Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the brain throughout life, from early cognitive development in babies to learning and memory in adults. A new study suggests that long-term omega-3 fatty acids supplementation or dietary intake may help support cognitive health as we age.
The study had 2 parts. The first part included 1,135 adults with an average age of 73, none who were experiencing age-relate cognitive decline at the beginning of the study period. They were followed for an average of 6 years and all incidences of significant cognitive decline were recorded.
Long-term users of omega-3 fatty acid supplements were found to have a 64% reduced risk of developing significant cognitive decline compared to participants who did not take supplements.
The second part of the study consisted of a review of 48 studies that included 103,651 adults. Cognitive evaluation took place at baseline and at the end of each study. Dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids was determined via questionnaires.
The researchers found that dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids may lower the risk of cognitive decay by up to 20%. Every 0.10-gram daily increase of DHA and EPA reduced cognitive decay risk by 8% and 10%, respectively. Higher blood plasma levels of EPA and DHA also were associated with better cognitive function.
The study was conducted by researchers from Qingdao University. It was published online ahead of print on April 4, 2023 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A previous study found that alpha-linolenic acid may help support aspects of cognitive health.
The female genital tract is naturally colonized by mixed communities of bacteria, known as the vaginal microbiome, and is dominated by Lactobacillus. Overgrowth of other bacterial species can lead to an imbalance can lead to the development of vaginal inflammation. A recent study suggests that Lactobacillus crispatus probiotics may help support vaginal health.
Participants in the study included 89 women with bacterial vaginosis and 93 women with vulvovaginal candidiasis. They were given oral or vaginal probiotic capsules containing 30 billion CFUs of 2 or 3 Lactobacillus crispatus strains or a placebo daily for 3 months. Vaginal health and symptoms were monitored weekly.
Both oral and vaginal probiotic capsules reduced the signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. Significant improvements were specifically seen in amount and smell of discharge, itching, and irritation. No significant improvements were seen in the placebo group,
Participants with vulvovaginal candidiasis saw statistically significant improvements in discharge, itching, and irritation. No significant improvements were seen in the placebo group.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Tartu. It was published online ahead of print on March 1, 2023 in the journal Beneficial Microbes.
A 5 strain probiotic was found to help support vaginal health in a previous study.
The brain receives blood from two sources, internal carotid arteries, and the vertebral arteries. Reduced blood flow to the brain starves cells of nutrients which can damage and eventually destroy them. According to a new study, daily intake of wild blueberry powder may help support vascular and cognitive health.
Researchers from King’s College London recruited 61 healthy adults between the ages of 65 and 80 for their study. Participants consumed 26 g of freeze-dried wild blueberry powder containing 302 mg of anthocyanins or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Flow-mediated dilation, cognitive function, and blood pressure, and cerebral blood flow were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period.
Flow-mediated dilation increased by 0.85% and systolic blood pressure decreased by 3.59 mmHg in the blueberry group compared to the placebo group. Increased flow-mediated dilation is associated with improved vascular function.
Participants in the blueberry group also saw improvement in episodic memory and executive function. No changes were seen in cerebral blood flow.
The study was published online ahead of print on March 25, 2023 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A previous study found that goji berries may help support vascular health.
Skin ages over time resulting in dryness, wrinkles, and pigmented spots. A botanical blend with a high polyphenol content was found to provide skin health benefits in a recent study.
The researchers enrolled 60 women between the ages of 35 and 69 with visible clinical signs of skin aging. Half were given a supplement containing 225 mg of extracts of pomegranate, sweet orange, desert ginseng, and gotu kola daily for 12 weeks. The rest were given a placebo.
Skin moisturization, trans-epidermal water loss, wrinkles, skin roughness, and skin thickness were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period. Participants also completed a questionnaire at the end of the study about perceived well-being.
Participants in the botanical blend group began to see statistically significant improvements at 4 weeks that continued through the end of the study. Improvements were seen in skin moisturization, trans-epidermal water loss, wrinkle depth, firmness, and dark spot pigmentation. They also reported improvements in stress and fatigue.
The study was conducted by researchers from Montloeder SL. It was published online ahead of print on January 13, 2023 in the journal Cosmetics.
Ceramides from rice were found to help improve skin appearance in a previous study.