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Blueberries & Women / PQQ & Cognitive Function / Vitamin K2 Supplements

Vitamin K2 Supplementation May Reduce Deficiency Better Than Dietary Sources

Vitamin K2 is a form of vitamin K that is provides cardiovascular and bone health benefits. It can be obtained from organ meats, fermented foods, and some cheese. According to a new study, supplementation with vitamin K2 may be better at improving vitamin K levels than food sources.

Participants in the study included 10 adults receiving hemodialysis treatment. Half received 360 μg of vitamin K2 daily for 6 weeks. The other half increased consumption of vitamin K rich foods. Participants switched interventions following a 3-week washout period. The researchers measured biomarkers of vitamin K deficiency at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Supplementation with vitamin K2 significantly reduced biomarkers of vitamin K2 deficiency. The vitamin-K rich diet did not produce any significant changes.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen. It was published on October 17, 2022 in The International Journal of Nephrology and Renovascular Disease.

A previous study found that vitamin K2 may help support children’s growing bones.

article 2Losing Weight Can Be Beneficial Even if You Gain Some Back

Cardiometabolic risk factors include insulin resistance, high blood pressure, excess body weight, and high cholesterol. A recent review has found that weight loss following participants in a behavioral weight management program (BWMP) may provide cardiometabolic benefits that persist even if some weight is regained.

Researchers from the University of Oxford used data from 124 randomized clinical trials that included more than 50,000 participants. Participants took part in an intensive BWMP, a moderate intensity BWMP, or no BWMP. They were followed for an average of 5 years. Average weight loss ranged from 5 to 10 pounds and average regain was 0.7 pounds per year.

Cardiometabolic risk factors such as blood pressure, insulin resistance, and cholesterol levels were measured at baseline and at the end of the follow-up period.

Participants who took part in an intensive BWMP had a decrease in risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes for at least 5 years. The risk factors were lower even if some weight was regained.

Systolic blood pressure was 1.5 mm Hg lower after 1 year and 0.4 mm Hg lower after 5 years following participation in an intensive BWMP. The ratio of total cholesterol and good cholesterol was 1.5 points lower at 1 year and at 5 years.

The study was published online ahead of print on March 28, 2023 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Honey was found to help promote cardiometabolic health in a previous study.

article 3PQQ Supplementation May Provide Cognitive Function Benefits 

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a vitamin-like compound that exists naturally in soil and a variety of foods, including spinach, kiwi, soybeans, and human breastmilk. It has potent antioxidant properties. A new study has found that supplementation with PQQ may provide cognitive function benefits.

The researchers recruited 66 adults between the ages of 20 and 65. They received 20 mg of PQQ or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Participants completed a computerized neurocognitive test at baseline, week 8, and week 12.

Participants in the PQQ group between the ages of 20 and 40 saw improvements in cognitive functions after 8 weeks of supplementation. Specifically, improvements were seen in cognitive flexibility, processing speed, and execution speed.

Participants in the PQQ group between the ages of 41 and 65 saw improvements in complex memory and verbal memory after 12 weeks of supplementation. Complex memory, also known as long-term memory, refers to memories that are stored as secondary memory.

The study was conducted by researchers from Nakamura Laboratory. It was published online ahead of print on February 15, 2023 in the journal Food and Function.

Higher dietary flavanol intake was found to benefit cognitive health in a previous study.

article 4Blueberries May Support Blood Flow and Vascular Health in Postmenopausal Women

The endothelium is a thin membrane that lines the inside of the heart and blood vessels.  It plays and important role in vascular health, including helping to regulate blood flow. Endothelial dysfunction can lead to cardiovascular problems. A new study suggests that blueberries may help support endothelial function and promote blood flow in postmenopausal women.

Researchers enrolled 43 postmenopausal women for their study. All had elevated blood pressure and were estrogen-deficient. They consumed 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder or a placebo daily for 12 weeks.

Endothelial function was evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period via measurement of brachial artery flow-mediated dilation. Blood pressure, arterial stiffness, cardiometabolic blood biomarkers, and levels of plasma polyphenol metabolites were measured at baseline, week 4, week 8, and week 12.

Endothelial function was significantly improved in the blueberry group at the end of the study period compared to the placebo group. Levels of plasma polyphenol metabolites increased in the blueberry group at week 4, week 8, and week 12.

No significant changes were seen in blood pressure or arterial stiffness.

The study was conducted by researchers from Colorado State University. It was published online ahead of print on February 15, 2023 in the journal Food and Function.

A previous study found that probiotics may provide endothelial function benefits.

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