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Weekly Wellness News Wrap - 12/17/2022

Pomegranate Extract May Help Reduce Appearance of Wrinkles

A pomegranate is a sweet, tart fruit with thick, red skin. Pomegranates can have up to three times more antioxidants than green tea or red wine. A recent study has found that pomegranate extract may help support skin health.

For their study, the researchers recruited 18 participants, most of them women. They received 250 mg of pomegranate extract or a placebo daily for 4 weeks. Changes in the depth and extent of wrinkles, facial transepidermal water loss, and facial sebum production were assessed at baseline and at the end of the study period. The facial skin microbiome was also evaluated.

Pomegranate group participants saw a 6.2% reduction in wrinkle severity compared to the placebo group. They also saw a decrease in transepidermal water loss, which indicates improvements in skin hydration.

In addition, participants in the pomegranate group saw a 38% increase in acetates and a 16.2% increase in propionates. This is in comparison to a 1.8% and a 0,1% increase, respectively, in the placebo group. Acetates and propionates are short-chain fatty acids, which play a role in skin barrier integrity.

The study was conducted by researchers from University of California-Davis. It was published online ahead of print on November 14, 2002 in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

A previous study found that probiotics may provide skin health benefits.

article 2Yoga Added to Aerobic Exercise May Support Cardiovascular Health

Practicing yoga helps improve strength, balance, and flexibility. It may also help relieve stress and improve sleep quality. Now a new study suggests that adding yoga to an aerobic exercise regime may support cardiovascular health.

Participants in the study included 60 adults who had been diagnosed with hypertension. Half performed 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and 15 minutes of structured yoga 5 times weekly for 3 months. The other half performed 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and 15 minutes of stretching.

The researchers measured blood pressure, high-sensitivity C-reactive proteins, and lipid levels at baseline and at the end of the study period. They also used the Framingham and Reynolds Risk Scores to evaluate 10-year cardiovascular event risk.

Systolic blood pressure was reduced by 10 mmHg in the yoga group, compared to 4 mmHg in the stretching group. Participants in the yoga group also had reductions in resting heart rate and 10-year cardiovascular event risk scores.

Both groups saw similar decreases in lipid levels and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Guelph. It was published online ahead of print on December 10, 2002 in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

A previous study found that higher magnesium intake may provide cardiovascular benefits.

article 4Saffron Supplementation May Support Cardiovascular Health

Saffron (Crocus sativus) is a plant that contains antioxidants. The dried thread-like parts of the flower are used to make saffron spice, food coloring, and have been used in traditional medicine. According to a recent review, supplementation with saffron may support cardiovascular health.

Researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences used 32 studies in their review.  The studies included a total of 1,674 participants. All evaluated the effect of saffron supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors including lipid profiles, blood pressure, and inflammation markers.

Saffron supplementation was found to have a beneficial effect on triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels. It also helped improve systolic blood pressure.

In addition, saffron supplementation helped with fasting blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, and inflammation markers. An increase in total antioxidant capacity was also noted.

The study was published online ahead of print on December 8, 2022 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Supplementation with L-citrulline was found to provide cardiovascular benefits in a previous study.

article 4Fermented Garlic May Help Support Healthy Blood Pressure

Fermented garlic, also known as “black garlic”, is made from fresh garlic that has been fermented. Studies have shown that the fermentation process increases the amount of nutrients in garlic and makes them easier to absorb by the body. A new study has found that fermented garlic extract may provide blood pressure and blood flow benefits.

Participants in the study included 58 healthy adults. They were given 180 mg of fermented garlic extract that contained 7 mg of nitrite or a placebo. Participants were divided into 2 groups.

In group 1, the researchers evaluated blood pressure and the rate of blood flow in the common carotid artery and the internal carotid artery at baseline and 30 minutes after the extract was consumed. In group 2, the researchers measured regional cerebral blood flow and peripheral blood flow at baseline and 30 minutes after the extract was consumed.

Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were statistically significantly lower 30 minutes after participants in group 1 consumed the fermented garlic extract. The peak rate of systolic and diastolic blood velocity in the common carotid artery was also lower after consumption compared to the placebo group.

In group 2, participants in the garlic group saw significant increases in blood flow in the brain. They also saw increases in body surface temperature as a result of increased peripheral blood flow.

The study was conducted by researchers from Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital. It was published online ahead of print on December 8, 2022 in the journal Nutrients.

Beetroot juice was found to help support healthy blood pressure levels in a previous study.

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