Hot science: The 10 most-read science and nutrition research stories in 2022

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

The 10 most-read science and nutrition research stories in 2022

Related tags Top 10 PCOS hyperlipidaemia

We bring you the 10 most-read science and nutrition research stories for this year, including new findings on the benefits of curcumin for hyperlipidaemia, pre/probiotics for healthy ageing, and how vitamin E supplementation has been shown to improve PCOS patients’ metabolic and hormonal health.
Curcumin more effective than coenzyme Q10 in improving hyperlipidaemia – RCT

Curcumin supplementation has been shown to be more effective than coenzyme Q10 in reducing cholesterol levels, but the combination of both had no effect on body composition, hypertension, and glycaemic control, according to a new RCT.

The ‘Effects of curcumin and/or coenzyme Q10 supplementation on metabolic control in subjects with metabolic syndrome: a randomized clinical trial’ ​is a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study that investigated the effects of curcumin and/or coenzyme Q10 supplementation on metabolic syndrome (MetS) components.

On the other hand, contrary to previous evidence stating that curcumin can improve hypertension through mechanisms such as reducing oxidative stress, and improving endothelial dysfunction and aortic stiffening, curcumin and/or coenzyme Q10 supplementation did not have an impact on hypertension in this study.

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.

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.

Potential therapy: Vitamin B12 supplementation could improve NAFLD patient condition – RCT

Oral vitamin B12 supplementation, specifically 1000 μg cyanocobalamin daily, for 12 weeks have shown improved serum liver enzyme, blood glucose and malondialdehyde levels in patients suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

However, the changes did not reach significant levels than the placebo group; hence, further studies with larger sample sizes, different doses and types of vitamin B12 should be conducted, said a team of researchers.

The findings were documented in their research titled “The effects of vitamin B12 supplementation on metabolic profile of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized controlled trial”​, published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Vitamin E supplementation can improve hormonal, metabolic parameters in PCOS patients – systematic review and meta-analysis

Vitamin E supplementation can improve polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients’ metabolic and hormonal parameters, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.

For instance, it can decrease testosterone and luteinising hormone (LH) levels and increase progesterone and follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) levels.

It can also reduce insulin resistance and cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride (TG) levels, said the study published on Scientific Reports.

Higher magnesium, potassium intake linked with milder knee OA symptoms – Two-year observational study

A higher dietary intake of magnesium and potassium is linked with milder knee osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms, according to a two-year observational study that took place in Australia.

However, the dietary intake of these magnesium and potassium was not significantly associated with a reduction in knee pain.

This is based on the analysis of a three-year multicenter randomised controlled trial findings. The trial is named Vitamin D Effect on Osteoarthritis (VIDEO).

Science shorts: Turmeric for weight loss, LGG for diarrhoea, and immune product innovation

This round-up of new scientific developments include how turmeric supplementation could improve metabolic parameters in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), Indian experts’ recommendation of Lactobacillus GG (LGG) for treating diarrhoea in children, immune product innovation and more.

For example, the supplementation of turmeric has been found to improve blood pressure, weight and BMI among NAFLD patients, according to a 12-week RCT.

The findings, published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science​, also showed a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure in the intervention group.

First for India: Expert panel recommends probiotic strain Lactobacillus GG as adjuvant therapy for children with diarrhoea

Indian paediatric experts in the National Consultative Group (NCG) had for the first time recommended the use of probiotics containing Lactobacillus GG (LGG) and potentially Saccharomyces boulardii to treat children with diarrhoea.

The consensus also recommended a combination of probiotics as therapy for neonatal necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) to reduce its risk of moving to stage II and beyond, late-onset sepsis and mortality.

However, the NCG did not condone probiotic use in treating acute dysentery, persistent diarrhoea, Clostridium difficile​ diarrhoea, and chronic diarrheal conditions, such as celiac disease, diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease, in children.

Herbal booster: Review suggests probiotics could help to improve effect of TCM ingredients

Probiotics could improve the effects of traditional Chinese medicinal ingredients such as red ginseng, while also reducing potential side effects in cosmetic products.

Writing in the Journal of Cosmetics Dermatology​, a team of Chinese researchers from Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine conducted a review on the use of probiotics in skin care.

It reviewed the application and mechanism of probiotics in skin care and found that probiotics have potent effects as a whitening, moisturising, anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle, and deodorant ingredient.

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

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

Total sleeping time and sleep quality had 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.

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