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Weekly Wellness News Wrap - 12/24/2022

Bioactive Collagen Peptides May Support Muscle Growth

Collagen peptides are very small pieces of protein from animal collagen. Bioactive collagen peptides are a composition of different specific peptides optimized for specific physiological benefits. A recent study found that bioactive collagen peptides may help increase muscle size in young males who were following a resistance training program. 

The researchers enrolled 39 men between the ages of 18 and 40 for their study. They were given 15 grams of bioactive collagen peptides or a placebo daily for 15 weeks. They performed a standardized resistance training program 3 times per week. Quadricep, hamstring, and gluteus maximus muscles were measured for muscle growth at baseline and at the end of the study period.   

Participants in the supplement group saw a significant increase in the muscle size (volume) in the leg muscles and gluteus maximus compared to the placebo group. However, there was no significant difference in muscle strength between the two groups. 

The study was conducted by researchers from Loughborough University. It was published online ahead of print on November 25, 2022 in the journal Acta Physiologica. 

In a previous study, small amounts of daily exercise were found to increase muscle strength and thickness. 

article 2Magnesium Threonate and PS May Help Cognitive Function 

Magnesium threonate is a form of magnesium that’s been shown to help support brain health and cognitive function.  According to a new study, a supplement which combined magnesium threonate with phosphatidylserine (PS) and certain vitamins (vitamins C, D3 and B6) helped cognitive function – including learning, memory and recall. 

Researchers from Nanjing Medical University recruited 109 adults with an average age of 47 for their study. Study participants received a supplement that daily provided a total of 115mg of magnesium (from magnesium threonate), 200mg of PS, 320 IU of vitamin D3, 48mg of vitamin C and 16mg of vitamin B, or a placebo for 30 days. Cognitive function was evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period using the Clinical Memory Test. 

Participants in the magnesium group saw significantly higher increases in scores of 6 memory tests. The tests evaluated directed memory, recall of pictures, portrait-features memory, and memory quotient. 

The highest score increases were seen in the oldest participants in the magnesium group. 

The study was published online ahead of print on December 7, 2022 in the journal Nutrients. 

Creatine was found to provide brain health benefits in a previous study. 

article 4Green Tea Supplementation May Provide Cardiovascular Benefits 

Green tea contains a high amount of antioxidants called catechins, which have been associated with increased antioxidant capacity and protection against oxidative stress. A new review suggests that green tea supplementation may provide cardiovascular benefits. 

Researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences used data from 118 studies for their review. The studies evaluated the effect of green tea supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors including cholesterol, insulin resistance, and blood pressure.  

Green tea supplementation was found to help support healthy total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL levels. It also provided glycemic profile benefits, and diastolic blood pressure benefits. 

The study was published online ahead of print on December 16, 2022 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. 

A previous study found that resveratrol may support healthy cholesterol levels. 

article 4Arjuna Tree Bark May Support Cardiovascular Endurance

The arjuna tree is an evergreen tree native to India. The bark of the arjuna contains a high level of polyphenols and flavonoids and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. A new study suggests that arjuna bark extract may provide cardiovascular endurance benefits. 

The researchers recruited 72 healthy adults between the ages of 30 and 70 for their study. They received 400 mg of arjuna bark extract or a placebo daily for 8 weeks. The researchers measured changes in several cardiovascular endurance factors at baseline, week 4, and week 8. 

Participants in the extract group saw a 6.28% increase in left ventricular ejection fraction compared to a 0.24% increase in the placebo group. Higher left ventricular ejection fraction is associated with a stronger heartbeat and better cardiovascular endurance. Reductions can increase feelings of fatigue and exertion during exercise. 

The extract group also saw a 22.25% reduction in the fatigue severity scale compared to baseline and a 1.54% reduction in rate pressure product. The fatigue severity scale measures subjective perception of fatigue during routine activities. The rate pressure product calculates the amount of work the heart is doing to pump blood through the bloodstream. 

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California It was published online ahead of print on December 7, 2022 in the Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare. 

A previous study found that a potassium-rich diet may provide cardiovascular benefits. 

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