In the news – health and nutrition research

In this week’s article we provide a roundup of some of the most recent health and nutrition related articles in the news, five items comprising:

    • Hidden immunity benefits of a plant-based diet
    • Red wine helps lower blood pressure, study reveals
    • Poor nutrition a risk factor for cognitive decline & dementia, says KCL team
    • Essential Oils Can Be Beneficial for Your Health and Mood
    • Heavy Drinking in Youth Could Harm Arteries

Hidden immunity benefits of a plant-based diet

Sarah Stanner, Science Director at the British Nutrition Foundation says healthy plant-based diets have been linked to a “reduced risk of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes, and to lowering blood pressure, reducing blood cholesterol and promoting a healthy body weight”.  Plants are packed with vitamins and minerals, but according to Stanner, “the key to a healthy plant-based diet is eating a wide variety of plant foods, but not necessarily cutting out animal products altogether”.

Eating a wide variety of plant foods encourages different types of good bacteria to thrive in the gut. Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology says “a healthy gut microbiome is crucial to a healthy immune system”. Most of the body’s immune cells are in the lining of the intestine, and microbes in the gut play a crucial role in keeping this system healthy.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs:

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Red wine helps lower blood pressure, study reveals

A few glasses of red wine a week can help avoid high blood pressure, according to a new study. Researchers from Queen’s University in Belfast have found a link between lower blood pressure and a higher intake of foods rich in flavonoids, including berries, apples, tea and red wine.

While mounting research has shown flavonoids can improve heart health, the study team said this was the first time data has explained their link to lowering blood pressure. Researchers said the study had focused on the role played by microbes in the gut microbiome in metabolising flavonoids found in the aforementioned foods and drinks, which then worked to bring down blood pressure.

Read the full article here.

Note: It is not the alcohol element that is beneficial but the flavonoids, which means that red grape juice would be even better.

Related Cytoplan blog:

Cardiovascular health and phytonutrients

Poor nutrition a risk factor for cognitive decline & dementia, says KCL team

More evidence of a protective link between nutrients and the onset of dementia was published this week as researchers identify nutrition’s role in reducing the risk of cognitive decline.

The study, conducted by researchers at King’s College London, identifies the importance of vitamin D levels, carotenoid and lipid levels in slowing the rate of cell death, particularly in the brain.

Several lifestyle factors have emerged as potentially modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia, two of which include diet and exercise. There is also evidence of a protective effect for folate and flavonoids in dark green leafy vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blog:

Can eating the rainbow support healthy cognition?

Essential Oils Can Be Beneficial for Your Health and Mood

Researchers report essential oils may help improve mood and symptoms in those with anxiety and depression due to antioxidant effects on the brain.

Essential oils are mixtures of volatile compounds extracted from plants. They are used in aromatherapy because they can be released into the air and inhaled at room temperature. Inhaled essential oils are readily taken up into the brain, which is distinct from bioactives in plant foods that are eaten.

New research from Monash University scientists has uncovered why certain essential oils can benefit mood. “Aromatherapy under particular conditions is reported to consistently enhance emotional health, including lowering anxiety and depression,” said Professor Louise Bennett, the study’s lead author from the Monash University School of Chemistry. The study has been able to identify which essential oils will benefit mood improvement and alternately, which ones will produce anti-infective properties.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blog:

Anxiety and depression: The hidden link

Heavy Drinking in Youth Could Harm Arteries

The arteries of young people who drink stiffen sooner in their lives, which could increase their risk for heart disease and stroke later on, a British study reports.

People’s arteries naturally become less elastic with age, but certain factors, including alcohol and tobacco use, can speed up the process. This study included more than 1,600 people in the United Kingdom. Their alcohol use, smoking and arteries were assessed at ages 17 and 24.

The results suggest that arterial damage occurs in young drinkers and young women who smoke heavily. Never smokers and ex-smokers had similar alterations in arterial stiffness, indicating that quitting can restore vascular health at this young age.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blog:

Cardiovascular Support

 


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One thought on “In the news – health and nutrition research

  1. This is exactly true! I basically am doing this for my immune system. I am on levothyroxine for my thyroid, but I continue to work on this, also my GP thinks my cholesterol is a bit high! but I will not take statins! The healthy diet plus the Vitamins is going to keep me going.

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