Weekly Wellness News Wrap - 12/3/2022
- Higher Intake of Flavonoids May Provide Cardiovascular Benefits
- Probiotics May Provide Blood Sugar Health Benefits
- Dietary Intake of Flavonols May Benefit Cognitive Health
- Turmeric Extract May Help Muscle Discomfort After Exercise
- Blackcurrant Powder Associated With Bone Health Benefits
Higher Intake of Flavonoids May Provide Cardiovascular Benefits
Flavonoids are plant compounds found in many fruits and vegetables such as berries, tea, red wine, citrus fruits, and dark chocolate. There are 6 main types of flavonoids: flavonols, flavones, flavan-3-ols, flavanones, anthocyanidins, and isoflavones. According to a new study, consuming a higher level of flavonoids (especially from black tea) may provide cardiovascular benefits.
Researchers from Edith Cowan University used data from 881 women with an average age of 80 who took part in the Perth Longitudinal Study of Ageing Women. Food frequency questionnaires were used to evaluate flavonoid intake. Calcification of the abdominal aorta was assessed.
Participants with the highest intake of total flavonoids, flavan-3-ols, and flavonols were found to have a 36% reduced risk of having extensive calcification of the abdominal aorta compared to those with the lowest intake. The abdominal aorta is the largest artery in the body, and calcification increases the risk of a cardiovascular event.
The main source of flavonoids in the study was black tea. Participants who drank 2 to 4 cups of black tea daily had a 16 to 42% decreased risk of calcification of the abdominal aorta. Higher intake of flavonoids from sources other than black tea was also found to reduce the risk of calcification.
The study was published online ahead of print on November 3, 2022, in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
A previous study found that higher intake of flavonoids may provide blood sugar health benefits.
Probiotics May Provide Blood Sugar Health Benefits
As we age, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and metabolism is important for many aspects of healthy aging – including weight management. According to a new report, probiotics may provide blood sugar health benefits.
For their study, the researchers used the results of 7 randomized, controlled trials that included 460 participants. All participants had blood sugar health trending in the wrong direction and were labeled as prediabetic. The trials evaluated the effect of probiotics on fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, insulin resistance, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Probiotic supplementation was found to have a beneficial effect on HbA1c, insulin sensitivity, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol. The researchers were not able to identify the minimum effective dose of probiotics.
The study was conducted by researchers from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. It was published online ahead of print on November 2, 2002 in the Journal of Translational Medicine.
An intensified exercise program was found to provide blood sugar health benefits to prediabetics in a previous study.
Dietary Intake of Flavonols May Benefit Cognitive Health
Flavonols, compounds found in many fruits and vegetables, help regulate cellular activity and fight free radicals that cause oxidative stress. A new study suggests that a higher dietary intake of flavonols may benefit cognitive health.
Participants in the study included 961 mature adults with an average age of 81 who took part in the Rush Memory and Aging Project. They completed an annual food frequency questionnaire used to measure dietary flavanol intake. Cognitive and memory performance were evaluated annually via 19 standardized tests. Participants were followed for an average of 7 years.
Participants with the highest dietary intake of flavonols, approximately 15 mg per day, had slower declines in cognition and memory compared to those with the lowest dietary intake, approximately 5 mg per day. These results held after adjusting for age, gender, and smoking.
When the researchers looked at intakes of individual flavonols, they found that intakes of kaempferol and quercetin were associated with slower global cognitive decline. Kaempferol is found in green leafy vegetables and herbs. Quercetin is found in onions, apples, grapes, broccoli, green tea, coffee, and wine.
The study was conducted by researchers from Rush University Medical Center. It was published online ahead of print on November 22, 2022, in the journal Neurology.
Regular fish oil consumption was associated with cognitive health support in a previous study.
Turmeric Extract May Help Muscle Discomfort After Exercise
Delayed onset post-exercise muscle soreness usually begins 6-12 hours after completing exercise and peaks at 48-72 hours. Symptoms include muscle stiffness, aching discomfort, and muscle tenderness. A recent study suggests that turmeric extract may help reduce delayed onset muscle discomfort.
Researchers from Pujitha Hospital recruited 30 recreationally active adults to take part in the study. They were given 250 mg of turmeric extract or a placebo for 33 days. On day 29, participants performed 225 squats in 15 minutes to induce delayed onset muscle soreness.
Changes in discomfort levels were measured beginning immediately after completing the squats and 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours later. Participants completed a questionnaire that evaluated general muscle soreness, fatigue, mood, sleep quality, and stress.
The turmeric group experienced significantly less muscle discomfort compared to the placebo group. They also had significantly better scores in muscle soreness, sleep quality, fatigue, mood, and stress compared to the placebo group.
The study was published online ahead of print on August 5, 2002 in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
In a previous study, HMB was found to help protect against muscle soreness.
Blackcurrant Powder Associated With Bone Health Benefits
Blackcurrants contain many vitamins, antioxidants, and anthocyanins. In fact, it’s estimated blackcurrants contain 4 times the amount of vitamin C as orange juice and twice the amount of antioxidants as blueberries. A new study has found that daily consumption of blackcurrant powder may help slow down the natural loss of bone density that occurs with aging.
Participants in the study included 40 peri- and postmenopausal women between the ages of 45 and 60. They were given 392 mg of blackcurrant powder, 784 mg of blackcurrant powder, or a placebo daily for 6 months. Bone density was measured at baseline and at the end of the study period. A marker of bone formation was also measured.
Participants in both blackcurrant groups saw less of a decrease bone mineral density compared to the placebo group. However, this change was only statically significant in those taking the higher dose of blackcurrant powder
Significant increases in a marker of bone formation were also seen in both blackcurrant groups.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut. It was published online ahead of print on November 21, 2002 in the journal Nutrients.
Shilajit was found to provide bone health benefits in a previous study.