Fitness and proper weight management are at the top of most healthy living lists. In these studies, researchers looked at how pycnogenol, tart cherry and walnuts might effect athletic performance. Find out what they discovered:
Pycnogenol® improved muscle mass and fitness
Nutrient reduced symptoms of fatigue
After age 50, the body begins to lose muscle mass and strength. In this study, 64 healthy adults, age 70 to 78, who complained of fatigue participated in a controlled exercise program with guidance on healthy lifestyle changes, with or without taking 150 mg of Pycnogenol per day.
After two months, compared to those who did not take Pycnogenol, those who did saw three times greater improvement in endurance in daily tasks such as carrying a five-pound object. The Pycnogenol group also saw more than double the improvement in stair-climbing and walking distance, and a 46 percent gain in overall fitness scores.
Protein in the urine, a possible sign of muscle loss, was 40 percent better for Pycnogenol, while signs of oxidative stress decreased. Doctors also saw an improvement in heart-pumping function, and said that supplementing with Pycnogenol can improve muscle strength and general fitness in older adults with fatigue.
Reference: Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica; 2016, Vol. 76, No. 3, 120-30
Endurance runners performed better, had less inflammation
Tart cherry powder
In this study, 27 trained endurance runners or triathletes, aged 17 to 25, took 480 mg of powdered tart cherries per day or a placebo. Participants began taking the tart cherry seven days before a foot race, on race day, and up to two days afterward. The foot race was a half-marathon, which everyone completed in under two hours.
Doctors measured signs of muscle breakdown, and levels of inflammation, while runners rated their muscle soreness before and several times after the run.
Those in the tart cherry group ran the half-marathon 13 percent faster than the placebo group, and had fewer signs of muscle breakdown afterward. Signs of inflammation after the run were 47 percent lower for those taking tart cherry, and there was a tendency for runners in the tart cherry group to report less leg-muscle soreness up to 24 hours after the run.
Reference: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; May, 2016, Published Online
Walnuts & Losing Weight
Good fats can improve lipids while losing weight. In this study, 213 overweight or obese women ate one of three calorie-restricted diets low or high in fats and carbohydrates. After six months, all three diet groups had lost an average of 15 pounds, scored two to three points lower on the body mass index, and had lower triglyceride levels.
But only those women on the higher fat diet with walnuts—with 35 percent of calories from total fats and 45 percent from carbohydrates—saw a decrease in LDL, the bad cholesterol, and an increase in HDL, the good cholesterol.
Reference: Journal of the American Heart Association; 2016, Vol. 5, No. 1, e002771
Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before taking a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or take medication. For example, pycnogenol and tart cherry thin blood.
Article copyright 2017 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.