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Weekly Wellness News Wrap - 1/14/2023

Omega-3s from Fish May Be Superior for Cardiovascular Health

Omega-3s, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), can’t be made by the body and have to be obtained through diet. Seafood sources include the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids. On the other hand, plants mostly provide the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) omega-3 fatty acid. A new study suggests that dietary intake of EPA and DHA had protective effect on cardiovascular health, while no such association was found for ALA.

Participants in the study included 53,909 adults who were part of the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. At the beginning of the study, a food-frequency questionnaire was used to assess intake of the marine-derived DHA and EPA, and the plant-derived ALA.

Participants were followed for an average of 13.5 years and all incidences of several cardiovascular conditions were recorded.

The researchers found that higher intake of EPA and DHA were associated with a lower risk of various cardiovascular conditions. No beneficial association was found between intake of ALA cardiovascular heath In this study.

The study was conducted by researchers from Aalborg University Hospital. It was published online ahead of print on January 2, 2023 in the European Journal of Nutrition.

A previous study found that PUFAs may help support heart rate and blood flow.

article 2Curcumin Supplementation May Support Muscle Health Post-Exercise

Intense physical activity can result in muscle soreness and damage. According to a recent study, supplementation with curcumin may help alleviate muscle fatigue and muscle soreness resulting from intense exercise.

Researchers from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital enrolled 28 high school athletes with an average age of 17 for their study. They were given 300 mg of curcumin or a placebo daily for 90 days while participating in daily exercise training. Muscle fatigue, muscle soreness, oxidative stress biomarkers, and exercise performance were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Participants in the curcumin group saw significant decreases in scores of muscle fatigue and muscle soreness compared to the placebo group. They also saw a significant decrease in oxidative stress biomarkers and a significant increase in basic metabolic rate and fat-free mass.

In addition, curcumin group participants saw an increase in reaction time compared to the placebo group.

The study was published online ahead of print on January 4, 2023 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

A combination of curcumin and Boswellia was found to help exercise-induced muscle discomfort.

article 3Almonds May Support Muscle Health and Metabolic Health

Almonds contain calcium, magnesium, manganese, fiber, vitamin K, protein, and zinc. They are also high in plant protein. A recent study suggests that almonds may provide muscle health and metabolic health benefits following exercise.

Participants in the group included 64 adults who did not engage in regular resistance training. Half of the participants consumed 57 grams of almond daily. The other half consumed a placebo cereal bar. They all performed 90 minutes of 5 muscle function tests at the beginning and end of the study period.

The researchers evaluated muscle damage at baseline and at the end of the study. They collected blood samples at baseline and the end of the study to evaluate levels of beneficial brown fat adipose and inflammatory biomarkers.

The almond group participants saw decreases in fatigue and tension post-exercise at the end of the study compared to the placebo group. They also saw a 69% increase in levels of brown fat adipose, which has a beneficial effect on metabolic regulation and energy regulation. Participants in the control group saw a decrease in brown fat adipose.

Levels of an oxylipin that has been associated with negative effects on exercise recovery was 40% higher in the placebo group compared to the almond group. Participants in the almond group also saw lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers.

The study was published by researchers from North Carolina State University. It was published online ahead of print on January 9, 2023 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Annatto tocotrienol was found to provide metabolic health support in a previous study.

article 4High-Fiber Intake May Provide Blood Pressure Benefits

Dietary fiber can act as a prebiotic in the gut, helping to promote beneficial bacteria and intestinal health.  A new study has found that taking a high fiber supplement (providing 40g of fiber) in the form of resistant starch may help enhance gut health in a way that also supports healthy blood pressure levels.  Resistant starch isn’t broken down during digestion, and instead is used by intestinal bacteria to make short-chain fatty acids to improve gut function.

The researchers enrolled twenty participants with hypertension for the study. They were given 40 grams of fiber, or a placebo daily for 3 weeks. After a 3-week washout period, participants switched interventions. Systolic blood pressure, inflammatory markers, and the gut microbiome were evaluated at baseline and at the end of each intervention period.

Participants in the resistant starch group saw a 4.6 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure at the end of the supplementation period, which the researchers commented can have a meaningful impact on cardiovascular health.

The fiber group also saw increases in levels of acetate and butyrate in the gut microbiome. Acetate and butyrate are short-chain fatty acids that have been associated with protection against oxidative stress.

The study was conducted by researchers from Monash University. It was published online ahead of print on January 9, 2023 in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research.

Pine bark was found to help support healthy blood pressure levels in a previous study.

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