Astragalus, angelica sinensis improve running times

Chinese medicine uses these two nutrients to boost energy and circulation. In this study, 36 men, aged 20 to 30, took a placebo or an extract containing 5,000 mg of astragalus with angelica sinensis per day, for 11 days.

On the eighth day, the men ran  13 kilometers at maximum effort. Compared to placebo, the men taking the plant-based extract finished 12 minutes, or 14 percent, sooner. Iron levels were also 63 percent higher immediately after the race, and were still 31 percent above placebo levels 72 hours later.

Doctors explained that hepcidin, a hormone that regulates iron, was suppressed in the astragalus-angelica group, allowing the runners higher iron levels, and accelerating recovery from the exercise. The men also had fewer signs of oxidative stress compared to placebo.

Whey protein rebuilds muscle after illness

Older adults lose muscle mass from inactivity and illness. In this study, 16 men and 15 women, aged 65 to 80, took 30 grams of whey protein, or 30 grams of collagen peptides, per day, for five weeks. Whey is a complete protein, rich in leucine and all essential amino acids, while collagen peptides are lower in these nutrients.

For two weeks during the five- week study, participants limited daily walking to 750 steps and reduced food by 500 calories per day. The diet added 725 mg of protein per pound of body weight. After this, participants returned to normal activity for one week. Both groups lost muscle mass, but the whey group recovered more skeletal muscle mass after resuming normal muscle- building activities.


Reference: Nutrients; 2018, Vol. 10, No. 9, nu10091318; Published Online

Natural Insights for Well Being February 2019

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