Science shorts: A look into diet and brain health, tocotrienol-rich vitamin E’s benefits for kidney

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

This round up features latest scientific findings on the role of different diets on cognitive health and more. ©Getty Images
This round up features latest scientific findings on the role of different diets on cognitive health and more. ©Getty Images

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In this round up of the latest scientific findings, we look at how different diets could impact cognitive health, the benefits of tocotrienol-rich vitamin E on renal function in diabetic patients, as well as a review on the benefits of natural astaxanthin.
Med is best: Five diets linked to lower cognitive decline in older Singaporean Chinese

Researchers in Singapore have found five healthy dietary patterns consumed in midlife are associated to a lower risk of cognitive impairment in late life in Chinese adults.

The five diets are​ the alternate Mediterranean diet (aMED), DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), AHEI-2010 (alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010), PDI (plant-based diet index), and hPDI (healthful plant-based diet index).

Although all five diets were linked with cognitive benefits, aMed came out on top.

Tocotrienol-rich vitamin E improves diabetic patients’ renal functions nine months post washout: Malaysia RCT

Intake of tocotrienol-rich vitamin E for 12 weeks can improve the renal function of diabetic patients with damaged kidney, and the results persist even nine months after the washout period, a randomised-controlled trial in Malaysia​ has shown.

It found that diabetic patients who previously took tocotrienol-rich vitamin E six to nine months earlier had a lower amount of serum creatinine – signifying better kidney function in removing bodily waste as compared to the placebo group.

For the intervention group, their serum creatinine remained relatively stable, fluctuating by only 0.82 ± 8.33 μmol/l six to nine months post washout, while that of the placebo group fluctuated by 11.3 ± 15.5 μmol/l.

Low levels of dietary selenium intake linked to higher prevalence of osteoporosis – China study

A study on​ the elderly Chinese population found a link between low dietary intake of selenium and a higher prevalence of osteoporosis.

Conducted by researchers from Central South University in Hunan China and University of Nottingham in UK, findings of the cross-sectional study were published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders ​last month.

This is said to be the first study that analyses the direct link between dietary selenium intake and osteoporosis.

'Naturally good': Natural astaxanthin top form for functionality and antioxidant activity – Review

Natural astaxanthin from algae has been “undisputedly demonstrated” to be the most effective form of the ingredient for a variety of health benefits, according to a new review.

The literature review, published in the journal Functional Foods in Health and Disease​sought to assess head-to-head studies comparing astaxanthin from three different sources in animals and in-vitro.

They were:

  • Natural astaxanthin (NAT-AX) that is found in Haematococcus pluvialis, ​a ubiquitous uni-cellular microalgae, which grows in fresh water throughout the world. When these algae undergo environmental stress, they hyperaccumulate NAT-AX as a survival mechanism.
Consumption of chilli pepper may increase physical activity and reduce fat in older adults – Japan study

Capsinoids from non-pungent chilli peppers have been reported​ to increase physical activity (PA), reduce body fat mass, and promote metabolism in older Japanese adults.

According to a study conducted in Japan, researchers said this effect was more pronounced in participants with sedentary lifestyles.

The study was published in the journal, Nutrients​.

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