Latest News & Research: 15 May 2018

THIS WEEK: HIIT boosts energy and confidence in cancer survivors; Why is that walnut so darn good for you?

HIIT boosts energy and confidence in cancer survivors

Research from Canada and the UK have found that High Intensity Interval Training can reduce tiredness and enhance self-esteem in men that have survived testicular cancer.

In Australia around 900 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year, and a side effect of treatment (as with most cancer treatment) is tiredness.

For the new study, 63 testicular cancer survivors took part in a 12-week exercise program that involved elements of HIIT-style training. The men reported enhanced energy levels and boosted self-esteem compared with cancer survivors that underwent regular follow-up care.

Study senior author Professor Kerry Courneya from Canada’s University of Alberta, said; ‘This small study shows the men who had the biggest increase in fitness saw the greatest benefits. This indicates higher intensity exercise, which increases fitness levels, has more impact than more moderate activity.’

Martin Ledwick from Cancer Research UK said; ‘This adds to the increasing evidence that exercise programs can improve wellbeing and fatigue after cancer treatment.’

Aussie oncologists call for exercise as cancer treatment
Cancer and the side effects of its treatment can make exercise seem like the last thing someone would want to do - but oncologists are calling for exercise to be prescribed as a standard part of treatment. Click HERE to listen to Nicole's story– it's well worth 19 minutes of your time.

Why is that walnut so darn good for you?

The humble walnut has long been associated with a number of health benefits – so many, in fact, that a group of American researchers set out to explore exactly what its magic X-factor is.

Assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, Hannah Holscher, specifically looked at the effect that walnuts have on gut microbiota – the trillions of (predominantly beneficial) micro-organisms that live in the gut.

A group of study participants ate 42g of walnuts over two 3-week periods, while another group ate none. Blood and stool sample analysis showed an increase in level of three main bacteria - FaecalibacteriumRoseburia, and Clostridium which produce a metabolic byproduct called butyrate, known to boost colon health.

Holscher said; ‘Our study provides initial findings that suggest that the interactions of microbes with the undigested walnut components are producing positive outcomes.’

Source: The Journal of Nutrition