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Science Shorts: Protein versus probiotics, dietary impact on diabetes risk, microalgae functionality and more

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Science Shorts: Protein versus probiotics, dietary impact on diabetes risk, microalgae functionality and more

Related tags Protein Probiotics Vitamin d microalgae Dha

Read about the latest research findings from Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Australia on athletes' gut health, the link between high-GI foods and diabetes, DHA and citicoline's cognitive effects, and microalgae's functional food potential

High protein, low diversity? Athletes' protein-rich diets may compromise gut health: Korean study

Diets high in protein may be detrimental to gut microbiota diversity in athletes​, and for resistance athletes in particular, high-protein and low-carbohydrate diets may reduce commensal bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

Those were the findings from a study conducted by researchers at South Korea's Kyung Hee University, ChunLab, and Ildong Pharmaceutica.

The gut microbiota has been studied extensively of late to determine its role in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment, and exercise performance.

High GI, high diabetes risk: New systematic review provides 'robust evidence' of link

Diets higher in glycaemic index (GI) and load (GL) substantially elevate the risk of type 2 diabetes​ (T2D) among healthy populations of men and women, according to a new systematic review.

Previous meta-analyses have indicated significant but inconsistent incident risk relations between T2D and dietary GI and GL, but the last meta-analysis to use a predefined standard to identify valid studies was conducted more than 10 years ago.

As such, researchers in Australia, North America, Europe and the UK conducted a systematic review to determine if the link between T2D and GI / GL could inform nutritional guidance for the improvement of public health.

Microalgae for functional food: Life3 Biotech-Temasek Polytechnic partnership to maximise yields and boost food security

A new partnership between Singaporean agri-tech R&D firm Life3 Biotech and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) is aiming to maximise the use of microalgae​ rich in protein and omega-3 for functional foods. 

Life3 signed a deal with TP's Centre for Urban Sustainability (CUS), which the company hopes will increase yields and boost the nation's food security.

Under the partnership, scientists will use a special cultivation medium to enhance the growth and nutritional profile of several microalgae varieties for use as functional food ingredients.

DHA and citicoline double-up to boost cognitive improvements after stroke: Japanese study

Japanese researchers have found that Cognizin Citicoline, in combination with DHA, can improve learning and memory ability​ in mice which have been subjected to stroke symptoms.

Cognizin Citicoline, manufactured by Japanese health ingredient firm Kyowa Hakko Bio, is a patented form of the naturally-occurring substance citicoline, which is known to help increase alertness and boost energy

Both citicoline and DHA have been shown separately to have neuroprotective properties in cases of cerebral ischaemia, where insufficient blood flow to the brain and the resulting poor oxygen supply often lead to a cerebral infarction or ischaemic stroke.

Sun and supplements: Twin approach needed to raise vitamin D status in South Korean adults — RCT

A combination of sun exposure and a fixed dosage of oral vitamin D3 supplements may be needed to increase serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D​ — or 25(OH)D — in young South Korean adults, according to an RCT.

While vitamin D inadequacy has been linked to a variety of diseases, suitable methods of improving vitamin D status, especially in Asian populations, have not been determined.

Researchers at Seoul National University set out to test three hypotheses: firstly, that relevant sun exposure or oral vitamin D supplementation would significantly increase serum 25(OH)D concentrations; secondly, that sun exposure and supplementary vitamin D would be similar in serum 25(OH)D increases; and thirdly, that the two interventions may have different effects on cardio-metabolic markers.

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