Can Cinnamon Help You Lose Belly Fat?

Fat stored in the belly, called visceral fat, is different from subcutaneous fat stored elsewhere. According to Harvard Medical School, belly fat indicates a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. While a balanced diet and regular exercise come first in managing your weight, research performed on mice has shown that cinnamon may help reduce belly fat. It's easy to incorporate more cinnamon into your diet. Add it to hot drinks like tea or coffee for flavoring, add it to oatmeal or cereal in the morning or even cook it into your food for dinner.

Cinnamon Reduces Visceral Fat in Mice

The active compound in cinnamon, which also gives it its flavor, is called cinnamaldehyde. In a Japanese study published in the "Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology" in 2012, two groups of mice were fed a diet high in sucrose and fat. One group was given cinnamaldehyde daily, and the other was not. After a month, the scientists found that the mice taking cinnamaldehyde had lost visceral fat, whereas the control group didn't. They concluded that the cinnamaldehyde stimulated the metabolism of the fatty visceral tissue, suggesting that cinnamon could be useful in reducing belly fat.

The Facts

Although the impact of cinnamon on visceral fat in humans hasn't been confirmed, cinnamon shows promise as a possible treatment for type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, according to a study discussed on the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center website. However, medical scientists agree that more study is warranted.