In the news – health & 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:

  • Research review: UK needs five-fold vitamin D increase
  • Vitamins C and E linked to reduced risk for Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sleep deprivation decreases testosterone levels and muscle protein synthesis
  • Beetroot juice benefits brain and heart through oral microbiome modulation
  • A changing gut microbiome may be good for you as you age

Research review: UK needs five-fold vitamin D increase

Acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs), which include upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), are the most common cause of antibiotic prescription in the UK adult population.

At the same time, the World Health Organisation considers that the unprecedented use of antibiotics and subsequent antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is currently one of the largest threats to global health, food security, and human development.

Researchers have therefore authored a research review to discuss the role of vitamin D to help prevent RTIs and help reduce AMR.

Given meta-analytical evidence, a growing number of RCTs, and the issue of the global COVID-19 pandemic, they say vitamin D supplement advice should be updated to include respiratory health benefits and to increase the required dose to 2,000 IU (50µg) daily.  The current vitamin D guidelines in the UK have been set at 10µg daily from October to March.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs:

The role of vitamin D and COVID-19 – (part 1)

The role of vitamin D and COVID-19 – the latest research (part 2)

How probiotics support the respiratory system: protecting against viruses and helping recovery

Supporting the gut during and after antibiotics

Vitamins C and E linked to reduced risk for Parkinson’s Disease

Higher intake of vitamins C and E was associated with a reduced risk for Parkinson’s disease in an analysis of a national cohort study.  Higher intake of both vitamins, as opposed to one, strengthened the association with lower Parkinson’s disease risk.

In addition, body mass index (BMI) and coffee consumption appeared to influence the magnitude of these vitamins’ effect on Parkinson’s disease risk. Dietary beta-carotene and dietary nonenzymatic antioxidant capacity (NEAC) had no effect on this risk, however.

“Our findings suggest that the protective effect of dietary vitamins on Parkinson’s disease risk might be limited to specific vitamins, such as vitamin E and C,” Essi Hantikainen, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy, told Medscape Medical News. “Therefore, implementing foods in the diet that are rich in vitamin E and C might help to prevent the development of Parkinson’s disease,” she said.

Read the full article here.

Sleep deprivation decreases testosterone levels and muscle protein synthesis

Poor sleep is associated with worsened muscle mass and function.  A randomised, crossover study therefore sought to determine if acute sleep deprivation affects muscle protein synthesis, muscle protein degradation, or anabolic and catabolic hormones.

Thirteen people were subjected to one night of total sleep deprivation and one night of normal sleep, separated by at least four weeks. After both nights, the investigators collected blood samples to evaluate blood markers of catabolism (cortisol) and anabolism (IGF-1, insulin, testosterone).

The study results showed that compared to normal sleep, total sleep deprivation reduced postprandial muscle protein fractional synthesis rate (FSR) by 18% and testosterone area under the curve (AUC) by 24%.  Mid-afternoon cortisol was also higher in the sleep-deprived group.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs:

Could your hormones be causing a bad night’s sleep?

Supporting health during exercise and training

Beetroot juice benefits brain and heart through oral microbiome modulation

Drinking beetroot juice promotes growth of mouth bacteria associated with healthier blood vessels and brain function thereby offering healthy ageing benefits, according to a new study of people age 70-80.

Beetroot is rich is inorganic nitrate and many oral bacteria play a role in turning nitrate to nitric oxide, which helps to regulate blood vessels and neuro-transmission.  Bring into this equation the fact that older people tend to have lower nitric oxide production – which is associated with poorer vascular and cognitive health – and there is a potential link between beetroot consumption and these healthy ageing parameters.

The purpose of the placebo-controlled, cross-over dietary intervention study was to determine which co-occurring clusters of bacteria in the oral microbiome are sensitive to nitrate intake, which co-occurring bacteria correlate with cognitive and physiological traits, and which nitrate-sensitive bacteria represent key biomarkers, and thus probiotic targets, for enhancing cardiovascular and cognitive health.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs:

Cardiovascular support

When your second brain gets old and what to do about it: the ageing of the enteric nervous system

A changing gut microbiome may be good for you as you age

The secret to successful ageing may lie in part in your gut, according to a new report. The study found that it might be possible to predict your likelihood of living a long and healthy life by analysing the trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit your intestinal tract.

The new research, published in the journal Nature Metabolism, found that as people get older, the composition of this complex community of microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiome, tends to change. And the greater the change, the better, it appears.

In healthy people, the kinds of microbes that dominate the gut in early adulthood make up a smaller and smaller proportion of the microbiome over the ensuing decades, while the proportion of other, less prevalent species rises. But in people who are less healthy, the study found, the opposite occurs: the composition of their microbiome remains relatively static and they tend to die earlier.

The new findings suggest that a gut microbiome that continually transforms as you get older is a sign of healthy ageing.

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs:

The stability of the gut microbiome (part 1)

The stability of the gut microbiome part 2: Western vs Mediterranean diets and your gut microbiota


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2 thoughts on “In the news – health & nutrition research

  1. Loved the article about sleep deprivation often being due to ones hormones. Which supplements do you recommend to help this?

    1. Hi Ruth – Thank you for the feedback! Products that might help include our 5-HTP Plus, which contains 5-hydroxytryptophan, a precursor to serotonin that can be useful for initiating sleep for some people, particularly if melatonin or serotonin levels are low. Alternatively we have Cyto-Night, which contains montmorency cherry: a natural source of melatonin. You might also like to consider L-Theanine; an amino acid found in green tea that has been shown to aid relaxation and reduce anxiety by increasing alpha brain waves and GABA levels (the calming brain neurotransmitter).

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