Pharmacological Studies on Cinnamic Alcohol and Its Derivatives

Abstract

Cinnamic alcohol, cinnamic aldehyde, and cinnamic acid are compounds commonly found in the volatile oil of barks of species in the genus Cinnamomum spp. Schaeff., Lauraceae, popularly known as cinnamon. Cinnamon has been used for millennia for both food and medicinal purposes. The present study reviews the main pharmacological studies on cinnamic alcohol and its derivatives, in order to stress out that cinnamon is a natural product, enriched with compounds endowed of important pharmacological effects that can be benefic to the human health. As a literature review using a qualitative approach, covering articles published between 1970 and 2020, the databases consulted were Pubmed, Web of Science, Science Direct, and Scopus. The following descriptors were searched: “cinnamon,” “cinnamic alcohol,” “cinnamyl alcohol,” “cinnamaldehyde,” “cinnamic aldehyde,” “cinnamic acid,” and “benzoate.” We selected 32 articles studying non-clinical pharmacological aspects of cinnamic alcohol and its derivatives, with emphasis on their central nervous system activities and anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial potential. In conclusion, the present review demonstrates non-clinical evidence for cinnamic alcohol and its derivatives as bioactive compounds with pharmacological importance, yet we note the lack of clinical studies.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank Ana Laura de Cabral Sobreira and Hugo Fernandes Oliveira Pires (Universidade Federal da Paraíba) for their technical support for the design of the chemical structures of this paper.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil (CNPq grant number 141581/2017-4).

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ABM: development of the review and the writing original draft. HHNA: process of data collection and analysis. CFBF and RNA: supervision, writing, and editing. All authors have approved the final article.

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Correspondence to Reinaldo Nóbrega de Almeida.

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Monteiro, Á.B., de Andrade, H.H.N., Felipe, C.F.B. et al. Pharmacological Studies on Cinnamic Alcohol and Its Derivatives. Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 31, 16–23 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43450-021-00138-5

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Keywords

  • Pharmacology
  • Phytochemistry
  • Phenylpropanoids
  • Cinnamyl derivatives