Part of our mission at Pharmaca is to stay on top of current research on nutrition, lifestyle and dietary supplements that can help our customers on the road to optimal health. Below is a roundup of the latest research we’ve collected that might be relevant to you and your daily life.
Probiotics help with allergy flare-ups
A recent systematic review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that probiotics may help alleviate some of the discomfort of allergy symptoms. In the study, researchers compiled data from 23 studies and found that people with seasonal allergies who took probiotic supplements or ate foods containing probiotics experienced improved allergy symptoms compared with allergy sufferers who took a placebo. Researchers theorized that the probiotics changed the balance of bacteria in the intestines, which in turn boosted the immune system and prevented allergy flare-ups.
Cruciferous vegetables have strong cancer-protective properties
Cruciferous veggies, including bok choy, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower, have long been known as nutritional powerhouses. But a study in the Annals of Oncology shows a more direct link between intake of these vegetables and a reduction in cancer risk. The study found that just one serving per week over a two-year period lowered the risk of breast, colon and oral cancer by 17 percent; esophageal cancer by 28 percent and kidney cancer by 32 percent. Each vegetable has different compounds, though, so it’s best to eat a variety.
Source: Annals of Oncology 2012
Too much sitting linked to greater cancer risk
A 2015 research review at the University of Toronto found that sitting for about 11 hours a day was associated with an 18 percent higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a 17 percent higher risk of fatal cancers and a 91 percent higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. While gym time is good, it may be just as important to keep moving throughout the day.
Source: UHN 2015
B12 deficiency can cause serious health concerns
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has estimated that 3.2% of adults over age 50 have a seriously low B12 level, and up to 20% may have a borderline deficiency. Severe deficiencies can lead to deep depression, paranoia and delusions, memory loss, incontinence, loss of taste and smell, and more. More mild symptoms can include numbness and tingling, difficulty walking and fatigue.
To combat these deficiencies, the average adult should get 2.4 mg a day—but since B12 can’t be made by the body, it must be ingested via food or supplements. It’s important to note, however, that B12 cannot be derived through plants, so strict vegetarians and vegans are at high risk for developing a B12 deficiency if they don’t eat fortified grains or take a vitamin supplement. B12 shots are another simple way to get this important vitamin into the bloodstream.
Source: Harvard Health Blog 2013