Can cocoa consumption help us age better?
Medical College of Georgia, Sept. 14, 2021 Whether consuming cocoa, known to be packed with powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from damage, helps us age better, is a question scientists want to definitively answer. The COSMOS Trial (COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study), led by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, gathered data from 21,444 men and women looking at the impact of a cocoa extract supplement and/or multivitamins on common health problems, most of which increase with age. Dong and his colleagues will be looking specifically at aging, including so called “inflammaging,” and epigenetic aging, both considered good indicators of our biological age. Rather than just looking at the year you were born, biological age also takes into account key factors that impact your function and health, like genetics and lifestyle. He also has more standard aging measures on these individuals, like blood pressure and cognitive function tests.
Psychobiotics as a novel strategy for alleviating anxiety and depression
Jiangnan University (China), September 10, 2021 As an important ‘microbial organ’, the gut microbiota directly participates in nutrient metabolism and peripheral immune regulation and even distantly affects brain functions and behaviours. This review provides an overview of recent discoveries regarding how the gut microbiota influences anxiety and depression and aims to establish the key signalling pathways between the gut microbiota and the brain. Finally, the psychobiotic strategy for treating mood disorders is discussed, covering both pre-clinical and clinical studies. Psychobiotic treatment could provide a novel therapeutic approach to treat anxiety and depression. In recent years, the gut microbiota has been viewed as a physiological control centre that is linked to the host’s immune system, hormonal system, nervous system, or other physiological pathways. Until now, many studies have revealed the inextricable relationship between the gut microbiome and the brain, especially its participation in the regulation of memory, mood, and behaviour (Cryan et al., 2019b).
Further evidence that vitamin D might protect against severe COVID-19 disease and death
Trinity College (Ireland) and University of Edinburgh, September 16, 2021 New research from Trinity College and University of Edinburgh has examined the association between vitamin D and COVID-19, and found that ambient ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation (which is key for vitamin D production in the skin) at an individual's place of residence in the weeks before COVID-19 infection, was strongly protective against severe disease and death. Researchers, for the first time, looked at both genetically-predicted and UVB-predicted vitamin D level. Almost half a million individuals in the UK took part in the study, and ambient UVB radiation before COVID-19 infection was individually assessed for each participant. When comparing the two variables, researchers found that correlation with measured vitamin D concentration in the circulation was three-fold stronger for UVB-predicted vitamin D level, compared to genetically-predicted.
Study: Eating yogurt can help older adults with high blood pressure
University of Maine, September 13, 2021 Yogurt consumption can help lower blood pressure in older adults with elevated levels, according to a new study led by an international team, including researchers at the University of Maine. The MSLS team examined the relationship between yogurt consumption and bloodpressure among older adults with and without high blood pressure. Statistical analyses revealed modest but statistically significant reductions in systolic blood pressure among those with high blood pressure who consumed yogurt.
Comprehensive review of antioxidants and common arterial condition
University of Connecticut, September 13, 2021 Nutritional science graduate student Chelsea Garcia and associate professor Christopher Blesso recently published an article in Free Radical Biology and Medicine outlining the research to date on a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins and its impact on atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when fats and cholesterol build up along the artery walls. This can restrict blood flow and cause blood clots. This condition is associated with oxidative stress, a process our bodies undergo throughout our lifetime as they encounter free radicals. These oxygen-containing molecules are highly reactive and unstable. They occur when a molecule gains or loses an electron. The unpaired electron on the free radical can react with other molecules and cause age-related harms in the body.
Blueberry and soluble fiber improve serum antioxidant and adipokine biomarkers and lipid peroxidation in pregnant women with obesity
University of Nevada, September 10, 2021 According to news originating from the University of Nevada research stated, “Pregnancies affected by obesity are at high risk for developing metabolic complications with oxidative stress and adipocyte dysfunction contributing to the underlying pathologies.” We conducted an 18 gestation-week randomized controlled trial to examine the effects of a dietary intervention comprising of whole blueberries and soluble fiber vs. control (standard prenatal care) on biomarkers of oxidative stress/antioxidant status and adipocyte and hormonal functions in pregnant women with obesity (* * n* * = 34). Serum samples were collected at baseline (<20 gestation weeks) and at the end of the study period (32-26 gestation weeks).