In the News

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The Roman and Islamic Spice Trade

October 6, 2014 Archaeologists from the University of Leicester in the UK evaluated the botanical remains of spices recovered from excavations at a port active in the Roman and medieval Islamic spice trade.  Spices recovered from the excavations included black pepper (Piper nigrum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) and turmeric (Curcuma sp.).

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Ginger and Gastrointestinal Health

October 1, 2014 Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, performed a double blind randomized controlled trial on the effects of ginger on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  Forty-five IBS patients were randomly assigned to three groups: placebo, 1g of ginger, and 2g of ginger daily for 28 days.

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Cassia Cinnamon and Insulin Sensitivity

October 1, 2014 Researchers in Sweden performed a randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled study on the effects of Cassia cinnamon on insulin sensitivity and liver enzymes in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance.

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Prehispanic use of chili peppers in Mexico

September 9, 2014 Researchers report the confirmation of Capsicum sp. residues from pottery samples excavated at Chiapa de Corzo in southern Mexico dated from Middle to Late Preclassic periods (400 BCE to 300 CE). Residues from 13 different pottery types were collected and extracted using standard techniques. Presence of Capsicum was confirmed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC)/MS-MS Analysis.

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Spice & Vegetable Acceptance in Toddlers

September 4, 2014 Researchers in France compared the effect of repeated exposure to that of flavor-flavor learning, on the acceptance of a non-familiar vegetable (salsify purée) in toddlers.  Two unconditioned stimuli were used for the flavor-flavor learning: salt and a salt-associated spice (nutmeg).

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Capsaicin and Energy Expenditure

July 16, 2014 In a randomized, cross-over design, 11 men ingested 500 mg of cayenne pepper (1.25 mg capsaicin), 500 mg evodiamine, or placebo at rest following 30 minutes of energy expenditure assessment using open-circuit spirometry.

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Curry & Endothelial Function

June 30, 2014 A randomized, controlled crossover trial that aimed to determine whether a single consumption of curry meal would improve endothelial function in healthy men.

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Saffron Exercise Study

June 16, 2014 A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the preventive effects of 10-day supplementation of saffron and indomethacin on the biochemical and functional indicators of delayed-onset muscle soreness after 1-session eccentric exercise.

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Herbs & Spices and Reduced Sodium Soup

May 29, 2014 Researchers in the United Kingdom investigated if the addition of herbs and spices could enhance the liking of lower salt tomato soup.


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Healthy Eating and Herbs & Spices

May 14, 2014 Researchers at The University of Colorado examined whether adding herbs and spices to reduced-fat foods would improve their consumer liking.

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Vanilla Review Article

April 28, 2014 Review article on vanilla from Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition discusses science, cultivation, curing, chemistry, and nutraceutical properties.

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Capsaicin Clinical Study

March 25, 2014 Researchers in The Netherlands investigated whether there is an effect of capsaicin on appetite profile and ad libitum energy intake in Caucasians when 1.03 g of red pepper is added to meals with a normal fat and normal protein content in a 25% negative energy balance.

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Ginger Pilot Trial

March 4, 2014 Researchers at the University of North Carolina ran a pilot study to test the effects of ginger on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms through a randomized placebo and dose dependent controlled trial. Subjects were 45 patients age 18 and older with a physician diagnosis of IBS verified by Rome III criteria.

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Ginger Powder Clinical Study

March 4, 2014 Clinical study to determine the effect of ginger powder supplementation on insulin resistance and glycemic indices in patients with type 2 diabetes.

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Ginger Clinical Trial

February 10, 2014 Double blind clinical trial on 70 type 2 diabetic patients to assess the effect of ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers.

Fenugreek Meta Analysis

January 28, 2014 A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of fenugreek on glucose homeostasis based on a comprehensive literature search leading to the identification of a reasonably large number of trials with an evaluation of potential explanations for differences in study results. A total of 10 clinical trials were identified.

Ginger Meta Analysis

January 14, 2014 Meta-analysis of clinical trials using ginger for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy (NVEP). Studies satisfying 3 criteria were selected: (1) randomized placebo-controlled design; (2) use of ginger or Z. officinale; and (3) extractable data on improvement in NVEP.

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Spice Mix Clinical Study

January 13, 2014 Clinical research study that investigated whether consumption of a hamburger cooked with a polyphenol-rich spice mixture would reduce postprandial lipid oxidation and endothelial dysfunction in men with Type 2 diabetes.

Garlic in Clinical Practice

December 17, 2013 An evidenced based review of 9 systematic reviews of garlic. The clinical utility of garlic was examined for several parameters including blood pressure, lipid profile, cold prevention, and anitglycemic effects.

Ginger and Inflammation

December 10, 2013 A randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial to evaluate the effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) and the acute phase protein hs-CRP in type 2 diabetic patients.

Saffron and Depressive Symptoms

December 10, 2013 Meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, which examined the effects of saffron supplementation on depressive symptoms compared to a control group, i.e., placebo control or antidepressant control groups, in adults with symptoms of major depressive disorder.

Capsaicinoids & Weight Management

November 25, 2013 Meta-analysis investigating the potential effects of capsaicinoids on energy intake. Seventy-four clinical trials were evaluated for inclusion of which 8 provided results suitable to be combined in analysis (191 participants). The paper also clarifies previous observations and forms evidence-based conclusions about possible weight management roles.

Black Cumin & Cardiovascular Health

October 23, 2013 Review paper to investigate the cardiovascular benefits of black cumin (Nigella sativa). Literature from 1960 to May 2012 is reviewed.  Historical uses in complementary medicine are also discussed.

Cinnamon Meta Analysis

September 18, 2013 A meta analysis of 10 randomly controlled clinical trials (n=543 patients) investigated the effect of cinnamon on fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-C, triglyceride levels, HDL-C levels and hemoglobin A1c.

Analysis of Hypoglycaemic Compounds in Fenugreek

August 27, 2013 Researchers at Colorado State University quantified biguanide related compounds (BRCs) in functional plant foods (fenugreek,curry leaves, bitter gourd, garlic and sweet potato) and potato tubers.  BRCs such as metformin are used extensively to help support normal glucose metabolism.

Effect of Black Pepper & Rosemary on Energy

August 12, 2013 Clinical research conducted at the University of Georgia investigated whether a single dose of black pepper or rosemary produced short-term enhancements in sustained attention, motivation to perform cognitive tasks, or feelings of mental energy and fatigue.

Cinnamon, Blood Pressure & Type 2 Diabetes

July 31, 2013 This study systematically reviewed and evaluated the effect of short-term administration of cinnamon on blood pressure regulation in patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by performing a meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Capsaicin, Fullness & Energy Expenditure

July 18, 2013 Researchers in the Netherlands investigated whether an 80% energy requirement diet consisting of partly replacing carbohydrate by protein plus the addition of capsaicin reached the same level of fullness ratings and energy expenditure as a 100% energy requirement control diet.

Capsaicin, Energy Expenditure & Fat Oxidation

July 15, 2013 Researchers in the Netherlands investigated the 24 hour effects of capsaicin in 25% negative energy balance on energy expenditure and substrate oxidation.  More specifically, the research determined whether the 24 hour effects of capsaicin in 25% negative energy balance counteracted the effects of a negative energy balance on energy expenditure and enlarged fat oxidation compared to 100% energy intake without capsaicin.

Black Pepper & Health Claims Review

June 25, 2013 A comprehensive review of the antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, gastro-protective, and antidepressant activities of black pepper.

Saffron's Effect on the Circulatory System

June 10, 2013 A double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the effect of saffron on plasma levels of fibrinogen, factor VII (as coagulant agent), C and S protein (as anti-coagulant agent), PT and PTT.

Fennel Seeds and Vascular Function

June 3, 2013 Researchers in India quantified nitrites in fennel seeds and elucidated of the positive effects of fennel derived-nitrites on vascular functions.

Turmeric and Alzheimer's Disease

June 3, 2013 Turmeric treatment was administered to 3 patients with Alzheimer's disease and behavioral symptoms were assessed after 12 weeks.

Anti-Oxidative Properties of Ginger

June 3, 2013 Researchers conducted a review of the literature concerning the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity.

Ginger, Cinnamon and Muscle Soreness

June 3, 2013 Randomized and placebo controlled clinical study of the effects of ginger and cinnamon on inflammation and muscle soreness in 60 female athletes.

Herb Dip & Vegetable Intake in Children

May 28, 2013 Researchers from The Pennsylvania State University conducted a research study to determine whether adding herbs and/or spices for a reduced-fat dip increased children’s willingness to taste, liking of, and consumption of vegetables.

Ginger and Migraine Headaches

May 16, 2013 Researchers in Iran randomly administer either ginger powder or sumatriptan to 100 patients with acute migraines.

Gastroprotective Effects of Ginger Review

May 7, 2013 A broad review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger including phytochemistry, traditional uses, scientific studies and mechanism of action.

Review of ginger for nausea and vomiting

May 2, 2013 Indian researchers identify trends in current literature and further need for investigation.

Garlic Clinical Review

May 2, 2013 A comprehensive review of the clinical utility of Garlic. Includes an overview of 9 systematic reviews.

Saffron extract review article

May 1, 2013 Physicochemical properties and pharmacological-toxicological activity of safranal (Saffron extract) is discussed based on a thorough review of the scientific literature.

Garlic and Serum Lipids Review

April 23, 2013 39 papers were reviewed to determine the effect of garlic on total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Ginger and Nausea Systematic Review

April 1, 2013 Researchers from Australia conducted a systematic literature review concerning ginger as a treatment for nausea associated with chemotherapy.

MSI Pilot Study on Red Pepper and Turmeric

December 15, 2012 Researchers from The David H. Murdock Research Institute looked at whether feeding overweight females (aged 40-72) red pepper and turmeric affected biomarkers for inflammation and oxidative stress.

Turmeric Extract and Diabetes

November 30, 2012 A double-blinded, placebo controlled trial assessed whether a curcumin (extract from Turmeric) intervention in a prediabetic population could delay the development of Type 2 Diabetes.  

Ginger and Inflammation Clinical Trial

November 20, 2012 Researchers from Moscow looked at the effects of ginger extract on pain and inflammation.

Cinnamon Consumption and Blood Glucose

November 2, 2012 An analysis of blood glucose effects when cinnamon was consumed with a meal.

Garlic and Inflammation

October 18, 2012 A clinical trial that looked at the effects of garlic supplementation on inflammation in post menopausal women.

Spices and Metabolism

October 10, 2012 Researchers looked at the effects of mustard, horseradish, black pepper and ginger on metabolism.

Garlic Meta Analysis

October 10, 2012 An analysis of garlic and the effects on lipid biomarkers.

Turmeric Extract Clinical Trial

October 4, 2012 Researchers from Ohio State Univeristy looked at the effects of curcumin supplmementation on vascular health.

Cinnamon Meta Analysis

September 25, 2012 A Cochrane meta-analysis on the metabolic effects of adding 2 grams of cinnamon a day.  Researchers analyzed the results of ten clinical trials that involved 577 participants.

Cinnamon and Blood Glucose Clinical Trial

September 12, 2012 Iranian researchers looked at the effects of cinnamon on blood glucose and other metabolic factors.

Turmeric Extract and Metabolic Factors

August 12, 2012 Thai researchers looked at whether adding curcumin (from turmeric) affected insulin response, inflammation, and other metabolic factors.

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Cinnamon Extract and Blood Glucose

July 6, 2012 A clinical trial that looked at cinnamon supplementation in Chinese men and women.

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Andioxidant Values in Dried Herbs

June 20, 2012 A test tube study compared dried herb antioxidant values before and after cooking.

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Capsaicin Meta Analysis

June 4, 2012 Researchers from the UK analyzed the effect of active compounds in chili and red peppers and their affect on weight management.

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Cinnamon Meta Analysis

May 12, 2012 UK researchers analyze the effect of cinnamon and glycemic control.

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Ginger and Thermic Effect of Food

May 8, 2012 Researchers at Columbia University tested whether adding ginger to a breakfast meal affected metabolic factors in overweight men.

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Turmeric Extract and Exercise Clinical Trial

April 10, 2012 Japanese researchers look at the cardiovascular biomarkers after exercise and curcurmin (from turmeric) supplementation.

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Onion Powder Clinical Trial

April 6, 2012 Researchers from UC Davis looked at the absorption of quercitin from apple peel and dried onion powder.

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Evidence Based Review of Saffron

April 4, 2012 Natural Standards reviews the potential health benefits of saffron.

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Evidence Based Review of Cinnamon

April 2, 2012 Natural Standards reviews the potential health benefits of cinnamon.

Spices, Herbs, and Brain Health

March 26, 2012 A review of plants, including spices and herbs, and cognitive function.

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Turmeric Extract Pilot Study

March 16, 2012 Indian researchers conducted a pilot study on curcumin (from turmeric) and its effects on pain and inflammation.

Review of Spices and Blood Glucose

March 15, 2012 Indian researchers discuss the potential of plants (including spices and herbs) to help with blood glucose.

Rosemary Aroma and Cognition Clinical Trial

March 13, 2012 British researchers looked at the effects of rosemary aroma on cognition and memory.

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Tarragon Review Paper

March 1, 2012 British researchers discuss tarragon including its traditional uses, active compounds, and research studies.

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Turmeric Extract Clinical Trial

February 28, 2012 Researchers from Thailand looked at the effects of curcumin supplementation on antioxidant and blood lipid levels.

Spice Extracts and Cognition

February 23, 2012 A review of plant extracts (including spices and herbs) and brain health.

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Garlic Extract Clinical Trial

January 31, 2012 A clinical trial looked at the effects of garlic extract supplementation on immune function.

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Energy Balance and Red Pepper Active Compounds

January 24, 2012 Researchers from Purdue University looked at the evidence of consumption of active compounds from red and chili peppers and energy balance.

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Ginger Extract Clinical Trial

January 20, 2012 Research on the effects of dried ginger extract on cognition in middle aged Thai women.

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Ranch Dip Makes Kids Like Vegetables More

December 14, 2011 A clinical trial found that preschoolers were more likely to eat vegetables when ranch dip was added.

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Spices and Energy Balance Review

November 17, 2011 A review of research on spices, appetite, and energy balance.

Ginger and Pain Systematic Review

November 14, 2011 A systematic review analyzed whether ginger supplementation affected pain in clinical trials.

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Antioxidant Comparison of Dried, Paste, and Fresh Spices

November 10, 2011 UCLA researchers compare Anioxidant Values of dried, paste, and fresh varieties of nine common herbs (basil, chili, cilantro, dill, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, oregano, and parsley) and one herb mixture (Italian Herbs).

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Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Clinical Trial

October 24, 2011 A small, crossover study looked at the effects of Cinnamomum Zeylanicum on blood glucose and other metabolic factors.

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Spices and Brain Health Review

October 22, 2011 A review on the potential health benefits of spices and brain health/cognition.

MSI Funded Study on Rosemary and Cognition

October 18, 2011 A small study on rosemary consumption and the effects on cognition.

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Meta Analysis of Spices and Blood Glucose

September 30, 2011 Analysis of the effects of herbs (including fenugreek and cinnamon) on blood glucose.

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MSI Funded Paper on Ginger

August 20, 2011 A review of the potential health benefits of ginger.

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MSI Funded Paper on Red Pepper

August 18, 2011 A review of the potential health benefits of red pepper.

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Review Paper on Cinnamon

July 20, 2011 An MSI funded study that reviews the potential health benefits of cinnamon.

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