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Ahead of the Curve

By February 1, 2023No Comments
  • Early-Stage Discoveries: Grapes, Monk Fruit, Ginger Root Good results in the lab can lead to larger human trials. Here are some of the most promising recent findings.
    • Grapes reduced NAFLD, extended life

    Grapes contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory polyphenols, and flavonoids. In the lab, mice had a high-fat diet with or without added grapes. Those receiving grapes had improved metabolism, and reduced expression of genes responsible for developing fatty liver, and increased expression of genes in the brain responsible for behavior and cognition that had been impaired by the high-fat diet. Those that receive grapes also lived longer than those that did not. Although not an exact science, the longevity improvements equate to four to five years’ additional human life, doctors said.

    • Monk fruit improved gut microbiome

    Monk fruit has 200 to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, but also contains bitter, metallic compounds that appear to lower blood sugar. In the lab, monk fruit and galacto-oligosaccaride fiber stimulated significant growth in the gut microbiota, including Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. In addition, there were increases in metabolites that regulate appetite and suppress inflammatory processes associated with type 2 diabetes. Doctors said that metabolites may have a prebiotic effect on the gut microbiome, improving and rebalancing metabolism.

    • Ginger rebalanced glucose

    High blood sugar levels increase intestinal permeability, impairing the gut barrier function that normally prevents harmful substances from passing into the bloodstream from the intestine. In the lab, rats on a high-fat diet that had ginger extract added had more normal blood sugar levels than those that did not receive ginger. Doctors believe the blood sugar rebalancing may be in part due to improved gastrointestinal health, better gut barrier impermeability, improved mitochondrial function, and reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.

    Reference: Foods; 2022, Vol. 11, No. 13, 1984

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