Here’s our top trending supplement news this week.
Instagram-ready protein cakes. A new push for the efficacy of vitamins. An antioxidant that turns back the clock on blood vessels. Supplement stories dominated headlines this week, but if you’re anything like us, you found it hard to catch all the news you wanted to. Here’s our weekly roundup of the trending supplement stories you might have missed between June 4 and 8.
More power to these cakes
Kodiak Cakes’ Power Cakes have made the rounds on social media and gone straight into our stomachs. These flapjacks have become part of the inner circle of Millennial fitness and health enthusiasts everywhere.
But these flapjacks aren’t just your average buttermilk pancakes. What’s so special about them? They’re packed with protein, for one thing. Okay, so that’s the main thing. Nutritionists recommend about 25 grams of protein with each meal. With 14 grams of whey protein per serving, Power Cakes pack a powerful protein punch that bodybuilders and ordinary people alike seem to love. And with good reason.
Protein is the building block of life itself, developing muscle mass and strength to power us through our day, and keeps us moving easily throughout life. And since many of us don’t eat chicken, meat or fish with every meal (or at all), protein-fortified foods like Power Cakes and protein supplements can amplify your protein intake in an easy, tasty way.
But while Power Cakes purportedly taste great, you may be wondering if they’re actually healthy for you. It depends on if you consider pancakes healthy. The breakfast food doesn’t necessarily scream nutrition, though it does have a lot of carbs, which are vital for energy. But the added protein makes them a great way to sneak in some additional protein—especially if you’re trying to build muscles and require more food and more protein.
You can make them even healthier with your topping choices, like adding some yogurt, fruit or nuts to increase the fiber and protein count. But like everything in life, don’t overdo it on these pancakes. Protein or not, they are still packed with carbs that can quickly add up to sometimes unwanted weight gain.
The antioxidant that reverses the clock—on your blood vessels, that is
We’ve all wished for a time machine or fountain of youth at some point in our lives. As we age, our muscles, if not maintained, can tend to get weak, and our joints and bones stiffen. And like the rest of the body, our blood vessels can feel the toll of age.
But a study published in the American Heart Association Journal, Hypertension, may have just cast serious doubt on research that says supplements (in particular, antioxidants) have no role in maintaining good health.
The study suggested that some pharmaceutical-grade supplements might be beneficial to saving lives. How, exactly? By preventing the formation of heart disease, which holds first place in the U.S. as the most deadly disease.
The study was conducted (and repeated) with 20 healthy men and women aged 60-79 over the course of six weeks. Some of the participants took a placebo pill and some took a mitochondrial-specific antioxidant supplement derived by altering COQ10 so that it clings to the mitochondria inner cells.
The results? Both tests showed that the artery dilation of those taking the supplement improved by 42% due to reduced oxidative stress—making their blood vessels look much more like those of someone up to 20 years their junior. Many with stiff arteries experienced reduced stiffness, as well.
To take vitamins or not to take vitamins? That was the question
The American College of Cardiology just announced the results of a study that was less than supportive of the role of supplements in heart health. Backlash from supplement and nutritional organizations reopened a broader conversation about the efficacy and benefits of supplements on our health—specifically vitamins and minerals.
The findings suggested there was simply no evidence that supported supplementation as beneficial to heart health. They suggested that even if supplement-takers see some positive benefit, they should understand possible risks of supplementation to wisely determine their own use.
But the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has been hard at work too, and they have something to say about these findings.
The Council felt that the published study could be misleading, and cause readers to think that supplements were meant for something they weren’t—that is, disease prevention. Supplements, they affirmed, aren’t meant for prevention, but for wellness support and risk reduction. And research has shown that supplements like Vitamin C and Vitamin E, to name a few, are beneficial in reviving nutrient-depleted bodies with the essentials of good health. And CRN feels we should all be happy about that.
The study focused on vitamins and minerals, not fitness supplements like protein powders.