Ahead of the Curve: Early-stage discoveries

Early-stage discoveries with fermented dairy protein, yogurt, walnut, extra-virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil. Good results in the lab can lead to larger human trials. Here are some of the most promising recent findings.

Fermented dairy, yogurt improved gut microbiota

Fermented milk and yogurt proteins were more beneficial than non-fermented milk and non-dairy proteins for gut health. In the lab, mice on a high-fat diet got either non-dairy protein, non-fermented milk, fermented milk, or yogurt. Compared to the non-dairy and non-fermented milk proteins, fermented milk and yogurt increased the expression of genes in the gut responsible for immunity, and improved insulin sensitivity, reduced liver inflammation, and decreased adhesion molecules—which are factors in tumor growth and metastasis.

Walnut improved immunity

To test the immune-building properties of walnut, in the lab, mice were given whey protein as a control, or walnut oligopeptides. After 30 days, walnut increased several types of immune white blood cells: macrophages, the first line of immune defenses that recognize invaders; T-cells, that kill invading pathogens; and B-cells, which manufacture antibodies against future attacks. Walnut stimulated three important antibodies, the proteins that help neutralize foreign organisms: IgM, IgA, and SIgA. Doctors said walnut oligopeptides are a promising immune-supporting nutrient.

Olive oil, flaxseed improved gut immunity

In the lab, mice got a high-fat diet with lard, extra virgin olive oil, or flaxseed oil. After four weeks, all groups had gained weight, but the lard group ate more and gained more. The olive oil and flaxseed oil diets showed a trend toward lower triglycerides and total cholesterol. Blood sugar also decreased, which doctors attributed to omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids. The olive oil and flaxseed groups also had greater diversity of gut microbiota, and more intestinal antimicrobial peptides.

Reference: Journal of Nutrition; October 2020, Vol. 150, No. 10, 2673–86

Leave a Reply