Science shorts: Menopause, eye health, weight loss in the spotlight

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

New scientific findings on health supplements for menopause, eye health, weight loss

Related tags Menopause Probiotics Antioxidants microbiome

This round-up looks at the latest health and nutrition research on the benefits of soybean paste fermented with kōji mould and probiotic in alleviating menopause symptoms, how supplementation of fibre from resistance starch could support weight loss, the use of different antioxidants for eye health and more.
Soybean paste fermented with kōji mould and probiotic shows superior effect in alleviating menopause symptoms – Korea study

Soybean paste fermented with kōji mould and “good bacteria” like Bacillus subtilis could be better than commercially available soybean paste for improving menopausal symptoms, according to a Korean government funded research.  

Comparing the effects of Commercial doenjang, traditional doenjang with a high content of “usable microorganisms” (HDC), and those with a low content of “usable microorganisms” (LDC).

Writing in Nutrients, ​the researchers reported that total Kupperman index (KI) scores – which measures the severity of menopausal symptoms – fell the most in the LDC group.

Partially-hydrolysed guar gum supplementation shown to improve visual memory in elderly – 12-week RCT

Taking five grams of partially hydrolysed guar gum (PHGG) daily for 12 weeks has been shown to improve visual memory among healthy elderly.

This is according to a trial involving 66 seniors over the age of 60 and had normal cognitive abilities. They were randomised to consume either five grams of PHGG or the placebo daily.

Writing in Nutrients, ​researchers from Taiyo Kagaku, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, and Medical Corporation Seishinkai also reported significant improvements in sleep quality among participants in the intervention group.

Fibre from resistant starch may aid weight loss via gut microbiota modulation – RCT

Resistant starch intake has been shown to aid weight loss among obese individuals via modulation of the gut microbiota in a trial conducted in China.

Thirty-seven participants aged 25 to 41 were randomised to take either a supplement containing resistant starch or the placebo.

Findings published on Natural Metabolism ​showed that body weight and other obesity-related symptoms were significantly reduced for participants who took resistant starch.

Supplements for good vision: Antioxidant formulations provide different benefits for the eyes – meta-analysis

A new meta-analysis reported that different combinations of antioxidants could benefit the eye in specific ways, signalling the possibility for a more tailored and informed approach in eye health supplementation.

Funded by the National University of Singapore, the study examined antioxidants such as lutein, lutein plus zeaxanthin, lutein plus zeaxanthin plus fatty acids etc.

Writing in Advances in Nutrition, ​the researchers said that the combination of lutein and zeaxanthin had led to significant improvement for photo stress recovery time. The two plus fatty acids was ranked best for macular pigment optical density (MPOD).

Throat relief: Botanical lozenges ‘good alternatives' to antibiotics for treating pharyngitis - RCT

Botanical lozenges are effective in treating chronic pharyngitis, making it a good alternative to antibiotic treatment, which can cause side effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea, hypertension and weight gain, according to a new trial.

Researchers in China conducted a randomised controlled trial on 103 patients with chronic pharyngitis. They found that botanical lozenges made from several medicinal plant extracts were effective in treating the patients.

The results, published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, ​found that the improvement rates of pharyngeal itching, dry throat, pharyngeal foreign body sensation, aggravation due to excessive speaking, and congestion of pharyngeal mucosa in the intervention group were significantly higher than the control group.

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