We present a review of recent health related research stories that made the news with five items comprising: High fruit and veg consumption can increase life expectancy; A rise in Vitamin K supplement popularity; More men taking daily vitamins; Higher omega-3 levels linked to lower risk of depressive symptoms in women; can blueberry flavonoids boost heart health?
“Forget five-a-day – eating SEVEN daily portions of fruit and veg can increase life expectancy and reduce the risk of heart disease.” The Daily Mail reports on the research from ten countries, including Spain, as part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
“They found that people who ate more than 569 grams of fruit and vegetables – seven portions – a day were 10 per cent less likely to die and lived, on average, 1.12 years longer than those who ate less than 249 grams a day.”
There is nothing new of course in confirming the benefits of a regular and plentiful consumption of fruit and vegetables. However this research appears to suggest that eating more than the Government recommendation of ‘five portions’ may help longevity.
The reporting of the research comments on the antioxidant rich content of fruit and vegetables and reiterates how beneficial vegetables and fruit are in a raw state including freshly juiced. We also want to remind people that antioxidant supplements can be an excellent source of these nutrients too.
Science Daily – Experts Confirm That Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Reduces Risk of Mortality
Daily Mail – eating SEVEN daily portions of fruit and veg can increase life expectancy and reduce the risk of heart disease
“There’s been a wave of supplements launched containing Vitamin K, particularly K2. Why do people take them? Not everybody will have heard of Vitamin K2 but more and more of us are consuming it in supplements, according to market research firm Mintel. It says new food, drink, vitamin and supplement product launches containing Vitamin K2 have gone up 183% globally between 2008 and 2012.” The BBC reports on the market research.
Vitamin K is most commonly associated with supporting bone health, as being important during pregnancy for foetal development, and in supporting cardiovascular health. The BBC article has a good review of the vitamin and importantly stresses that there is a difference between vitamins K1 and K2. We discussed this topic in detail in a blog article earlier this year and the link is provided below.
“Four in 10 men taking vitamins every day to stay healthy. Record numbers of men are taking vitamin pills every day in a bid to stay healthy. The trend has seen the UK market for vitamins and supplements aimed specifically at men soar from £4.1million in 2011 to £5.1million last year.”
“At 46 per cent, women are still more likely to take daily vitamins, but men are now fast catching up at 38 per cent, according to market analysts Mintel. Pills taken by men usually contain vitamins A and D as well as zinc and magnesium which boost bone strength and help with memory loss and prostate problems.”
Naturally these statistics from Mintel hit the UK headlines and this is how it was reported in the Daily Express. They are certainly interesting statistics and an interesting question would be whether the growth is due to wives and girlfriends buying for their partners or whether men are increasingly buying supplements themselves?
“ Timely’ research: Higher omega-3 levels linked to lower risk of depressive symptoms. American women with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids have a 49% reduction in risk of elevated depressive symptoms, a result that has been hailed as ‘timely’ by a leading industry expert.”
“Whereas reverse causality cannot be ruled out, it is more likely that reduced concentrations of n–3 fatty acids may contribute to symptoms of depression, and not vice-versa.”
This American research published in the Journal of Nutrition is well reviewed by Nutraingredients.com. In Europe the DHA content of Omega 3 has a number of proven health claims including the “Maintenance of normal brain function” (subject to 250 mg of DHA in one or more servings). There have been many substantive research projects into the potential health benefits of Omega 3 and these latest findings add to the research undertaken in respect of Omega 3 and cognitive functions.
We have covered Omega 3 a number of times on our blog and for those unfamiliar with the topic you may wish to read one of our articles which gives an overview – link below.
“ ‘Compelling data’: RCT (randomised control trials) shows blueberry flavonoids boost endothelial function and heart health. Flavonoids from blueberries may improve vascular function in healthy men, according to findings of two randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover human-intervention trials from Europe. ”
“Flavonoids from blueberries may improve vascular function in healthy men, according to findings of two randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover human-intervention trials from Europe. The improvements in vascular function in healthy men were linked to both the time and dose of blueberry flavonoids, report scientists from the University of Reading (UK), the University Düsseldorf (Germany), and the University of Northumbria (UK).”
Nutraingredients USA reports on this research project into one potential health attribute of the soft fruit. Blueberries have been frequently linked to vascular health and are often cited by the media as a ‘superfood’ for their potential health giving properties.
Naturally as a fruit they are packed with ‘flavonoids’ and in recent years various research projects have sought to establish a confirmed link between the nutrients in blueberries and a range of health benefits.
If you have any questions regarding this article, any of the health topics raised, or any other health matters please do contact me (Amanda) by phone or email at any time.