Science Shorts: Plant-based omega-3, matcha's anti-stress effects, and probiotics' impact on productivity in our latest science round-up

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Science Shorts: Plant-based omega-3, matcha's anti-stress effects, and probiotics' impact on productivity in our latest science round-up

Related tags omega-3 Probiotics Green tea glutamine

Read about the latest research on plant-based omega-3, DHA's importance for maternal and infant health, how composition influences matcha's anti-stress impact, and how probiotic supplementation can increase productivity in this month's science review.

Plant-based omega-3: Groundbreaking metabolic engineering programme for canola in the spotlight at first NutraIngredients summit

A project that used gene technology to create canola oil that yields quantities of long-chain omega-3 previously only available in fish will be showcased at the first NutraIngredients Omega-3 Summit​ in Singapore.

The event, which takes place from February 20 to 22, will hear from Dr Surinder Singh, Chief Research Scientist and Group Leader, Plant Oil Engineering, at CSIRO Agriculture & Food in Australia.

He said: "Consumer demand for long-chain omega-3 oils is growing faster than can be sustainably supplied from wild fish stocks. The race is on to find potential new sources, and the creation of land-based plants that can yield omega-3 in the necessary quantities has been a longstanding goal of bio-engineers.  CSIRO's Plant Oil Engineering Team and their commercial partner, Nuseed, have finally achieved it. It's good news for worldwide fish stocks, and for human nutrition."

Closing the DHA data gap: DSM striving to secure information to drive policy recommendations

Assessment of nutritional status and solutions to micronutrient deficiencies must be in sync if maternal and infant health​ is to improve, says Peter van Dael, DSM's Senior VP of Nutrition Science and Advocacy.

The company recently concluded its first study with South Korea's Ewha Women's University, focusing on DHA intake in mothers and children. The study involved reviewing the DHA intake of 400 pregnant and lactating mothers, as well as 400 children aged one to two.

Van Dael told NutraIngredients-Asia​: "We engaged Ewha Women's University to propose a joint assessment of pregnant and lactating mothers, as well as children aged one to two, and discovered that both the women and children had inadequate DHA intake."

Composition a vital factor in matcha's stress-reducing effect: Japanese animal study and clinical trial

Matcha consumption can aid in stress reduction in humans, but this effect may differ depending on the composition​ of the matcha consumed, according to a study by Japanese researchers.

In particular, theanine, a major amino acid found in green tea, was the element that exhibited a stress-reducing effect in both mice and humans.

Matcha, a theanine-rich powdered green tea, is therefore said to have stress-reducing properties. However, it also has a high caffeine content, which has a strong antagonistic effect against theanine.

Probiotics for work performance: Kirin-Yahoo joint study reveals labour gains in Japan

A joint study conducted by Kirin and Yahoo​ showed that consuming Lactococcus Lactis Plasma​ improves work performance by boosting immunity and preventing influenza symptoms from developing.

The study claims this it has been demonstrated how food products can bring about subjective changes in labour performance.

Results of the study were presented at the Japanese Society of Public Health.

Sports in high altitudes? Brazilian researchers suggest supplementing with glutamine, carbohydrates

Supplementation with carbohydrates and glutamine ​ may mitigate the negative effects of playing sports or doing other rigorous activities in high altitudes, suggest Brazilian researchers.

Two researchers from the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil sought to find out the latest consensus regarding possible nutritional measures to optimize athletic performance in high altitudes. To do this, they reviewed peer-reviewed studies published between 1985 and 2018.

Their paper​ was published in the journal Nutrition.

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