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Nutraceuticals research.

Nutraceutical: Barley beta-glucan (Barliv barley betafiber)

Indication: Pre-diabetes Source: Nutr Metab, August 16, 201l;8(l):58.

Research: This 12-week randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, clinical trial assessed the impact of barley beta-glucan (Barley barley betafiber) on glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. Because weight changes can impact both of these variables, researchers took steps to ensure that the 50 healthy participants--each at risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus--kept their weight constant during the trial period. Participants consumed three low-dose (3 grams Barley barley hetafiber/day) or high-dose (6 grams Barley barley betafiber/day) 11-ounce test beverages each day with their meals.

Results: The findings suggest that 6 grams/day of Barliv barley betafiber over 12 weeks can improve insulin sensitivity among generally healthy people with pre-diabetes, who have no prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and no change in body weight.

Nutraceutical: Dairy foods/protein

Indication: Abdominal fat

Source: J Nutrition, July 20, 2011 [Epub ahead of print].

Research: Ninety otherwise healthy, premenopausal, overweight and obese women who were habitually low dairy consumers were randomized into one of three groups: high protein/high dairy, equate protein/adequate dairy and adequate protein/low dairy. The dairy foods consumed included low-fat milk and yogurt and full-fat cheese. All participants achieved a net reduction of 750 calories per day through a combination of reducing food intake and increasing exercise.

Results: All groups lost similar amounts of body weight and total body fat over the 16-week study. However, the high protein/high dairy group, which obtained half their protein intake through dairy foods, lost more abdominal fat compared with the adequate protein/low dairy group. This is important to note, researchers say, as there is a strong association between abdominal or centrally located body fat and the risk for cardiovascular disease. The high protein/high dairy group also experienced an increase in lean body mass, while the adequate protein/low dairy group experienced a decrease in lean body mass.

Nutraceutical: Omega 3

Indication: Anxiety and inflammation

Source: Brain, Behav Innnun, Jul 19, 2012 [Epub ahead of print].

Research: In this study, researchers assembled a field of 68 first- and second-year medical students who volunteered for the clinical trial. The students were randomly divided into six groups, all of which were interviewed six times during the study. At each visit, blood samples were drawn from the students who also completed a battery of psychological surveys intended to gauge their levels of stress, anxiety or depression. The students also completed questionnaires about their diets during the previous weeks. Half the students received omega 3 supplements while the others were given placebo pills.

Results: Although researchers acknowledged this was not a particularly stressful time for the students, there were some interesting results from the study-The psychological surveys clearly showed an important change in anxiety among the students: Those receiving omega 3s showed a 20% reduction in anxiety com-pared to the placebo group. An analysis of the blood samples from the medical students showed similar important results. In this vein, researchers noted a 14% reduction in the amounts of IL-6 among the students receiving the omega 3s. Still, while the study showed the positive impact omega 3 supplements could play in reducing both anxiety and inflammation, the researchers aren't willing to recommend that the public start adding them to the daily diet. They said only that the reduction in anxiety symptoms associated with omega 3 supplementation provides the first evidence that omega 3s might have potential anxiolytic benefits for individuals without an anxiety disorder diagnosis.

Nutraceutical: Omega 3 (in conjunction with aspirin and clopidogrel)

Indication: Clotting

Source: Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, July 2011;31(7):1696-702.

Research: The goal of this study was to investigate whether omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) could alter plasma fibrin clot properties and reduce thrombin formation in stable coronary artery disease patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In an investigator-initiated, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, patients undergoing PCI who received standard pharmacotherapy were assigned to the treatment with 1 g/day n-3 PUFA (n = 30) or placebo (n = 24) for 1 month. Plasma fibrin clot permeability (K(s)); lysis time (t(50%)); prothrombin fragment 1,2; and peak thrombin generation from automated thrombogram, 8-isoprostaglandin F(2 [alpha]) (8-iso-PGF(2 [alpha]), an oxidative stress marker), and C-reac-tive protein were determined at baseline, 3 to 5 days after randomization, and 30 days after randomization.

Results: Adding n-3 PUFA to standard therapy in stable patients undergoing PCI significantly decreases thrombin formation and oxidative stress and favorably alters fibrin clot properties. Researchers believe these findings indicate novel antithrombotic effects induced by n-3 PUFA in humans.

Nutraceutical: Omega 3

Indication: Ischemic heart disease (IHD)

Source; Am j Clin Nutr, Aug 24, 2011 [Epub ahead of print].

Research: n-3 (omega 3) PUFA has been proposed as having health-promoting effects, primarily in relation to ischemic heart disease (IHD). Whether these benefits can be achieved by both alpha linolenic acid* (ALA, 18:3n-3) and n-3 long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) is debatable, according to researchers. The objective of this study was to examine the association between ALA intake and risk of IHD in healthy subjects and to see if this was modified by intake of n-3 LC-PUFA or linoleic acid (LA, 18:2 n-6). Four hundred seventy-one cases of IHD were observed during a median follow-up period of 23 years.

Results: Higher intake of ALA was not significantly associated with decreased risk of IHD among women or men. However, high n-3 LC-PUFA intake, in comparison with low intake, was inversely associated with risk of IHD; this trend was significant in women but not in men. No associations were observed between intake of LA and risk of IHD.

*Doivnload ALA monograph through our Monograph Center online!

Nutraceutical: Prebiotic supplement (galactooligosaccharide)

Indication: GI dysfunction and cold/flu

Source: Am J Clin Nutr, June 20ll; 3(6):1305-11.

Research: This randomized, double-blind study included 419 college students who were randomized to receive 0, 2.5 or 5 grams of a galactooligosaccharide prebi-otic supplement for 8 weeks--before, during and after final exams.

Results: Study participants showed fewer symptoms of gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea, constipation, indigestion and abdominal pain following prebi-otic supplementation. It was also found that normal-weight individuals receiving the 5-gram prebiotic supplement experienced a 40% reduction in days with cold or flu, although no effect was observed in overweight or obese participants. These findings suggest that galactooligosaccharide prebiotics may provide beneficial protection during times of increased stress.

Nutracentical: Probiotics (BB-12 and L. casei 431)

Indication: Immune function

Source: Br J Nutr, September 7, 2022 [Epub ahead of print].

Research: In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, 211 healthy adults were divided into two probiotic groups (receiving BB-12 and L. casei 431, respectively) and two placebo groups. Subjects consumed a minimum of 109 colony-forming units of BB-12 (capsule) or L. casei 431 (dairy drink) or a matching placebo once daily for 6 weeks. After 2 weeks, a seasonal influenza vaccination was given. Plasma and saliva samples were collected at baseline and after 6 weeks for the analysis of antibodies, cytokines and innate immune parameters.

Results: The number of persons experiencing a substantial increase in flu antibodies was significantly greater in both probiotic groups than in the placebo groups. For example, in the BB-12 group 66% had a substantial increase in the spe-cific antibody IgG3 compared to only 4% in the placebo group. Likewise, in the L. casei 431 group 46% had a substantial increase compared to just 2% in the placebo group. Changes from baseline in vaccine-specific plasma IgG, IgGl and IgG3 were significantly greater in both probiotic groups vs. the corresponding placebo group. The outcomes of this study, as well as data from previous studies on BB-12 and L casei 431, show that supplementation with these pro-biotic strains results in a strengthening of various parts of the immune system.

Nutraceutical: B vitamins/folic acid

Indication: Alzheimer's

Source: Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, July 21, 2011; Epub Ahead of Print.

Research: In this double-blind, single-center study, 266 participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), ages 70 and older, were randomly assigned to receive a daily dose of 0.8 mg folic acid, 0.5 mg vitamin B(12) and 20 mg vitamin B(6) or placebo for 2 years. Changes in cognitive or clinical function were analyzed by generalized linear models or mixed-effects models.

Results: The mean plasma total homocysteine was 30% lower in those treated with B vitamins relative to placebo. B vitamins stabilized executive function (CLOX) relative to placebo. There was significant benefit of B vitamin treatment among participants with baseline homocysteine above the median (11.3pmol/L) in global cognition (Mini Mental State Examination), episodic memory (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-delayed recall) and semantic memory (category fluency). Clinical benefit occurred in the B vitamin group for those in the upper quartile of homocysteine at baseline in global clinical dementia rating score and IQCODE score. In this small intervention trial, researchers said B vitamins appeared to slow cognitive and clinical decline in people with MCI, in particular in those with elevated homocysteine. Further trials are needed to see if this treatment will slow or prevent conversion from MCI to dementia.

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Publication:Nutraceuticals World
Date:Oct 1, 2011
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