Good results in the lab can lead to larger human trials. Here are some of the most promising recent findings.

Spirulina reduced liver inflammation

Spirulina can modify microbes and activate the immune system in the gut, with possible liver benefits. In the lab, young and older mice got a standard diet, some with 5 percent spirulina. After six weeks, those in the spirulina group had signs of better immune function in the small intestine, and fewer signs of inflammation and oxidative stress in the liver, which can increase with age. Doctors said the findings suggest spirulina may help maintain a healthy gut microbiome with age.

Yogurt microbe reduced drug resistant bacteria 

Widespread infectious bacteria, such as some strains of E. coli, can become antibiotic-drug resistant, making it harder for doctors to treat individual cases, and more difficult to reduce their spread, or eliminate them. In the lab, doctors extracted lactobacillus parafarraginis from yogurt and then tested on several infectious pathogens. The lactobacillus strain produced an antimicrobial protein that inhibited the growth of 14 different multi-drug resistant bacteria the researchers had obtained from infected hospital patients.

Green pea eased inflammation

Obesity raises chances for inflammatory bowel disease. Green peas are high in dietary fiber, polyphenolics, and glycoproteins, leading doctors to ask if green pea might help heal the condition. In the lab, mice ate a high fat diet, some with 10 percent green pea added. After seven weeks, those in the green pea group had less inflammation and fewer symptoms from induced colitis compared to the non-green pea group. Body weight was also lower for those on the green pea diet.

Reference: Nutrients; 2017, Vol. 9, No. 5, 509
Natural Insights for Well Being November 2017

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