Science shorts: Abbott, Ajinomoto, coconut oil and COVID-19 studies in the spotlight

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

See the latest scientific findings from Abbott, Ajinomoto. © Getty Images
See the latest scientific findings from Abbott, Ajinomoto. © Getty Images

Related tags COVID-19 Abbott Nutrition science Research

In this round-up, we shine the spotlight on new scientific findings from Abbott, Ajinomoto, Philippines' virgin coconut oil and COVID-19 human clinical trial, and more.
Probiotic combined with antibiotics shortens fever duration, improves stool consistency in pneumonia patients – Korea study

A study conducted on young men with pneumonia has shown that probiotics, when administered with antibiotics, could shorter the duration of fever and improve stool consistency.

The study,​ an open-label, simple, randomised controlled trial, was conducted at the Naval Pohang Hospital from May 2016 to January 2017.

A total of 80 men with an average age of 20 ± 1.1 were involved in the study. All were diagnosed with pneumonia and more than half had a smoking history.

Coconut and COVID-19: Philippines DOST-led study reveals virgin coconut oil reduce symptoms in suspected patients

A recent study led by the Philippines Department of Science and Technology (DOST) revealed that suspected COVID-19 patients administered with virgin coconut oil (VCO) had reduced symptoms and a faster recovery phase compared to the control group.

Conducted by the Food and Nutrition Institute (FNRI) at DOST, the findings​ were presented in a virtual briefing by DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña.

The study recruited 57 suspected COVID-19 patients in two quarantine facilities in Laguna, Santa Rosa Community Hospital Isolation Unit and Santa Rosa Community Isolation Unit.

Strength gains: Abbott to analyse long-term benefits of supplement containing HMB post six-month supplementation

Abbott is studying if the intake of an oral nutrition supplement containing HMB, alongside individualised dietary counselling for six months, could exert long-term benefits - even after supplementation has stopped.

This is part of the Strengthening Health in ELDerly through nutrition (SHIELD) study involving 811 elderly aged 65 and above and were at medium or high risk of malnutrition in Singapore.

The firm has been running the study​ alongside Changi General Hospital and SingHealth Polyclinics since 2017.

CBD encapsulation and dual delivery: Researchers say new process significantly increases short-term bioavailability

Researchers in Australia say they have been able to significantly increase the short-term bioavailability of cannabidiol (CBD) in the blood and brain thanks to a new encapsulation technique, and the combined delivery with a ‘absorption enhancer’ - Deoxycholic acid (DCA).

The therapeutic benefits of CBD for some brain disorders are becoming more widely understood because it reduces inflammation and acts as an antioxidant. However, it is difficult for body to absorb when it's taken orally.

To address this problem, scientists produced CBD microcapsules​, using sodium alginate, an extract from brown algae that creates a ‘physical’ barrier for volatile compounds such as CBD against exposure to light and air in pharmacological protocols.

Special seven: Ajinomoto study shows amino acid supplementation improves cognitive function in older people

Ingestion of seven essential amino acids improves cognitive and psychosocial functions in healthy older persons, according to a study by Ajinomoto.

The seven essential amino acids are leucine, phenylalanine, lysine, isoleucine, histidine, valine, and tryptophan.

The double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial showed that​ participants who consumed 6g of these amino acids significantly improved their cognitive function and social interaction than the placebo group, which is expected in preventing cognitive decline.

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