The Beverage of Champions

Posted on Dec. 4, 2014

Previously, studies report that dietary nitrate (NO3−) increases skeletal muscle function during exercise. David Poole, from Kansas State University (Kansas, USA), and colleagues report that beetroot juice imcrease blood flow to the skeletal muscles during exercise by 38%, and was preferential to the less-oxygenated, fast-twitch muscles. Observing that: “[dietary nitrate] supplementation via [beetroot juice] improves metabolic control in fast twitch muscle,” the study authors conclude that: “These data therefore provide a putative mechanism for the [beetroot juice] -induced improvements in high-intensity exercise performance seen in humans.”

Mechanisms for Heart Benefits of Curry Compound Revealed

Posted on Nov. 20, 2014, 6 a.m. in Cardio-Vascular Functional Foods

Known best as the substance in turmeric that gives the curry spice its characteristic yellow color, curcumin has been found by previous studies to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammation, anticancer, and lipid-lowering effects. Min Young Um , from Korea Food Research Institute (Korea) , and colleagues employed a lab animal model of high cholesterol (hypercholesteremia) to investigate the mechanism by which curcumin impacts parameters of heart health. Rabbits fed a high-cholesterol supplemented with curcumin for 8 weeks had smaller atherosclerotic lesions and less neointimal thickening in the aorta, as compared to those animals fed the high-cholesterol diet without curcumin supplementation. The study authors write that: “Our results demonstrate that curcumin exerts an antiatherosclerotic effect, which is mediated by multiple mechanisms that include lowering serum lipids and oxidized low-density lipoprotein, thus modulating the proinflammatory cytokine levels and altering adhesion molecules and MMP gene expression.”