Newsletter #057: Oxytocin, broccoli sprouts, & delicious mint tea 🍵
Welcome to the latest edition of the humanOS newsletter! Here is where we share our work, and the various studies and media that captured our attention this week. 🤓
New humanOS Feature
This Week’s Research Highlights
Recent studies have found that oxytocin can reduce food intake and body weight gain, and promote lipolysis in some species, including humans. These effects are more pronounced in obese individuals. Menopausal loss of ovarian function can lead to increased visceral adiposity and metabolic disorders, but there are no safe medical interventions for these conditions. This study evaluated the effects of oxytocin on appetite, body weight, and fat mass in ovariectomized rats. Six-day oxytocin treatment reduced cumulative food intake, body weight gain, and visceral and subcutaneous fat weight and adipocyte cell area in ovariectomized rats. Blood examinations showed that 6-day oxytocin treatment did not affect renal or hepatic functions, and might prevent ovariectomy-induced liver damage. Acute oxytocin treatment did not affect body temperature or locomotor activity. These results suggest that oxytocin may be a useful treatment for menopause-induced metabolic disorders, without any adverse effects.
🥦 Sulforaphane from broccoli sprout extract increases glutathione levels in the blood and in the hippocampus.
Researchers instructed nine healthy participants to take 100 micromoles of sulforaphane daily (in the form of standardized broccoli sprout extract) every morning for seven days. The subjects underwent blood work and 7-T magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the brain prior to the first dose of the supplement, and then within four hours of the final dose. The researchers found that sulforaphane boosted blood levels of glutathione, an important free radical scavenger and the detoxifying agent found in the body. Glutathione levels were also found to be elevated in the hippocampus, a component of the brain associated with learning and memory formation.
Researchers examined data from 417 participants in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study, a national cohort from 20 American cities. Adolescent subjects wore accelerometers on their wrists and hips to measure sleep and physical activity for one week. Participants fell asleep earlier and slept longer when they got more physical activity than usual. Specifically, for every extra hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the teens fell asleep 18 minutes earlier, slept 10 minutes longer, and experienced a 1% greater sleep maintenance efficiency that night.
32 adults with pre-diabetes were presented a challenging breakfast meal either with frozen red raspberries or no raspberries (control). Participants consuming 250 grams of raspberries showed significantly reduced 2-hour insulin area under the curve, reduced 2-hour glucose area under the curve, reduced peak insulin, and reduced peak glucose, compared to the control group (despite taking in more total carbohydrates).
🩸 Magnesium supplementation improves glucose tolerance and lowers blood glucose levels in a rodent model of type 2 diabetes.
Rats were divided into four groups: 1) control; 2) diabetic untreated; 3) diabetic treated with 1 mg of Mg/kg diet; and 4) diabetic treated with 2 mg of Mg/kg diet. Magnesium supplementation improved glucose tolerance and lowered blood glucose levels almost to the normal range, as well as boosted insulin sensitivity. The effects were attributed to enhanced antioxidant defense (magnesium group showed greater glutathione concentrations), as well as upregulation of insulin receptors and glucose transporters.
Videos We Loved This Week
- Erik Vance: Suggestible you - you can’t believe everything you think. Via NCAS Video.
- Kevin Hall: Carbs, calories, or quality: What matters most for weight control? Via Obesity Canada.
Products We Are Enjoying
Ginny says: This is currently my favorite mint tea (I am particular about herbal teas). The flavor is a subtle blend of mint and vanilla; especially good with a splash of almond or cashew milk for extra creaminess. And it smells amazing 😍Mint is obviously best known for improving digestion (making it a good choice to consume with meals), but there is also some intriguing evidence suggesting that mint compounds may help reduce daytime fatigue. It can’t hurt to try it!