Thursday, April 26, 2012

STOP PRESS: Water Cress industry says water cress is good for you!

I thought this was an interesting story about Napier University here in Edinburgh.....

Researchers find watercress can help with stress of tough workouts

"The increased demand on the body for energy can create a build-up of free radicals which can damage our DNA.

"What we’ve found is that consuming a relatively small amount of watercress each day can help raise the levels of important antioxidant vitamins which may help protect our bodies and allow us to enjoy the rewards of keeping fit.

"It’s an interesting step forward in sports nutrition development and research."
OK, all well and good.

I also saw the story elsewhere - Leafy Greens Help Prevent Damage Caused by a Workout, Study Suggests - with this interesting little comment:

The study was sponsored by Vitacress Salads, one of Europe's growers of watercress.
 It doesn't invalidate it of course, but did make me smile!

Acute and chronic watercress supplementation attenuates exercise-induced peripheral mononuclear cell DNA damage and lipid peroxidation

AbstractPharmacological antioxidant vitamins have previously been investigated for a prophylactic effect against exercise-induced oxidative stress. However, large doses are often required and may lead to a state of pro-oxidation and oxidative damage. Watercress contains an array of nutritional compounds such as β-carotene and α-tocopherol which may increase protection against exercise-induced oxidative stress. The present randomised controlled investigation was designed to test the hypothesis that acute (consumption 2 h before exercise) and chronic (8 weeks consumption) watercress supplementation can attenuate exercise-induced oxidative stress. A total of ten apparently healthy male subjects (age 23 (sd 4) years, stature 179 (sd 10) cm and body mass 74 (sd 15) kg) were recruited to complete the 8-week chronic watercress intervention period (and then 8 weeks of control, with no ingestion) of the experiment before crossing over in order to compete the single-dose acute phase (with control, no ingestion). Blood samples were taken at baseline (pre-supplementation), at rest (pre-exercise) and following exercise. Each subject completed an incremental exercise test to volitional exhaustion following chronic and acute watercress supplementation or control. The main findings show an exercise-induced increase in DNA damage and lipid peroxidation over both acute and chronic control supplementation phases (P < 0·05 v. supplementation), while acute and chronic watercress attenuated DNA damage and lipid peroxidation and decreased H2O2 accumulation following exhaustive exercise (P < 0·05 v. control). A marked increase in the main lipid-soluble antioxidants (α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol and xanthophyll) was observed following watercress supplementation (P < 0·05 v. control) in both experimental phases. These findings suggest that short- and long-term watercress ingestion has potential antioxidant effects against exercise-induced DNA damage and lipid peroxidation.


jakelunniss said...

I love stuff like this. Came across it constantly when doing uni work. My personal fave is a study from the 50s showing that thalidomide is not harmful to mother or baby... sponsored by Grunenthal, the people who made it. Ahem.

I haven't read the rest of the website yet, but I will now!


George Goodall said...

Charles Poliquin is a fan of watercress so there might be something to it:

Versacourt said...

Good to know, I'll give it a try!

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Anonymous said...

It's always smart to follow the money. Look how successful the oil industry has been with their funding of the global warming denier faction.

Jim said...

There's probably a monetary interest attached to most studies out there. I mean, they have to get funding from somewhere right? The potential for biased research is certainly something to think about when looking at studies.