Cucumber & Joints / Sleep Quality & Diet / Aronia & Exercise

Aronia May Help Ease Exercise-Induced Inflammation

Regular intensive exercise may disrupt the pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance and increase oxidative stress and the formation of free radicals. The increase in oxidative stress may also increase inflammation in the body. A recent study suggests that supplementation with aronia extract may help increase total antioxidant capacity and reduce inflammation markers.

The researchers recruited 22 semi-professional soccer players for their study. They were given 6 grams of aronia extract or a placebo daily for 90 days. Participants performed maximal aerobic effect exercise at the beginning and end of the study period. Blood samples were used to measure total antioxidant capacity and inflammation markers.

Participants in the aronia group saw increases in total antioxidant capacity compared to the placebo group. They also saw a reduction in inflammation markers for up to 24 hours after exercise.

The study was conducted by researchers from Kazimierz Wielki University, Gdansk University, and Charles University. It was published online ahead of print on February 15, 2023 in the journal Nutrients.

In a previous study, blood orange extract was found to help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

article 2Better Sleep Quality May Help People Stick to Diet and Exercise Plans

During sleep, the body performs several repairing and maintaining processes that affect nearly every part of the body. That is why consistently getting quality sleep is essential for the body both mentally and physically. According to a new study, people with higher sleep health scores may be better able to stick to diet and exercise programs during a weight loss program.

The researchers recruited 125 adults who were overweight or obese and enrolled in a 12-month weight loss program. Questionnaires were administered at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months to evaluate sleep quality. Adherence to the weight loss program was measured based on the number of group sessions attended and number of days participants ate between 85-115% of recommended daily calories.

Participants with higher sleep health scores attended more group sessions than those with low scores. They also had a greater adherence to daily calorie recommendations, and improvements in time spent performing physical activity.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. It was presented at the Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions held February 28 to March 3, 2023.

A previous study found that ATP supplement may be associated with weight loss and lower BMI.

article 3Asian Herb Extract May Improve Physical Performance and Reduce Mental Fatigue

Gynostemma pentaphyllum, also called jiaogulan, is a climbing vine that grows in many parts of Asia, and has been used to support health in numerous ways. It contains compounds called saponins which may have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. A recent study has found that gynostemma pentaphyllum extract (GPE) may help improve physical performance and reduce mental fatigue.

Researchers from Korea University enrolled 100 healthy adults between the ages of 19 and 60 for their study. They were given 460 mg of GPE or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Participants performed exercise on a treadmill at the beginning and end of the study.

Cardiovascular fitness, aerobic endurance, and the amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute were measured before and after exercise. The researchers also evaluated levels of perceived exertion and mental fatigue and measured serum levels of endothelial nitric oxide.

Participants in the GPE group saw significantly higher levels of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance at the end of the study period compared to the placebo group. They also saw increases in the amount of blood pumped per minute by the heart compared to the placebo group.

Perceived exertion and mental fatigue were reduced in the GPE group compared to the placebo group. In addition, serum levels of nitric oxide were significantly higher in the GPE group compared to the placebo group. Higher levels of nitric oxide are associated with improved cardiovascular functioning.

The study was published online ahead of print on March 6, 2023 in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

A previous study found that rhodiola rosae may help improve athletic performance.

article 4Cucumber Extract May Help Relieve Knee Discomfort

Cucumbers contain compounds called iminosugars, which are slightly different from regular sugars, and metabolized differently in the body.  One of the ways iminosugars may help the body is by supporting a healthy inflammation response.  A new study has found that cucumber extract rich in a particular iminosugar may help relieve knee discomfort.

Participants in the study included 91 adults with knee discomfort participated in the study. They received 20 mg of cucumber extract, 100 mg of cucumber extract, or a placebo daily for 6 months. Knee discomfort was evaluated at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), and Lequesne’s Functional Index (LFI).

Both cucumber extract groups saw significant reductions in knee discomfort at 30 and 60 days. The 20mg group saw a 32% improvement in WOMAC scores after 6 months. The 100 mg group saw a 39% improvement in WOMAC scores compared to a 5% improvement in the placebo group.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Yaoundé. It was published online ahead of print on March 8, 2023 in the journal Current Rheumatology Reviews.

Collagen and Boswellia serrata were found to help knee discomfort in a previous study.