- Chili pepper boosts microbiome diversity
Beneficial bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids by fermenting fiber in the gut, which intestinal cells use as energy to absorb minerals, reduce inflammation, and aid metabolism. In the lab, doctors introduced chili pepper capsaicin into human gut microbiota and found regular capsaicin changed its structure by increasing diversity and certain short-chain fatty acids, particularly butanoic acid.
Discussing the findings, doctors said “The microbiota changes may be responsible for the health benefits associated with consuming chili pepper capsaicin.”
Nutrients; 2022, Vol. 14, No. 6, 1283
- Prebiotics boost iron absorption
In the lab, doctors gave iron-deficient rats the prebiotics fructo- and galacto-oligosaccharides (FOS, GOS) at no, 3, 5, or 10 percent of total calories. After 21 days, GOS doses over 5 percent improved iron status, with greater improvement at higher doses.
Doctors said, “For the first time, we show evidence that increasing doses of GOS improve iron absorption and gut microbiota, even with the less-bioavailable ferric citrate form of iron, suggesting a positive role for GOS in reducing iron-deficiency anemia in children.”
Reference 2: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research; 2022, Vol. 66, No. 10, 2101064
- Wild blueberry speeds wound healing
An earlier study treating human umbilical cord cells with blueberry extract increased new blood vessels and sped cell repair. In this lab study, doctors treated open wounds in rats with a topical gel containing wild blueberry phenolic extract or a placebo.
Wild blueberry increased new blood vessels by 20 percent, and wounds closed 12 percent faster than placebo. Wild blueberry, which is all natural, inexpensive, and without side effects, may help heal chronic wounds by promoting new blood vessels.
Reference: FASEB Journal; 2022, Vol. 36, No. S1, R3098