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Red spinach supplementation boosts energy

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A new clinical study has suggested that dietary supplementation of nitrate from a natural extract of the amaranthus species red spinach results in a boost of energy.

Supplementation, it found, significantly increases plasma nitrite that ultimately enhances nitric oxide. The related physiological effects of nitric oxide enhancement include a lower resting blood pressure, better blood circulation and enhanced exercise tolerance, helping boost performance during exercise or other physical activity.

Nitrates and nitrites relax all types of smooth muscle, for example those of the cardiovascular system, including veins, arteries and capillaries. These compounds help improve energy conversion in human cells, contributing to reduced fatigue during exercise and activity. Other pharmacologic properties include beneficial actions on cardiovascular enzyme systems and bronchial smooth muscle, the trial found.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled and crossover-designed clinical study was conducted by researchers from Alabama and published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

Benny Antony, joint managing director of Arjuna Natural Extracts, which manufactures the OxyStorm brand of amaranthus extract, said: “Athletes and consumers with active lifestyles seek to improve their performance without negative effects and post-workout ‘crash’ or jitters associated with alkaloid stimulants, such as caffeine. OxyStorm is a highly concentrated source of nitrate at about 9-10%. By comparison, the current nitrate source trend, beet extracts and concentrates, typically contain only about 2% nitrate.

“Our farmers grow the amaranthus, harvest the leaves, and deliver them to our state-of-the-art processing facility in Kerala, India. The active ingredient is carefully extracted and submitted for advanced product testing to ensure ingredient identity and product safety. Arjuna consistently promotes transparency of production with our natural ingredients, keeping them safe and pure.”

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Food & Cuisine

UN FAO: Food prices jump in January.

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Food prices rose in January, and has become stronger for vegetable oils and sugar, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 164.8 points last month against 161.8 in December.

In spite of the rise, the index was still 2.2 per cent below its January 2018 level.



The FAO dairy price index jumped 7.2 per cent from December’s value, ending seven months of declines.

FAO said limited export supplies from Europe, caused by strong internal demand, was the main driving force behind the increase.

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FAO’s vegetable oil price index rose 4.3 per cent from the previous month, while its sugar index rose 1.3 per cent and its cereal index made marginal gains on December.

The meat price index was largely unchanged.

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FAO lifted its latest world cereal production forecast for 2018 to 2.611 billion tonnes, slightly higher than the December reading, reflecting upward revisions for maize, wheat and rice.

“Much of the projected growth is associated with expected increases in Europe, where beneficial weather has so far shored up yield prospects while also sowings are forecast to expand, largely driven by attractive prices,” FAO said.

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Cells that could prevent obesity, diabetes, hypertension found by American scientists.

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An American scientists has discovered a group of cells in the small intestine that slows down metabolism and increase fat accumulation.

The study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature  may lend a clue to prevent and treat obesity, diabetes and hypertension.



Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in the US found that mice lacking those cells called intraepithelial T lymphocytes or natural IELs could burn fat and sugar without gaining weight.

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When those cells are present, they suppress a hormone that speeds up metabolism and conserves more energy it gets from food.

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Such a mechanism used to be an evolutionary advantage when food was scarce in ancient time, but “with the food so abundant,this energy-saving mechanism can backfire and lead to unhealthy outcomes,” said the paper’s lead researcher Filip Swirski from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Swirski’s study can eventually contribute to cardiovascular disease and other metabolic ailments.

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