Probiotic Supplementation Improves Cognitive Function and Mood with Changes in Gut Microbiota in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Trial.
The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2021;76(1):32-40
Plain language summary
Aging is characterized by progressive decline in biological functions of the organism. Diet is one of the critical lifestyle factors for physical and mental well-being throughout the life span, including later life. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of probiotics consumption on intestinal and brain health in elders over the age of 65. This study is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial. All participants, study coordinators, and researchers were blinded throughout the entire study. Sixty-three participants were randomized, with 31 and 32 subjects in the placebo and probiotics group, respectively. Results demonstrate that probiotics have system-wide effects on the gut–brain axis in healthy community-dwelling older adults by promoting cognitive and mental health and changing the gut microbial composition. Authors conclude that their findings provide evidence that probiotics have health-promoting properties as part of a healthy diet in the general population of independently living older adults.
Probiotics have been proposed to ameliorate cognitive impairment and depressive disorder via the gut-brain axis in patients and experimental animal models. However, the beneficial role of probiotics in brain functions of healthy older adults remains unclear. Therefore, a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled multicenter trial was conducted to determine the effects of probiotics on cognition and mood in community-dwelling older adults. Sixty-three healthy elders (≥65 years) consumed either placebo or probiotics containing Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 and Bifidobacterium longum BORI for 12 weeks. The gut microbiota was analyzed using 16S rRNA sequencing and bioinformatics. Brain functions were measured using the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's disease, Satisfaction with life scale, stress questionnaire, Geriatric depression scale, and Positive affect and negative affect schedule. Blood brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Relative abundance of inflammation-causing gut bacteria was significantly reduced at Week 12 in the probiotics group (p < .05). The probiotics group showed greater improvement in mental flexibility test and stress score than the placebo group (p < .05). Contrary to placebo, probiotics significantly increased serum BDNF level (p < .05). Notably, the gut microbes significantly shifted by probiotics (Eubacterium and Clostridiales) showed significant negative correlation with serum BDNF level only in the probiotics group (RS = -0.37, RS = -0.39, p < .05). In conclusion, probiotics promote mental flexibility and alleviate stress in healthy older adults, along with causing changes in gut microbiota. These results provide evidence supporting health-promoting properties of probiotics as a part of healthy diet in the older adults.
Effects of DHA-Rich n-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and/or Resistance Training on Body Composition and Cardiometabolic Biomarkers in Overweight and Obese Post-Menopausal Women.
Plain language summary
Menopause may increase risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. Interventions to limit menopausal changes such as diet and exercise may improve outcomes. Resistance training and polyunsaturated fats may increase muscle production, however previous studies in postmenopausal women have had mixed outcomes. Therefore this randomised placebo control trial of 124 postmenopausal women aimed to determine if a polyunsaturated fat rich fish oil in combination with resistance training or alone for 16 weeks could affect overweight and obese postmenopausal women. The results showed no combined effect of resistance training and fish oil on body composition, muscle strength, blood pressure, lipids, or blood sugar balance. The resistance training group maintained bone density, increased muscle mass, decreased fat mass and increased blood sugar balance. The fish oil group showed lower blood pressure, lowered triglycerides, and improved muscle quality in lower limbs. It was concluded that resistance training improved body composition, bone density and blood sugar balance and fish oil improved heart health in postmenopausal women. This study could be used by healthcare professionals to recommend fish oil and resistance training to improve all aspects of physiological changes associated with menopause.
Resistance training (RT) and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) supplementation have emerged as strategies to improve muscle function in older adults. Overweight/obese postmenopausal women (55-70 years) were randomly allocated to one of four experimental groups, receiving placebo (olive oil) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich n-3 PUFA supplementation alone or in combination with a supervised RT-program for 16 weeks. At baseline and at end of the trial, body composition, anthropometrical measures, blood pressure and serum glucose and lipid biomarkers were analyzed. Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) and strength tests were also performed. All groups exhibit a similar moderate reduction in body weight and fat mass, but the RT-groups maintained bone mineral content, increased upper limbs lean mass, decreased lower limbs fat mass, and increased muscle strength and quality compared to untrained-groups. The RT-program also improved glucose tolerance (lowering the OGTT incremental area under the curve). The DHA-rich supplementation lowered diastolic blood pressure and circulating triglycerides and increased muscle quality in lower limbs. In conclusion, 16-week RT-program improved segmented body composition, bone mineral content, and glucose tolerance, while the DHA-rich supplement had beneficial effects on cardiovascular health markers in overweight/obese postmenopausal women. No synergistic effects were observed for DHA supplementation and RT-program combination.
Ramadan Fasting in Germany (17-18 h/Day): Effect on Cortisol and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Association With Mood and Body Composition Parameters.
Frontiers in nutrition. 2021;8:697920
Plain language summary
Ramadan fasting (RF) is a type of intermittent fasting and has been reported to have benefits on body composition, fatigue, mood and health related to quality of life (QOL) in healthy people. The aim of this study of 34 healthy men and women was to elucidate the mechanisms, in particular links between mood and QOL and the stress hormone cortisol and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is important for mental and cognitive function. The study compared a number of biochemical parameters before, in the middle and towards the end of the fast as well as 1 week and 1 months after RF. Patterns differed between men and women. Whilst women showed a significant increase in interleukin 8, an important mediator of the innate immune system, at the start of RF, it decreased toward the end of RF in men. Cortisol levels decreased after RF in both men and women, but more so in women, whilst BDNF decreased significantly in men but stayed the same in women. The authors conclude that the benefits of RF for mood are mediated by different biological mediators, particularly cortisol and BDNF.
undefined: Ramadan fasting (RF) is a type of diurnal intermittent fasting. Previous studies reported the benefits of RF in healthy subjects on mood and health related to quality of life (QoL). Cortisol and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been shown to play a role in mood, body composition parameters, and health-related QoL. This study aimed at elucidating the mechanism of the benefit of RF, particularly cortisol and BNDF and their association with mood and QoL. Insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), interleukin (IL)-8, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, and myoglobin were determined. Thirty-four healthy men and women were recruited. Serum from peripheral venous blood samples was collected at five time points: 1 week before RF (T1); mid of RF (T2), last days of RF (T3), 1 week after RF (T4), and 1 month after RF (T5). The amounts of biological mediators in the serum samples were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Luminex assays. BDNF and cortisol significantly decreased at T3 ( < 0.05) and T4 ( < 0.001) compared to T1, respectively. It seems the benefits of RF for mood-related symptoms are mediated by different biological mediators, particularly cortisol and BDNF.
The Effects of Time-Restricted Eating versus Standard Dietary Advice on Weight, Metabolic Health and the Consumption of Processed Food: A Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial in Community-Based Adults.
Plain language summary
Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a collection of conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure and impaired ability to balance blood sugars, that increase the sufferers risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Weight loss and lifestyle modifications are the main recommendations to improve MS. Intermittent fasting is a dietary regime that involves restricting the intake of food to certain times of the day, without restricting calories and has been shown in animal and human studies to result in fat loss and an increased ability to balance blood sugars. This randomised control trial of 218 adults over 6 months aimed to firstly determine relationships between eating duration, unprocessed and processed foods, and lifestyle factors on health and secondly to determine if a 12-hour time restricted eating pattern leads to an improvement in MS. The results showed that higher consumption of processed foods was associated with poorer metabolic health. A 12-hour restricted eating pattern resulted in weight loss, whereas individuals on a standard daily eating pattern did not, however differences between the two groups were not significant. Other measures of metabolic health failed to show any differences between the two groups. It was concluded that a 12-hour restricted eating pattern was feasible over 6 months, however further research is needed to assess if a more restricted time would result in greater weight loss. This study could be used by healthcare professionals to understand that a restricted eating pattern may be of benefit to those with MS, however further research would be needed to determine the optimal timeframe.
undefined: Weight loss is key to controlling the increasing prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) and its components, i.e., central obesity, hypertension, prediabetes and dyslipidaemia. The goals of our study were two-fold. First, we characterised the relationships between eating duration, unprocessed and processed food consumption and metabolic health. During 4 weeks of observation, 213 adults used a smartphone application to record food and drink consumption, which was annotated for food processing levels following the NOVA classification. Low consumption of unprocessed food and low physical activity showed significant associations with multiple MS components. Second, in a pragmatic randomised controlled trial, we compared the metabolic benefits of 12 h time-restricted eating (TRE) to standard dietary advice (SDA) in 54 adults with an eating duration > 14 h and at least one MS component. After 6 months, those randomised to TRE lost 1.6% of initial body weight (SD 2.9, = 0.01), compared to the absence of weight loss with SDA (-1.1%, SD 3.5, = 0.19). There was no significant difference in weight loss between TRE and SDA (between-group difference -0.88%, 95% confidence interval -3.1 to 1.3, = 0.43). Our results show the potential of smartphone records to predict metabolic health and highlight that further research is needed to improve individual responses to TRE such as a shorter eating window or its actual clock time.
Vegan diet in young children remodels metabolism and challenges the statuses of essential nutrients.
EMBO molecular medicine. 2021;13(2):e13492
Plain language summary
As vegan diets gain popularity amongst families, there is little known about the impact of strict plant-based diets on metabolism and micronutrient status in children, apart from reduced average growth within the norm. This small study looked at 40 Finnish children from one day centre, and compared children following an omnivore or vegetarian diet to those raised on a vegan diet. The diets were analysed, and biomarkers and metabolites were measured. The metabolic profile and nutrient status of children who followed a vegan diet from birth were distinctively different to other diet patterns, including vegetarians. The authors suggest that little animal source foods are enough to shift the metabolism of children. Dietary analysis showed that vegan children had higher folate consumption and lower protein and saturated fats intake. Despite intake appearing adequate, serum markers for fat-soluble vitamins A and D were low. While the fatty acid ALA was higher compared to omnivores, DHA and overall cholesterol were decreased. The authors concluded that the bodies own cholesterol production does not seem to compensate for a lack of dietary cholesterol in this case and it remains to be established whether lower cholesterol in vegan children are negative to health. Furthermore, the circulating amino acids pool was decreased in vegan children, particularly branch chained amino acids. The most distinct difference, however, was seen in the variance of bile acid patterns. The physiological functions of bile acids go beyond digestion, yet the consequences of diverging bile acid profiles in children’s health are unknown. In conclusion, the data shows that a strict vegan diet affects the metabolism of healthy children, but much of the long-term impact on health is currently still unclear. This article highlights some of the differences, risks and uncertainties that come with raising young children on a strictly vegan diet.
Vegan diets are gaining popularity, also in families with young children. However, the effects of strict plant-based diets on metabolism and micronutrient status of children are unknown. We recruited 40 Finnish children with a median age 3.5 years-vegans, vegetarians, or omnivores from same daycare centers-for a cross-sectional study. They enjoyed nutritionist-planned vegan or omnivore meals in daycare, and the full diets were analyzed with questionnaires and food records. Detailed analysis of serum metabolomics and biomarkers indicated vitamin A insufficiency and border-line sufficient vitamin D in all vegan participants. Their serum total, HDL and LDL cholesterol, essential amino acid, and docosahexaenoic n-3 fatty acid (DHA) levels were markedly low and primary bile acid biosynthesis, and phospholipid balance was distinct from omnivores. Possible combination of low vitamin A and DHA status raise concern for their visual health. Our evidence indicates that (i) vitamin A and D status of vegan children requires special attention; (ii) dietary recommendations for children cannot be extrapolated from adult vegan studies; and (iii) longitudinal studies on infant-onset vegan diets are warranted.
Increased kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio in the serum of patients infected with SARS-CoV2: An observational cohort study.
Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease. 2021;1867(3):166042
Plain language summary
Covid-19 infection may alter the immune system, but exactly how is still unclear. A key pathway in the regulation of the immune system is the kynurenine pathway of tryptopham. This observational cohort study aimed to determine how this pathway was affected following infection with Covid-19. The results showed that compared to healthy patients, individuals who tested positive to Covid-19 had an increased ratio of kynurenine:tryptopham and the increase was more pronounced in those who had severe infection and if they were male. It was concluded that the kynurenin:tryptopham ratio could be used as a marker for disease severity and useful for treatments. This study could be used by healthcare professionals to use the kynurenine:tryptopham ratio as a marker for disease severity and stratify patients accordingly for treatments.
Immune dysregulation is a hallmark of patients infected by SARS-CoV2 and the balance between immune reactivity and tolerance is a key determinant of all stages of infection, including the excessive inflammatory state causing the acute respiratory distress syndrome. The kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan (Trp) metabolism is activated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and drives mechanisms of immune tolerance. We examined the state of activation of the KP by measuring the Kyn:Trp ratio in the serum of healthy subjects (n = 239), and SARS-CoV2-negative (n = 305) and -positive patients (n = 89). Patients were recruited at the Emergency Room of St. Andrea Hospital (Rome, Italy). Kyn and Trp serum levels were assessed by HPLC/MS-MS. Compared to healthy controls, both SARS-CoV2-negative and -positive patients showed an increase in the Kyn:Trp ratio. The increase was larger in SARS-CoV2-positive patients, with a significant difference between SARS-CoV2-positive and -negative patients. In addition, the increase was more prominent in males, and positively correlated with age and severity of SARS-CoV2 infection, categorized as follows: 1 = no need for intensive care unit (ICU); 2 ≤ 3 weeks spent in ICU; 3 ≥ 3 weeks spent in ICU; and 4 = death. The highest Kyn:Trp values were found in SARS-CoV2-positive patients with severe lymphopenia. These findings suggest that the Kyn:Trp ratio reflects the level of inflammation associated with SARS-CoV2 infection, and, therefore, might represent a valuable biomarker for therapeutic intervention.
Berberine reduces circulating inflammatory mediators in patients with severe COVID-19.
The British journal of surgery. 2021;108(1):e9-e11
Obesity and Sex-Related Associations With Differential Effects of Sucralose vs Sucrose on Appetite and Reward Processing: A Randomized Crossover Trial.
Plain language summary
Berberine has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis owing to its antimicrobial, antimotility and antisecretory properties. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of berberine on laboratory parameters in patients who have been hospitalised due to COVID-19. This study enrolled prospectively 39 patients with severe COVID-19 who were hospitalized, of which 18 patients were allocated to the berberine group and 17 to the control group. Patients in the berberine group were given berberine plus routine therapy within 14 days of admission, and those in the control group received only routine therapy. Results indicate that there wasn’t any significant difference between the two groups in relation to the laboratory parameters namely interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin and white blood cells levels within 14 days. In subgroup analyses of patients with diarrhoea, berberine significantly improved the changes in interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-alpha and C-reactive protein. Authors conclude that it is unclear whether berberine has any antiviral effect on SARS-CoV-2, and further experiments are needed to clarify this.
JAMA network open. 2021;4(9):e2126313
Plain language summary
Added sweeteners are increasingly being used in foods to maintain the sweet taste without the added calories, however the health consequences of this are still unclear. Most of the research that exists is in men of normal weight, however women and individuals with obesity have shown to have differing appetite responses. This randomised crossover trial of 74 adults aimed to determine the effect of consuming sweetener compared to sugar on brain, hormone, and appetite responses and whether these differed by sex and obesity status. The results showed that women had increased food related brain responses and consumed greater calories following ingestion of an artificially sweetened drink. In those with obesity food related brain response was also increased following sweetener consumption. Blood glucose hormone response was decreased following sweetener consumption compared to sugar consumption. It was concluded that females and individuals with obesity have differing brain activity following consumption of sweetener. This study could be used by healthcare professionals to understand that the recommendation of artificial sweeteners for weight loss in women and those who are already suffering from obesity may lead to greater calorie consumption. However further research is needed to confirm this.
Importance: Nonnutritive sweeteners (NNSs) are used as an alternative to nutritive sweeteners to quench desire for sweets while reducing caloric intake. However, studies have shown mixed results concerning the effects of NNSs on appetite, and the associations between sex and obesity with reward and appetitive responses to NNS compared with nutritive sugar are unknown. Objective: To examine neural reactivity to different types of high-calorie food cues (ie, sweet and savory), metabolic responses, and eating behavior following consumption of sucralose (NNS) vs sucrose (nutritive sugar) among healthy young adults. Design, Setting, and Participants: In a randomized, within-participant, crossover trial including 3 separate visits, participants underwent a functional magnetic resonance imaging task measuring blood oxygen level-dependent signal in response to visual cues. For each study visit, participants arrived at the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center of University of Southern California at approximately 8:00 am after a 12-hour overnight fast. Blood was sampled at baseline and 10, 35, and 120 minutes after participants received a drink containing sucrose, sucralose, or water to measure plasma glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide(7-36), acyl-ghrelin, total peptide YY, and leptin. Participants were then presented with an ad libitum meal. Participants were right-handed, nonsmokers, weight-stable for at least 3 months before the study visits, nondieters, not taking medication, and with no history of eating disorders, illicit drug use, or medical diagnoses. Data analysis was performed from March 2020 to March 2021. Interventions: Participants ingested 300-mL drinks containing either sucrose (75 g), sucralose (individually sweetness matched), or water (as a control). Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes of interest were the effects of body mass index (BMI) status and sex on blood oxygen level-dependent signal to high-calorie food cues, endocrine, and feeding responses following sucralose vs sucrose consumption. Secondary outcomes included neural, endocrine, and feeding responses following sucrose vs water and sucralose vs water (control) consumption, and cue-induced appetite ratings following sucralose vs sucrose (and vs water). Results: A total of 76 participants were randomized, but 2 dropped out, leaving 74 adults (43 women [58%]; mean [SD] age, 23.40 [3.96] years; BMI range, 19.18-40.27) who completed the study. In this crossover design, 73 participants each received water (drink 1) and sucrose (drink 2), and 72 participants received water (drink 1), sucrose (drink 2), and sucralose (drink 3). Sucrose vs sucralose was associated with greater production of circulating glucose, insulin, and glucagon-like peptide-1 and suppression of acyl-ghrelin, but no differences were found for peptide YY or leptin. BMI status by drink interactions were observed in the medial frontal cortex (MFC; P for interaction < .001) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC; P for interaction = .002). Individuals with obesity (MFC, β, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.83; P < .001; OFC, β, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.43; P = .002), but not those with overweight (MFC, β, 0.02; 95% CI, -0.19 to 0.23; P = .87; OFC, β, -0.06; 95% CI, -0.21 to 0.09; P = .41) or healthy weight (MFC, β, -0.13; 95% CI, -0.34 to 0.07; P = .21; OFC, β, -0.08; 95% CI, -0.23 to 0.06; P = .16), exhibited greater responsivity in the MFC and OFC to savory food cues after sucralose vs sucrose. Sex by drink interactions were observed in the MFC (P for interaction = .03) and OFC (P for interaction = .03) after consumption of sucralose vs sucrose. Female participants had greater MFC and OFC responses to food cues (MFC high-calorie vs low-calorie cues, β, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.05 to 0.37; P = .01; MFC sweet vs nonfood cues, β, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.02 to 0.42; P = .03; OFC food vs nonfood cues, β, 0.12; 95% CI, 0.02 to 0.22; P = .03; and OFC sweet vs nonfood cues, β, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.03 to 0.27; P = .01), but male participants' responses did not differ (MFC high-calorie vs low-calorie cues, β, 0.01; 95% CI, -0.19 to 0.21; P = .90; MFC sweet vs nonfood cues, β, -0.04; 95% CI, -0.26 to 0.18; P = .69; OFC food vs nonfood cues, β, -0.08; 95% CI, -0.24 to 0.08; P = .32; OFC sweet vs nonfood cues, β, -0.11; 95% CI, -0.31 to 0.09; P = .31). A sex by drink interaction on total calories consumed during the buffet meal was observed (P for interaction = .03). Female participants consumed greater total calories (β, 1.73; 95% CI, 0.38 to 3.08; P = .01), whereas caloric intake did not differ in male participants (β, 0.68; 95% CI, -0.99 to 2.35; P = .42) after sucralose vs sucrose ingestion. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that female individuals and those with obesity may be particularly sensitive to disparate neural responsivity elicited by sucralose compared with sucrose consumption. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02945475.
Investigating the Relationship between Vitamin D and Persistent Symptoms Following SARS-CoV-2 Infection.
Plain language summary
Persistence of symptoms following COVID-19 infection is known as long COVID and occurs in up to a third of sufferers and can last for as long as 6 months post infection. Tiredness and reduced capacity to exercise are characteristic of long COVID, however why these symptoms persist in a handful of patients is unknown. Vitamin D deficiency is gaining attention for its potential to improve symptoms of tiredness, however there are few studies examining its relationship with long COVID. This observational study of 149 patients who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 aimed to determine the relationship between symptoms of long COVID, inflammation in the body and vitamin D levels. The results showed that fatigue was common, but there was no association between vitamin D levels and fatigue, inflammation, or capacity to exercise. Interestingly women were more likely to experience fatigue in this study. It was concluded that fatigue and reduced exercise capacity are independent of vitamin D in those who have had COVID-19. This study could be used by healthcare professionals to understand symptoms of long COVID, and that vitamin D may not be effective for those symptoms.
undefined: The emergence of persistent symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection, known as , is providing a new challenge to healthcare systems. The cardinal features are fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance. Vitamin D is known to have pleotropic effects far beyond bone health and is associated with immune modulation and autoimmunity. We hypothesize that vitamin D levels are associated with persistent symptoms following COVID-19. Herein, we investigate the relationship between vitamin D and fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance, assessed by the Chalder Fatigue Score, six-minute walk test and modified Borg scale. Multivariable linear and logistic regression models were used to evaluate the relationships. A total of 149 patients were recruited at a median of 79 days after COVID-19 illness. The median vitamin D level was 62 nmol/L, with = 36 (24%) having levels 30-49 nmol/L and = 14 (9%) with levels <30 nmol/L. Fatigue was common, with = 86 (58%) meeting the case definition. The median Borg score was 3, while the median distance covered for the walk test was 450 m. No relationship between vitamin D and the measures of ongoing ill-health assessed in the study was found following multivariable regression analysis. These results suggest that persistent fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance following COVID-19 are independent of vitamin D.
Moderate Consumption of Beer (with and without Ethanol) and Menopausal Symptoms: Results from a Parallel Clinical Trial in Postmenopausal Women.
Plain language summary
During the menopause, hormonal changes can trigger uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness. Hormone replacement therapy does reduce some of the symptoms, however there has been an increased interest in alternative therapies such as phytoestrogens to relieve these symptoms. Phytoestrogens are compounds with oestrogen-like properties naturally found in plants. Beer is the main food source of the strongest phytoestrogen identified to date. The aim of this six-month parallel, controlled clinical intervention trial was to evaluate if a moderate daily intake of beer, with or without alcohol, could reduce menopausal symptoms in women. Female sex hormone profile and cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) were also monitored. 34 postmenopausal women took part. One group included alcoholic beer (AB), and a second group added non-alcoholic beer (NAB) for 6 months. The control group took no alcohol in this time. After a 6-month follow-up both groups (AB and NAB) significantly reduced the severity of the menopause-related symptoms. These results must be considered as preliminary and will require confirmation with larger sample sizes.
undefined: The menopausal transition can be a challenging period for women's health and a trigger of uncomfortable symptoms. Beer is the main food source of isoxanthohumol, a precursor of 8-prenylnaringenin, the strongest phytoestrogen identified to date. As phytoestrogens are reported to reduce perimenopausal symptoms, we evaluated if a daily moderate consumption of beer with (AB) and without alcohol (NAB) could improve menopausal symptoms and modify cardiovascular risk factors. A total of 37 postmenopausal women were enrolled in a parallel controlled intervention trial and assigned to three study groups: 16 were administered AB (330 mL/day), 7 NAB (660 mL/day), and 14 were in the control group. After a 6-month follow-up of the 34 participants who finished the trial, both interventions (AB and NAB) significantly reduced the severity of the menopause-related symptoms ( -value AB vs. Control: 0.009; -value NAB vs. Control: 0.033). Moreover, AB had a beneficial net effect on psychological menopausal discomforts compared to the control group. As the sex hormone profile did not differ significantly between the study groups, the effects of both types of beers (AB and NAB) are attributed to the non-alcoholic fraction of beer. Furthermore, moderate NAB consumption improved the lipid profile and decreased blood pressure in postmenopausal women.