Clinical Tests Reveal that Black Cumin Seed (Nigella Sativa) May Treat Hypothyroidism
Tabriz University, April 13, 2022
Consuming a few grams of powdered Nigella sativa (NS), more commonly known as black cumin seeds, may improve the autoimmune thyroid condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, according to a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common form of thyroid gland inflammation. It is also the most common thyroid disorder in the U.S. In fact, the disease affects 14 million people in the country alone. Data also showed that the condition will affect about five percent of the U.S. population. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was 15 times more prevalent in women compared with men. Women aged between 30 to 60 years had the highest prevalence of the condition. The study also revealed that patients who took the black seed supplement exhibited marked reductions in serum concentrations of thyroid stimulating hormone and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies at eight weeks of intervention. In addition, patients in the intervention group showed a notable decline in serum vascular endothelial growth factor levels. Researchers also highlighted a significant increase in triiodothyronine concentration in patients who received powdered black seeds. However, the experts did not observe a similar effect in patients who took a placebo pill.
Following a Mediterranean-style diet during pregnancy may reduce the risk of preeclampsia
Johns Hopkins University, April 20, 2022
Following a Mediterranean-style diet during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of developing preeclampsia, and Black women appeared to have the greatest reduction of risk, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Preeclampsia, a condition during pregnancy characterized by severe high blood pressure and liver or kidney damage, is a major cause of complications and death for the mother and her unborn child. Preeclampsia also increases a woman’s risk of heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke or heart failure, by more than two times later in life. Women with preeclampsia have a higher risk of preterm delivery (giving birth before 37 weeks gestation) or low birth weight babies, and children born to mothers with preeclampsia are also at higher risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. Researchers created a Mediterranean-style diet score based on participants’ responses to food frequency interviews and questionnaires, which were conducted within three days of giving birth. The analysis found: Women who had any form of diabetes before pregnancy and pre-pregnancy obesity were twice as likely to develop preeclampsia compared to women without those conditions. The risk of preeclampsia was more than 20% lower among the women who followed a Mediterranean-style diet during pregnancy. Black women who had the lowest Mediterranean-style diet scores had the highest risk (78%) for preeclampsia compared to all other non-Black women who more closely adhered to the Mediterranean-style diet.
Individuals with type 2 diabetes should exercise after dinner
University of Missouri, April 18, 2022
Exercise is a popular prescription for individuals suffering from the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, but little research has explored whether these individuals receive more benefits from working out before or after dinner. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that individuals with Type 2 diabetes can lower their risks of cardiovascular diseases more effectively by exercising after a meal. “This study shows that it is not just the intensity or duration of exercising that is important but also the timing of when it occurs,” said Jill Kanaley, professor in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. “Results from this study show that resistance exercise has its most powerful effect on reducing glucose and fat levels in one’s blood when performed after dinner.” Kanaley and her colleagues studied a group of obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes. On one occasion, participants performed resistance exercises before eating dinner. During another visit, participants exercised 45 minutes after eating dinner. Participants performed resistance exercises such as leg curls, seated calf raises and abdominal crunches. Compared to levels on a non-exercise day, Kanaley found that the participants who exercised before dinner were able to only reduce the sugar levels in their blood; however, participants who exercised after dinner were able to reduce both sugar and fat levels. Participants consumed a moderate carbohydrate dinner on the evenings of the study.
Dietary supplementation with açaí pulps improves cognition attenuates inflammatory signaling in BV-2 microglial cells
Tufts University, April 18, 2022
Objectives: The present study was carried out to determine if lyophilized açaí fruit pulp (genus, Euterpe), rich in polyphenols and other bioactive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, is efficacious in reversing age-related cognitive deficits in aged rats.
Methods: The diets of 19-month-old Fischer 344 rats were supplemented for 8 weeks with 2% Euterpe oleracea (EO), Euterpe precatoria (EP), or a control diet. Rats were tested in the Morris water maze and then blood serum from the rats was used to assess inflammatory responses of BV-2 microglial cells.
Results: After 8 weeks of dietary supplementation with 2% EO or EP, rats demonstrated improved working memory in the Morris water maze, relative to controls; however, only the EO diet improved reference memory. BV-2 microglial cells treated with blood serum collected from EO-fed rats produced less nitric oxide (NO) than control-fed rats. Serum from both EO- and EP-fed rats reduced tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). There is a relationship between performance in the water maze and the production of NO and TNF-α by serum-treated BV-2 cells, such that serum from rats with better performance was more protective against inflammatory signaling.
Peppers (capsicum): Native American folk medicine, which has so many features we can still learn from, gave a prominent place in its pharmacology to peppers of the capsicum family, which includes bell and chili peppers. Recent work suggests that the nutrient capsaicin, found in these peppers, is a natural analgesic and a neuro-inflammatory blocker that relieves aches and pains to joints and muscles. This is one reason why Native American medicine prescribed a topical application of pepper to painful areas of the body. Capsaicin is particularly deserving of mention in this book because recent, promising research in Canada has explored the uses of capsaicin in the treatment of Type I diabetes. Other work has noted it can benefit sufferers from prostate cancer and leukemia. Some scientists have noted that this much studied nutrient found in peppers helps with weight loss, stimulation of insulin-producing cells, and prevention of LDL cholesterol oxidation. Another benefit recently uncovered is that the nutrient protects from stomach ulcerations and induces apoptosis (cancer cell death) in lung cancer. Setting aside the value of capsaicin, peppers can also be prized because they are rich in the antioxidant vitamins A as well as in vitamins B1, B6, E, and K. They are also high in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Yellow peppers are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect from eye disease and blindness.