Science shorts: Immunity, respiratory, and brain health in focus

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

See the latest scientific findings in this round-up.  ©Getty Images
See the latest scientific findings in this round-up. ©Getty Images

Related tags science Probiotics Immunity

This round-up features the latest scientific findings, especially in the area of how nutrition supplementation could contribute to immune, respiratory, and brain health.
Air pollution protection? NZ Plant & Food Research to trial boysenberry, apple impact on lung damage

A boysenberry and apple formulation created by Anagenix will be tested​ on healthy subjects with lungs damage induced by air pollution, in a new clinical trial will be conducted by New Zealand Plant & Food Research.

This is the first time that the product is used in a trial by the research institute. The product has already been used in other human trials, such as on sarcoidosis patients.

In this double blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, healthy subjects will first take a 30ml shot of BerriQi for a week before being exposed to an ozone pollution meant for inducing lung inflammation, lead researcher Dr Odette Shaw told NutraIngredients-Asia.

Probiotics as antioxidants: China review says lactic acid bacteria strains exhibit ‘remarkable’ capacity

Lactic acid bacteria probiotic strains exhibit “remarkable” antioxidant capacity​, which could be applied in new therapeutic uses, states a review of existing studies by China researchers.

Probiotic strains containing LAB, especially those from the genera Lactobacillus ​and Bifidobacterium ​have exhibited several health-promoting effects and are successfully commercialised.

The study, published in Gut Microbes, ​said that LAB probiotic strains exhibit antioxidant capabilities by producing antioxidant enzymes, promoting antioxidant activities, modulating the gut, scavenging reactive oxygen species, and metal ion chelation.

New immunity booster? South Korean researchers say sword bean, burdock extract enhances immunity in eight-week trial

A group of South Korean researchers is proposing the intake of sword bean and burdock ​to improve the immune system after yielding evidence from an eight-week RCT.

Findings from the trial showed that the combination could improve the immune system by stimulating the NK cell activity and increasing the expression of IL-10.

Published in the Journal of Functional Foods, ​the trial – which was the first of its kind – was conducted by the Daejeon University, Chungnam National University, and the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology.

Tip of the iceberg: Vast opportunities for developing pre/probiotics/synbiotics with HMOs – Biostime event

Existing research on human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) is only at the tip of the iceberg and there are vast opportunities for developing new pre/probiotics/synbiotics with HMOs,​ says an expert specialising in this field.

HMOs could serve as prebiotic for beneficial bacteria to utilise, said Dr Lars Bode, Professor of Paediatrics in the Division of Neonatology and the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, at the University of California, San Diego.

Prof Bode is also the Larsson-Rosenquist Chair of Collaborative Human Milk Research, and Director of the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Centre of Research Excellence (MOMI CORE) at the university.

Ageing brain: Soy isoflavone may slow rate of white matter lesions and cognitive impairment in elderly Japanese

A diet high in soy and soy isoflavones may slow down the rate ​of white matter lesions and thereby lower the risk of cognitive impairment in elderly Japanese.

Researchers from Japan studied the serum equol levels, which is a metabolite of soy isoflavone (ISF) transformed in the gut microbiome. They found that subjects with higher serum equol levels produced lesser white matter lesions (WML) compared to subjects with lesser serum equol levels.

White matter lesions are typically observed on brain scans in elderly as well as demented people.

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