Protein, Tea, Coffee & Bones / Air Purifiers & Heart Health / Probiotic, Prebiotics & Bowels

High Dietary Intake of Vitamin K1 Associated With Reduced Risk of Bone Fracture

Vitamin K1 helps to make various proteins that are needed for blood clotting, and along with vitamin K2 helps support bone metabolism. Good dietary sources of vitamin K1 include green, leafy vegetables, legumes, eggs, and strawberries. A new study suggests that higher dietary intake of vitamin K1 may be associated with lower long-term risk of bone fractures in mature women.

Participants in the study included 1,373 women over the age of 70. Dietary vitamin K1 intake was measured at baseline using a food frequency questionnaire. Participants were followed for 14.5 years. All incidences of bone fractures were recorded.

Participants who consumed 100 mcg of vitamin K1 daily (equivalent to approximately 2 servings of dark, leafy vegetables), had a 31% lower risk of a bone fracture compared to those who consumed less than 60 mcg daily.

Those who had the highest intake of vitamin K1 also had a 49% lower risk of hip fracture-related hospitalization compared to those with the lowest intake.

The study was conducted by researchers from Ethan Cowan University and The University of Western Australia, It was published online ahead of print on September 12, 2002 in the journal Food and Function.

A previous study found that vegetarian women may have a higher risk of hip fracture than women who eat meat.

article 2Multi-Strain Synbiotic May Provide Bowel Health Benefits

Synbiotics are a mixture of probiotics and prebiotics that work together in the digestive tract. A recent study has found that multi-strain synbiotic may offer bowel health benefits.

The researchers recruited 40 adults with functional diarrhea for their study. They were given a synbiotic containing 8 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14, Lactobacillus plantarum Lp-115 Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, and fructooligosaccharide or a placebo daily for 8 weeks.

Participants recorded bowel symptoms including stool frequency, loose stool, formed stool, and self-reported bowel movement satisfaction daily in an E-diary. Fecal samples were used to evaluate a marker for inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and gut microbiome composition.

The symbiotic group saw significant increases in the number of formed stools at week 4 and week 8 compared to the placebo group. They also saw significant increases in bowel movement satisfaction compared to no change in the placebo group.

A marker of gut inflammation was significantly decreased in the synbiotic group at the end of the study period. In addition, participants in the symbiotic group were the only ones to see an increase in Lactobacillales in the gut.

The study was conducted by researchers from Ajou University School of Medicine, It was published online ahead of print on November 25, 2002 in the journal Nutrients.

Probiotics were found to help improve stool consistency in a previous study.

article 4Increased Protein, Tea, and Coffee Consumption May Provide Bone Health Benefits

Bones tend to weaken with age and poor vision and balance problems increase the risk of falling with age. Both factors lead to an increased risk of hip fracture, especially in mature women. According to a new study, increasing protein intake and regularly drinking tea or coffee may offer bone health benefits for mature women.

The researchers performed an observational study that included 26,318 women between the ages of 35 and 69 who took part in the UK Women's Cohort Study. They were followed for an average of 22.3 years. A 217-item food frequency questionnaire was used to evaluate dietary intake of protein, tea, and coffee at baseline. All incidences of hip fracture during the follow up period were recorded

Women who increased protein intake by 25 grams per day had a 14% reduction in hip fracture risk. Protein sources in the study included meat, dairy, eggs, beans, nuts, and legumes. 25 grams of protein is equivalent to 4 eggs, a 4-ounce steak, or 3 ounces of salmon.

Every additional cup of tea or coffee consumed was associated with a 4% reduction in hip fracture risk.

The reduction in risk was even higher for participants who were underweight. Every 25 grams of extra protein consumed was associated with a 45% reduction in hip fracture risk. This is likely because women who are underweight are more likely to have reduced bone mineral density and muscle mass.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds. It was published online ahead of print on November 8, 2002 in the journal Clincial Nutrition.

A previous study found that increased intake of leucine may help mature adults maintain muscle strength and mass.

article 4Home Air Purifiers May Provide Cardiovascular Health Benefits

Home air purifiers help lower airborne pollution in the home including dust, pet dander, mold, pollen, and particulates. Airborne pollution in the home may enter the bloodstream through the lungs and cause inflammation. According to a recent report, home air purifiers may provide cardiovascular health benefits.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University recruited 85 adults with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for their study. Half were given 2 portable air purifiers with HEPA and carbon filters to use in their home for 6 months. The other half were given placebo air purifiers with no filter. Heart rate variability was measured at 1 week, 3 months, and 6 months.

Participants in the air purifier group saw a 25% increase in heart rate variability. Higher heart rate variability is associated with a healthy heart. They also saw a 105.7% increase in a heart health variability measure called RMSSD, which is also associated with improved heart fitness.

The study was published online ahead of print on October 26, 2002 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Selenium and CoQ10 were found to help support cardiovascular health long-term in a previous study.