Recently published studies examined the potential benefits of Ahiflower oil, B-GOS and curcumin.
Ahiflower vs. Flaxseed Oil
A team led by Marc Surette, Ph.D., at Canada’s University of Moncton recently published results of the first human clinical trial with Ahiflower® oil. In a peer-reviewed research article appearing in the Journal of Nutritional Science, the study’s authors compared the safety and effectiveness of non-genetically modified organism (GMO) Ahiflower oil consumption in humans as compared to flaxseed oil. The 28-day study measured long-chain fatty acid accrual in circulating cells, particularly omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), commonly found in fish and algal oils. The study authors concluded that consuming Ahiflower oil was safe and considerably more effective than flaxseed oil in boosting EPA, as well as the anti-inflammatory omega-6 dihomo-gamma linolenic acid (DGLA) in circulating cells. The enhanced pro-EPA benefit is due to Ahiflower oil’s high omega-3 stearidonic acid (SDA) content, particularly for a plant, as flaxseed oil has no SDA.
The research study was carried out in 2014 at the University of Moncton as a parallel-group, randomized, double-blind, comparator-controlled Phase I clinical trial. The diets of 40 healthy subjects (ages 18 to 65) were supplemented with 2 teaspoons per day of either Ahiflower oil or flaxseed oil. 20 subjects participated in each arm of the trial. Compliance assessments were made and blood draws and urine samples taken at day 0 (baseline), day 14 and day 28. Various safety biomarkers and fatty acid accrual measures were made from the subjects’ blood chemistry at each visit. The study’s findings achieved statistical significance.
In the cell types measured, Ahiflower oil showed up to four times better EPA accrual vs. flaxseed oil. Ahiflower also showed significant overall docosapentaenoic (DPA) accrual vs. flaxseed oil and showed significant anti-inflammatory DGLA accrual, whereas overall DGLA actually declined among the subjects consuming flaxseed oil. In addition to SDA, another key benefit of Ahiflower oil is that it naturally contains beneficial omega-6 GLA typically found in evening primrose and borage oils, which therefore converts to anti-inflammatory DGLA.
Andrew Hebard, CEO of Natures Crops International, the exclusive producers of Ahiflower oil stated, “With the U.K. taking the lead in Ahiflower crop production and the first commercial dietary supplement product launches happening now in the U.S. and EU, a peer-reviewed study explaining Ahiflower oil’s safety and benefits is very timely."
B-GOS and Early Life Brain Development
Clasado Biosciences Limited, the producers and suppliers of Bimuno® (B-GOS), a unique patented trans-galactooligosaccharide complex, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, announced the results of their latest pre-clinical study, demonstrating for the first time a major role of B-GOS in modulating brain development at the molecular level in early life stages.
The pre-clinical study was published in the journal Synapse and titled, “Neonatal prebiotic (BGOS) supplementation increases the levels of synaptophysin, GluN2A-subunits and BDNF proteins in the adult rat hippocampus." The study demonstrated that an intake of B-GOS at a critical period shortly after birth modulated the expression of specific key molecules in the brain as it develops. In addition, these changes remained into early adulthood. These molecules are involved in brain development and disease as well as cognition and many neuropsychiatric disorders.
A total of 48 male and female rat pups (24 control vs 24 B-GOS-fed) were fed either a solution of B-GOS or a B-GOS-free control solution from 3 to 21 days after birth (weaning age). The levels of key proteins were measured in the brain of the rats 1 day or 3 weeks (corresponding to young adults) after the end of the feeding period.
B-GOS increased the levels of the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunit GluN2A brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the pre-synaptic protein synaptophysin for both 22 and 56 day-old rats. No changes in the structural synaptic proteins microtubule-associated-protein 2 (MAP2) and growth-associated-protein-43 (GAP43) were observed. Taken together this data suggests that B-GOS may have affected glutamate neurotransmission rather than synaptic architecture. Further research will be required to better understand the full relevance of these observations.
The effects resulting from B-GOS administration were observed up to three weeks after cessation of feeding, at a level comparable to that seen at one day post-feeding. This suggests a long-lasting benefit from B-GOS consumption in early life on brain health and development that can extend at least into young adulthood.
Curcumin Supplement Improves Vascular Endothelial Function in Middle-Aged and Older Adults
As published in The Gerontologist, researchers with the University of Colorado examined an age old hypothesis: does curcumin, the potent antioxidant found in turmeric root, have vascular effects in aging animals and humans? They tested the hypothesis that “curcumin improves vascular endothelial function, as assessed by endothelial-dependent dilation (EDD), in middle-aged and older (MA/O) adults (45 to 74 years old) by enhancing bioavailability of the vasodilatory and vascular protective molecule, nitric oxide (NO)."
Participants’ brachial artery flow-mediation dilation (FMDba) and forearm blood flow in response to incremental brachial artery infusions of acetylcholine (FBFach) were assessed utilizing conduit and resistance artery EDD before and after twelve weeks of Verdure Sciences’ Longvida® Optimized Curcumin at a dose of 2,000 mg/d (n=16), or placebo (n=13) supplementation. It was found that FMDba increased by 34 percent in the individuals taking Longvida, whereas no change was observed in the placebo group.
The study went on to notate: “Similarly, FBFach increased by 44 percent following curcumin (P<0.05 vs. placebo; 222±74 vs. 170±57 AUC at baseline, P=0.06) and this improvement was mediated in part by an increase in [nitric oxide] bioavailability as indicated by a greater ΔFBFach AUC during co-infusion of the NO synthase inhibitor, NG monomethyl-L-arginine (-34 vs. -5 percent; P=0.08)." This contrasted to the lack of change in both FBFach and NO bioavailability in the placebo participants (both P>0.05).
Additionally, no change was noticed in either the study group’s or the placebo group’s conduit and resistance artery endothelium-independent dilation (all P>0.05), which suggests an endothelium-specific effect of curcumin, according to the study.
In summary, researchers’ findings, indicated “12 weeks of curcumin supplementation improves EDD in MA/O adults and this is mediated, in part, by an increase in NO bioavailability."