COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Research conducted at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and the UA Cancer Center indicated that a compound derived from cinnamon is a potent inhibitor of colorectal cancer.
Georg Wondrak, Ph.D. and Donna Zhang, Ph.D., both professors with the UA College of Pharmacy Department, recently completed a study in which they proved that adding cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its distinctive flavor and smell, to the diet of mice protected the mice against colorectal cancer. The animals' cells had acquired the ability to protect themselves against exposure to a carcinogen through detoxification and repair.
"This is a significant finding," says Zhang, who, along with Wondrak, is a member of the UA Cancer Center. "Because colorectal cancer is aggressive and associated with poor prognoses, there is an urgent need to develop more effective strategies against this disease."
"Given cinnamon's important status as the third-most-consumed spice in the world," Wondrak adds, "there's relatively little research on its potential health benefits. If we can ascertain the positive effects of cinnamon, we would like to leverage this opportunity to potentially improve the health of people around the globe.'
The next step in the research is to test whether cinnamon, as opposed to cinnamaldehyde, prevents cancer using this same cancer model. Since cinnamon is a common food additive it is already considered safe.