Simple kitchen spice boosts memory and improves learning

When a spice or plant extract has one health benefit, it is likely to have others, if we go looking for it.

Such is the case with cinnamon.

We know it helps control blood sugar. But newer research shows it also has another powerful health benefit, which I’ll tell you about in a moment. But first, let’s revisit the effect cinnamon can have on blood sugar…

Indeed, a wealth of research shows cinnamon works well to lower blood sugar. And readers often ask me about using it to manage Type II diabetes.

As much as I acknowledge the good research on cinnamon, I strongly recommend against self-administering it as a “treatment” if you have diabetes.

You see, Type II diabetes is a metabolic disorder that requires daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly monitoring.

Plus, any effective Type II diabetes treatment must be backed by clinical research that establishes the doses, forms, administration, and schedule to keep blood sugar at healthy levels over the long-term. This process also involves evaluating the blood sugar itself as well as measuring hemoglobin A1C (the amount of glucose bound in red blood cells).

In addition, an effective Type II diabetes treatment should also prevent all the long-term complications of the disease. Such as complications in the eyes, heart, kidneys and nerves. (Newer, expensive Type II diabetes drugs have not been proven to lower the risks of these complications.)

NIH closed the door on cinnamon for diabetes

Unfortunately, we don’t have more research on cinnamon because the “experts” at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — charged with researching dietary supplements and herbal remedies — decided there is no research evidence that any vitamin, mineral, or herbal supplement can benefit diabetes.

It amazes me to hear them make that outlandish statement, considering Type II diabetes is a nutritional and metabolic disorder. But maybe the NIH is “crazy like a fox” because, with their current stance, it guarantees there will be no research on replacing Type II diabetes drugs with natural alternatives.

As you know, I reject all the newer, dangerous, expensive diabetes drugs in favor of a proven, old standby metformin.

Metformin originally derives from an ancient European herbal remedy called French lilac. We know it as goat’s rue in the U.S. And the USDA classifies it as a “noxious weed.”

We have a long-standing, established protocol for using metformin to control blood sugar and manage diabetes. Metformin is also the only Type II diabetes drug shown to prevent all the disease’s long-term complications. Plus, its “side effects” include helping maintain a healthy weight, as well as drastically cutting your risk of pancreatic cancer and other chronic diseases.

Of course, you can help yourself out by never taking a statin drug, which we now know causes adult-onset Type II diabetes, the leading cause of cardio-metabolic heart itself. But that’s just one reason you should never take a drug to lower cholesterol — especially as you get older.

In fact, we know older people with low cholesterol died twice as often from heart attack as did older people with higher cholesterol in major studies at Yale University and elsewhere. Studies from around the world show higher cholesterol has a protective effect against disease and death. And it’s time for our medical society to reduce dependence on statin drugs, rather than reducing cholesterol.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, once we know a natural approach has one health benefit. We usually find others, when we look for them!

And that brings us back to cinnamon.

Cinnamon improves learning

A recent experimental study showed that cinnamon works for much more than just blood sugar control…

Cinnamon and its metabolite called sodium benzoate (NaB) improved learning in mice.

For this study, researchers used a classic “mice in a maze” method, which has long been used to study learning and memory. The researchers carefully assessed many activities, which are virtually impossible to observe in clinical studies, to gain insight into how cinnamon works.

They found that the cinnamon metabolite stimulated molecular activities, increased calcium flow, and increased the density of nerve cells and hippocampal cells in the brain, which we associate with memory.

In addition, oral doses of both cinnamon and its NaB metabolite improved spatial memory and activated molecules in the hippocampus, which vastly improved leaning ability.

In short, this spice turned slow learners into good learners.

Perhaps, instead of tranquilizing schoolchildren and college students who increasingly seem like “space cadets,” we should consider making them “spice cadets” — starting with cinnamon.

Mainstream medicine has nothing to offer regarding dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, despite two failed “Decades of the Brain” big government research programs. Yet this new research on cinnamon reminds us there are many natural solutions to preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Learn more about the natural steps you can take to improve memory and prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in my new Complete Alzheimer’s Cure online learning protocol.


“Cinnamon and Its Metabolite Sodium Benzoate Attenuate the Activation of p21rac and Protect Memory and Learning in an Animal Model of Alzheimer’s Disease,” PLoS One 2015; 10(6)