Alotin HA
TrueOmega3
TrueLife PB

Powered by WordPress

February 5, 2016

Your Diet May Be Disrupting Your Sleep

Filed under: Food and Nutrition — Sarah @ 9:00 am
Sarah

If you are having trouble getting a good night sleep, the culprit could be your diet. A recent study has found a link between what you eat during the day and how well you sleep.

Participants in the study included 26 people who had a normal weight and an average age of 35. All of the participants spent five nights in a sleep lab, each night spending nine hours in bed. They slept for an average of seven hours and 35 minutes per night. The researchers collected objective sleep data every night using polysomnography.

The participants were given controlled meals created by a nutritionist for three days. These meals contained lower saturated fat and higher protein than meals participants selected themselves. On the fifth day, participants chose their own food. Sleep data was analyzed after night three and night five.

The researchers found that more fiber intake was associated with more time spent in deep, slow wave sleep. On the other hand, more saturated fact was associated with less slow wave sleep. More sugar was also associated with more arousals from sleep. Finally, the controlled diet was associated with quicker time falling asleep: 17 minutes after eating, compared with 29 minutes after eating with the self-selected meals.

Researchers from Columbia University conducted the study. It was published in the January 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Lack of sleep has been linked in previous studies with increased weight gain, faster cognitive decline, increased blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.



February 4, 2016

Sesame May Help Lower Triglyceride Levels

Filed under: Food and Nutrition — Emma @ 9:00 am
Emma

High levels of triglycerides and cholesterol are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke. A recent study examined the effects of sesame on blood lipid profiles and found it may help reduce triglyceride levels but does not affect cholesterol.

The researchers reviewed data from ten controlled trials in order to assess the effects of sesame consumption on blood lipid profiles. They found a correlation between increased sesame consumption and lower triglyceride levels. However, no similar correlation with sesame consumption and cholesterol levels was found.

Sesame was effective at lowering triglyceride levels only when consumed in the form of oil, but not as whole or as ground seeds. The researchers theorized that this could be due to the high levels of lignans or monounsaturated fatty acid in sesame oil.

Researchers from Griffith University in Australia conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 13, 2016, in British Journal of Nutrition.

Previous studies have linked sesame oil with lower blood sugar, reduced blood pressure in diabetics and healthier looking skin. Sesame seeds are high in protein and magnesium. Their high fiber content can aid with digestion.



February 3, 2016

Anthocyanin Antioxidants May Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels

Filed under: Antioxidants — Sarah @ 9:00 am
Sarah

Anthocyanins are “indirect” antioxidants that support the body’s direct antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C. Anthocyanins also give certain fruits and vegetables their red, blue, or purple color. A recent study suggests that the anthocyanins in berries may help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

For this study, researchers reviewed 12 trials that examined the effect of anthocyanins on cholesterol levels. The studies had to meet the following criteria:

  • Randomized, controlled trials
  • Compare purified anthocyanins or anthocyanin-rich extracts against a placebo
  • Involve participants who were over the age of 18
  • Assess the effect of anthocyanins on markers of cardiovascular disease, including triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, or blood pressure
  • Anthocyanin content had to have ben quantitative or quantifiable
  • Results were published in English.

Analyzing the data showed that supplementation with anthocyanins significantly improved LDL cholesterol levels among individuals with elevated LDL levels. No effect was seen on individuals with normal LDL levels. No effect was seen on triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol or blood pressure.

Researchers from George Mason University in Virginia conducted the study. It was published on January 9, 2016, in the journal Nutrients.

Previous studies have shown that anthocyanins may protect the body from damage by free radicals. This may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Anthocyanins can be found in red, blue, or purple fruits and vegetables. Blueberries, cranberries and acai have particularly high levels.



February 2, 2016

Pea Fiber May Help With Weight Loss

Filed under: Fiber — Emma @ 9:26 am
Emma

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows that it’s not easy to do — and that even the little things can help. A recent study suggests that adding pea fiber to your diet may have a small but significant effect on calorie consumption and body fat.

Participants in the study included 50 people with an average age of 44 and an average BMI of 32.9 kg/m2. Over the course of 12 weeks they were given either 15 grams of yellow pea fiber or a placebo daily and were instructed not to make any other lifestyle changes.

At the conclusion of the study, the pea fiber group had an average body weight loss of 1.9 lbs — 1.6 of which was from body fat — while the placebo group had an average gain 0.8 lbs. Additionally, the pea fiber group consumed 16% less calories during a follow-up lunch buffet, while no changes were observed in the placebo group.

Researchers from the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development conducted the study. It was published in the January 2016 issue of Clinical Nutrition.

Pea fiber is a soluble fiber, which means that it attracts water and turns into gel during digestion, slowing the digestion process. In addition to peas, soluble fiber can be found in oats, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Previous studies suggest that it make help with lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes and breast cancer prevention.



February 1, 2016

Lycopene Associated With Delayed Mortality in People With Metabolic Syndrome

Filed under: Lycopene — Sarah @ 9:25 am
Sarah

Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of mortality, possibly partially due to increased oxidative stress and inflammation. A recent study suggests that higher blood levels of lycopene may lower the risk of mortality in people with metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other diseases.  These risk factors include central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism.

Participants in the study included 2,499 people with metabolic syndrome who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The researchers divided the participants into three groups, based on lycopene levels: Low (0.011 to 0.291 umol/L); Medium (0.292 to 0/456 umol/L); and High (0.457 to 1.494 umol/L).

The mean survival time of people with the highest serum lycopene concentration was found to be approximately 4 months onger than the medium group and 13 months longer than the low group. However, they also noted that this study found correlation, not causation.

Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 8, 2016, in Nutrition Research.

Previous studies have shown that lycopene may have a positive effect on heart health, bone health, and skin health. If you want to increase lycopene levels you may want to consider taking a lycopene supplement, or increasing your consumption of red-pigmented foods such as tomatoes, peppers and papayas. Certain diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, are also high in lycopene.



January 29, 2016

Higher Omega-3 Index Associated With Improved Attention, Processing Speed in Teens

Filed under: Omega-3 — Emma @ 9:00 am
Emma

The Omega-3 index records the percentage concentration of omega-3 in red blood cells, and provides a good indication of a person’s long-term intake of omega-3s. A recent study suggests that teenagers with a higher Omega-3 index have better information processing speeds when compared with those with a lower Omega-3 index.

Participants in the study included 266 Dutch teens between the ages of 13 and 15. The researchers took blood samples from all of the teens and also assessed cognitive performance via a range of tests.

The participants filled out a fish consumption questionnaire, and it showed that 13.9% of the teens did not consume any fish at all and that 77% of them consumed fish rarely. As a result, the average Omega-3 Index was 3.83%, which was much lower than the recommended 8%-11%.

After examining the data, the researchers found that a higher Omega-3 Index was associated with higher scores on the Letter Digit Substitution Test. Specifically, every 1% increase in the Omega-3 Index was associated with a 1.23 digit increase. They also noted that the students with a higher Omega-3 Index had “fewer errors of omission” on the D2 test of attention, which means that they paid better attention than students with a lower Omega-3 Index.

Researchers from the Open University of the Netherlands, Omegametrix (Germany), Aker BioMarine (Norway), and Maastricht University (The Netherlands) conducted the study. It was published on January 2, 2016, in Nutrients.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. For vegans like the ones in this study or for folks who just don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.



January 28, 2016

Soluble Dietary Fiber Chitosan May Help With Weight Loss

Filed under: Fiber — Sarah @ 9:03 am
Sarah

Chitosan is a soluble dietary fiber that reduces fat absorption. A recent study suggests that taking supplements of chitosan derived from fungus may help lower body weight and BMI in overweight people.

96 overweight and obese people took part in the study. 32 of them were given a placebo and 64 were given five capsules of 500 mg of chitosan daily for 90 days. The researchers did not place any dietary restrictions on the participants.

At the conclusion of the study, the chitosan group showed a mean body weight reduction of 3.14 lbs and 6.13 lbs after 45 and 90 days of supplementation, respectively. The placebo group, on the other hand, had a mean reduction of 0.10 lbs over the study period. Additionally, the chitosan group had a 10.91 fold decrease in BMI when compared with the placebo group at the 90 day mark. Finally, HbA1c levels (a marker of inflammation) were reduced to below 6% in the chitosan group, while no similar reduction was noted in the placebo group.

None of the participants had any changes in dietary habits during the study period.

Researchers from Ethicare Clinical Trial Services in Ahmedabad, India, and KitoZyme in Belgium conducted the study. It was published on January 8, 2016, in Nutrition Journal.

Chitosan is a soluble dietary fiber. Research on chitosan’s health benefits are limited, although early studies suggest that it may be good at fighting fat. However, soluble dietary fiber is linked to a wide range of health benefits, including lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes and breast cancer prevention.

In addition to chitosan, soluble dietary fiber can be found naturally in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole wheat and grains, brown rice, fruit, broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy vegetables.



January 27, 2016

Curcumin May Help Improve Vascular Health in Mature Adults

Filed under: Curcumin — Emma @ 9:23 am
Emma

Curcumin is the pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow color.  A recent study suggests that taking curcumin supplements may improve endothelial-dependent dilation of blood vessels in mature adults.

Participants in the study included 29 people between the ages of 45 and 74 who were given either a 2,000 mg curcumin supplement or a placebo for 12 weeks. The researchers found that the curcumin group had a 34% increase in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation.

Flow-mediated dilation measures the ability of an artery to contract as blood flows through it and the higher your flow-mediated dilation, the better. Previous research suggests that every 1% reduction in flow-mediated dilation is associated with a 12% increased risk in developing cardiovascular problems.

Additionally, the researchers noted a 44% increase in brachial artery infusions of acetylcholine in the curcumin group. Acetylcholine relaxes blood vessels and release nitric oxide from the endothelium or lining of the blood vessels. The curcumin group also had an increase in nitric oxide bioavailability when compared with the placebo, which is good because nitric oxide is known to be a vasodilatory and vascular protective molecule.

Researchers from the University of Colorado conducted the study. It was presented at the 68th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America held the week of November 18, 2015.

Curcumin has been used in folk remedies for years to ease menstrual cramping, help heal wounds, and to improve the appearance of skin. Recent studies have suggested that it may also protect against prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and arthritis. All of these benefits are attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin.



January 26, 2016

Resveratrol May Boost Mitochondrial Capacity During Workouts

Filed under: Resveratrol — Emma @ 9:21 am
Emma

Mitochondria are the “power fuels” of our cells and increased mitochondrial activity is indicative of increased and healthier muscle growth. A recent study suggests that taking a resveratrol and piperine supplement and performing low-intensity exercise may boost mitochondrial capacity in the forearm.

Participants in the study included 16 young adults who were given 500 mg of resveratrol plus 10 mg of piperine or a placebo daily for four weeks. They also took part in low-intensity exercise for three sessions per week. The participants were required to not be on any other medications aside from oral contraceptives and the researchers also excluded anyone who was taking vitamin supplements. People whose exercise regime included extensive use of the forearm muscle, such as rowing, rock climbing, or CrossFit were not included in the study.

In addition to their normal exercise routine, the participants were asked to do 30 minutes of supervised forearm wrist flexor exercises with their non-dominant arm three times weekly over the course of four weeks. The researchers chose the wrist flexor muscles because they are muscles that most people do not usually train. The contralateral arm was not trained and served as the control.

Near infrared spectroscopy was used for 45 minutes each session on week zero, two, three, and four in order to determine mitochondrial activity. The researchers found that that the reserveratrol plus piperine group had a 40% skeletal muscle mitochondrial capacity increase from baseline, whereas the placebo group had a 10% increase from baseline. Neither group saw any change in the untrained arm.

Researchers from the University of Georgia conducted the study. It was published in the January 2016 issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

Previous studies have shown resveratrol to be a powerful antioxidant with health benefits that include increasing energy levels, improving brain health, reducing the appearance of aging, improving metabolism, and improving liver function.

While it’s not yet possible to buy resveratrol at the potency used in this study, you can find it in lower levels in a variety of foods including red wine, grapes, grape seed extract, and peanuts. A glass of red wine a day can provide a good amount of resveratrol, but excess drinking may counter balance the positive health benefits. Another good way to get resveratrol is through a high quality supplement.

Piperine is the alkaloid found in black pepper. It is a bioenhancer that increases the bioavailability and bioefficiency of resverstrol. Piperine has also been linked to decreasing inflammation.



January 25, 2016

Flavonoid-Rich Foods May Reduce Risk of Erectile Dysfunction

Filed under: Flavonoids — Sarah @ 9:20 am
Sarah

Erectile dysfunction affects many men in middle and later age and may be an early warning sign of vascular issues. A recent study suggests that eating more flavonoid-rich foods, particularly those high in anthocyanins, may reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Participants in the study included more than 50,000 men who took part in a large population based study. The researchers questioned them about their ability to have and maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse, dating to as far back as 1986. They also collected data on diet every four years.

The researchers restricted the study group to men who were in otherwise good health. They also took the men’s body weight, physical activity, and amount of caffeine consumed as well as whether or not they smoked into consideration.

More than one third of the participants reported new onset erectile dysfunction during the study period. Upon examining the data, the researchers found that the men who consumed a diet rich in anthocyanins, flavones, and flavanones were at a 21% lower risk of erectile dysfunction.

The researchers also found that the men who consumed the highest number of anthocyanins and flavanones and were also physically active were the least likely to have erectile dysfunction.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia and Harvard University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 13, 2016, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Flavonoids are naturally occurring antioxidants which have previously been shown to decrease inflammation, protect our DNA from damage, and improve heart and brain health by increasing blood flow. Foods high in flavonoids include citrus fruits, grapes, strawberries, tea, cooked greens and dark chocolate, all of which are can be easily incorporated into your daily diet.

Previous studies have shown that anthocyanins protect the body from damage by free radicals, which may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Anthocyanins can be found in red, blue, or purple fruits and vegetables. Blueberries, cranberries and acai have particularly high levels.



Next Page »