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Friday, 16 May 2014

Herbal Cinnamon and Infertility

Kyle J. Norton

Cinnamon, a kitchen spice in many cultures, may be best known for its effect in reduced levels of blood glucose in diabetics and lipid peroxidation through its antioxidant activity(4) . Its underline mechanisms in enhancing fertility in both sexes are unknown.

Infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse or the cannot carry the pregnancy full term. It affects over 5 million couples alone in the U. S. and many times more in the world. Because of an unawareness of treatments, only 10% seek help from professional specialists. In fact, about 35% of infertility is caused by the male's inability to fertilize. 35% is caused by the female's inability to conceive, 10% attributes to both, and 10 % is considered a failure with an unknown cause.

A 45 women randomized, 26 women completed 3 months of the study, and 17 women completed the entire 6 months of the study, with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, showed a positive effect in improvement of menstrual cyclicity associated to Luteal phase progesterone levels and ovulatory menses without altering insulin resistance or serum androgen levels(1). Cinnamaldehyde, a major chemical compound of cinnamon, also showed to enhance fertility through selectively induced progesterone production and inhibited production of testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone in human adrenal cells(3).

Its extract in PCOs study not only showed to reduce insulin resistance in vitro and in vivo  by increasing phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity in the insulin signaling pathway, but also improved menstrual cyclicity through significant reductions in insulin resistance(8).

In infertile male rat study conducted by Fırat University, long-term cinnamon bark oil(CPO) improved the effect on testicular oxidant-antioxidant balance and sperm quality with significantly decreasing the abnormal sperm rate and apoptotic germ cell count(2).
The study in male rat reproductive system induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 ), the cinnamon bark oil(CPO), also showed a significant improvements in absolute weights of testis and epididymis, all sperm quality parameters, LPO level, apoptotic index and testicular(6)

Taken altogether, Cinnamon may be effective in promoting fertility in both sexes through enhancing the menstrual cycle in women and improving sperm performance in men. Unfortunately, according to DR. Georgakopoulou EA(6),  Oral intake of Cinnamon may cause Stomatitis, and burning sensation in mouth with large amount. The traditional Chinese medicine also insisted that Overdoses of cinnamon can be toxic and damaged to liver(5).

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References
(1) Preliminary Evidence that Cinnamon Improves Menstrual Cyclicity in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: a Randomized Controlled Trial by Kort DH1, Lobo RA.(PubMed)
(2) Effects of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) bark oil on testicular antioxidant values, apoptotic germ cell and sperm quality by Yüce A1, Türk G, Çeribaşi S, Sönmez M, Çiftçi M, Güvenç M.(PubMed)
(3) Selective stimulation by cinnamaldehyde of progesterone secretion in human adrenal cells by Iwaoka Y1, Hashimoto R, Koizumi H, Yu J, Okabe T.(PubMed)
(4) Preventive effect of cinnamon essential oil on lipid oxidation of vegetable oil by Keshvari M1, Asgary S, Jafarian-Dehkordi A, Najafi S, Ghoreyshi-Yazdi SM(PubMed)
(5) Popular #Herbs - #Dang Qui (Angelica sinensis)
(6) Chromium and polyphenols from cinnamon improve insulin sensitivity by Anderson RA.(PubMed)
(7) Effectiveness of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) bark oil in the prevention of carbon tetrachloride-induced damages on the male reproductive system by Yüce A1, Türk G, Çeribaşı S, Güvenç M, Çiftçi M, Sönmez M, Özer Kaya Ş, Çay M, Aksakal M.(PubMed)
(8) The effect of cinnamon extract on insulin resistance parameters in polycystic ovary syndrome: a pilot study by Wang JG1, Anderson RA, Graham GM 3rd, Chu MC, Sauer MV, Guarnaccia MM, Lobo RA.(PubMed)