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Omega-3s & Kidney Health / Calcium & Vision Health / Pine Bark & Hair

Folate, B6, and B12 May Provide Metabolic Health Support

B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being and play a major role in energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. A new study suggests that higher dietary intake and blood levels of folate, B6, and B12 may provide metabolic health support.

The study lasted 30 years and included 4,414 adults with an average age of 25 at baseline. Diet was assessed at baseline, year 7, and year 20. Serum concentrations of folate, B6, and B12 were measured in a subset of 1,430 participants at baseline, year 7, and year 15. All incidences of metabolic syndrome were recorded. Metabolic syndrome refers to struggles with multiple metabolic health measurements such as blood pressure, triglyceride, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels, and excess waist fat around the waist.

Participants with the highest folate intake were found to have a 61% lower risk of metabolic syndrome compared to those with the lowest folate intake. The risk was 39% lower for those with the highest B6 intake and 26% lower with the highest vitamin B12 intake, compared to those with the lowest.

An inverse association was also found between serum concentrations of folate, B6, and B12 and risk of metabolic syndrome.

The study was conducted by researchers from Texas State University. It was published online ahead of print on January 11, 2023 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

In a previous study, annatto tocotrienol was found to help support metabolic health.

article 2Bilberry and Fish Oil May Provide Eye Health Benefits

Bilberries are very similar to blueberries and contain high levels of anthocyanins. A recent study has found that supplementation with bilberry and fish oil may provide eye health benefits.

Researchers from the University of Southampton recruited 24 adults with dry eye symptoms for their study. Half received 600 mg of bilberry extract containing 240 mg of anthocyanins and 240 mg fish oil daily for 3 months. The other half did not receive a supplement or placebo.

The Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire was completed by participants at baseline and at the end of the study period. Three tests were administered at baseline and at the end of the study period to evaluate symptoms of dry eye.

Ocular Surface Disease Index scores improved in the supplement group but not in the control group. The supplement group also saw improvements in dry eye symptoms, compared to little improvement in the control group.

The study was published online ahead of print on January 19, 2023 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

A previous study found that supplementation with bilberry extract, astaxanthin, and lutein may provide eye health benefits.

article 3Higher Dietary Intake of Calcium May Help Support Eye Health

The body doesn’t produce calcium so it must be obtained through dietary sources or supplements. Dietary sources of calcium include cheese, milk, yogurt, broccoli, kale, and almonds. A new study has found that higher dietary intake of calcium may provide eye health benefits.

Participants in the study included 5,227 adults who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All had undergone ophthalmological measurement for age-related macular degeneration. Dietary intake of calcium was evaluated using a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire. Serum calcium levels were also measured.

The researchers found that higher intake of dietary calcium was associated with a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration. No association was found between serum concentration of calcium and risk of age-related macular degeneration.

The study was conducted by researchers from Tri-Service General Hospital School of Medicine. It was published online ahead of print on January 28, 2023 in the journal Nutrients.

Antioxidants were found to provide eye health benefits in a previous study.

article 4Seafood-Derived Omega-3’s May Help Support Kidney Health

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega-3’s that are obtained from seafood. Fish that are rich in these omega-3’s include salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines. According to a new study, seafood-derived omega-3’s may help support kidney health.

The researchers used results from 19 studies from the Fatty Acids and Outcomes Research Consortium. The studies included 25,570 participants and took place in 12 countries. All had measured levels of omega-3 biomarkers and all incidences of chronic kidney disease were recorded.

The researchers found that higher levels of seafood-derived omega-3’s were associated with better kidney health. Participants with the highest levels of omega-3’s had significantly less long-term kidney problems compared to those with the lowest intake of EPA and DHA.

No kidney health benefits were found for the plant-derived omega-3 alpha linolenic acid.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of New South Wales and Johns Hopkins. It was published online ahead of print on January 18, 2023 in the journal BMJ.

A previous study found that curcumin may help those struggling with kidney health.

article 5French Maritime Pine Bark May Help Appearance and Health of Hair 

Nearly everyone experiences some hair loss with aging along with a slowing of the rate of hair growth. In addition, hair strands become smaller and have less pigment. A new study has found that supplementation with Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark, may help support the appearance and look of hair in mature women.

Researchers from Heinrich Heine University recruited 63 postmenopausal women for their study. Half of them were given 150 mg of Pycnogenol daily for 6 months. The other half were given a placebo.

Hair density, transepidermal water loss, and resting flux of the scalp skin were evaluated at baseline, month 2, and month 6. Resting flux is a measurement of blood flow.

Participants in the Pycnogenol group saw a 30% increase in hair density at month 2, and an additional 23% increase by month 6, compared to an insignificant change in the placebo group. They also saw a significant transient decrease of transepidermal water loss in the scalp, compared to an increase in the placebo group.

The supplement group also saw a 21% decrease in resting flux of the scalp skin at month 2 and a 44% decrease by month 6. This suggests improvements in scalp microcirculation.

The study was published in the January, 2023 edition of the journal Health Sciences Report.

Hydrolyzed eggshell membrane was found to provide hair and skin benefits in a previous study.

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