Thursday, October 28, 2021

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Plus Probiotics May Improve Weight Loss Maintenance

Alpha-Lipoic acid or ALA is an antioxidant that is made in our bodies. ALA works to protect our cells. Probiotics are bacteria and yeasts that live in our bodies. Although some bacteria that live in our bodies are unhealthy, probiotics improve our health. And one study has shown that the combination of ALA supplements and probiotics supplements may enable individuals to maintain weight loss.

There has not been a lot of research on ALA. But
some believe that ALA can treat HIV, diabetes and improve weight loss. Probiotics are thought to “balance your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria to keep your body working the way it should.”

The above referenced study, which combined ALA with probiotics, consisted of 88 overweight participants. The study was carried out in two phases. The participants were divided into groups, and put on different combinations, using low calorie diets, normal diets, ALA and probiotics.

In the first phase, one group was put on an isocaloric diet plus 500 mg of probiotics, one group was put on an isocaloric diet with ALA plus 600 mg of probiotics, one group was put on an isocaloric diet with ALA, and one group was put on an isocaloric diet with a placebo. And during phase 2, the participants were put on normal diets with ALA and probiotics supplements.

Measurements such as weight, BMI, hip circumference and waist circumference were taken and monitored. At the end of the study, the groups on ALA plus probiotics lost significantly more weight than the other groups. The ALA plus probiotics groups also were able to maintain weight loss better than the groups not on the ALA plus probiotics combination.

Of course, more research is needed to determine how the ALA plus probiotics combination works. Indeed, more research into ALA is also needed. But the ALA plus probiotics combination could, potentially, be another weapon in the weight loss and weight maintenance toolbox. The combination could be especially helpful in weight maintenance, since weight maintenance is considered to be more difficult than weight loss. At any rate, healthcare providers should consider the combination of ALA plus probiotics.



Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The DASH Diet Might Lower Breast Cancer Risk

The DASH diet's name stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” As the name implies, the diet's objective is to lower high blood pressure. And, in general, the diet is considered to be a healthy pattern of eating that can lower blood pressure. The DASH diet, or eating pattern, may also lower the risk of breast cancer, according to one study.

The DASH diet puts a special focus on eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The diet also emphasizes getting protein from fish, poultry and nuts. These foods are high in calcium, potassium and fiber. The nutrients are known to help lower blood pressure. And the DASH diet puts limitations on saturated fats and salt. After looking at the top diets in use in 2021, the U.S.News rated the DASH diet as the second best overall diet, and the publication noted that individuals who follow the DASH diet will eventually lower their salt consumption to about 1500 mg per day.

For the DASH-breast-cancer study mentioned above, researchers established two groups: one group consisted of 477 participants with breast cancer and the other group consisted of 507 healthy participants. The healthy participants were the control group. The study was done at the Cancer Institute of Iran between 2014 and 2016. The researchers indicated that the DASH diet reduced the risk of breast cancer.

Specifically, the researchers concluded that “adherence to the DASH dietary pattern could be associated with an approximately 30% reduction in risk of breast cancer.”

More studies are necessary to determine if the DASH diet is as effective as the study indicates with respect to breast cancer risk. However, the DASH diet has been shown to promote health. Therefore, healthcare providers should include the diet as an option for diet-counseling sessions for appropriate patients. Indeed, the possibility of lowering breast cancer risk, as well as blood pressure, is a strong incentive for considering the DASH diet.



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