Science shorts: Latest sleep, gut, infant health academic findings revealed

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Latest sleep, gut, infant health academic findings revealed

Related tags: Sleep, faecal microbiota transplantation, Danone, NMN, Vitamin d

This round-up features the latest scientific findings on how the intake of milk protein and L-theanine could improve sleep quality, a world first oral faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and its ability to improve ulcerative colitis, and a Danone-funded trial on its novel infant formula.

Probiotics, prebiotics reduce inflammation and maintain gut health for healthy ageing — Japanese review

Probiotics and two types of prebiotics, namely resistant starch and resistant proteins, have the potential to aid healthy ageing by reducing low-grade inflammation, according to a new review.

A team of University of Tokyo scientists summarised various studies which showed probiotics helped increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the microbiome, particularly Bifidobacterium​ spp., Akkermansia munichipilla​ and Faecalis praunitzii​.

At the same time, they searched for evidence proving prebiotics supplied key substrates for healthy colonic microbial fermentation – a key process to maintaining daily bodily functions and, by association, reducing inflammation.

Better sleep? Milk protein and L-theanine reduces time taken to nod off – Malaysia RCT

The supplementation of milk protein and L-theanine is able to reduce the amount of time required to fall asleep, a clinical trial conducted in Malaysia has shown.

Total sleeping time and sleep quality have also improved in the two-stage study involving 41 subjects suffering from poor sleep.

“The present report may pave the way for future investigation amongst specific populations like the elderly, adolescents, pregnant or lactating women or patients with comorbidities with different dosages, especially higher dosages for L-theanine and in comparison to the individual supplement [of either L-theanine or alpha-S1-casein tryptic hydrolysate],”​ said the researchers from University Tunku Abdul Rahman.

FMT and ulcerative colitis: Oral treatment shown to be a ‘promising and feasible’ approach – Lancet study

A 56-week long clinical trial using orally administered faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has led to remission in patients suffering from active ulcerative colitis.

At week eight, 53 per cent of the patients in the FMT group were in corticosteroid-free clinical remission with endoscopic remission, while only 15 per cent of those in the placebo group were in remission.

Findings of the study were published in Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Novel infant formula promotes growth comparable to standard products – Danone-funded trial

A novel infant formula which is not yet commercialised has shown to promote growth comparable to standard products, according to a clinical trial funded by Danone.

The formula contains milk droplets that are larger – having a mode diameter of three to five micrometre. They are also covered by a tri-layer membrane consisting of phospholipids, milk proteins, and cholesterol. 

By week 17 of the study, there was equivalent daily weight gain for infants fed with the novel infant formula and control formulas.

NMN lessens drowsiness, improves lower limb function in older adults: Japan RCT

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) intake improves lower limb function and reduces drowsiness in adults agreed 65 and above, according to an RCT funded by Mitsubishi Corporation Life Sciences Ltd.

In particular, it found that NMN intake in the afternoon was the most effective in enhancing lower limb function, and effective in reducing drowsiness in those experiencing fatigue. 

On the other hand, those who took NMN in the evening showed significant improvement in sleep quality with a significant reduction in drowsiness, that may further improve physical performance.

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