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Weekly Wellness News Wrap - 1/21/2023

Probiotic May Help Support Weight Management

The composition of gut microbiota often gets altered when we gain weight. This can result in less diversity of beneficial bacteria, which can have an effect on how food is digested and body weight. According to a new study, supplementation with the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium breve B-3 may help with weight management.

Participants in the study included 100 overweight adults. They received 5 billion CFUs of Bifidobacterium breve B-3 or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. The researchers measured body weight, body weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, and body fat percentage at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Participants in the probiotic group saw a decrease in body weight at the end of the study period, compared to the placebo group. They also saw significantly lower body fat compared to the placebo group.

In addition, the probiotic group experienced improvements in BMI and waist and hip circumference.

The study was conducted by researchers from Semyung University. It was published online ahead of print on December 21, 2022 in the journal Nutrients.

Probiotics from kimchi were found to provide weight management benefits in a previous study.

article 2Black Seed Oil and Astaxanthin May Provide Immune Health Benefits

Black seed oil is extracted from the seeds of Nigella sativa, a flowering plant that grows in Asia, Pakistan, and Iran. Thymoquinone is the main key component of black seed oil and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A recent study has found that supplementation with black seed oil and astaxanthin and may provide immune and wellbeing benefits following endurance training.

Researchers from Waves Wellness recruited 40 half-marathon and marathon runners for their study. They consumed 500 mg of black seed oil and 8 grams of astaxanthin or a placebo daily for 4 weeks. They took the supplements 3 weeks before and 1 week after running a half-marathon or marathon.

They completed a profile of mood state psychological assessmentat baseline and at the end of the study period. They also completed a health log that evaluated health status and upper respiratory symptoms. Saliva samples were used to measure cortisol levels and gut microbiome composition.

The supplement group reported 78% fewer upper respiratory tract symptoms compared to the placebo group. They also reported 11% more positive mood states compared to the placebo group.

Participants in the supplement group had 20% lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to the placebo group. They also had 63% higher levels of the probiotic Streptococcus thermophilus, which provides immune health benefits.

The study was published online ahead of print on August 22, 2022 in the Scholarly Journal of Food and Nutrition.

Black hoof mushrooms were found to provide immune health benefits in a previous study.

article 3Probiotic May Help Support Cardiovascular Health

Probiotics have been used mainly to support digestive and immune system health.  Emerging research is finding that supporting gut health with probiotics may help other body functions too. Data from two new studies suggests that the probiotic Lactiplantibacillus plantarum Inducia may help support cardiovascular health.

The researchers conducted two placebo-controlled interventions that included 240 participants. In the first study, 136 participants received a yogurt containing 5.9 billion CFUs of the probiotic or a placebo daily for 8 weeks. In the second study, 104 participants received a yogurt containing 2 billion CFUs of the probiotic or a placebo yogurt daily for 8 weeks.

The researchers measured BMI, blood pressure, plasma glucose, cholesterol, high sensitivity CRP, and oxidative stress at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Participants in both studies that consumed the probiotic yogurt saw improvements in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and non- HDL cholesterol.

Overweight participants in the probiotic yogurt groups saw improvements in blood glucose and the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6. Normal weight participants in the probiotic yogurt group saw improvements in levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Tartu. It was published online ahead of print on November 28, 2022, in the journal Beneficial Microbes.

A previous study with a Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strain found that it may support cognitive function.

article 4Dietary Intake of Omega-3 PUFAs Positively Associated With Hand Grip Strength

The hand grip strength test is used to measure maximum strength of hand and forearm muscles. In general, people with strong hands tend to be strong elsewhere, so the test is also used as a general test of strength. A new study conducted by researchers from Gangneung-Wonju National University suggests that dietary intake of omega-3 PUFAs is positively associated with hand grip strength.

The researchers used data from 18,278 adults who were enrolled in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Hand grip strength was measured using a digital hand dynamometer. A 24-hour recall questionnaire was used to gather information about dietary intake of omega-3 PUFAs.

Participants with the highest dietary intake of omega-3 PUFAs were found to have a significantly lower risk of low hand grip strength compared to those with less dietary intake.

Participants with hypertension or type 2 diabetes showed the strongest associations between dietary intake of omega-3 PUFAs and hand grip strength.

The study was published online ahead of print on January 9, 2023 in the journal Nutrients

In a previous study, hand grip strength was linked to the pace of biological aging.

article 5Study Finds Walking 5 Minutes Every 30 Minutes Is Optimal For Sedentary People

Extended periods spent sitting have been associated with a number of negative health effects. Previous research has found that sitting less and moving more may help decrease the harmful effects. Now a new study suggests that walking for 5 minutes every half an hour may be optimal to help offset the harmful effects of extended periods spent sitting.

Participants in the study included 11 adults. They completed 5 different interventions that lasted 8 hours:

  1. 8 hours uninterrupted sitting
  2. 1 minute of walking after every 30 minutes of sitting
  3. 1 minute of walking after every 60 minutes of sitting
  4. 5 minutes of walking after every 30 minutes of sitting
  5. 5 minutes of walking after every 60 minutes of sitting

The researchers measured glucose every 15 minutes and blood pressure every 60 minutes.

Walking for 5 minutes every 30 minutes was found to provide the most blood sugar and blood pressure benefits. Blood sugar spikes following a large meal were reduced by 58% compared to sitting all day.

Walking for 1 minute every 30 minutes provided modest blood sugar benefits.

All amounts of walking reduced blood pressure by 4 to 5 mmHg. All amount of walking except for 1 minute every hour provided fatigue and mood benefits.

The study was conducted by researchers from Columbia University. It was published online ahead of print on December 15, 2022 in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

A previous study found that spending more time standing may provide insulin sensitivity benefits.

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