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Astaxanthin & Eye Health / Yogurt & Weight Gain / Nuts & Frailty

Astaxanthin, Lutein & Zeaxanthin May Help Protect Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination is the body's ability to process information received through the eyes and use it to direct movements of the hands to complete a task or skill. Previous research has suggested that extended use of visual display terminals (VDTs) may disrupt hand-eye coordination. Now a new study has found that a supplement containing astaxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin may reduce the effect of VDT use on hand-eye coordination.

The researchers enrolled 57 adults in their study who used VDTs on a regular basis. They received a supplement containing 6 mg astaxanthin, 10 mg lutein, and 2 mg zeaxanthin or a placebo daily for 8 weeks. Hand-eye coordination, smooth-pursuit eye movements, and macular pigment optical density (MPOD) were evaluated at baseline, week 2, week 4, and week 8.

At the end of the study period, participants in the supplement group had significantly better hand-eye coordination times and accuracy rates compared to baseline and to the placebo group. They also had significantly higher MPOD levels. Macular pigment protects the eyes by absorbing damaging blue light, such as that emitted by VDTs.

No changes were seen in smooth-pursuit eye movements.

The study was conducted by researchers from Kansai University and Kindai University. It was published online ahead of print on March 17, 2023 in the journalNutrients.

A previous study found that zeaxanthin and lutein may help improve night vision.

article 2Regular Consumption of Nuts May Reduce Frailty Risk for Aging Women

Nuts are a nutritionally rich food and are one of the main sources of ALA omega-3 fatty acid. They are also good sources of protein, fiber, and vitamin E. A new study has found that eating 5 or more servings of nuts per week may reduce the risk of frailty for aging women.

Frailty can increase the risk of falls and unwanted health outcomes.  It can occur as we age and the body loses muscle mass, and a person becomes weaker and less active.

Participants in the study included 71,704 women above the age of 60 who were not experiencing frailty at the beginning of the study period. They were assessed for frailty every 4 years during the 24-year study period. Food frequency questionnaires were completed every 4 years to determine the intake of nuts.

Consuming any type of nuts 5 or more times per week was associated with a 20% reduced risk of developing frailty compared to consuming nuts less than 1 time per month.

Consuming peanuts or walnuts was found to be associated with reduced risk of developing frailty but not consumption of peanut butter. Consuming 2 or more servings per week of peanuts or walnuts was found to be associated with a 15% lower risk of developing frailty compared to consuming them less than 1 time per month.

The study was conducted by researchers from Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It was published online ahead of print on January 7, 2023 in The Journal of Nutrition.

A pro-inflammatory diet was found to be associated with an increased risk of frailty in a previous study.

article 3Yogurt Consumption May Help Reduce Weight Gain During Menopause

Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and contains B vitamins, protein, and magnesium. Some yogurts contain probiotics as well. A new study suggests that consuming yogurt regularly may help reduce weight gain during the menopausal transition.

Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium – 1 cup provides 49% of daily calcium needs. Yogurt also contains B vitamins, protein, and magnesium and some types of yogurt contain probiotics as well. A new study suggests that consuming yogurt may help reduce weight gain during menopause.

The researchers used data from 35,152 participants who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study II. The data was collected 6 years before menopause and 6 years after menopause.

Weight was assessed every 2 years from baseline to the end of the study period. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire every 4 years used to evaluate dairy foods consumption.

Participants with the highest consumption of yogurt had the lowest weight gain during the study period. This was not found for any other dairy foods. Participants who consumed 2 or more servings of yogurt per week had a 31% lower risk of obesity, compared to a 12% reduced risk in participants with the highest consumption of all dairy foods.

The researchers believe the calcium and probiotic content of yogurt may be the mechanism responsible for these findings.

The study was conducted by researchers from Boston University. It was published online ahead of print on March 16, 2023 in the Journal of Nutrition.

A previous study found that 2 probiotic strains may help with weight management.

article 4Ayurvedic Supplement Combination May Provide Liver Health Benefits

Sphaeranthus indicus, the East Indian globe thistle, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Terminalia chebula fruit is an Ayurvedic plant extract native to South Asia. A recent study has found that supplementation with sphaeranthus indicus and terminalia chebula fruit extract may provide liver health benefits.

For their study, researchers from Aditya Multi Specialty Hospital recruited 88 adults with elevated fatty liver index score to participate in the study. They were given a supplement containing 300 mg of Sphaeranthus indicus flower head and Terminalia chebula fruit extracts, 320 mg of silymarin (from milk thistle), or a placebo daily for 84 days.

Fatty liver index was measured at baseline and at the end of the study period. Liver enzymes, lipid profile, and oxidative stress markers were also measured.

Participants in the supplement group saw a 13.81% decrease in their fatty liver index compared to baseline and a 16.08% decrease compared to the placebo group. Participants in the silymarin group saw a 7.5% decrease compared to baseline and a 7.27% decrease compared to the placebo group.

The supplement group also saw significant reductions in liver enzyme levels and improvements in cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and oxidative stress markers.

The study was published in the December, 2022 edition of Functional Foods in Health and Disease.

Tocotrienols was found to help support liver health in a previous study.

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