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Concept: Cinnamon

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New agents that are effective against common pathogens are needed particularly for those resistant to conventional antimicrobial agents. Essential oils (EOs) are known for their antimicrobial activity. Using the broth microdilution method, we showed that (1) two unique blends of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Daucus carota, Eucalyptus globulus and Rosmarinus officinalis EOs (AB1 and AB2; cinnamon EOs from two different suppliers) were active against the fourteen Gram-positive and -negative bacteria strains tested, including some antibiotic-resistant strains. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ranged from 0.01% to 3% v/v with minimal bactericidal concentrations from <0.01% to 6.00% v/v; (2) a blend of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Daucus carota, Syzygium aromaticum, Origanum vulgare EOs was antifungal to the six Candida strains tested, with MICs ranging from 0.01% to 0.05% v/v with minimal fungicidal concentrations from 0.02% to 0.05% v/v. Blend AB1 was also effective against H1N1 and HSV1 viruses. With this dual activity, against H1N1 and against S. aureus and S. pneumoniae notably, AB1 may be interesting to treat influenza and postinfluenza bacterial pneumonia infections. These blends could be very useful in clinical practice to combat common infections including those caused by microorganisms resistant to antimicrobial drugs.

Concepts: Cinnamomum aromaticum, Virus, Medicinal plants, Antimicrobial, Microbiology, Essential oil, Cinnamon, Bacteria

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Human landing catch studies were conducted in a semi-field setting to determine the efficacy of seven commercial products used for personal protection against mosquitoes. Experiments were conducted in two empty, insecticide free, mesh-enclosed greenhouses, in Israel, with either 1500 Aedes albopictus or 1500 Culex pipiens released on consecutive study nights. The products tested in this study were the OFF!(®) Clip-On™ Mosquito Repellent (Metofluthrin 31.2%) and the Terminix(®) ALLCLEAR(®) Sidekick Mosquito Repeller (Cinnamon oil 10.5%; Eugenol 13%; Geranium oil 21%; Peppermint 5.3%; Lemongrass oil 2.6%), which are personal diffusers; Super Band™ Wristband (22% Citronella oil) and the PIC(®) Citronella Plus Wristband (Geraniol 15%; Lemongrass oil 5%, Citronella oil 1%); the Sonic Insect Repeller Keychain; the Mosquito Guard Patch (Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus 80mg), an adhesive-backed sticker for use on textiles; and the Mosquito Patch (vitamin B1 300mg), a transdermal patch. It was determined that the sticker, transdermal patch, wristbands and sonic device did not provide significant protection to volunteers compared with the mosquito attack rate on control volunteers who were not wearing a repellent device. The personal diffusers: - OFF!(®) Clip-On™ and Terminix(®) ALLCLEAR(®) Sidekick - provided superior protection compared with all other devices in this study. These diffusers reduced biting on the arms of volunteers by 96.28% and 95.26% respectively, for Ae. albopictus, and by 94.94% and 92.15% respectively, for Cx. pipiens. In a second trial conducted to compare these devices directly, biting was reduced by the OFF!(®) Clip-On™ and the Terminix(®) ALLCLEAR(®) by 87.55% and 92.83%, respectively, for Ae. albopictus, and by 97.22% and 94.14%, respectively, for Cx. pipiens. There was no significant difference between the performances of the two diffusers for each species.

Concepts: Aedes, Cymbopogon, Culicidae, Cinnamon, Citronellol, Mosquito, Citronella oil, Insect repellent

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Coumarin as an additive or as a constituent of tonka beans or tonka extracts is banned from food in the United States due to its potentially adverse side effects. However, coumarin in food from other natural ingredients is not regulated. “True Cinnamon” refers to the dried inner bark of Cinnamomum verum. Other cinnamon species, C. cassia, C. loureiroi, and C. burmannii, commonly known as cassia, are also sold in the U.S. as cinnamon. In the present study, coumarin and other marker compounds were analyzed in authenticated cinnamon bark samples as well as locally bought cinnamon samples, cinnamon-flavored foods, and cinnamon-based food supplements using a validated UPLC-UV/MS method. The experimental results indicated that C. verum bark contained only traces of coumarin, whereas barks from all three cassia species, especially C. loureiroi and C. burmannii, contained substantial amounts of coumarin. These species could be potential sources of coumarin in cinnamon-flavored food in the U.S. Coumarin was detected in all locally bought cinnamon, cinnamon-flavored foods, and cinnamon food supplements. Their chemical profiles indicated that the cinnamon samples and the cinnamon in food supplements and flavored foods were probably Indonesian cassia, C. burmannii.

Concepts: Spice, Cinnamaldehyde, United States, Malabathrum, Cinnamomum, Cinnamomum burmannii, Cinnamomum aromaticum, Cinnamon

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In response to recent claims that synthetic antioxidants have the potential to cause toxicological effects and consumers' increased interest in purchasing natural products, the meat and poultry industry has been seeking sources of natural antioxidants. Due to their high phenolic compound content, fruits and other plant materials provide a good alternative to conventional antioxidants. Plum, grape seed extract, cranberry, pomegranate, bearberry, pine bark extract, rosemary, oregano, and other spices functions as antioxidants in meat and poultry products. Pomegranate, pine bark extract, cinnamon, and cloves have exhibited stronger antioxidant properties than some synthetic options. Plum products, grape seed extract, pine bark extract, rosemary, and some spices all have been shown to affect the color of finished meat or poultry products; however, in some products such as pork sausage or uncured meats, an increase in red color may be desired. When selecting a natural antioxidant, sensory and quality impact on the product should be considered to achieve desired traits.

Concepts: Medicinal plants, Cinnamon, Sausage, Pork, Spice, Fruit, Meat, Antioxidant

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Cinnamomum tamala Nees and Eberm (tejpat) and Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr (pimento) leaves are commonly used for flavouring food and widely used in pharmaceutical preparations because of their hypoglycemic, carminative and stimulant properties. In this study, we compared the chemical composition and antioxidant activities of tejpat and pimento essential oils by employing various in vitro methods. GC and GC-MS analyses were done to find out the chemical composition, and the main constituent identified in tejpat and pimento leaf oils was eugenol. Both the oils showed significant radical scavenging activity against DPPH and superoxide radicals with a potent metal chelating activity and were compared with that of standard compound, eugenol. Among the two oils, tejpat oil showed better activity in terms of antioxidative potential.

Concepts: Cinnamomum, Malabathrum, Oils, Allspice, Oil, Bay leaf, Essential oil, Cinnamon

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Cinnamon (Cinnamomum sp) has been suggested to help patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) achieve better glycemic control, although conclusions from meta-analyses are mixed. To evaluate whether the use of cinnamon dietary supplements by adults with T2DM had clinically meaningful effects on glycemic control, as measured by changes in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) or hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a comprehensive PubMed literature search was performed. Eleven randomized controlled trials were identified that met our inclusion criteria that enrolled 694 adults with T2DM receiving hypoglycemic medications or not. In 10 of the studies, participants continued to take their hypoglycemic medications during the cinnamon intervention period. Studies ranged from 4 to 16 weeks in duration; seven studies were double-blind. Cinnamon doses ranged from 120 to 6,000 mg/day. The species of cinnamon used varied: seven used Cinnamomum cassia or Cinnamomum aromaticum, one used Cinnamomum zeylanicum, and three did not disclose the species. Because of the heterogeneity of the studies, a meta-analysis was not conducted. All 11 of the studies reported some reductions in FPG during the cinnamon intervention, and of the studies measuring HbA1c very modest decreases were also apparent with cinnamon, whereas changes in the placebo groups were minimal. However, only four studies achieved the American Diabetes Association treatment goals (FPG <7.2 mmol/L [130 mg/dL] and/or HbAlc <7.0). We conclude that cinnamon supplements added to standard hypoglycemic medications and other lifestyle therapies had modest effects on FPG and HbA1c. Until larger and more rigorous studies are available, registered dietitian nutritionists and other health care professionals should recommend that patients continue to follow existing recommendations of authoritative bodies for diet, lifestyle changes, and hypoglycemic drugs.

Concepts: Cinnamomum burmannii, Cinnamon, Insulin resistance, Cinnamomum, Cinnamomum aromaticum, Nutrition, Diabetes, Diabetes mellitus

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Chronic inflammation is a contributing factor in many age-related diseases. In a previous study, we have shown that Sri Lankan cinnamon (C. zeylanicum) was one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods out of 115 foods tested. However, knowledge about the exact nature of the anti-inflammatory compounds and their distribution in the two major cinnamon species used for human consumption is limited. The aim of this investigation was to determine the anti-inflammatory activity of C. zeylanicum and C. cassia and elucidate their main phytochemical compounds. When extracts were tested in LPS and IFN-γ activated RAW 264.7 macrophages, most of the anti-inflammatory activity, measured by down-regulation of nitric oxide and TNF-α production, was observed in the organic extracts. The most abundant compounds in these extracts were E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxycinnamaldehyde. The highest concentration of E-cinnamaldehyde was found in the DCM extract of C. zeylanicum or C. cassia (31 and 34 mg g(-1) of cinnamon, respectively). When these and other constituents were tested for their anti-inflammatory activity in RAW 264.7 and J774A.1 macrophages, the most potent compounds were E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxycinnamaldehyde, which exhibited IC50 values for NO with RAW 264.7 cells of 55 ± 9 μM (7.3 ± 1.2 μg mL(-1)) and 35 ± 9 μM (5.7 ± 1.5 μg mL(-1)), respectively; and IC50 values for TNF-α of 63 ± 9 μM (8.3 ± 1.2 μg mL(-1)) and 78 ± 16 μM (12.6 ± 2.6 μg mL(-1)), respectively. If therapeutic concentrations can be achieved in target tissues, cinnamon and its components may be useful in the treatment of age-related inflammatory conditions.

Concepts: Extract, Cinnamomum aromaticum, Anti-inflammatory, Cinnamaldehyde, Cinnamomum, Sri Lanka, Inflammation, Cinnamon

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We thank Akilen and colleagues for their considered comments on our systematic review and meta-analysis [1]. Firstly; we would like to clarify our position regarding the coumarin content of Cinnamomum aromaticum (cassia cinnamon), as opposed to Cinnamomum zeylanicum, based on the literature that is currently available. According to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, 1 kg of Cinnamon cassia powder contains approximately 2.1-4.4 g of coumarin, which means one teaspoon of C. cassia powder would contain approximately 5.8-12.1 mg of coumarin [2]. © 2013 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2013 Diabetes UK.

Concepts: Cinnamaldehyde, Medicine, Insulin resistance, Malabathrum, Cinnamomum burmannii, Cinnamomum, Cinnamomum aromaticum, Cinnamon

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  Insect-resistant films containing a microencapsulated insect-repelling agent were developed to protect food products from the Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella). Cinnamon oil (CO), an insect repelling agent, was encapsulated with gum arabic, whey protein isolate (WPI)/maltodextrin (MD), or poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). A low-density polyethylene (LDPE) film was coated with an ink or a polypropylene (PP) solution that incorporated the microcapsules. The encapsulation efficiency values obtained with gum arabic, WPI/MD, and PVA were 90.4%, 94.6%, and 80.7%, respectively. The films containing a microcapsule emulsion of PVA and CO or incorporating a microcapsule powder of WPI/MD and CO were the most effective (P < 0.05) at repelling moth larvae. The release rate of cinnamaldehyde, an active repellent of cinnamaldehyde, in the PP was 23 times lower when cinnamaldehyde was microencapsulated. Coating with the microcapsules did not alter the tensile properties of the films. The invasion of larvae into cookies was prevented by the insect-repellent films, demonstrating potential for the films in insect-resistant packaging for food products.

Concepts: Whey, Micro-encapsulation, Cinnamon, Indianmeal moth, Milk, Pyralidae, Whey protein, Pest insects

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Coreopsis tinctoria flowering (CTF) tops from the Kunlun Mountains in Xinjing (north-western China) have been used for tea production for about a century. This study was to assess antioxidant, nitrite-scavenging and N-nitrosamine inhibitory and antimicrobial activities of the essential oil extracted from CTF tops. The essential oil was extracted through hydrodistillation and its chemical compositions were analysed by GC-MS. Seventy compounds of the oil were identified, representing 81.87% of total oil. The antioxidant capacities of the oil with IC50 values for scavenging DPPH and ABTS were 287.66 ± 12.60 and 1.251 ± 0.127 μg mL(- 1), respectively. The nitrite-scavenging and N-nitrosamine inhibitory activities (IC50) were 0.3912 ± 0.0127 and 0.6564 ± 0.036 μg mL(- 1), respectively. The oil has a certain antimicrobial capacity, but its capacity was weaker than that of penicillinG (24 μg mL(- 1)). The oil showed antioxidant and antimicrobial capacities and had a stronger nitrite-scavenging and N-nitrosamine inhibitory properties.

Concepts: Kunlun Mountains, The Essential, Green tea, Cinnamon, Tea