Science shorts: Diagnostics and health, pre/probiotics, and brain health focus

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Round-ups on new scientific findings and developments

Related tags diagnostics Probiotics Cognitive health

This round-up features new innovations in the area of health diagnostics, based on interviews with Kao, Designs for Health, OmegaQuant, clinical trials involving pre/probiotics, and more.
Tech and nutrition uncovered: How major brands are using new tools to boost consumer health

Since the rise of Fitbit and Garmin, consumers have been quick to jump in on new products that allow them to track their health metrics, so it’s no surprise that nutra firms are also increasingly innovating with tech to boost consumer health.

The question then, is how user-friendly, how much data, and how accurate the measurements are, which is what this series of VitamINSIGHTS​ will seek to uncover by surveying the existing technologies and novel innovations.

Some of the technologies discussed include glucose monitoring tools by Abbott, Hong Kong’s eNano Health, Kao’s visceral fat measuring mobile app, Design For Health’s gut microbiome testing and more. 

Prebiotic immunity: New Zealand to recruit 300 babies for study on gut microbiota diversity

New Zealand researchers are finding out if a prebiotic food could alter infants’ gut microbiota diversity for better immune health.

They will be conducting a trial using prebiotics from 1) kūmara (sweet potato) powder – which is rich in dietary fibre and resistant starch and 2) resistant starch from green bananas.

One of the primary outcomes of the trial​ was also to find out the prevalence of respiratory tract infections at four months post randomisation.

Diarrhoea relief: L. plantarum probiotics reduce frequency of loose stools – 60-day Korea RCT

The supplementation of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) could reduce the frequency of loose stools, according to a 60-day trial conducted in South Korea.

The study,​ involving 24 patients with elevated faecal calprotectin, was a 60-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial.

Findings also showed that the intervention group had a statistically significant decrease in log-transformed faecal calprotectin values.

Perilla seed oil with citrus peel powder improves cognitive function in elderly – 12-month Japan RCT​ 

Perilla seed oil and citrus peel powder supplement could significantly improve age-related cognitive decline in healthy elderly, based on a one-year RCT conducted in Japan​.

The study was conducted on 49 elderly aged 60 to 85, who were randomised into two groups receiving either only the perilla seed oil (PO) or the combination of perilla seed oil and ponkan powder (POPP).

Subjects taking POPP scored significantly higher at their Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) – especially in terms of attention scores – than those who took only PO.

Goji berries compound reduces subthreshold depression in teens – Six-week RCT

The supplementation of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide extracted from goji berries could reduce subthreshold depression in teenagers, said a six-week RCT conducted in China.

There was significant improvement in cognitive impairment, retardation, sleep disturbances, and reduction in feelings of hopelessness in teens who took the supplement.

Findings of the study​ were published in Neural Regeneration Research.

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