While a healthy diet is essential for maintaining general health and wellbeing, there are specific nutrients that can play a significant role in promoting optimal health. Three such nutrient and nutrient groups are antioxidants, magnesium, and probiotics. In recent research, scientists have explored the benefits of these nutrients in detail.

Find out more here.

The vegetables with high antioxidant levels

Scientists from Osaka Metropolitan University have successfully measured the total reactive polysulfide content of 22 different types of vegetables, revealing that these potent antioxidants are not only found in onions and garlic but also in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage.

The research team, which was led by Assistant Professor Shingo Kasamatsu, established a method for the selective and sensitive detection of reactive polysulfides by using mass spectrometry with a stable-isotope dilution method. The findings were published in Food Chemistry and reported by Science Daily.

Sulphur-rich vegetables such as onions and garlic have long been known to promote health but understanding how these foods promote health has been challenging as the levels and types of reactive polysulfides found in different vegetables had not been accurately measured previously. The findings of this study will provide the basis for further research on reactive polysulfides in food, whose detailed properties and endogenous production mechanisms have not yet been clarified. The research could also be further used in developing foods and supplements rich in reactive polysulfide that exhibit superior antioxidant activity.

The health benefits of magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movements, and nervous system regulation. Despite being found in a wide variety of foods, many people don't get enough magnesium in their diets, as discussed in the Definitive Guide to Magnesium and Magnesium Supplements. This recently published Healthline video highlights 12 evidence-based health benefits of magnesium, along with some simple ways to increase magnesium intake.

Research suggests that magnesium supplements may enhance exercise performance, particularly in older adults and those with a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium also plays a critical role in cognitive support and mood, where low levels have been linked to an increased risk of depression.

Additionally, magnesium can provide diabetes support as it helps regulate blood sugar levels, and people who consume more magnesium have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Magnesium supplements can help enhance insulin sensitivity, a key factor involved in blood sugar control. Magnesium also promotes heart health by helping to lower high blood pressure levels, a risk factor for heart disease.

Low magnesium intake is linked to increased levels of inflammation, and magnesium supplements may have anti-inflammatory benefits. Magnesium has also been shown to help prevent migraines, improve PMS symptoms, and support bone health.

While magnesium supplements may be beneficial for some people, it is always recommended to speak with a healthcare practitioner before taking supplements, especially if you have any health conditions or are taking medications. Supplements are designed to support a healthy lifestyle and not to replace a healthy, balanced diet; it’s important to get magnesium from a balanced diet that includes magnesium-rich foods such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and beans.

Microbiome benefits of L.rhamnosus

A new study, reported by NutraIngredients, has investigated the effects of Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus LRa05, a probiotic supplement, on the gut microbiota of healthy adults.

Probiotics are living microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed in sufficient numbers. The gut microbiota, composed of various microbes, plays a significant role in maintaining gastrointestinal health and offering immune system support, among other things.

The study involved 100 healthy young adults who were randomised to receive either a placebo or the LRa05 supplement daily for four weeks. Changes in the gut microbiota were investigated using high-throughput sequencing analysis. The study found no significant difference in the composition of the gut microbiota between the placebo and LRa05 groups, but the relative abundance of Lacticaseibacillus significantly increased after supplementation with LRa05. Additionally, the abundance of Sellimonas decreased, and the salmonella infection pathway decreased significantly in the LRa05 group compared with the placebo group.

The findings indicate the potential of LRa05 to colonise the human gut and reduce the abundance of harmful bacteria in the microbiota. However, it is important to note that the study has some limitations, including its small sample size and the fact that it only considered two time points, not dynamic changes in the gut microbiota. Further studies with larger sample sizes and more time points are necessary to better understand the effects of probiotics on the gut microbiota of healthy people.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.