Friday, May 12, 2017
The apple-walnut-cinnamon smoothie and the science behind its health effects
End product capture:
Featured open access scientific review on health effects of apples:
Hyson DA. A comprehensive review of apples and apple components and their relationship to human health. Adv Nutr. 2011 Sep;2(5):408-20. doi: 10.3945/an.111.000513. Epub 2011 Sep 6. Review. PubMed PMID: 22332082; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3183591.
There has been an increasing appreciation and understanding of the link between dietary fruit and vegetable intake and improved health in humans. The widespread and growing intake of apples and apple juice/products and their rich phytochemical profile suggest their important potential to affect the health of the populations consuming them. This review summarizes current clinical, in vitro, and in vivo data and builds upon earlier published reports that apple may reduce the risk of chronic disease by various mechanisms, including antioxidant, antiproliferative, and cell signaling effects. Exposure to apples and apple products has been associated with beneficial effects on risk, markers, and etiology of cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent work suggests that these products may also be associated with improved outcomes related to cognitive decline of normal aging, diabetes, weight management, bone health, pulmonary function, and gastrointestinal protection.
Featured open access scientific review on health effects of walnuts:
Kris-Etherton PM. Walnuts decrease risk of cardiovascular disease: a summary of efficacy and biologic mechanisms. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4 Suppl):547S-554S. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.182907. Epub 2014 Feb 5. Review. PubMed PMID: 24500935
Given the pressing need to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality, there has been a focus on optimizing dietary patterns to reduce the many contributing risk factors. Over the past 2 decades, many studies have been conducted that have evaluated the effects of walnut consumption on CVD risk factors. Walnuts have been shown to decrease low density lipoprotein cholesterol (by ∼9-16%) and blood pressure (diastolic blood pressure by ∼2-3 mm Hg), 2 major risk factors for CVD. In addition, walnuts improve endothelial function, decrease both oxidative stress and some markers of inflammation, and increase cholesterol efflux. The effect of walnuts on multiple CVD targets over relatively short periods of time supports recommendations for their inclusion in a heart-healthy diet.
Featured open access scientific review on health effects of cinnamon:
Ranasinghe P, Pigera S, Premakumara GA, Galappaththy P, Constantine GR, Katulanda P. Medicinal properties of 'true' cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Oct 22;13:275. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-13-275. Review. PubMed PMID: 24148965; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3854496.
BACKGROUND: In traditional medicine Cinnamon is considered a remedy for respiratory, digestive and gynaecological ailments. In-vitro and in-vivo studies from different parts of the world have demonstrated numerous beneficial medicinal effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (CZ). This paper aims to systematically review the scientific literature and provide a comprehensive summary on the potential medicinal benefits of CZ.
METHODS: A comprehensive systematic review was conducted in the following databases; PubMed, Web of Science, SciVerse Scopus for studies published before 31st December 2012. The following keywords were used: "Cinnamomum zeylanicum", "Ceylon cinnamon", "True cinnamon" and "Sri Lankan cinnamon". To obtain additional data a manual search was performed using the reference lists of included articles.
RESULTS: The literature search identified the following number of articles in the respective databases; PubMed=54, Web of Science=76 and SciVerse Scopus=591. Thirteen additional articles were identified by searching reference lists. After removing duplicates the total number of articles included in the present review is 70. The beneficial health effects of CZ identified were; a) anti-microbial and anti-parasitic activity, b) lowering of blood glucose, blood pressure and serum cholesterol, c) anti-oxidant and free-radical scavenging properties, d) inhibition of tau aggregation and filament formation (hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease), e) inhibitory effects on osteoclastogenesis, f) anti-secretagogue and anti-gastric ulcer effects, g) anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity, h) wound healing properties and i) hepato-protective effects. The studies reported minimal toxic and adverse effects.
CONCLUSIONS: The available in-vitro and in-vivo evidence suggests that CZ has many beneficial health effects. However, since data on humans are sparse, randomized controlled trials in humans will be necessary to determine whether these effects have public health implications.
Prof. Atanas G. Atanasov (Dr. habil., PhD)