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Science Shorts: Innovations from Singapore and India feature alongside research on immunity, joint health, and diabetes

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Science Shorts: Innovations from Singapore and India feature alongside research on immunity, joint health, and diabetes

Related tags: clinical research, encapsulation, Bioavailability, omega-3, lactoferrin, Diabetes

From novel lactoferrin encapsulation technology in Singapore and plant-derived omega-3 in India to clinical research on cordyceps, glucosamine and ginger, get the latest scientific stories in our news round-up.

Encapsulation excellence: Singaporean researchers develop new technology to boost lactoferrin bioavailability

Researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore have developed a new encapsulation technology​ that boosts the bioavailability of lactoferrin, a naturally occurring protein in human breast milk.

The technology involves the use of a micron-sized capsule that is pH-stable and able to store and protect lactoferrin from stomach enzymes. The capsule can only be broken down by the intestinal enzymes, chymotrypsin and trypsin.

Clinical trials conducted showed that the bioavailability of lactoferrin delivered via this technology was seven times higher than standard lactoferrin. As the capsule is made with food-grade material, encapsulated lactoferrin could also used in food fortification.

Consumption of cordyceps extract can improve immune health through cell mediation: South Korean RCT

An extract from the traditional Chinese herb cordyceps may have protective effects on the human immune system​, according to South Korean researchers.

Cordyceps has been said to possess multiple biopharmaceutical effects, some of which benefit immune health.

Researchers at Chonbuk National University conducted a study using a preparation of a cordyceps mycelium culture extract, Paceilomyces hepiali​, CBG-CS-2, to test the herb's efficacy in enhancing the immune system, as well as its safety in healthy adults.

Cultivation for commercialisation: Plant rich in omega-3 shows great potential for Indian public health

Scientists at India's Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) have discovered an oil crop that could potentially be on par with fish oil​ in terms of omega-3 content.

The plant in question, Buglossoides arvensis​ (also called field or corn gromwell, or bastard alkanet), can be found in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, but can be adapted to the country's other agro-climatic conditions.

The research team, led by Dr RV Sreedhar, reported in a recently published study​ in the Journal of Oleo Science ​that B. arvensis​ was rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as omega-3, which include gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA).

Continuous intake of glucosamine needed to maintain joint health of endurance athletes: Study

Regular consumption of glucosamine is needed for endurance athletes​, such as football and rugby players, to reduce the rate of cartilage metabolism and maintain collagen synthesis — two factors that determine joint health.

A Japanese study has found that endurance athletes lose cartilage faster than non-athletes, and the intake of glucosamine for about three months is able to reduce this loss.

The study, published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules​, was conducted by researchers from Juntendo University's Graduate School of Medicine and Graduate School of Health and Sports Science.

Eating ginger may have long-term health benefits against type 2 diabetes: Chinese study

Dietary consumption of ginger could have long-term positive effects​ on type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients, according to a systematic review conducted by Chinese researchers.

Ginger (Zingibe officinale​) has long been among the range of dietary supplements and herbal medicines ancient medical practitioners used to recommend for the treatment of T2DM, thanks largely to its non-toxic nature, general safety, and negligible side effects.

Researchers at China's Youjiang Medical University for Nationalities conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare fasting blood sugar and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) between T2DM patients who had consumed ginger and those who had not.

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