Science shorts: Diet and depression, probiotics for wide range of uses, Mead-Johnson’s China study and more

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

This round-up of scientific studies features findings on the link between diet and depression, benefits of different probiotics strains and more. ©Getty Images
This round-up of scientific studies features findings on the link between diet and depression, benefits of different probiotics strains and more. ©Getty Images

Related tags science diet Probiotics

This round-up of scientific studies features findings on how a healthy diet could lower depressive symptoms in women, and how different probiotics strains could bring about a broad spectrum of benefits, including mother-and-baby, brain, and liver health.
Diet and depression: Australian study links healthy diet with reduced symptoms in women but not men

A healthy dietary pattern with frequent intake of fruits, vegetable and fish was associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms in older Australian women, but the association was not significant in men.

Likewise, an unhealthy dietary pattern observed in Australian women was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms, but not men.

Researchers from Australia published their findings on the British Journal of Nutrition​. 

Mother-baby link: Probiotic intake during pregnancy improves infant immunity by reducing risk factors

Several human and animal studies highlighted have shown that probiotics supplementation in pregnant mothers can improve new-born immunity and reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings were presented by Dr Anders Henriksson​, application and technical support leader of human health at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, when he was presenting at our Probiota Asia summit held in Singapore recently.

A risk factor that can affect infants’ immunity and later part of their lives is gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in pregnant mothers.

Probiotic from Penang: Malaysian cow’s milk bacteria strain exerts benefits for brain, URT, and liver

A probiotic strain isolated from cow’s milk in Penang, Malaysia, has been shown to deliver benefits related to brain, respiratory, and gut health.

The probiotic strain, L. plantarum DR7​, was discovered during a collaboration between Clinical Nutrition Sdn Bhd and University Sains Malaysia in 2014.

A number of human studies​ to examine its effect on the brain, upper respiratory tract infection, and gut began last year.

Cognitive gains: Mead Johnson-backed China RCT reveals benefits of adding bovine MFGM to infant formula

Infants who consumed formula containing milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) and lactoferrin (LF) scored higher in cognitive, language and motor tests by their first birthdays, compared to those who consumed formula without the two compounds.

The improved formula was also associated with significantly reduced diarrhoea and respiratory-associated adverse events in the first two years.

An international group of researchers from China, USA, and Australia conducted a randomised clinical trial to evaluate the effects on neurodevelopment, growth, and health outcomes infants receiving MFGM and LF in their formula. The study was sponsored by Mead Johnson Nutrition.

BY-HEALTH sets up research centre to focus on nutrition and anti-ageing solutions

BY-HEALTH and Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences will jointly set up a research centre that studies nutrition and anti-ageing across the whole of China.

Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences was founded in July 1999 by merging eight biological science institutes in Shanghai.

The move will see​ the company upgrade its technical capability in product innovation and expand cooperation between industry and the academia, BY-HEALTH said in an announcement.

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