Researchers in a BioActor funded study have found that the polyphenols hesperidin and punicalagin present in the company’s citrus and pomegranate complex (CPC) Actiful, given to elderly participants over a four-week period improved their grip strength and subjective markers for mental health, cognition, concentration and even had favorable effects on body image and thinking.

The authors of the study hold that “next to physical activity, nutritional status is an important lifestyle-related factor that has a substantial impact on healthy aging.” 

Furthermore, they note, “dietary supplementation with polyphenols has been suggested as a promising approach to prevent the negative consequences of aging and to sustain a healthy lifestyle, before the onset of age-related comorbidities.” 

A growing problem

The study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, states that, as far as the researchers know, this is the only study to test a citrus and pomegranate combination’s effects on older participants and measure these particular parameters.

They believe that this is important because, since physical activity is already known to be positively associated with healthy aging, finding other modifiable factors that can improve health outcomes for the elderly is becoming increasingly important.

“Smoking and drinking status, and leisure time activities, have also been shown to contribute to improved mental well-being and quality of life in elderly,” they state. “Therefore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle could be an important strategy to support healthy aging and prevent these age-related pathologies.”

Choosing a cohort

The study included 36 healthy adults aged 60 to 75 with a body mass index between 18 and 28 kg/m2. Smokers, abusers of alcohol or recreational drugs, people with Type II diabetes, people with high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases and those unable to perform a fitness test were excluded from participation. 

Additionally, those with citrus allergies, those taking citrus supplements and those with previous muscle injuries were also excluded.

The participants were given two 350 mg gelatin capsules of CPC, which equates to 500 mg of citrus extract and 200 mg of pomegranate extract, or the equivalent of drinking 0.9 L of juice per day, for four weeks. They were then tested after four more weeks without the supplement. 

Proving their point

Throughout the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, the participants were given four strength tests as well as the quality of life questionnaires at the end of each four-week period. The strength tests examined handgrip strength, bicep curl strength, leg and back strength via the chair stand test and the up and go test. Marked improvement was only noted in handgrip strength.

The researchers also noticed a marked improvement in subjective assessments of psychological function in many of its participants.

“To further investigate the origin of this effect, the five facets that make up psychological function were analyzed separately: positive feelings; thinking, learning, memory, and concentration; self-esteem; bodily image and appearance; and negative feelings,” concludes the authors. 

“A significant time treatment effect was observed for thinking, learning, memory, and concentration, showing improved scores after supplementation with CPC, compared to placebo.” 

Edited by William Bradford Nichols

Source: Nutrition Insight

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