Science shorts: Benefits of EPA for migraine, vitamin D in reducing menstrual pain and more

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Benefits of EPA for migraine, vitamin D in reducing menstrual pain and more

Related tags Epa omega-3 Vitamin d Caffeine migraine Menstrual pain

This round-up looks at the latest health and nutrition research on the benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in reducing migraine frequency, the use of caffeine in enhancing sports performance among female athletes, vitamin D for reducing menstrual pain and more.
High dose EPA shown to reduce migraine frequency and severity – 12-week RCT

Taking 1,800mg of omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) daily has significantly reduced migraine frequency and severity among individuals suffering from episodic migraine, says a 12-week study from Taiwan.

The findings, published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, ​pointed out that supplementation of EPA also reduced anxiety and depression scores, with benefits more pronounced in women than men.

Among women, migraine frequency had decreased significantly from 8.1 ± 5.1 days per month to 3.1 ± 2.2 days per month. In men, migraine frequency reduced from 4.9 ± 3.6 days per month to 2.6 ± 1.0 days per month, but the change was not statistically significant.

‘Moderate’ dose of caffeine intake found to enhance performance of female athletes – new study

A ‘moderate’ dose of 6 mg/kg caffeine could enhance the performance of young female athletes in short-term high intensity exercises.

Writing in Nutrients, ​researchers compared the effects of caffeine at three different levels, 3 mg/kg, 6 mg/kg, and 9 mg/kg in 16 female athletes while doing countermovement jumps, repeated sprints, and agility t-test.

Findings showed that those who took 6 mg/kg and 9 mg/kg of caffeine performed better, but the latter reported more adverse side effects associated with caffeine.

Probiotics could aid rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, but more research needed to encourage industry growth

Probiotics have been shown to aid and potentially prevent rheumatoid arthritis, but further research is needed to determine treatment strategies, say researchers.

Rheumatoid arthritis, often mistaken as osteoarthritis, is a chronic autoimmune disease that can lead to joint swelling, joint pain, joint deformities, osteoporosis, and even disability.

Compared to healthy individuals, rheumatoid arthritis patients have a significantly different composition of gut microbiota, which negatively affects their immune defence, the researchers wrote in Frontiers in Immunology.

Vitamin D supplementation shown to reduce period pain and use of analgesics – systematic review

Vitamin D supplementation has shown promise in decreasing the intensity of period pain, says a new systematic review and meta-analysis.  

Assessing 11 studies involving 687 participants, the findings published in Nutrients ​reported that vitamin D supplementation had significantly decreased pain intensity, especially in people with dysmenorrhoea.

In addition, while the findings indicated a trend towards decreased use of rescue analgesics among those receiving vitamin D supplementation, it did not reach statistical significance to draw conclusive findings.

Sugarcane fix: Revolutionary remote trial to explore health benefits of polyphenols in plant extract​  

Researchers at Deakin University Australia are planning a fully remote trial to investigate the health beneficial properties of polyphenols in sugarcane extract and their potential to improve gut, heart, and mental health.

The six-month double-blinded randomised controlled crossover trial will recruit healthy males and females between 18 to 55 years old, where they will take either two capsules of 250mg of polyphenol-enriched sugarcane extract (PRSE) or the placebo daily.

The effects of PRSE on inflammation, key blood biomarkers, gut bacteria, general mood and wellbeing will be assessed.

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