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Astaxanthin & Vision / Exercise & Early Death Risk / HMD, D3 & Preserving Muscle

HMB and Vitamin D May Help Maintain Muscle and Reduce Fat Between Muscle

Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine that previous research has found may help increase skeletal muscle size and function. A new study has found that supplementation with HMB and vitamin D may help maintain lean muscle  and reduce fat between muscle groups (called intermuscular adipose tissue or IMTA) in women with insufficient vitamin D levels.

Participants in the study included 43 women with an average age of 53. They received 3 grams of HMB and 2,000 IU of vitamin D or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. The supplementation and placebo groups were subdivided into 2 groups. 1 subgroup participated in a progressive resistance exercise training program. The other subgroup acted as a non-exercise sedentary control.

MRI was used to evaluate changes in lean muscle mass and IMAT. Muscle function was evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Participants in the supplement group who participated in resistance training saw a decrease in IMAT and an increase in muscle volume compared to the placebo group. Participants in the supplement group who did not exercise saw no loss in lean arm muscle compared to a loss in the placebo group.

No changes were seen in muscle function.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. It was published online ahead of print on November 2, 2022 in the journal Nutrients.

A previous study found that supplementation with HMB, leucine, and l-carnitine may help preserve muscle mass.

article 2Different Types of Exercise May Influence Nutrient Intake

Macronutrients are the nutrients the body needs in larger quantities that provide us with energy, such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals the body needs in small quantities. A recent study has found that different types of exercise may influence dietary intake of macro and micronutrients.

The researchers recruited 427 young adults between the ages of 21 and 35 for their study. Participants self-reported time spent weekly in aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, sports, walking, and other structured physical activity for 12 months. 24-hour dietary recall interviews were used to gather information regarding macro and micronutrient intake.

Time spent in aerobic exercise was positively associated with fiber, pectin, and vitamin D intake. It was negatively associated with protein intake. Resistance training was positively associated with intake of protein and B vitamins and with the total percentage of calories from protein. It was negatively associated with the percentage of total calories from carbohydrates.

Performing other structured physical activity was positively associated with pectin intake. Exercising for more than 240 minutes per week was positively associated with intake of protein, fats, fiber and vitamin B6.

The study was conducted by researchers from Shaanxi Normal University, and Beijing Normal University. It was published online ahead of print on February 4, 2023 in the journal Nutrients.

article 3Astaxanthin May Help Protect Vision Function from Effects of Screens

Prolonged use of visual display terminals (VDTs) has previously been associated with negative impacts on eye health including eye fatigue, redness, and decrease in visual acuity. A new study suggests that astaxanthin may provide eye health benefits for people who use VDTs for extended periods of time.

Researchers from the Miura Clinic enrolled 60 adults with an average age of 42 who regularly performed VDT work to participate in the study. They were given 9 mg of astaxanthin of a placebo daily for 6 weeks. Visual acuity after VDT work was evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Participants over the age of 40 in the astaxanthin group saw a protective effect on visual acuity after VDT work compared to the placebo group. The researchers believe the results are due to a reduction in oxidative stress.

The study was conducted by researchers from Shaanxi Normal University, and Beijing Normal University. It was published on January 1, 2023 in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition.

Zeaxanthin and lutein were found to provide night vision benefits in a previous study.

article 4Coconut Sap Powder May Help Support Cardiovascular Health

Coconut sap is extracted from the coconut palm tree. It contains minerals such as zinc, potassium, and iron and 17 amino acids and antioxidants. According to a new study, coconut sap powder may help support cardiovascular health.

Participants in the study included 19 adults with an average age of 55. They received 1.5 grams of coconut sap powder or a placebo daily for 8 weeks. Cardiovascular risk factors including brachial and carotid blood pressure and arterial stiffness were measured at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Participants in the coconut sap powder group saw a 7.7 mmHg reduction in brachial systolic blood pressure. They also saw a trend towards a decrease in arterial stiffness compared to the placebo group.

The study was conducted by researchers from Ball State University. It was published online ahead of print on February 21, 2023 in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Supplementation with L-citrulline was found to support blood pressure and endothelial function in postmenopausal women in a previous study.

article 511 Minutes of Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity Daily May Reduce Risk of Early Death

Physical activity recommendations for adults suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity weekly. A new review has found that 11 minutes daily (75 minutes weekly) of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, may provide overall health benefits.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine included 196 peer-reviewed articles in their review. The articles included more than 30 million participants from 94 large study cohorts. The cohort studies examined the association between physical activity levels and causes of mortality.

75 minutes of moderate-intensity activity was associated with a 23% lower risk of early death. It was also associated with a 17% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 7% reduced risk of developing cancer.

The reduction in risk was higher for some specific cancers. Specifically, 14-26% lower risk for head and neck, myeloid leukemia, myeloma, and gastric cardia cancers. It was 3-11% lower for lung, liver, endometrial, colon, and breast cancers.

The review was published online ahead of print on February 28, 2023 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine..

A previous study found that adults who exercise 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity weekly had up to a 21% reduced risk of mortality from all causes.

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