnamon for 16 weeks before cancer was induced had reduced development of prostatic hyperplasia and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, a precursor of prostate cancer.5 Further, in 60% to 70% of the rats fed cinnamon, the prostate tissue was normal,6 with no precancerous changes.
Study author Ayesha Ismail, head of the endocrinology division at ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, India, explained in a news release:7
“We tried to decipher the probable mechanism(s) for the chemopreventive effect and observed that cinnamon and its active components could mitigate oxidative stress [and] decrease spread of cancer cells in the prostate gland … Interestingly, we also observed beneficial effect on bone mineral content and decrease in bone degeneration in these rats.”
Previous research has also highlighted cinnamon’s anticancer effects, including inducing tumor cell death in cancer cell lines. Prostate cancer cells treated with aqueous cinnamon extract and its active ingredient procyanidin-B2 also had a decrease in cell viability, reduction in angiogenic and anti-apoptotic markers, and an increase in apoptosis.8
Further, the cinnamon did not harm normal cells, leading the research team to note, “Our data in the normal cells indicate no effect of ACNE and PCB2 on cell growth which underscores the use of alternative forms of medicine in the treatment of cancer.”9
Other research by Ismail and a colleague found the cinnamon compounds cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and eugenol possess proteasome inhibitory activities, which suppress cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis.10 They explained:
“The cinnamon compounds inhibited the catalytic activities of the proteasome in prostate cancer cells, but not in normal cells … In conclusion, proteasome inhibition by aromatic monophenols from cinnamon inhibits proliferation and leads to the death of prostate cancer cells by autophagy-dependent apoptosis.”
Cinnamon Extract Has Synergistic Anticancer Effects
As cinnamon’s anticancer effects have become apparent, researchers looked into cinnamon’s various bioactive compounds, including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and polyphenols, each of which has anticancer effects:11
•Cinnamaldehyde — This phenylpropanoid gives cinnamon its flavor and odor, and is a major part of cinnamon essential oils. With both anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamaldehyde is cytotoxic to cancer cells.12
•Cinnamic Acid — Also cytotoxic to cancerous cells, cinnamic acid may reduce the invasive capacity of cancer cells, possibly reversing malignant human tumor cells to benign cells. “Cancerous cells upregulate antiapoptotic signaling cascades, leading to increased survival, which can be reversed by cinnamic acid,” researchers explained in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.13
•Polyphenols — Polyphenols are powerful organic compounds found in spices, as well as fruits and vegetables. Researchers believe the antioxidant effects of polyphenols help protect DNA from free radical damage,14 which can trigger cancer development. Polyphenols also reverse epigenetic markers in the DNA believed to reduce tumor growth. Polyphenols are also known for their anti-inflammatory effects, making them ideal for cancer prevention:15
“Cancer and inflammation are intricately linked; therefore, targeting inflammatory markers can help in chronic pathologic inflammation and in cancers where inflammatory molecules exacerbate cancer progression.”
While each of these compounds is powerful in warding off chronic disease like cancer on its own, when combined they exert synergistic effects that may lead to even better outcomes. As noted in a review by researchers from Lovely Professional University, India:16
“The aqueous extract of cinnamon contains bioactive components that have significant protective effects against cancer and inflammatory conditions. The synergistic effects of these components have better therapeutic efficiency than when a purified component is used. Further studies are required to understand whether cinnamon extract should be used only as complementary and alternative medicine or if it could play a more significant role.”
Read more here.
If you’re willing to fight for Main Street America, click here to sign up for my free weekly email.