Articles

Ahead of the Curve – Early-Stage Discoveries: Xylitol, Boysenberry, Green Soybean Extract

Good results in the lab can lead to larger human trials. Here are some of the most promising recent findings.

Xylitol reduced oral bacteria

In the lab, doctors simulated the oral cavity environment, with a tooth-like calcium surface, and a continuous flow of artificial saliva. Doctors exposed the cavity to three strains of S. mutans bacteria and one strain of streptococcus sobrinus bacteria, then washed the cavity with sucrose or xylitol. Sucrose increased the bacteria count and xylitol reduced bacteria count, even in the sucrose environment, potentially reducing the chances for cavities and gum disease.

Reference: Journal of Functional Foods; 2015, Vol. 14, 345-53

Boysenberry improved lung function

Polyphenol-rich fruits improve lung function, but doctors don’t know how. In the lab, doctors gave boysenberry to mice with asthma and chronic airway inflammation. Boysenberry appeared to activate two agents: arginase which regulates lung inflammation, and metalloproteinase-9 which helps lung tissue remodeling. Boysenberry also activated immune cells that assist in the tissue-repair process.

 

Reference: American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular

 

Green soybean extract improved memory

The brain is highly sensitive to oxidative damage, and green soybeans contain isoflavones, proteins, phytoestrogens, oligosaccharides, fiber and minerals which doctors believe act synergistically. In the lab, older mice that got green soybean extract had less beta-amyloid accumulation, a factor in dementia, and less DNA oxidative damage in the cerebellum. Green soybean reduced learning time, and after one month, improved memory.

 

 

 

Reference: Archives of Oral Biology; October, 2016, Vol. 70, 39-463

 

Multiple Sclerosis Update – Nutrients reduce symptoms and protect against MS

Mediterranean diet protects against MS

In the first study of its type, doctors examined the link between the Mediterranean diet and chances of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). In the study, researchers compared the diets of 70 men and women with MS to 142 people without MS.

Overall, men and women who consumed more fruits or vegetables were more than 70 percent less likely to develop MS compared to those who got less fruits or vegetables. Doctors also found a link to refined grains: those who consumed more refined grains were more likely to develop MS.

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are good sources of fiber, and fiber-rich foods play an important role in preventing chronic diseases because of the bioactive, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties these foods possess, doctors said.

Vitamin D reduces MS lesions

Low levels of vitamin D appear to increase chances for MS and speed its progression. In this study, doctors measured vitamin D levels in 1,482 people with MS, and monitored them every three months for at least two years, with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track progress annually for 10 years. Participants were taking interferon-lb as standard treatment.

Overall, the higher the level of vitamin D, the lower the number of new, active neural lesions forming between the start of the study and the last MRI scan. Each increase in vitamin D of 50 nanomoles per liter of blood reduced the rate of new lesions by 31 percent. Those whose vitamin D levels were 100 nanomoles per liter had the lowest rate of new lesions.

Reference: Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2016, Vol. 25, No. 2, 377-84

Healthy Skin – Nutrients protect skin in children and adults

B-vitamins reduce infant eczema

Doctors are beginning to think that eczema may start in the womb, with evidence increasing of a direct link to maternal diet. In this study, researchers measured levels of nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, in 497 pregnant women, and then determined chances of their children developing eczema.

While the effects of nicotinamide in mothers’ diets did not appear when doctors tested the babies at six months, by 12 months of age, infants whose moms had higher levels of nicotinamide during pregnancy were less likely to have developed allergic, or atopic, eczema compared to infants whose moms had lower nicotinamide levels.

Reference: Clinical & Experimental Allergy; 2016, Vol. 46, No. 10, 1337-43

Lycopene, lutein protect from sun damage

In this study, 65 volunteers, age 18 to 60, took 20 mg of a tomato nutrient complex per day, 20 mg of lutein per day, or a matching placebo for each of these supplements, in two alternating phases. Doctors exposed areas of the skin to ultraviolet-A1 light at the start and end of each 12-week phase.

Those taking lycopene had lower levels of oxidizing enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. Those taking lutein also saw lower levels of inflammatory response to UV-A1 light.

Discussing the findings, doctors said taking lycopene and lutein can inhibit oxidative stress on the skin in general from UV-A1 radiation, and can protect against photo-aging, skin rashes and skin cancer specifically when skin is exposed to UV-A1 light.

Reference: British Journal of Dermatology; September, 2016, Published Online

Better Mood – Nutrients help ease symptoms of depression

Nutrients complement antidepressant effects

A high percentage of those who have depression do not reach remission after one or two courses of antidepressant medication, and hundreds of millions currently take these drugs worldwide. To see if a nutritional approach might improve results, doctors reviewed 40 clinical trials that used vitamins and other nutritional supplements along with standard antidepressants.

Overall, those treating depression with antidepressants who added omega-3 fish oil supplements, SAMe, methylfolate—the bioactive form of folate—or vitamin D had better results than those taking antidepressants alone. The strongest finding was for omega-3, which had a statistically significant effect over placebo.

There were no major safety concerns in combining antidepressants with nutritional supplements, and the findings suggest there is great potential to improve the mental health of people who respond inadequately to antidepressants alone, doctors concluded.

Reference: American Journal of Psychiatry; 2016, Vol. 173, No. 6, 575-87

Flavonoids reduce depression in women

In this long-term study of 82,643 women, age 36 to 80, who began the study without depression, doctors measured total flavonoids in the diet every two to four years, and chances for depression.

Women who consumed the most flavanols, flavones, and flavanones were 7 to 10 percent less likely to develop depression over the course of the study, with those at least age 65 at the start of the study showing the greatest benefit. Those who got two or more servings per day of citrus fruit or juice were 18 percent less likely to develop depression compared to women who got less than one serving per week. Flavones and proanthocyanidins were most effective in lowering chances for depression, doctors said.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2016, Vol. 104, No. 3, 704-14

Açaí Aids Circulation

Açaí fruit is rich in polyphenols that may improve circulation. In this study, 23 healthy overweight men, age 30 to 65, drank an açaí smoothie containing 694 mg total phenolics, or a placebo smoothie, along with a high-fat breakfast. Two hours later, blood vessel function and flexibility had improved by 1.4 percent for açaí and 0.4 percent for placebo, compared to the start of the study.

Açaí drinkers also had fewer signs of oxidative stress. Doctors said a 1 percent improvement in circulation may lower the chances of a heart or circulatory adverse event by 15 percent.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; September, 2016, Published Online

Nutrients protect against heart disease in type 2 diabetes, and stroke in the general population

Zinc benefit in type 2 diabetes

Earlier studies found zinc health benefits in type 2 diabetes, but its effect on heart disease in diabetics needs more study. Doctors reviewed 14 scientific papers covering 91,708 people with cardiovascular disease and another 334,378 with type 2 diabetes to find a relationship between zinc levels and heart disease.

Overall, those who were less healthy, including people with circulatory problems or type 2 diabetes, were less likely to have cardiovascular disease when zinc levels were higher. One study found those with type 2 diabetes and zinc levels below 14.1 micromoles per liter of blood were 37 percent more likely to have a heart attack compared to those with higher zinc levels. Another study found those with poor circulation and zinc levels below 11.9 micromoles per liter were more likely to die from heart disease than similar people with higher zinc levels.

Reference: Nutrients; 2016, Vol. 8, No. 11, 707

Folic acid, stroke and heart disease

Doctors wanted to know what effect folic acid supplements have on those seriously ill, and reviewed 30 placebo-controlled studies covering 82,334 participants with pre-existing high blood pressure, cardiovascular or kidney disease, or complications from diabetes.

Overall, those taking high doses of folic acid under strict medical supervision were 10 percent less likely to have a stroke, and 4 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared to those who did not take folic acid supplements. In 23 of the studies, those taking folic acid supplements saw levels of the inflammatory factor homocysteine decrease by 10.9 to 57.7 percent. High levels of homocysteine can lead to hardening and thickening of the arteries, raising chances for stroke, doctors said.

Reference: AHA Journals; August, 2016; e003768

Younger Skin Nutrients reduce wrinkles, protect from sun damage

CoQ10 improved wrinkles

CoQ10 is a vitamin-like nutrient naturally present in every cell of the body, and helps the cells produce energy. Cosmetics companies use CoQ10 as an ingredient in topical formulas, but research on the skin effects of taking CoQ10 as an oral supplement is very limited. In this study, 33 healthy volunteers, average age 53, took a placebo, 50 mg, or 150 mg of CoQ10 per day.

After 12 weeks, both CoQ10 groups saw improvement in wrinkles around the eyes, and the high-dose group also saw wrinkles improve around the mouth, nose, and lips. CoQ10 did not hydrate the skin or protect from UVB light in this study.

Discussing the findings, doctors said taking CoQ10 helped reduce seasonal deterioration in skin elasticity and improved some visible signs of aging, including significantly reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and improving skin smoothness.

Reference: Biofactors; August, 2016, Published Online

Rosemary and grapefruit extracts

Some plants contain polyphenols that may protect from the aging effects of sunlight. In this pilot study, 90 women with pale, fair, or darker white skin showing some effects from aging and sun damage, took a rosemary-grapefruit polyphenol extract. Doctors periodically exposed the women to ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B (UVA and UVB) light during several months taking the supplement.

The women began to show decreased skin redness and oxidation from UVA and UVB exposure as soon as two weeks after starting to take the rosemary-grapefruit supplement. Wrinkles and skin elasticity also improved over the course of the study.

Doctors said the benefits of rosemary and grapefruit polyphenols likely come from reducing oxidation and inflammation of the skin, and that taking rosemary and grapefruit extract may be a complementary nutritional strategy to avoid the negative effects of sun damage, helping preserve smoother, younger-looking skin.

Reference: Food and Nutrition Research; 2016, Vol. 60

Probiotics and MS

In multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune system mistakenly attacks the fatty tissue surrounding and protecting nerve fibers, disrupting nerve impulses to and from the brain. In this study, 60 people with MS took a placebo or the probiotics L. acidophilus, casei, fermentum, and bifidobacterium bifidum. After 12 weeks, compared to placebo, the probiotics group had less depression and anxiety. Those taking probiotics also saw lower levels of inflammation, oxidative stress, circulating insulin, and insulin resistance, while the ability of the body to produce insulin improved. Also, HDL, the “good” cholesterol, increased as a percentage of total cholesterol, improving lipid profiles.

Reference: Clinical Nutrition Journal; 2016, August, 2016, Published Online

Diabetes Update – Nutrients improve insulin levels, metabolic factors, and reduce chances for developing type 2 diabetes

Choline, betaine, and insulin resistance

Choline and betaine aid liver function, and help cells reproduce. In this study, doctors measured the diets of 2,394 adults from the general population.

Both men and women who got the most choline and betaine had the least insulin resistance, while men and women who got the least choline and betaine had the greatest insulin resistance. When insulin resistance is high, the body needs larger amounts of insulin to metabolize and use glucose, or sugar. Chances for developing type 2 diabetes increase as insulin resistance becomes more severe.

Doctors said choline and betaine could help alleviate inflammation, reduce oxidative stress, and help normalize metabolism, reducing chances for developing type 2 diabetes.

Reference: Nutrition Journal; January, 2017, Vol. 33, 28-34

Magnesium reduces chances for diabetes

Doctors who reviewed 18 diabetes studies said that good magnesium levels in the diet reduce chances of developing type 2 diabetes. In nine of the studies covering 670 people, those taking magnesium supplements had lower fasting blood sugar levels compared to placebo.

In three of the studies, covering 453 people, those who took a magnesium supplement had better blood sugar levels compared to placebo two hours after a meal. And, in five of the studies, doctors found those with better magnesium levels from diet and supplements had less insulin resistance.

Discussing the findings, doctors said taking magnesium supplements has a beneficial role, improves glucose handling in those with diabetes, and improves insulin sensitivity in those who have greater chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

eference: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition; August, 2016, Published Online

Heart Nutrients extend life, help ensure a healthy childhood Selenium and CoQ10 extend life

Every cell in the body needs selenium to function properly, and CoQ10 helps each cell produce energy. In this study, 668 healthy older adults took 200 mcg of selenium plus 200 mg of CoQ10 per day, a placebo, or no treatment.

Doctors divided each of the three groups into low, medium, and high-selenium based on how many micrograms of selenium per liter of blood they had at the start of the study.

In the group starting with the lowest circulating levels of selenium, those taking selenium supplements were 12 percent less likely to die from heart disease over the four-year study period compared to placebo or no treatment. In the middle-selenium group, chances were 8 percent lower in the selenium supplement group, and in the high-selenium group, chances were 4.5 percent lower for those taking selenium supplements.

Reference: PLoS-One; July, 2016, Published Online

Fiber in infancy means healthier kids

Doctors measured fiber in the diets of 2,032 infants just over one year old. Following up five years later, at age six, doctors measured body fat, HDL cholesterol levels, triglycerides, insulin, and blood pressure, and combined into a cardio-metabolic factor score.

Each one-gram-per-day increase in dietary fiber increased HDL—the “good” cholesterol—and lowered triglyceride levels, and infants with higher fiber levels had better overall cardio-metabolic scores. Kids who got more fiber from whole foods such as potatoes, fruits, and vegetables had better cardio-metabolic scores than kids whose fiber came mostly from cereals.

Doctors said that even though the effects were modest, high fiber in infancy reduces the cardio-metabolic disease burden on society, and increases chances for a healthy adult life.

Reference: Nutrients; 2016, Vol. 8, No. 9, 531

Healthy Birth, Healthy Life Nutrients delay aging, support healthy pregnancy

Vitamin C, folate, potassium and telomeres

Telomeres are the end-caps that protect each strand of chromosomes in every cell. Chromosomes contain the DNA instructions to reproduce a healthy cell, but each time a cell divides, telomeres shorten, eventually stopping cell division. The longer the telomere, the younger biological age of the organism.

In this study, doctors measured the nutritional value in the diets of 1,958 Korean men, age 40 to 69, and followed up 10 years later to measure telomere length. There were no differences in men over age 50, which doctors said was probably because the older participants got fewer nutrients overall. For men under age 50, those who consumed the most vitamin C, folate, and potassium had longer telomeres than men under 50 who got less of these three nutrients, indicating younger biological age.

Reference: Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics; August, 2016, Published Online

Omega-3 and pre-term births

Taking the omega-3 fish oils DHA and EPA during the last half of pregnancy reduced pre-term births and increased birthweight. In this study, 2,399 pregnant women took a placebo or 800 mg per day of DHA plus 100 mg of EPA per day during the second half of pregnancy.

Women who took DHA with EPA had 51 percent fewer very-pre-term births compared to placebo, and several more post-term births, with fewer of the omega-3 infants needing neonatal intensive care. The omega-3 kids weighed an average of 2.5 ounces more than kids of moms who took the placebo. Also, fewer omega-3 children were low birth weight.

Doctors said the findings are important worldwide because, compared to pre-term babies, full-term babies are much more likely to survive and be healthy.

Reference: OCL Journal; 2016, Vol. 23, No. 1, D105

Indian Wisdom Ancient Ayurvedic herb has body mass and heart health benefits   What is ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, Sanskrit for “the smell of a horse”—meaning to impart the vigor and strength of a horse—is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. The herb contains many compounds with medicinal benefits including support for the immune system, high antioxidant properties, and as an “adaptogen,” which helps the body adjust to stress.

Weight loss and chronic stress

Chronic stress has a link to many health conditions, one of the most common being obesity. In this study, 52 adults under chronic stress took a placebo or 300 mg of ashwagandha twice per day.

After eight weeks, the placebo group had lost 1.5 percent of body weight compared to 3 percent weight loss for those taking ashwagandha. Body mass index scores also improved, with the placebo group improving 1.4 percent, and the ashwagandha group improving 3 percent.

Reference: JEBCAM; April, 2016, Published Online

Cardio-respiratory endurance

Doctors wanted to test the effects on endurance and quality of life in healthy, athletic male and female adults. In this study, 50 healthy, athletic men and women, age 20 to 45, with normal body mass index scores between 18.5 and 24.9, took a placebo or 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice per day.

After eight weeks, compared to the start of the study, those taking ashwagandha saw an increase in maximum oxygen capacity 3.5 times greater than the placebo group. After 12 weeks, those taking ashwagandha saw a further 15 percent increase in maximum oxygen capacity, which was also three times greater than the increase in the placebo group. Those taking ashwagandha reported better psychological health and having more positive social relationships.

Reference: AYU Journal; 2015, Vol. 36, No. 1, PMC4687242

Your Right to Know

The majority of commercial GMO crops are engineered to survive herbicide application and/or produce an insecticide, despite the promises of the Biotech Industry to produce crops with increased yields, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition and other consumer benefits. If you’re like ninety percent of Americans, you agree with having Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) indicated on our food labels. Over 60 countries have laws requiring labeling of GMO ingredients.

You may ask – So why all the fuss about labeling GMO’s? The main reason is they have not been safety tested! Strange in this day and age of product recalls on everything from automobiles to zucchinis – but there are no independent long-term studies conducted on the safety of GMO’s, only the studies done by the Biotech Industry. More than 60 countries including Australia, Japan and the European Union have restrictions and mandatory labeling or outright bans on genetically modified food, but the United States isn’t one of them. It’s estimated that GMO’s are present in more than 80% of packaged food in the USA.

Is it safe to eat genetically modified food? The international standard for food safety testing hasn’t been done on GMO’s to date so the jury is still out. Most developed countries do not consider GMO’s safe and mounting anecdotal evidence is suggesting that for many people the answer is a definitive no.
At New Morning, we’ve signed on as a supporting retailer of the Non-GMO Project, a third party certifier of products made without GMO’s. You will see the label “Non-GMO Verified” on products throughout the store, many of which are on sale for the Month of October! – John Pittari

Healthy Vitamin D – Vitamin D improves gut health, reduces chances for metabolic syndrome

Healthy gut

Because vitamin D has many positive effects on the body, doctors wanted to study vitamin D and gut health. In this pilot study, 16 men and women took 445 IU of vitamin D per pound of body weight per week for the first four weeks, then 222 IU per pound per week for the next four weeks. By the end of the study, vitamin D levels had increased by about 2.5 times, to 55.2 nanograms per milliliter of blood, an optimal level.

After taking vitamin D, levels of disease-causing bacteria had declined, including H-pylori, a common cause of stomach ulcer. Bad bacteria tend to grow in an inflammatory environment, and vitamin D appeared to reduce inflammation. Discussing the findings, doctors said vitamin D regulates the environment—or “microbiome”—in the upper gastrointestinal tract of the gut, which may explain its positive effects on inflammatory bowel disease and bacterial infection.

Reference: European Journal of Nutrition; June, 2016, Vol. 55, No. 4, 1479-89

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of traits that include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, similar to those in pre-diabetes. A type of bacteria in the gut, H-pylori, may predict metabolic syndrome. In this study, doctors measured vitamin D levels in 2,113 men and women and tested for H-pylori infection.

Men and women with H-pylori were 50 percent more likely to develop metabolic syndrome as those without. Doctors also found those who were low in vitamin D, with levels below 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood, were 42 percent more likely to develop the syndrome.

Participants who were both low in vitamin D and who had H-pylori were more than twice as likely (114 percent) to develop metabolic syndrome compared to men and women without H-pylori who had sufficient levels of vitamin D.

Reference: Medicine (Baltimore); May, 2016, Vol. 95, No. 18, e3616

Acaí for Women

Acaí, the antioxidant-rich South American palm tree fruit from the Amazon River basin, helped healthy women neutralize free radicals and prevent cellular damage. Free radicals contain reactive oxygen species, and high levels can damage cells.

In this study, 35 healthy women, aged 15 to 33, took 200 grams of acaí pulp per day. After four weeks, levels of damaging free-radical reactive oxygen species were 78 percent lower, and total cellular antioxidant capacity had increased by 104 percent.

Doctors said the increase in cellular antioxidant capacity means that the women were better able to overcome free-radical reactive oxygen species and prevent damage to cells in the body.

Reference: Nutrition; 2016, Vol. 32, No. 6, 674-80

Healthy Digestion – Nutrients lower rates of, and protect against, colorectal cancer

Coffee

Coffee contains several bioactive compounds doctors believe may protect against colorectal cancer. In this study, doctors compared coffee in the diets of 5,145 people with colorectal cancer to 4,097 healthy men and women. Participants reported how much coffee, espresso, instant, decaffeinated, and filtered coffee they drank. Doctors also considered family history of cancer, smoking, diet, and lifestyle choices including physical activity.

Men and women who consumed one to two servings—usually 8 ounces and 100 mg of caffeine—of coffee per day were 26 percent less likely to have developed colorectal cancer compared to those who drank less. Chances declined by 50 percent as people drank more than 2.5 servings per day. The type of coffee did not matter, including caffeinated and decaffeinated.

Doctors believe that in addition to caffeine, other antioxidant compounds in coffee may have preventive effects, including polyphenols, and melanoidins that form during the roasting process.

Reference: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; April, 2016, Vol. 25, 634

Vitamin D

In this two-part study, doctors compared vitamin D levels in 112 people with colorectal adenomas to 112 similar healthy people. In the second part, doctors added findings from 14 other vitamin D/colorectal cancer studies. Together, the combined findings covered 5,454 affected people and 6,656 similar healthy people.

Overall, those with the highest circulating levels of vitamin D were 32 percent less likely to have developed colorectal cancer compared to those with the lowest levels of vitamin D.

Discussing the findings, doctors said vitamin D had the same preventive effect regardless of the location of the adenoma in the colon, and whether people lived in the United States or in Asia.

Reference: World Journal of Gastroenterology; 2015, Vol. 21, No. 29, 8868-77

Reference: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; April, 2016, Vol. 25, 634

Healthy Aging – Fiber for long, healthy life; oats help improve cognition

Living well longer with fiber

In this study, doctors measured the diets of 1,609 adults who were free from cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke at the start of this 10-year follow-up trial. Doctors considered total carbohydrates and sugar in the diet, total fiber, and glycemic index and load.

Compared to those with the least fiber in the diet, those who had the highest intake of fiber, or highest total fiber in the diet, were almost 80 percent more likely to live a long, healthy life during the 10-year follow-up period. High-fiber participants were less likely to develop hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression, or functional disability.

“Out of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake—which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest—had the strongest influence,” doctors concluded.

Reference: Biomedgerontology; June, 2016, Published Online

Oats and cognition

Wild green oats are rich in bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids and saponins, which doctors believe may aid cognition. In this study, 45 people aged 40 to 65 took a placebo, or 800 mg or 1,600 mg of green oat extract, in several alternating phases. Doctors measured cognitive function before and one hour, 2.5 hours, four, and six hours after each dose.

Men and women who had taken the 800 mg dose of green oat extract had faster word recall after one dose, and saw working memory increase after a second 800 mg dose of green oat extract. Doctors said green oat extract may be a substitute for caffeine, and may also be effective in lower doses than the 800 mg dose in this study.

Reference: Nutritional Neuroscience; November, 2015, Published Online

Healthy Aging – Nutrients reduce inflammation and cholesterol

DHA reduced inflammation

Doctors in this study compared the effects of the omega-3s EPA and DHA on inflammation and lipids in 154 men and women. Participants took 2,700 mg of EPA or DHA per day, or a placebo.

After 10 weeks, those who had taken DHA saw a seven to eight percent decrease in inflammatory factors including C-reactive protein, compared to a one to two percent improvement for EPA.

Those taking DHA also had a greater decrease in triglycerides compared to EPA, 13 vs. 12 percent, respectively, and HDL, the “good” cholesterol rose by 7.6 percent for DHA vs. less than one percent for EPA. Findings on LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, were better for EPA, but only in men, not in women. Doctors said the findings are scientifically important, and that new studies will begin to reveal which omega-3s are better for particular conditions or health concerns.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; June, 2016, Published Online

Barley beta-glucan lowered cholesterol

Doctors believe it is the type of fiber—viscous soluble fiber—in barley that is responsible for its health benefits. Researchers in this review analyzed findings from 14 studies covering 615 people who took barley beta-glucan for at least three weeks. Participants were average age 47, slightly overweight, with most having high cholesterol.

Overall, people who consumed 6.5 grams to 6.9 grams per day of barley beta-glucan for at least four weeks saw LDL cholesterol decline an average of 0.25 micromoles per liter of blood, and other non-HDL cholesterol decline by 0.31 micromoles per liter.

Reference: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition; June, 2016, Published Online


Heart Wise – Multivitamins and antioxidants protect heart health, extend life, in two new studies

Multivitamins over the long-term

In this large, long-term study, 18,530 male physicians were at least 40 years of age and free from cardiovascular disease and cancer when they entered the trial. Over the course of 20 years of follow-up, men who were regularly taking multivitamins when they entered the study, and who continued to take multivitamins during this time, were 44 percent less likely to have had a major cardiovascular event compared to men who were not taking multivitamins at the start of the study.

Although the men reported a wide range of lifestyles, diets, and dietary supplements, as well as a number of clinical health factors, taking a daily multivitamin over the long term still demonstrated a clear heart-health benefit. Doctors also said there was no evidence of any safety concerns in long-term use of multivitamins.

Reference: Journal of Nutrition; April, 2016, Published Online

Selenium and CoQ10

Selenium is a trace element that is essential for its role in human reproduction, DNA synthesis, and protecting the body from infection. CoQ10 is an antioxidant responsible for basic cell function and energy, but the body produces less of it with age and disease. Doctors wanted to test the heart-health effects of these two antioxidants in Europe, where selenium is low in the diet, and in older men and women who were naturally producing less CoQ10.

In this study of 443 Swedish men and women, age 78 to 85, half the group took 200 mg of CoQ10 plus 200 mcg of selenium per day for four years while the other half received no supplements. Doctors followed both groups for a total of 10 years and found men and women in the CoQ10-selenium group were 49 percent less likely to have died from cardiovascular or heart disease compared to those who did not take CoQ10 with selenium.

Reference: PLoS One; December, 2015, Vol. 10, No. 12, e0141641

Dark Chocolate for Better Fitness

Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidant flavanols which may increase the bioavailability and bioactivity of nitric oxide, a compound that allows the body to use oxygen more efficiently. In this study, nine moderately trained men took a series of fitness tests before and after consuming 40 grams of dark or white chocolate per day, in two, two-week alternating phases. Heart and lung fitness and endurance capacity was 11 percent greater for dark chocolate compared to white, and 21 percent greater compared to the start of the study. Maximum oxygen capacity also rose by 6 percent for dark chocolate.

Reference: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; December, 2015, Published Online

Circulation – Nutrients lower blood pressure, improve heart-health factors

Taurine improved blood pressure in prehypertension

People with elevated—but not yet high—blood pressure have readings between 120 and 139 mmHg systolic, or 80 and 89 mmHg diastolic, a condition called prehypertension. Earlier studies had found taurine successfully reduced high blood pressure in animals.

In this study, 51 men and 69 women, average age 57, with prehypertension took 1,600 mg of taurine per day, or a placebo. After 12 weeks, average systolic blood pressure had declined by 7.2 mmHg for those taking taurine compared to 2.6 mmHg for placebo.

Because some people get nervous in a doctor’s office, driving up blood pressure readings, doctors also measured ambulatory blood pressure, meaning taking measurements at regular intervals outside the doctor’s office. Average ambulatory systolic blood pressure declined by 3.8 mmHg for taurine compared to 0.3 mmHg for placebo.

Reference: Hypertension; March, 2016, Vol. 67, No. 3, 541-9

Probiotics preserve heart health

Doctors were interested in the health effects of probiotics on lipids and other factors in heart and circulatory diseases. Researchers looked at 15 studies covering 788 people who had taken some form of probiotics while measuring some or all of these health factors. Overall, probiotics reduced total and LDL—the “bad”—cholesterol levels, lowered body-mass index scores, shrank waist size, and reduced signs of inflammation.

Doctors also found the most effective delivery and form of probiotics was in fermented milk, rather than in capsules, in studies lasting at least eight weeks, and consisting of multiple probiotic strains. In particular, lactobacillus acidophilus was most effective in lowering LDL cholesterol.

Reference: Annals of Medicine; August, 2015, Vol. 47, No. 6, Published Online

Diabetes Update – Nutrients help normalize prediabetes and manage type 2 diabetes

Zinc normalized blood sugar in prediabetes

The body needs zinc to efficiently use insulin, metabolize carbohydrates, and protect insulin-producing beta cells from inflammatory damage. In this study, doctors gave 55 pre-diabetic people 30 mg of zinc sulfate per day or a placebo. The study took place in Bangladesh, one of the most zinc-deficient regions of the world.

After six months, those taking zinc saw fasting blood sugar levels decrease by 5.76 mg/dL, bringing readings from pre-diabetic levels back into the normal range. Doctors also measured pancreatic beta-cell function, insulin sensitivity and resistance, all of which improved in the zinc group.

Reference: Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice; May, 2016, Vol. 115, 39-46

Milk thistle and type 2 diabetes

Because oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to developing type 2 diabetes and its complications, doctors wanted to measure the effects of milk thistle on these factors in those with type 2 diabetes.

In this study, 40 people with type 2 diabetes, aged 25 to 50, who were taking standard diabetes medications, took 140 mg of milk thistle three times per day, or a placebo.

After 45 days, compared to placebo, those taking milk thistle saw circulating levels of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase increase by 12.85 percent, and the antioxidant glutathione peroxidase rise by 30.32 percent. Total antioxidant capacity increased by 8.43 percent compared to placebo.

Doctors also measured inflammation, with the inflammatory factor high-sensitivity C-reactive protein declining by 26.83 percent. Malondialdehyde, an important sign of oxidative stress, also declined by 12.01 percent compared to placebo.

Reference: Phytomedicine; February, 2015, Vol. 22, No. 2, 290-6

Ahead of the Curve – Early Stage Discoveries: Cocoa Extract, Coconut Oil, and Quercetin

Good results in the lab can lead to larger human trials. Here are some of the most promising recent findings.

Cocoa powder and photo-aging

Doctors tested cocoa powder in the lab on human dermal fibroblast cells and on hairless mice. The cocoa powder changed the gene expression in genes linked to skin wrinkling after being exposed to UVB irradiation, rays similar to those that penetrate Earth’s atmosphere. The cocoa powder also suppressed the release of collagen-degrading enzymes in both studies.

Neuroreport; June, 2016, Vol. 27, No. 9, 671-6

Virgin coconut oil and anti-stress

Virgin coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that may have anti-stress effects, but there are no studies demonstrating this effect. In the lab, mice given virgin coconut oil were able to swim longer in cold water, had higher superoxide dismutase antioxidant levels, and lower levels of oxidative stress than those without virgin coconut oil.

Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine; January, 2015, Vol. 9, No. 1, 39-42

 

 

Quercetin and memory

Earlier studies had found quercetin delayed memory deterioration in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the lab, mice given quercetin had better memory recall. In a human study, compared to placebo, people with AD saw memory recall improve significantly after taking quercetin for four weeks.

 

Reference: Journal of Investigative Dermatology; May, 2016, Vol. 136, No. 5, 1012-21

Bone – Nutrients improve BMD and protect against osteoporosis in women

Plant-sourced calcium

Doctors expect women to lose bone mineral density (BMD) with age. In this study, doctors followed 202 women who had measured bone density by taking a bone density exam or a blood chemistry test, and who had taken a plant-sourced calcium and vitamin-mineral supplement over seven years.

Doctors found a significant, nearly linear annual increase in BMD of 1.04 percent per year, for a total of 7.3 percent increase in BMD over seven years. The supplement contained 720 mg of calcium, 72 mg of magnesium, 3 mg boron, 680 mg elemental strontium, 1,608 mg trace minerals, 50 mg vitamin C, and 1,600 IU vitamin D3.

Commenting on the findings, doctors said the results were the opposite of changes they would expect, and in direct contrast to observed decreases in BMD of 0.4 percent per year in a database covering 16,289 women. The results suggest plant-sourced calcium can significantly increase total body BMD in women.

Reference: Journal of the American College of Nutrition; February, 2016, Vol. 35, No. 2, 91-9

Black tea flavonoids

In one of the few studies to follow women tea drinkers over time, doctors measured food and beverage frequency in 1,188 women and followed up for 10 years.

Compared to women who drank one cup of tea or less per week, women who drank three or more cups of tea per day were 30 percent less likely to have an osteoporotic bone fracture. Looking at total flavonoids from tea and diet, women who got the most flavonoids were 34 to 42 percent less likely to have any fracture, a major fracture, or hip fracture, compared to women who got the least flavonoids.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; October, 2015, Vol. 102, No. 4, 958-65

 

John_Jane_2016_Anniversary45th Anniversary Celebration!
We are proud to have grown into the home of CT’s largest selection of organic produce, humanely raised local meats and dairy products as well as The Provender, our award-winning fresh food counter. Oh, and we also have the most complete selection of Non-GMO wellness products in CT! But… what has guided and driven us to take this road less traveled? Three words – to do good. Since 1971, one of New Morning Market’s operational principles was to do good, and I think that 45 years of providing “good food” to good people for a good life is a testament to our commitment to New Morning’s Mission.

YOU helped make it happen, come celebrate with us! Our Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, May 21st marks 4 years in our Forever Home! How time flies when you’re having fun! We’ll have live music, sumptious food sampling thoroughout the store, demos with only the best skin care, make up and supplements! We want to celebrate YOU, because without each and every one of you we never would have made it this far. All of us at New Morning invite you to a life full of Goodness as we continue our way down the road less traveled… together! – John

Ahead of the Curve – Early Stage Discoveries: Curcumin, Probiotics, Clary Sage

Good results in pilot studies can lead to larger human trials. Here are some of the most promising recent findings.

Absorbing curcumin

Curcumin by itself doesn’t absorb well in the body and degrades quickly when exposed to stomach acid. To address the problem, doctors encapsulated a curcumin “nano-emulsion,” making it more stable and absorbable using milk fat, medium chain triglycerides, and sodium caseinate in an ice cream formulation that may eventually become a more efficient delivery system for the bioactives in curcumin.

Reference: Food & Function; 2016, Vol. 7, No. 1, 417-24

Probiotics reduce inflammation

Stomach acid can kill probiotics. Doctors gave 30 healthy adults the probiotic bifidobacterium animalis lactis 12 (BB-12) alone, in unfermented yogurt, and in fermented yogurt, in three four-week phases. Those taking BB-12 in fermented yogurt had the greatest reduction in signs of inflammation. Doctors said yogurt is rich in nutrients that can support the growth, survival, and activity of BB-12, and that the acidic environment and buffering system of fermented yogurt may help BB-12 survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract.

Reference: European Journal of Nutrition; November, 2015, Published Online

Clary sage and calm

Clary sage is a medicinal herb native to the Mediterranean. In this study, 22 women in their 50s with depressive or normal tendencies inhaled clary sage essential oil. After inhaling, levels of cortisol—the hormone the body excretes in response to stress—declined most in the depressive women, and also in women without depressive tendencies. Serotonin, the mood-balancing hormone, increased significantly in both groups.

Reference: Phytotherapy Research; 2014, Vol. 28, No. 11, 1599-605

Ahead of the Curve- Early-Stage Discoveries: Diet and Mood, Kitchen and Weight,  Mediterranean Diet and Brain

Good results in pilot studies lead to larger trials. Here are some of the most promising recent findings.

Body composition and mood

In the lab, mice with excess weight and fat, high blood sugar, and poor glucose tolerance showed more anxiety and depressive-type symptoms than when on a lower fat and lower calorie diet. Antidepressants were ineffective while on the high-fat and high-calorie diet. Doctors said normalizing metabolic impairments may help those with type 2 diabetes and depression feel better.

Reference: Neurology; October, 2015, Published Online

What you see is what you eat

Doctors advise overweight people to eat less and move more, but there may be a simpler, more effective way to lose weight. In a nationwide study, 500 women with at least two children under 18 at home reported what was on their kitchen counter and their weight. Women with candy, cereal, soft drinks, and dried fruit on the counter weighed up to 26 pounds more than women without these items, and those with fresh fruit on the counter weighed an average of 13 pounds less than those without fruit.

Reference: British Journal of Pharmacology; October, 2015, Published Online

Mediterranean diet and the brain

The brain shrinks with age, but diet may help protect brain size. In this study, 674 80-year-olds without dementia reported their diets. Doctors measured brain volume using an MRI and found those who most closely followed a Mediterranean-type diet had greater total brain volume, and larger total grey and white brain matter volume. Those who ate more fish and less meat were more likely to have more grey matter, total brain volume, and total brain surface area.

Reference: Neurology; October, 2015, Published Online

Reference: Health Education & Behavior; October, 2015, Published Online

Diets of Hope –  Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory diets reduce chances for prostate, Breast, and other cancers 

Antioxidant levels

“Men with prostate cancer often have low levels of dietary antioxidants and increased lipid peroxidation,” doctors said. In this study, researchers measured total antioxidant capacity (TAC)—including from diet and supplements—and how aggressive prostate cancer was in 855 Black Americans and 945 White Americans with low, intermediate, or highly aggressive prostate cancer.

Doctors found a direct link: the lower the TAC level, the more aggressive the prostate cancer, with no significant differences between Black and White men. On average overall, men with the highest TAC levels were 69 percent less likely to have developed highly aggressive prostate cancer compared to those with the lowest total antioxidant capacity from diet and supplements.

Reference: Nutrition and Cancer; 2016, Vol. 68, No. 2, 214-24

Anti-inflammatory diets

Chronic inflammation is a factor in developing cancer, and diets can promote or discourage inflammation. To measure the inflammatory tendencies of different diets, doctors have developed the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII), using 36 food variables. Anti-inflammatory foods include fruits, vegetables, omega-3, and fiber, while pro-inflammatory foods include omega-6, refined sugars, and highly processed foods, among others.

In this study, 6,542 healthy-weight to overweight men and women, average age 49, completed at least six dietary surveys during the first two years, with doctors following up for an average of 10 more years. Overall, doctors found a link between pro-inflammatory diets and greater chances of developing prostate cancer, but no link to other cancers. When doctors viewed the DII by levels of alcohol in the diet, while there was no cancer link in higher consumers of alcohol with pro-inflammatory diets, those with pro-inflammatory diets who consumed low to moderate amounts of alcohol were more likely to develop any type of cancer or breast cancer.

Reference: The Journal of Nutrition; March, 2016, Published Online

Paul_Ad_CropFresh, Local and Humanely Raised

In pursuit of culinary excellence Paul (right) juggles many roles.  As chef, butcher and friend of local farmers, he is uniquely qualified to source superior local meats that are in line with our Mission.  Paul checks out the farm firsthand with John Morosani, owner of Laurel Ridge Farm (just 16 miles away).

Laurel Ridge cows graze on 220 acres of pasture and are certified 100% grass fed. They never receive antibiotics or growth hormones. The beef is flavorful, tender, juicy and   available fresh at New Morning Market where you will ONLY find humanely raised meat, eggs, milks and cheeses.  Now that’s something you can feel good about!

The same attention to detail is evident in every item on our shelves, from our award winning prepared foods counter to the largest selection of fresh organic produce in CT.

New Morning Market – bringing good food to good people for a good life. Come share with us! John Pittari

Oily Fish for Healthy Heart

Many omega-3 studies test doses of more than 3,000 mg of EPA with DHA per day. In this study, 312 healthy men and women took 700 mg or 1,800 mg of EPA with DHA per day, or a placebo. After eight weeks, while there was no overall finding, and no change for placebo, those who began the study with high systolic blood pressure saw at least a 3.6 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure on either dose of omega-3. Doctors said people could obtain this level of omega-3s from eating two to three servings of oily fish per week.

Reference: The Journal of Nutrition; 2016, Vol. 146, No. 3, 516-23

Better Brain – Nutrients improved cognition, memory, and attention

Vitamin K and cognition

A new discovery links vitamin K with the protective sheaths and membranes around neurons; the nerve cells that process and transmit signals in the brain and body. Earlier studies found vitamin K supports memory, and cognition can decline when drugs deplete vitamin K, leading doctors to test for a link between vitamin K and cognition in older adults.

In this study, doctors measured vitamin K in the diets of 192 people, aged at least 65, and compared cognitive performance between those who got the least vitamin K to those who got more. People with higher levels of vitamin K performed better on tests of memory, attention, math, and language, and scored higher on behavioral measures including self-control, mood, and desire to engage in everyday activities.

Discussing the findings, doctors said vitamin K may play a role in preventing dementia, and that ensuring adequate vitamin K in the diet may improve cognition and behavior in older adults.

Reference: Nutrients; August, 2015, Vol. 7, No. 8, 6739-50

Bacopa monnieri, memory, and attention

Ayurvedic doctors have long used bacopa monnieri for neurological and behavioral problems. In this analysis, doctors reviewed nine placebo-controlled studies covering 437 participants who took a standardized extract of bacopa monnieri for at least 12 weeks.

Overall, compared to placebo, those taking bacopa monnieri had better visual attention, were more mentally flexible, and were able to switch tasks, and scan, search, and process visual information more quickly. On a test of reaction times, the bacopa monnieri groups were able to choose more quickly between multiple options, indicating they were generally more alert and had better speed and control of body movements.

Reference: Journal of Ethnopharmacology; November, 2014, Vol. 151, No. 1, 528-35

Hope for PCOS – Nutrients improve symptoms in polycystic ovary syndrome

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women of child-bearing age, with symptoms including irregular periods, elevated male hormone levels, and enlarged ovaries. Untreated, the syndrome can lead to type 2 diabetes and other health problems.

Folic acid reduced inflammation

In this study, 69 women with PCOS, age 18 to 40, took a placebo, 1 mg of folate (folic acid) per day, or 5 mg of folate per day, for eight weeks. The doses were several times the U.S. recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folate.

Doctors measured inflammation levels and signs of oxidative stress before and after the study. Women taking the 5 mg dose of folate saw significant decreases in inflammation including lower levels of homocysteine and C-reactive protein. The women in the 5 mg folate group also had a better ability to regulate and use insulin, and a significant increase in total antioxidant capacity, suggesting less oxidative stress.

Reference: Clinical Endocrinology; October, 2014, Vol. 81, No. 4, 582-7

Carnitine, glucose control,
and weight loss

In this study, 60 overweight women with PCOS took 250 mg of carnitine per day or a placebo. After 12 weeks, while the placebo group had not improved or had deteriorated, women taking carnitine saw a 7.3 percent decrease in fasting blood sugar levels, and a 21.9 percent decrease in insulin levels.

Women in the carnitine group also lost an average of six pounds, or about 4 percent of body weight, saw a similar decline in body mass index scores, had nearly a one-inch decrease in waist size, and a 2.5 percent decrease in measurement around the hips.

Reference: Clinical Endocrinology; December, 2015, Published Online

Diabetes Update – Nutrients improve circulation, blood sugar, and lipids in type 2 diabetes

Krill oil, circulation, and cholesterol

In this two-part study, doctors wanted to test the effects of krill oil omega-3 on circulation and cholesterol. In part one, 47 men and women with type 2 diabetes, average age 65, took a placebo or 1,000 mg of krill oil omega-3s per day for four weeks. About three in four participants also had high blood pressure or imbalanced lipids.

After four weeks, while the placebo group had not changed, circulation had improved in the krill oil group, which saw an increase in the ability of blood vessels to relax and dilate.

A smaller group of 34 continued in the second part of the study, taking krill oil for 17 more weeks. HDL, the good cholesterol, increased on average to 49.09 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood from 43.48 mg/dL. HDL protects against circulatory diseases, particularly at levels above 60 mg/dL.

Reference: BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care; 2015, Vol. 3, e000107, Published Online

Probiotics, blood sugar, and lipids

Doctors know the body needs a balance of microbes for good health. Those with type 2 diabetes usually have a microbial imbalance, called “dysbiosis.” In this study, 43 men and women with type 2 diabetes for at least one year took 120 grams of fermented milk per day, alone as a placebo or with the probiotics lactobacillus acidophilus La-5 and bifidobacterium animalis.

After six weeks, long-term average blood sugar, and total and LDL cholesterols had declined for the probiotics group while increasing for placebo. Measures of inflammation and insulin sensitivity improved in both groups, which doctors attributed to beneficial sugars and proteins in fermented milk.

Reference: Clinical Nutrition; December, 2015, Published Online

Healthy Heart – Nutrients protect against heart and circulatory diseases: Magnesium and
artery calcification

Calcium can build up on artery walls, raising chances for heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Earlier studies found a link between low levels of magnesium and calcium buildup in coronary arteries in those with chronic kidney disease, but doctors wanted to know more about magnesium and calcium buildup in healthy people.

In this study, doctors measured magnesium levels in 1,276 men and women who were free from symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Compared to those with the lowest levels, those with the highest circulating levels of magnesium were 48 percent less likely to have high blood pressure, 69 percent less likely to have type 2 diabetes, and 42 percent less likely to have calcium buildup in coronary arteries.

Reference: Nutrition Journal; 2016, Vol. 15, No. 22, Published Online

Vitamin B12, omega-3,  and inflammation

Chronic inflammation is a factor in heart and circulatory diseases. In this study, 30 healthy men and women, aged 23 to 25, took 1,000 mg of vitamin B12 alone, 490 mg of DHA plus 98 mg of EPA alone, or the vitamin B12 and omega-3s together.

After eight weeks, all three groups saw a decrease in two important inflammatory factors—homocysteine and C-reactive protein—with those taking the combination of vitamin B12 and omega-3s seeing the most benefit.

Doctors said these two inflammatory factors are important; homocysteine because high levels can be an early signal of heart and circulatory disease, and C-reactive protein because elevated levels are a sign of systemic inflammation. Doctors concluded that vitamin B12 and omega-3s reduce inflammation in healthy young people.

Reference: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2015, Vol. 24, No. 3, 403-11

Carol_2015Good Food on the Go

Chef Carol is incredibly passionate about good food.  You can taste it in each dish – artfully crafted from pasture raised, local and humane meats, eggs and cheeses, sustainable seafood and the freshest organic produce. This holiday season take some of the pressure off yourself! Spend more precious time with friends and family by letting us do the cooking! Whether it’s awesome appetizers, outstanding side dishes, freshly baked desserts or a fully catered meal displayed on your own platters, we’ve got you covered. Now that’s something you can feel good about!
Come shop in our warm and welcoming space where you can greet friends and family, enjoy a hot beverage, a smoothie or a lunch on the go.  New Morning Market – bringing good food to good people, for a good life.  Come share with us!

produceYour Right to Know

The majority of commercial GMO crops are engineered to survive herbicide application and/or produce an insecticide, despite the promises of the Biotech Industry to produce crops with increased yields, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition and other consumer benefits.  If you’re like ninety percent of Americans, you agree with having Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) indicated on our food labels.  Over 60 countries have laws requiring labeling of GMO ingredients.

You may ask – So why all the fuss about labeling GMO’s?  The main reason is they have not been safety tested!  Strange in this day and age of product recalls on everything from automobiles to zucchinis – but there are no independent long-term studies conducted on the safety of GMO’s, only the studies done by the Biotech Industry. More than 60 countries including Australia, Japan and the European Union have restrictions and mandatory labeling or outright bans on genetically modified food, but the United States isn’t one of them. It’s estimated that GMO’s are present in more than 80% of packaged food in the USA.
Is it safe to eat genetically modified food? The international standard for food safety testing hasn’t been done on GMO’s to date so the jury is still out. Most developed countries do not consider GMO’s safe and mounting anecdotal evidence is suggesting that for many people the answer is a definitive no.
As a testament to our commitment to your right to vote with your dollar, we’ve partnered with HowGood, a third party “Good, Great, Best” rating system that tells you how good products are, based on information from over 350 different sources!  You’ll see the shelf tags under products throughout the store starting in the grocery aisles. Prepare to be amazed when you visit howgood.com or get the app!  – John Pittari

apples_red_smallLocal Apples

So it’s almost Fall and the first of the local apple harvest is upon us. For me, LOCAL apples are the flavor of the season. Local apples serve up the best flavor, whether they are eaten out of hand, sipped as cider, baked into pies and cobblers or cooked into applesauce, apple butter or even cider jelly. When I enjoy these foods, I feel connected to long standing New England traditions and rituals that surround the apple harvest. I was surprised to learn, considering how rooted in our culture the legend of Johnny Appleseed and the saying “As American as apple pie” is, that this versatile fruit is not native to North America but originated in the Middle East and then brought to Europe by the Romans. One thing is certain though, in the agricultural “package” that the European settlers brought to New England, apples were very important and contributed to their success and quality of life.

Apples are “good keepers” – once harvested they will last for many months in a cold storage environment like the root cellars that the first Colonists used! Established in 1746, Averill Farm of Washington, CT, provides New Morning Market with dozens of new apple cultivars as well as old heirloom varieties like Gravenstein and Rhode Island Greening which are still favorites today.

It’s Part of Our Mission to support local orchards that produce these and many other delicious varieties that become available throughout the season. Please join me in savoring the flavor of Fall this year with old favorites or “new to you” apple varieties! ~ John Pittari

Kids- Omega-3s improve cognition, supplements improve behavior

Omega-3s and teens

There is a study going on now that is testing omega-3 krill oil in adolescent students. In a related trial, doctors took blood samples from 266 of the participants in the krill oil study to measure omega-3 EPA/DHA levels and test cognitive performance.

Overall, omega-3 levels were less than half the recommended range. Doctors had expected this because 14 percent consumed no fish, and 77 percent only rarely. Those with higher omega-3 levels performed better on two of the nine cognitive measures, including a number-symbol test, where students must quickly associate an unfamiliar symbol with the correct number; and an attention test, where the higher-omega-3 group had more accurate memory, indicating less impulsiveness. Doctors said fish oil supplements may be an inexpensive way to improve school performance.

Reference: Nutrients; 2016, Vol. 8, No. 1, Published Online

Supplements and behavior

Good nutrition may help improve bad behavior. In this study, 196 typically developing 13 to 16-year-olds took a placebo or a vitamin-mineral-omega-3 supplement for 12 weeks. Doctors measured changes in levels of omega-3, omega-6, and in some vitamins and minerals. All participants were low in omega-3s at the start of the study, but levels improved significantly in those taking omega-3s.

Overall, the basic quality of behavior in this student body was good, and school discipline records did not change significantly. But doctors asked teachers to rate changes in student behavior. According to teacher reports, over the 12 weeks, those taking omega-3s had improved behavior while behavior in the placebo group deteriorated. Doctors are calling for a larger study to confirm a link between nutrition and behavior.

Reference: British Journal of Nutrition; 2016, Vol. 115, No. 2, 361-73

Better Health – Nutrients extend life, increase health

Live longer with lycopene

People with metabolic syndrome share symptoms including obesity around the abdomen, elevated blood pressure and sugar, high triglycerides, and low levels of HDL—the “good” cholesterol—which together may shorten lifespan. In this study, doctors followed 2,499 people with metabolic syndrome, aged at least 20, for six to 11 years to see if there were any differences in survival rates based on levels of lycopene.

Doctors ranked participants according to low, medium, or high levels of lycopene. Those with the highest lycopene levels had the longest average survival time, 120.6 months. Those with medium lycopene levels averaged 116.3 months, and those with the lowest lycopene levels survived an average of 107.4 months.

This is the first study to test for a link between lycopene levels and survival rates in those with metabolic syndrome, and doctors said the results suggest a significant lifespan benefit for lycopene.

Reference: Nutrition Journal; January, 2016, Published Online

Antioxidants for health

Earlier studies of populations suggest that high levels of antioxidants in the diet protect against many diseases and disorders. In this study, doctors measured total antioxidant capacity from diet and supplements in 4,093 adults, aged at least 19, who reported their dietary habits.

Those who took antioxidant supplements had 1.6 times higher total antioxidant capacity compared to those who didn’t take supplements. Doctors adjusted for differences in age, gender, lifestyle, and other factors and found, on average overall, higher total antioxidant capacity had a link to lower triglycerides, a lower ratio of triglycerides to HDL—the “good” cholesterol—an 0.65 percent increase in HDL, lower fasting insulin levels, reduced insulin resistance, and lower levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory factor.

Those with the highest total antioxidant capacity also tended to be physically active, non-smoking, healthy weight, older white women who took supplements and consumed more fiber and less saturated fats.

Reference: Nutrients; 2016, Vol. 8, No. 1, E15

Sports Performance – Nutrients improve health, speed recovery, after exercise

Krill oil boosts immunity

Krill oil contains the omega-3s EPA and DHA, and may alter immune function after exercise. In this study, 37 men and women, average age 26, took 2,000 mg of krill oil per day, or a placebo, for six weeks. To trigger an immune response before and after taking krill oil, participants performed a maximal exercise test and a cycling time trial.

The krill oil group saw an increase in a molecule, IL-2, which regulates immune white blood cells and natural killer (NK) immune cells. “NK cells are the first line of defense, reacting quickly to threats such as bacteria and viruses to keep them under control…their activity can be decreased by up to 60 percent for several hours after exercise,” doctors said.

Doctors also found EPA, DHA, and overall omega-3 levels increased in those taking krill oil.

Reference: Journal PLoS One; September, 2015, Published Online

Ginger reduced muscle soreness

Muscles often are sore after endurance training, but taking over-the-counter pain medication (analgesics) can produce serious side effects. In this study, 20 college students took 2,200 mg of ginger per day, or a placebo, for three days before, the day of, and the day after a 20 to 22 mile run on a university marathon course.

Participants compared muscle soreness after the marathon to their typical muscle soreness from jogging before the study. The placebo group ranked muscle soreness at 62 after marathon compared to 21.5 for jogging; the ginger group scored 37 and 9, a 40 percent lower level of muscle soreness. Doctors said ginger may reduce the activity of inflammatory enzymes, helping to decrease muscle soreness.

Reference: International Journal of Athletic Therapy & Training; 2015, Vol. 20, No. 6, 44-50

Body & Mind – Nutrients ease joint symptoms, improve memory, in two new studies

MK-7 and rheumatoid arthritis

In normal joints, the synovium is a thin, delicate lining that provides nutrients for cartilage. Synovial cells make joint lubricants, collagen, and fibronectin for structural joint support. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), this lining thickens and inflames.

MK-7 is one of the menaquinones, which doctors believe kill RA synovial cells. A recent study found MK-4 beneficial in RA, but MK-7 is more bioavailable, hence this study.

In the study, 84 men and women with RA took 100 mcg of MK-7 per day, or a placebo, while continuing on other medications. After three months, while the placebo group had not changed, those taking MK-7 had measurably lower levels of two types of inflammation, fewer of the proteins that degrade connective tissue in RA, and lower disease activity scores in 28 joints.

Reference: European Journal of Pharmacology; August, 2015, Published Online

Bacopa monnieri and memory

The ancient practice of Ayurvedic medicine relies on bacopa monnieri as a nerve tonic. In this study, 60 healthy older men and women took a placebo, or 300 mg or 600 mg of bacopa monnieri per day. After four weeks, compared to placebo, the 300 mg bacopa monnieri group had better attention quality and continuity, improvements which continued through the 12-week study and four weeks beyond.

For the 600 mg bacopa monnieri group, memory speed increased at four weeks, and from eight weeks on, both groups saw memory speed improve, continuing through four weeks beyond the end of the study. Bacopa monnieri was safe, and all participants completed the study.

Reference: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Vol. 2012, Article ID 606424

Diabetes Update – Everyday nutrients reduce chances of developing type 2 diabetes

Magnesium

Doctors reviewed 19 studies covering 539,735 participants, some of whom developed type 2 diabetes over the various study time periods. Participants answered a food-frequency questionnaire to help determine the level of magnesium in the diet. Overall, compared to those who got the least magnesium, those who got the most magnesium from diet and supplements were 23 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes over the several study time periods.

Doctors also found a direct link: each 100 mg-per-day increase in magnesium led to a 16 percent decrease in chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Discussing the findings, doctors said when magnesium levels are low, special insulin-producing cells in the pancreas don’t function properly, and that earlier studies had found magnesium improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels in both diabetics and non-diabetics. Ensuring a good level of magnesium in the diet may help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Reference: Journal of Nutrition; October, 2015, Published Online

Chromium supplements

Doctors analyzed a group of 28,539 adults to determine who took chromium supplements. Over half regularly took supplements of any kind, and 29 percent took supplements that included chromium.

When doctors compared chromium users to those who did not take chromium, they found that those who took chromium supplements were 27 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes over the 12-year study period. There was no change in chances for developing type 2 diabetes with supplements that did not contain chromium. Doctors said chromium helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and enhances the action of insulin.

Reference: Journal of Nutrition; October, 2015, Published Online

Reference: Biomedical and Environmental Sciences; 2015, Vol. 28, No. 7, 527-34

Healthy Cranberry Juice

Drinking cranberry juice improved lipids, reduced inflammation, and blood pressure and sugar, in overweight men and women. In this study, 56 healthy men and women, average body mass index score 28, drank eight ounces of low-calorie cranberry juice or a placebo beverage twice per day. The cranberry beverage contained 172 mg of phenolic compounds and 6.5 grams of sugar, the placebo, 62 mg and 7.5 grams.

After eight weeks, fasting triglycerides, C-reactive protein, blood sugar, and diastolic blood pressure levels were lower for the cranberry group. Also, in those who started the study with greater measures of insulin resistance, cranberry juice increased insulin sensitivity.

Reference: Journal of Nutrition; 2015, Vol. 145, No. 6, 1185-93

Good Fats –  Nutrients help maintain healthy lipids and regulate fat absorption

Omega-3s and lipid levels

New research suggests measuring omega-3 levels may help doctors detect early signs of, and prevent, heart disease in older adults. In this study, doctors measured lipids and EPA/DHA omega-3 levels in 276 adults, aged 65 to 95.

Women had higher omega-3 levels than men, and doctors found a direct link: as omega-3 levels increased, triglyceride levels decreased, and women with the lowest omega-3 levels were more likely to have high triglycerides. Also as omega-3s rose, HDL, the “good” cholesterol, increased as a percentage of total cholesterol. In both men and women, greater omega-3 levels meant better HDL/total cholesterol ratios.

Reference: Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry; 2016, Vol. 27, 233-40

Cactus fiber and weight loss

Earlier lab studies found prickly pear cactus fiber promoted weight loss by binding to dietary fats and reducing fat absorption. In this study, 20 healthy men and women, aged 18 to 60, with body mass index scores from 20 to 30, took a placebo or 1,000 mg of cactus fiber three times per day with meals containing 35 percent fat, in two seven-day study cycles. Before this, everyone ate the diet and took a placebo for seven days.

Doctors collected excretion samples 24 hours after the end of each of the three phases. Participants who had taken cactus fiber excreted 15.79 percent fat compared to 4.56 percent for placebo. Cactus fiber was safe and there were no side effects.

Doctors said the study was short and don’t know if the results would be sustained over a longer time, but that the findings suggest cactus fiber may help promote weight loss.

Reference: Current Therapeutic Research; December, 2014, Vol. 76, 39-44

tabel set for a picnic in the parkGoodness Is… Summer Living

It’s summertime and the living is easy at New Morning Market! Light summertime recipes are easy to prepare when you have the best ingredients at hand. Your inspiration and our experienced staff are the perfect combination for creating world class meals. In every department of the store, we offer unique specialty products as well as trusted standbys, many locally produced, so look for the “local” signs. Create organic summery salads from the many organic fruits and vegetables arriving daily from our local farm community. Don’t know what to try? Guaranteed hits are our organic Fruit Jumbler or our original Leek and Lentil patties!

The Provender’s entrees, sides and desserts are prepared fresh daily and ready for quick pick up from our “Grab and Go” refrigerator. The secret is out – we have finally recreated grandma’s Home-style Potato and Egg Salad. Pounds and pounds are sold every week! So stock up this summer and always keep this “secret” on hand to share … or not. If sandwiches or wraps are how you roll, stop by and grab a few or call ahead and we can put together any assortment you like! Oh, and The Provender now features Applegate and Organic Prairie deli meats and cheeses sliced to order, made from humanely raised animals and never contain artificial ingredients like hormones or preservatives.

Don’t forget Dessert. Great tasting confections abound at the Provender’s Bake Shop: cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, scones or even locally made artisanal organic chocolates. We are also proud to be a gluten free dessert destination offering the most diverse and delicious selection in the area. This summer, remember whether it’s dessert or just plain good food, gluten free or organic, we have your taste buds covered!

Poster_EasalSize_45_Years_SmallerWhat do you do at New Morning?

This is a question we get!  The way I see it, Goodness is our business.  And yes, we are proud to be home to CT’s largest selection of organic produce, humanely raised local meats and dairy products as well as The Provender, our award-winning fresh food counter. Oh, and we also have the most complete selection of Non-GMO wellness products in CT!  But… what has guided and driven us to take this road less traveled?  Three words – to do good.  Since 1971, one of New Morning Market’s operational principles was to do good, and I think that 43 years of providing “good food” to good people for a good life is a testament to our commitment to New Morning’s Mission.

We recognize that it is not always clear what “good food” is. You can trust we select only the best for you and your family. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is always happy to talk with you about which cleaning products are safest, what supplements are best, why our local, grass fed beef is so good, or which farm grew the vegetables you’re buying. In the age of an impersonal global food system, this personal support and insider knowledge of good food is essential to your health and the health of your family.

To me, goodness is also sharing knowledge and culture.  Visit our classes page for a full listing of our Classes and Events, from yoga to live music and poetry readings, to cooking and nutrition classes!  All of us at New Morning invite you to a life full of Goodness as we continue our way down the road less traveled… together.  – John Pittari

­­­­Gardeners… Start Your Seedlings!

Herbs are captivating plants that wow us with their flavor, fragrance, and medicinal uses. You don’t need a formal vegetable or herb garden to plant these treats; you can grow them in pots or tuck them into a perennial border or a foundation planting. Most herbs require a lot of sun and average soil conditions and many do well in sandy soil. Because of their strong fragrance and flavor, garden critters like deer and groundhogs tend to avoid them. Another benefit is that many of our favorite herbs are perennials that come back each year.

As with vegetable gardening, choosing which herbs to plant is important. Start with flavors and fragrances you love and try one or two varieties of something different. New Morning carries popular favorites—basil, thyme, oregano, dill, parsley, and more—as well as a few unusual herbs for the adventurous. Visit us today and pick up seed packets from small family farms for your spring gardening. Also, keep a look out for the locally grown vegetable, herb and heirloom tomato starters that will be coming all Spring. These plants were grown right here in our area so they’re sure to thrive in your back yard!

Feel Vital Again…With Cherries!

If you are looking for a natural answer to your joint health concerns, you need look no further than the produce section. Cherries , both sweet and tart varieties contain potent anti-inflammatories that can ease the pain of gout, arthritis and muscle soreness. Loaded with potassium and powerful antioxidant pigments, cherries may be just what the doctor ordered for pain and inflammation. With research dating back to the 1950s, cherries contain flavanoids such as: cancer fighting quercetin, ellagic acid and perillyl alcohol; heart-healthy anthocyanins; and sleep-inducing natural melatonin. In one small retrospective study, 1 tbsp of tart cherry juice concentrate daily lead to a greater than 50% reduction in acute gout attacks in 92% of treated patients, with no side effects. In another study, ½ lb of Bing sweet cherries eaten daily significantly reduced plasma uric acid in women with gout. The dosage of cherries needed to obtain a clinical benefit is 2 oz concentrate, 6 oz juice, ¼ lb fresh fruit or 1000- 2000 mg of dried powdered cherry concentrate. Whether you choose tart or sweet cherry varieites, fresh, frozen, canned, juice or concentrated tablets/ capsules, there is a pain-relieving solution for everyone in this fabulous fruit.

Tea Basics

It’s tea time! While strictly speaking, the word “tea” refers to caffeinated beverages prepared from varieties of the plant Camellia sinensis, a flowering shrub native to Asia, for many, “tea” also denotes other beverages made by steeping herbs, spices, and dried fruits in hot or cold water. These are more correctly known as “tisanes”– herbal infusions that are prepared for everyday use. Some examples of caffeine-free tisanes include: antioxidant-rich Rooibos (Red Bush Tea), sweet-tasting Honeybush from South Africa; and Tulsi (Holy Basil), the stress-relieving “ herb of enlightenment” of India. Yerba Mate, “drink of the Gods” is a South American plant which contains three stimulants: caffeine, theophylline and theobromine. All true teas including white, green, oolong and black varieties contain health-promoting antioxidants, such as epicatechin gallate. Tea naturally contains caffeine as well as the relaxing amino acid L-theanine.

White teas are raw, unprocessed, delicately flavored tea leaves and buds. White varieties of tea include: White Peony and Silver Needle. Green teas are minimally fermented tea leaves. Japanese green tea varieties include: classic Sencha; roasted Hojicha and Genmaicha, a green tea roasted with brown rice. Kukicha, a low- caffeine variety made from tea twigs and stems is popular with followers of macrobiotics. Matcha is the finely ground powdered green tea featured in the traditional tea ceremony of Japan. Jasmine Green is green tea that has been scented with fresh Jasmine blossoms. The more luxurious Jasmine Pearls are made by hand-rolling green tea leaves around individual jasmine flowers. The exquisite Flowering Teas are made by hand rolling green or white tea leaves and various fragrant, colorful flowers together to create a gorgeous single tea “bud” that “blossoms” when it is immersed in hot water. Oolong is a half-fermented variety of tea with known benefits for weight reduction. Black teas are fully fermented teas that are sourced from China, India and Africa. Pu-Erh, a doubly fermented black tea from 500-year old wild tea trees in Yunnan China, is thought to be higher in antioxidants than other black teas. It has a distinctive smoky flavor enjoyed by many. Darjeeling is a fragrant, fruity variety of black tea that comes from the Himalayan foothills or Darjeeling region of India. Other notable black teas include: Assam, an Indian tea from Camellia sinensis var. assamica; Earl Grey, an English tea that is flavored with oil of bergamot orange and Irish Breakfast, a hearty, brisk-tasting breakfast tea.

Whether you prefer a delicate white tea, a caffeine-free tisane or a rich chocolaty Pu-Erh, at New Morning you will find a wide selection of the finest organic teas to choose from. This winter, take time for yourself and the ones you love with the relaxing comfort of a hot cup of tea.

Dietary Supplements 101

Poor eating habits and added holiday stress can increase your need for high quality nutritional supplements. Deciding which ones to take can be overwhelming, as there are so many products to choose from. Most important is quality. Your supplements should not contain any synthetic additives such as dyes, fillers or preservatives, as these can all impair nutrient absorption. Capsules, chewable tablets, powders and liquids are usually preferable to tablets, as they are generally better absorbed. These forms are essential for older individuals or those who have poor digestion. It is best to start with the basics such as a good multi-vitamin formulated for your gender and stage of life. Consider taking one with higher than RDI levels of B vitamins and vitamin C, especially if you are very stressed. Most people can benefit from taking some additional calcium each day. Your calcium supplement ideally should also contain magnesium and vitamin D. To get the most out of your calcium supplement, a smaller amount of calcium should be taken with food multiple times during the day. Fish oil (or flax oil, if you are a vegetarian) is a necessary daily supplement that provides heart-healthy omega-3 fats. The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is low in these essential fats, which are critical for healthy eyes, skin, heart, brain and joints. Finally, a probiotic supplement, with Lactobacillus acidophilus and other cultures, is another cornerstone of any good supplement plan. When taken regularly, these beneficial bacteria help to maintain a healthy digestive tract and optimize immune response. Taken together, a multi-vitamin, calcium, fish oil and probiotics provide the foundation for good health all year round.

Quality of Life – Nutrients support healthy aging and enjoyment of life

CoQ10 and selenium reduce hospital stays

Doctors wanted to know if nutrients could help keep older adults out of the hospital. In this study, 206 independently-living older adults took a daily dose of CoQ10 plus organic selenium yeast, or a placebo, for 48 months.

During a year of follow-up, doctors compared a subset of participants from the nutrient and placebo groups who were of similar age and gender, and who had similar heart health and function, which doctors determined by measuring the tension of the cardiac wall at the start of the study.

Those who had taken CoQ10 plus selenium had 1,779 total days out of the hospital compared to 1,533 for placebo, or 16 percent more hospital-free days. Also, the CoQ10-selenium group reported better physical performance and greater vitality.

Reference: Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging; 2015, Vol. 19, No. 9, 870-7

Curcumin improves blood vessel function

Earlier studies found curcumin protected blood vessels, possibly by helping them dilate and relax. In this study, 29 middle-age and older adults took 2,000 mg of curcumin per day or a placebo.

After 12 weeks, while there was no change for placebo, blood flow through the main artery of the upper arm had increased by 34 percent for the curcumin group compared to the start of the study. Doctors attributed part of the improvement in blood flow to curcumin increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide, the naturally occurring molecule in the body that helps blood vessels dilate and relax.

Reference: Gerontologist; 2015, Vol. 55, Supplement 2, 195

Black Raspberries are Highest in Antioxidants

Berries are “superfoods” because they contain high amounts of powerful phenolic antioxidants—known as anthocyanins—which give these fruits their distinctive dark colors. In this study, researchers measured the antioxidant levels in several berries grown in Central Europe and found that black raspberries in particular contained three times the total antioxidant levels of other berries, and 1,000 percent more phenolic antioxidants compared to red raspberries or blackberries.

Reference: Open Chemistry; 2015, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2391-5420

Healthy Knee – Two new studies find nutrients help osteoarthritis of the knee

Chondroitin and celecoxib

In some people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, the membrane that lines the knee joint swells and thickens with excess synovial fluid. In this study, 194 people with these symptoms took 1,200 mg of chondroitin or 200 mg of celecoxib per day.

After 12 months, those in the chondroitin group had a slower rate of cartilage loss compared to celecoxib. After 24 months, those taking chondroitin saw 51 percent less swelling from excess fluid compared to 39 percent for celecoxib. For pain, stiffness, and joint function, the chondroitin group saw an overall reduction in these symptoms of 54 percent compared to 43 percent for celecoxib. Both groups used a similar amount of acetaminophen for pain, and both chondroitin and celecoxib reduced OA symptoms. Doctors said chondroitin was superior to celecoxib in reducing long-term progression of structural changes in OA of the knee.

Reference: American College of Rheumatology Meeting Abstract #950; September, 2015

Curcumin

Doctors are seeking a safer alternative to standard non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating pain in OA. Earlier studies had shown the anti-inflammatory phytochemicals in curcumin, called curcuminoids, were effective in protecting cartilage cells.

In this study, 19 people with mild to moderate knee OA took 500 mg of curcuminoids three times per day, or a placebo. At the start of the study, there were no significant differences in OA symptom scores, and participants in both groups were of similar age, gender, and body mass index.

After six weeks, although stiffness was similar in both groups, the curcuminoids group saw greater relief from pain and improved physical function. Also, 84 percent of those in the curcuminoids group had stopped needing to take the NSAID naproxen for relieving pain, compared to 19 percent for placebo. Doctors said curcuminoids were safe and effective in treating symptoms of OA of the knee.

Reference: Phytotherapy Research; November, 2014, Vol. 28, No. 11, 1625-31

Healthy Men – Nutrients improve muscle and lower oxidative stress

Ashwagandha and muscle

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that can improve sports performance. In this study, 57 men aged 18 to 50 and little experience with resistance training, took 300 mg of ashwagandha per day or a placebo.

After eight weeks, those who took ashwagandha could bench press 101 pounds compared to 58 pounds for placebo, and 31 pounds for leg extensions vs. 22 pounds for placebo. The ashwagandha group also saw a greater increase in muscle size in the arms and chest, and had less muscle damage after exercise. Testosterone levels increased more and the percentage of body fat decreased more for those who took ashwagandha.

Reference: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; November, 2015, Vol. 12, No. 43

Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in prostate cancer

New evidence suggests that oxidative stress has a link to the development and progress of prostate cancer. In this study, doctors measured antioxidants in the diet and signs of oxidative stress in the blood, urine, and prostate tissue of men with prostate cancer.

Men with prostate cancer who consumed the most antioxidants had fewer signs of lipid oxidation, which doctors measured by sampling the urinary level of 8-isoprostane; a marker for lipid oxidation. There was a direct link: each 10 percent increase in antioxidants in the diet reduced signs of oxidative stress by 1.1 percent.

Discussing the findings, doctors said this study demonstrated that increasing antioxidants in the diet can reduce oxidative stress in men with prostate cancer, which may help slow the progress of this condition.

Reference: British Journal of Nutrition; January, 2016, Vol. 115, No. 1, 68-74

Diabetes Update – Nutrients improve and slow progression of diabetes

Royal jelly

Worker bees secrete royal jelly, which is rich in major nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. In this study, 46 men and women with type 2 diabetes for five to 10 years took a placebo or 1,000 mg of royal jelly three times per day.

After eight weeks, those in the royal jelly group saw a 25 percent decrease in a measure of insulin resistance, HOMA-IR, while insulin resistance increased 21.7 percent for placebo. HOMA-IR measures the function of specialized cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, and gauges insulin resistance—when muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond normally to insulin, and absorb less glucose from the bloodstream.

Type 2 diabetes also has a link to oxidative stress, and total antioxidant capacity increased 5.7 percent for those taking royal jelly while decreasing 3.6 percent for placebo.

Reference: Iranian Journal of Public Health; 2015, Vol. 44, No. 6, 797-803

Fenugreek

Many people with metabolic abnormalities, including glucose intolerance and elevated blood sugar levels, are unaware they are pre-diabetic and more likely to progress to type 2 diabetes. In this study, 66 pre-diabetic men and women took 5,000 mg of fenugreek powder twice per day with 6.5 ounces of water, while 74 similar participants did not.

After three years, those who took fenugreek were 76 percent less likely to have progressed to type 2 diabetes than those who did not take fenugreek. Also, the fenugreek group had lower fasting and after-meal glucose levels, and lower levels of LDL cholesterol, while the non-fenugreek group increased in these measures. Insulin levels and resistance also improved for those taking fenugreek.

Reference: Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders; 2015, Vol. 14, No. 74, Published Online

Muscle – Nutrients improve muscle recovery and boost strength

HMB with whey protein

Athletes often use whey protein to build lean muscle mass, but long recovery times after intense exercise can slow the process. In this study, 13 resistance-trained men, average age 23, took whey protein twice per day with or without hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) plus isomaltulose—a less-sweet natural sugar in honey and cane.

The men took the supplements two weeks before, then during three test days, followed by two more supplement days while resting. The test was one day of heavy resistance work and two days of metabolic resistance training.

Compared to whey protein alone, the men who took HMB had fewer signs of muscle damage and better athletic performance during the testing. After the test, men on HMB had less muscle soreness the first resting day, and had greater vertical jumping power on the first and second resting days.

Reference: Journal of the American College of Nutrition; 2015, Vol. 34, No. 2, 91-9

Vitamin D in young adults

Most vitamin D muscle studies have focused on older adults, but this review of seven studies covered 310 men and women aged 22 to 32. Participants in the studies took a placebo or vitamin D in doses of 4,000 IU per day up to 60,000 IU per week, and lasted from four weeks to six months.

Overall compared to placebo, those taking vitamin D saw greater improvements in upper and lower limb muscle strength. The average level of vitamin D at the start of all the studies was 12.3 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL); below the 20 ng/mL doctors believe is the minimum adequate level.

Reference: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport; 2015, Vol. 18, No. 5, 570-80

Cocoa for Younger Looking Skin

Antioxidants may help prevent facial skin aging from ultraviolet (UV) light. In this study, 62 Korean women with moderate skin wrinkling, roughness, and loss of elasticity, drank a placebo or a beverage containing 320 mg of cocoa flavanols per day. After 24 weeks, women in the cocoa flavanols group saw skin roughness improve by 9 percent, compared to 1.3 percent for placebo. Skin elasticity also improved significantly at 12 and 24 weeks compared to the start of the study. Doctors said consuming antioxidants and applying them topically can increase the amount of antioxidants in the skin and reduce damage from UV light.

Reference: Journal of Nutrition; November, 2015, Published Online

Healthy Metabolism – Everyday nutrients reduce chances of metabolic syndrome

What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome includes several symptoms such as obesity around the abdomen, elevated blood pressure and sugar, high triglycerides, low levels of HDL—the “good” cholesterol, and may be clinically the same as prediabetes.

Magnesium

This review of nine studies covered 31,876 people and compared magnesium in the diet to chances for developing metabolic syndrome. Men and women who got the most magnesium were 22 percent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome compared to those who got the least magnesium.

Magnesium helps metabolize lipids, and also glucose—possibly by helping preserve the specialized cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, the hormone that helps the body metabolize glucose, doctors said.

Reference: Nutrition Journal; October, 2015, Published Online

Vitamin E

Adults with metabolic syndrome had lower circulating levels of vitamin E and absorbed less than healthy people. In this study, 10 healthy adults and 10 with metabolic syndrome took 15 mg of a type of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E in the morning with an 8-ounce glass of skim, low-fat, or whole milk. Doctors measured blood levels of vitamin E regularly over the next 72 hours.

Those with metabolic syndrome had lower circulating alpha-tocopherol levels, higher LDL cholesterol levels, and elevated signs of inflammation including C-reactive protein. The healthy adults absorbed 29.5 percent of the vitamin E compared to 26.1 percent for those with metabolic syndrome, regardless of the fat content of the milk.

Discussing the findings, doctors said because metabolic syndrome has a link to oxidative stress, those with the condition may benefit from the powerful antioxidant properties of vitamin E, and from adding more vitamin E to the diet. Studies are underway to determine if other forms of vitamin E absorb at different rates.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2015, Vol. 102, No. 5, 1070-80

Bone – Nutrients reduce fractures and protect bone density

Calcium, vitamin D and fracture

Doctors have long recommended taking calcium with vitamin D to help prevent osteoporosis, but evidence that these supplements may reduce fracture is inconsistent. In this analysis of eight studies conducted between 2011 and 2015, covering 30,970 men and women, researchers found those who took calcium and vitamin D supplements were 15 percent less likely to experience any kind of bone fracture compared to those who did not take calcium and vitamin D supplements. Doctors also found those who took calcium with vitamin D were 30 percent less likely to have a hip fracture compared to men and women who didn’t take calcium and vitamin D.

Doctors said the findings support using calcium and vitamin D supplements to reduce chances of fracture in both independently living middle-aged and older people, and those living in caregiving institutions.

Reference: Osteoporosis International; October, 2015, Published Online

Vitamin E may protect BMD in women

Doctors in this study measured the diets of 3,203 adult men and women and compared whole-body bone mineral density (BMD), and BMD of the lumbar spine, hip, leg, and thigh. While there was no benefit in men, women with the highest circulating vitamin E levels had the greatest BMD in these areas.

Discussing the findings, doctors said oxidative stress may play a role in osteoporosis, and that postmenopausal women with lower estrogen levels often have more oxidative stress. The antioxidant properties in vitamin E may provide its bone density benefit, by helping balance the flow of calcium into and out of bones.

Reference: British Journal of Nutrition; October, 2015, Published Online

Mind –Nutritional supplement and omega-3 aid cognition – Nutraceutical formula improved cognition

In this new, one-year study, people with mild cognitive impairment improved after taking a nutraceutical formula containing 30 IU vitamin E, 400 mcg folic acid, 6 mcg vitamin B12, 600 mg n-acetyl l-cysteine, 500 mg acetyl l-carnitine, and 400 mg SAMe per day. Half the 34 participants, average age 66, took a placebo for six months, then the entire group took the nutrient formula for another six months.

Cognitive impairment involves memory, orientation, judgment, problem solving, personal care and other functions. Testing for these functions every three months, doctors found that the nutrient group improved significantly while the placebo group did not change.

In a second quarterly test of executive function, participants were asked to draw a clock as accurately as possible; a common way doctors assess the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. During the placebo phase, performance declined, but in all nutrient phases, participants were able to maintain or improve performance of the clock-drawing task.

Reference: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease; 2015, Vol. 48, No. 3, 591-5

Omega-3s may slow cognitive decline

Earlier studies found omega-3 fatty acids may slow the rate of decline in those with mild cognitive impairment and in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) but doctors know little about how changes in omega-3 blood levels can affect cognitive performance.

In this study, 174 people with AD took 2,300 mg of omega-3s per day, or a placebo, for six months. During the next six months, all participants took omega-3s. Doctors measured blood levels of omega-3s and found as levels of omega-3s increased, participants showed better preservation of cognitive function.

Reference: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease; 2015, Vol. 48, No. 3, 805-12

Feel Better Up High

At high altitude, blood vessels contract, depriving the body of oxygen. Beet juice contains nitrate, a natural vascular smooth-muscle relaxer that helps dilate blood vessels. In this study, doctors gave 11 men and women beet juice with or without nitrate in alternating phases, before and during a high altitude expedition. While there were no changes during the placebo phases, during the nitrate phases, blood vessels relaxed and returned to normal dilating function. Doctors said the natural nitrate in beet juice may help give the body the oxygen boost it needs at high altitude.

Reference: Journal of Nitric Oxide; August, 2015, No. 50, 58-64

Eye – Nutrients protect against eye disease and strain – Carotenoids reduce
chances of AMD

The brightly colored carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and others accumulate in the macula of the eye and protect central-field-of-vision cells from bright light. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when these central-vision cells break down, and is the most common form of age-related blindness.

In this study, doctors measured the amount of carotenoids in the diets of 102,046 men and women over a 25-year follow-up period. At the start of the study, all were age 50 or older and were free from AMD, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Those who consumed the highest amount of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin were 40 percent less likely to have developed AMD compared to those who got the least. Those who consumed other carotenoids, including alpha- and beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, were 25 to 35 percent less likely to have developed AMD compared to those who got the least of these carotenoids.

Reference: JAMA Ophthalmology; October, 2015, Published Online

Omega-3s ease computer vision syndrome

As people spend more time in front of computer screens, mobile phones, tablets and TV, symptoms of dry eye are increasing so much that the condition has a name: computer vision syndrome. In this study, 478 people with dry eye symptoms who had been using computers more than three hours per day for at least a year took 180 mg of EPA plus 120 mg of DHA per day, or a placebo.

After three months, 15 percent of those in the placebo group were symptom free compared to 70 percent of those who took omega-3s. Doctors used the universal standard test for dry eyes—called the tear break-up time test—and found tears took eight times longer to deteriorate for the omega-3 group compared to placebo.

This is the first study to evaluate taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement to treat dry-eye computer vision syndrome.

Reference: Contact Lens & Anterior Eye; 2015, Vol. 38, No. 3, 206-10

Sports Performance – Nutrients improve sports endurance and muscle function

L-citrulline and endurance

Increasing blood flow is key to increasing endurance. Nitric oxide (NO) helps relax and dilate blood vessels, and arginine can produce NO, but only 1 percent of ingested arginine is available for absorption. Citrulline can increase arginine levels.

In this study, 10 healthy men completed a moderate to severe cycling exercise on days six and seven of a 7-day supplementation period with placebo, 6 grams of arginine, or 6 grams of citrulline per day, in three alternating phases.

L-arginine increased during the citrulline phases, as did signs of increased NO production. The men taking citrulline performed better during the exercise, had greater muscle oxygenation and faster oxygen uptake. Blood pressure was lower during the citrulline phases compared to arginine or placebo.

Reference: Journal of Applied Physiology; 2015, Vol. 119, No. 4, 385-95

Seal-oil omega-3 and muscle function

In this study, 30 male athletes, average age 25 and typically training for 17 hours per week, took 375 mg of EPA, 230 mg of DPA, and 510 mg of DHA from seal oil per day, or a placebo.

After three weeks, while there was no change for placebo, thigh muscle function increased by 20 percent for those taking seal oil. Also, 50 percent of the omega-3 men had improved time trials compared to 33 percent for placebo.

Commenting on the findings, doctors said this is the first study to measure the effects of omega-3 supplements on neuromuscular function and performance, and that omega-3s may have a positive effect in athletes.

Reference: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; 2015, Vol. 12, Published Online