Science shorts: Curcumin-piperine and COVID-19, kale by-products as prebiotics and more

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Science shorts: Curcumin-piperine and COVID-19, kale by-products as prebiotics and more

Related tags Curcumin COVID-19 kale Prebiotics

This round-up looks at the latest scientific findings in Asia-Pacific’s health and nutrition industry, including the benefits of curcumin-piperine supplementation in reducing weakness in COVID-19 patients, how Singapore researchers are upcycling kale stems into prebiotics and more.
Curcumin-piperine co-supplementation could significantly reduce weakness in COVID-19 patients – RCT

Curcumin-piperine co-supplementation could significantly reduce weakness in outpatients with COVID-19, according to a 14-day study. 

A total of 46 patients aged 18 to 65 years and afflicted with COVID-19 were recruited for this study which took place in Iran from November 2020 to April 2021.

They were randomised to consume two capsules each containing 500mg curcumin and five mg piperine or a placebo over 14 days. The most significant outcome was that 10 patients (83.3%) in the curcumin group and five patients (38.5%) in the placebo group recovered from weakness. This improvement was significantly greater in the curcumin group than in the placebo group.

Anti-obesity: Two Lactobacillus strains could alleviate obesity by regulating gut flora – RCT

The supplementation of two Lactobacillus strains, the Lactobacillus curvatus HY7601 and Lactobacillus plantarum KY1032, has shown to reduce obesity by modulating and increasing microbiome biodiversity.

The 12-week RCT involving 59 subjects found that the has helped to reduce body weight, waist circumference, body fat mass, and visceral fat area. However, there was no significant change in body fat percentage.

This is according to a study by hy Co, formerly known as Korea Yakult.

Stem sells: Kale by-products could be turned into prebiotics by Singapore partnership

Researchers from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and precision gut microbiome firm AMILI hope to turn unwanted kale stems into prebiotics products.

Powdered kale stems have been found to be powerful catalysts for the growth of Bifidobacterium​ and Lactobacillus​ bacteria species, with both being essential intestinal flora.

AMILI will then incorporate the prebiotic into its next generation of gut health supplements.

PEA shown to inhibit COVID-19 by dual mechanisms, trial results to be out in Q3 – Gencor

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) has shown to inhibit the COVID-19 virus in both in-silico and in-vitro settings, and positive findings from a clinical trial are expected to be published in Q3, says functional ingredient firm Gencor.

Published in Viruses, ​the findings showed that PEA’s binding to the COVID-19 spike protein could cause a drop in viral infection by approximately 70 per cent.

Also, it was shown that PEA could dismantle lipid droplets in infected cells. This action prevents the COVID-19 virus from using the lipids as a source of energy and protection.

Millet consumption reduces cholesterol, cuts risk of hyperlipidaemia and obesity – Study​ 

The consumption of millets has shown to reduce total cholesterol and lowers body mass index (BMI), as compared to other staples such as rice, wheat, and quinoa.

For instance, total cholesterol levels were reduced by 6.6 per cent in the millet-consuming group, while no significant change was seen in individuals who consumed other staples.

This is according to a review published in Sustainability, ​which assessed 12 studies published between October 2017 and December 2021.

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