Balloon Race: Superfoods (public)
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foodalternative nameevidenceconditioncondition typesubstanceone to watchpopularitysearch termnotessource notesmain study source linkCochrane systematic reviewother international review board or metastudyindividual studysource names
0 = harmful
1 = no evidence
2 = slight
3 = conflicting/moderate
4 = promising
5 = good
6 = strong
our score (the higher the better)appears inside the bubblethe type of conditionwhat type of substance is this?few studies / trials but positive potentialGoogle hits (used to scale the bubbles)used to generate Google hits figureappears in bubble on mouseoverLinked to from bubbles. Calculated from next 3 cols. Prioritises Cochrane, then metastudies, then individual studies
cruciferous vegetables5cancer prevention, mortalitycancervegetable1,930,000cruciferous vegetables cancerCauliflower, cabbage, cress, broccoli, sprouts and similar vegetables may protect against numerous cancer types and reduce cancer mortalityCruciferous vegetables may protect against numerous cancer types and reduce cancer mortality. A review of primary studies and meta‐analyses indicates that higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables probably reduces the risk of colorectal and gastric cancers by approximately 8% and 19%, respectively. Another review (11,497 subjects) found a 19% reduced lung cancer risk with intakes of up to 100g of cruciferous vegetables per day.
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition; BMJ; Nutrition and Cancer; Molecular Nutrition and Food Research; Annals of Oncology
fruit + veg, all types5cancer preventioncancerfruit57,100,000fruit vegetables cancerEating fruit and veg reduces cancer risk overall, with certain types having a bigger impact on specific cancers.One review of 95 studies found that on average, there was a 3-4% reduction in the relative risk of cancer for each 200g/day increment in intake of fruit, vegetables, and fruit and veg combined. 800g/per is the optimal intake. While general fruit and vegetable intake was only weakly associated with overall cancer risk, particularly cancer incidence, specific fruits and vegetables may be more strongly related to specific cancers, especially cruciferous vegetables and green-yellow vegetables. Another review (10,000 cancer cases and 17,000 controls) suggested a protective role of fruit and vegetable intake on several common cancers, with stronger effects for vegetables than for fruit.
Epidemiology; British Journal of Nutrition
allium vegetablesincludes garlic, onions, leeks, chives, shallots etc.4stomach cancer preventioncancervegetableOTW3,090,000garlic onions stomach cancerAllium vegetables (garlic, onions, leeks, chives, shallots etc) are likely to reduce gastric cancer risk. High allium vegetable consumption is likely to reduce gastric cancer risk. This evidence is derived mainly from case–control studies. Further data from large cohorts are desirable for conclusive confirmation. Nutrition and Food Research
citrus fruits4cancer preventioncancerfruit9,730,000citrus fruits cancerPeople who eat lots of citrus fruits have a reduced risk of cancer - particularly of the digestive tract and larynx.A reduced risk of cancers, particularly of the digestive tract and larynx, was found for high consumption of citrus fruit.
Epidemiology; British Journal of Nutrition
fish oil / omega 34colorectal cancercancercompound47,600,000fish oil omega 3 colorectal cancerIt is thought that omega 3 reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.It is thought that omega 3 reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and is effective in its treatment. British Society of Gastroenterology
garlic aged garlic extract3cancer treatmentcancervegetable41,800,000garlic cancerPeople who eat aged garlic have lower incidence of cancer, but there isn't enough evidence to prove a connection yet. Although there were inconsistent evidence from human studies, results of the animal and laboratory results were mostly consistent. The overall findings may suggest that intakes of aged garlic are inversely associated with cancer. Overall, the current findings are not sufficient to assess the effects of aged garlic on cancer. However, due to anticancer properties of aged garlic, its consumption along with healthy diet may have beneficial effects on cancer. More clinical trials and prospective cohort human studies with adequate sample size are necessary. Journal of Preventative Medicine
green tea3cancer preventioncancerplant / herb25,800,000green tea cancer preventionThe evidence is conflicting. However, drinking 3-5 cups a day might have general health benefits. The evidence is conflicting. However, drinking 3-5 cups a day might have general health benefits.
garlic 2cancer preventioncancerplant / herbOTW8,080,000garlic cancer preventionGarlic might prevent certain cancers, but there is a lack of clinical trial evidence. The WHO recommends consuming at least one clove a day for general health benefits. Garlic might prevent certain cancers, but there is a lack of clinical trial evidence. The WHO recommends consuming at least one clove a day for general health benefits. Cancer Institute
reishi mushroomG. lucidum2cancer treatmentcancerplant/herb601,000reishi mushroom cancerReishi mushroom seems to enhance chemo/radiotherapy effects, but available studies are small. The meta-analysis results showed that patients who had been given G. lucidum alongside with chemo/radiotherapy were more likely to respond positively compared to chemo/radiotherapy alone. G. lucidum treatment alone did not demonstrate the same regression rate as that seen in combined therapy. However, studies reviewed were small and there were some quality concerns.
strawberries2cancercancerfruit21,300,000strawberries cancerFreeze-dried strawberry powder may prevent esophageal cancer.Results of a small trial (75 patients) indicate the potential of freeze-dried strawberry powder for preventing human esophageal cancer, supporting further clinical testing of this natural agent in this setting. Prevention Research
black tea1cancer preventioncancerplant / herb151,000,000black tea cancerReviews have found no association between black tea and ovarian or breast cancer risk.Reviews have found no association between black tea and ovarian or breast cancer risk. and Cancer
fish oil / omega 31appetite among cancer patientscanceranimal product23,100,000
fish oil appetite
There isn't enough evidence to say that fish oil improves appetite in cancer patients. There is not enough evidence to support a net benefit of n-3-FA in cachexia in advanced cancer. On the other hand, adverse effects were infrequent, with no severe adverse effects.
Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle; Palliative Medicine
almonds6cholesterol, cardiovascular disease cardionut / seed13,100,000almonds cholesterolIn several studies, almonds have been shown to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease.In several studies, almonds have been shown to reduce LDL-C—which is a known risk factor for CHD—and the effect of almonds has been well documented in systematic reviews and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Addition of almonds in the diet has been shown to not only to reduce LDL-C levels, but also to maintain HDL-C levels.; The Journal of Nutrition
barley6cholesterolcardiograin / pulse11,000,000barley cholesterolBarley has a lowering effect on some cholesterols.Pooled analyses show that barley β-glucan has a lowering effect on LDL-C and non-HDL-C. Inclusion of barley-containing foods may be a strategy for achieving targets in CVD risk reduction. Journal of Clinical Nutrition
beetroot juiceNitrate6exercise endurancecardioplant extract2,580,000beetroot juice performanceSeveral good quality studies found that dietary nitrate (found in beetroot) enhances exercise performance, particularly over 2-15 days.Several recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclude that dietary nitrate (found in beetroot) supplementation enhances exercise performance, particularly through lowering oxygen cost and increasing endurance. This effect was observed after either a single bolus (2-3 h prior to exercise) or a long-term (2-15 days) supplementation. The ergogenic effects of beetroot supplementation appear to be dose-dependent and are most often observed after long-term ingestion (approximately 6 days), at high exercise intensities and in less fit individuals. Journal of Applied Physiology; Sports Medicine; Nutrients; Nitric Oxide
hawthorncrataegus spp.6chronic heart failurecardiofruit1,070,000hawthorn heart failureHawthorn improves heart function in those with chronic heart failure. Randomized, controlled trials in patients with heart failure have demonstrated that hawthorn increases functional capacity, alleviates disabling symptoms, and improves health-related quality of life. It has a very favourable safety profile both as monotherapy and add-on therapy. Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs
olive oil (high polyphenol)6cardiovascular disease cardioplant extract30,900,000
olive oil heart disease
Olive oil, especially the varieties with lots of healthy chemicals (polyphenols), significantly improves cardiovascular risk factors. Compared to low polyphenol olive oil, high polyphenol olive oil significantly improved measures of malondialdehyde, total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. High phenolic olive oil should be considered as a nutraceutical in cardiovascular prevention.
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition; Phytomedicine
pulses6cholesterol, cardiovascular disease cardiograin / pulse3,280,000pulses cholesterolTwo or three cups of pulses per day significantly lowers cholesterol, and protects against other cardio risk factors.Pulses reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, primarily by altering plasma lipid composition, and several meta-analyses conclude that ∼2/3 cup pulses daily significantly lowers total and LDL cholesterol. Pulses also lower CVD risk by other mechanisms, including increased satiety, thereby reducing food intake and the accumulation of excessive adipose tissue; through improvements in glycemic control; and by reducing blood pressure and inflammation. Overall, available evidence suggests that whole pulse consumption lowers CVD biomarkers and supports a role for pulses as part of a dietary strategy for CVD prevention.
Journal of Functional Foods; Health Benefits of Pulses
flaxseed5cardiovascular disease, blood pressurecardionut / seed3,000,000flaxseed blood pressureFlaxseed supplementation reduces blood pressure. Meta-analysis of RCTs showed significant reductions in both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure following supplementation with various flaxseed products.
Clinical Nutrition; The Journal of Nutrition
grapes5cardiovascular diseasecardiofruit11,700,000grapes heart diseaseGrapes protect against numerous cardio risk factors.Human clinical data support cardioprotective benefits of grapes through inhibition of platelet aggregation, decreased low‐density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation, reduction in oxidative stress and improvements in endothelial function. Emerging evidence suggests that grapes may also have a favorable effect on blood lipids, decrease inflammation and reduce blood pressure in certain populations. Studies to date have shown that berries can have a beneficial effect on reducing LDL oxidation. Limited data suggest that berries may have a favorable effect on endothelial health and blood pressure. Collectively, these data support the recommendation to incorporate products made with grapes and other berries into a heart‐healthy diet. of the Science of Food and Agriculture
beetroot4blood pressurecardiovegetableOTW2,860,000beetroot blood pressureA safe and cost-effective nutritional approach for managing high blood pressure.In conclusion, this meta-analysis confirms previous findings and contributes important new evidence that indicates the hypotensive properties of beetroot to be a potentially safe and cost-effective nutritional approach for managing hypertension and preventing undesirable cardiovascular outcomes. Further clinical studies with larger sample sizes and longer durations with the use of a standardized beetroot supplement for NO3 content and other bioactive compounds are required.
Advances in Nutrition; Journal of Hypertension; Molecules
chlorellaChlorella pyrenoidosa4blood pressure, cholesterol, cardiovascular diseasecardioalga948,000chlorella blood pressureSignificantly decreases blood pressure, blood glucose, and some cholesterols.Meta-analysis on 19 RCTs with 797 subjects indicated that Chlorella administration significantly decreased the levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose whereas changes in triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and body mass index were not statistically significant. Nutrition
chocolate, dark4cardiovascular diseasecardiograin / pulse25,600,000dark chocolate heart diseaseGood evidence that chocolate and cocoa products cause a healthy, small short-term lowering of blood pressure.This review provides moderate‐quality evidence that flavanol‐rich chocolate and cocoa products cause a small (2 mmHg) blood pressure‐lowering effect in mainly healthy adults in the short term. Long‐term trials investigating the effect of cocoa on clinical outcomes are also needed to assess whether cocoa has an effect on cardiovascular events and to assess potential adverse effects associated with chronic ingestion of cocoa products.
fish oil / omega 34cardiovascular diseasecardiocompound233,000,000fish oil omega 3 heart diseaseNumerous studies found that omega 3 provided significant protection against cardiovascular disease, but there was some inconsistency. It's promising, but more research is needed.Two large (10,000+) open-label trials found that 1g or more of omega-3 fatty acids per day gave significant protection against coronary events. However, subsequent placebo-controlled trials did not. The authors conclude that, overall, the hypothesis that omega-3 supplements protect the heart in various ways is plausible & supported by numerous studies, but more research is needed.;;; New England Journal of Medicine; JAMA Cardiology
garlic4blood pressure, cholesterolcardiovegetableOTW26,300,000garlic blood pressureTaking garlic supplements short-term can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Trials on long-term effects are needed.Garlic supplements have the potential to lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals, to regulate slightly elevated cholesterol concentrations, and to stimulate the immune system. Garlic supplements are highly tolerated and may be considered as a complementary treatment option for hypertension, slightly elevated cholesterol, and stimulation of immunity. Future long-term trials are needed to elucidate the effect of garlic on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
The Journal of Nutrition; Phytomedicine
hemp seeds4cardiovascular diseasecardionut / seed2,770,000hemp seed cardiovascularHemp is beneficial in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, as long as the dosage is correct.In conclusion, the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids and their esters [inc. hemp] have been previously documented in terms of both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular system disorders. It has to be highlighted, however, that the achievement of optimal performance requires an appropriate quantitative composition and the proper proportions of delivered fatty acids.
oats4cholesterolcardiograin / pulseOTW11,900,000oats cholesterolPromising evidence shows oats lower cholesterol, but longer-term studies are needed.There is a lack of evidence to date from longer‐term studies (> 12 weeks) of the effect of wholegrain oats. The one trial that studied oats exclusively found reductions in total and LDL cholesterol with whole grain oat cereal compared to the control. Oats (and barley) also typically contain soluble non‐starch polysaccharide such as β‐glucan, which has been associated with a cholesterol‐lowering effect of oats. Due to the presence of β‐glucan, it is possible that whole grain oats may have differential effects than other whole grains. There is a need for more studies of longer duration on the effect of whole grain oats on CVD and cardiovascular risk factors.
green coffee beanschlorogenic acid3blood pressurecardiograin / pulse11,000,000green coffee beans blood pressureIntake of chologenic acid (CGA) from green coffee beans reduces blood pressure, but trials were funded by CGA manufacturers. Independent research is needed.In conclusion, the evidence from published RCTs suggests that chlorogenic acid (CGA) intake causes statistically significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. The size of the effect is moderate. Few clinical trials have been conducted; they vary in design and methodology and are confined to Asian populations and funded by CGA manufacturers. Large independent trials evaluating the effects of CGA on blood pressure are warranted. of Human Hypertension
hawthorncrataegus spp.3blood pressure, cardiovascular diseasecardiofruit18,400,000hawthorn heartMixed results, with some studies showing no effect and others suggesting positive benefits. Larger, longer-term trials are needed. Mixed results, with some studies showing no effect and others suggesting positive benefits. Larger, longer-term randomized clinical trials are needed.
Cochrane; BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Phytotherapy Research
red wine3cardiovascular diseasecardioplant extract50,300,000red wine heart diseaseMounting evidence suggests that ethanol and polyphenols within wine can protect against chronic cardiovascular diseases.Despite a lack of consensus on a specific type of beverage being beneficial to the heart, mounting evidence suggests that ethanol and polyphenols within wine can synergistically confer benefits against chronic cardiovascular diseases, mostly IHD. The polyphenols in red wine can be divided into 2 important groups, flavonoids and nonflavonoids, that together can decrease platelet aggregation, improve fibrinolysis, increase HDL cholesterol, and promote NO release.
Circulation; Nutrients; Current Medicinal Chemistry
green tea2cholesterolcardioplant / herb50,000,000green tea cholesterolDrinking green tea might help to reduce total cholesterol levels, but trials were small and exposed to bias. Drinking green tea might help to reduce total cholesterol levels, but trials were small and exposed to bias.
kale2cholesterolcardioOTW8,420,000kale cholesterol150ml of kale juice daily for 12 weeks reduced cholesterol, but this was a very small study. A small study found that consuming 150ml of kale juice per day for 12 weeks favorably influenced serum lipid profiles and antioxidant systems, reducing the risks of coronary artery disease in men with high cholesterol. (32 subjects) and Environmental Sciences
pomegranate1cardiovascular disease, cholesterolcardiofruitOTW36,400,000pomegranate heartConcentrated pomegranate products lowered cholesterol in two small studies, and pomegranate juice lowered blood pressure in a tiny study (5 people). Very few human studies. One tiny study (5 patients) found positive effects on blood pressure after 3yrs of pomegranate juice consumption. Two small studies (51 and 22 patients) concluded that administration of concentrated pomegranate products over a short period (4 and 8 weeks) lowered cholesterol.!divAbstract
Advanced Biomedical Research; Clinical Nutrition; The British Journal of Nutrition; International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research
prickly pear cactusnopal cactus, Opuntia ficus indica1blood pressure, cholesterolcardiovegetable441,000prickly pear blood pressurePoor quality studies show prickly pear can reduce body fat, blood pressure, and total cholesterol. Consumption of OFI can cause significant reductions in percentage body fat, blood pressure, and total cholesterol. Few clinical trials evaluating the effects of OFI have been published. They vary in design and methodology, and are characterized by inconsistent quality of reporting. Further clinical trials evaluating the effects of OFI on body composition and metabolic parameters are warranted.
strawberries2cardiovascular diseasecardiofruit98,000,000
strawberries heart
Strawberries appear to have a slight decreasing effect on total cholesterol.Strawberries appear to have a slight decreasing effect on total cholesterol, but no effect on lipid profiles in healthy, non-obese subjects. Further studies are necessary to establish the clinical significance of paraoxonase suppression and to define a group of healthy subjects who can benefit from strawberry consumption with respect to cholesterol levels. of the American College of Nutrition
elderberry3oxidative stress, cardiovascular disease, diabetescardio, diabetes, general healthfruit2,280,000elderberry health benefitsElderberries have a significant protective effect against various chronic diseases, but there are some issues with side effects and safety.Elderberries can greatly affect the course of disease processes by counteracting oxidative stress, exerting beneficial effects on blood pressure, glycaemia reduction, immune system stimulation, antitumour potential, increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the blood plasma, including also glutathione, and the reduction of uric acid levels. However, possible side effects and contraindications to elderberry consumption are found and elderberry component stability and application in complex systems needs research. of Functional Foods
kiwifruit2cardiovascular diseasecardio, cancerfruitOTW53,800,000kiwi heartKiwifruits might be beneficial in both preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.The data indicate that kiwifruit contains very potent antiplatelet and anti-ACE components. Consuming kiwifruits might be beneficial as both preventive and therapeutic regime in cardiovascular disease.
Platelets; Advances in Food and Nutrition Research; International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
tree nutswalnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, Brazil nuts6cholesterolcardio, general healthnut / seed45,100,000nuts cholesterolEating large-ish amounts of any nuts - apart from peanuts - lowers cholesterol.A review of 61 trials concluded that tree nut intake lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, ApoB, and triglycerides. The major determinant of cholesterol lowering appears to be nut dose rather than nut type. Tree nuts include walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and Brazil nuts. Journal of Clinical Nutrition
fibre3cardiovascular diseasecardioplant/herbOTW22,500,000fibre heart diseaseFibre appears to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, but studies are at high risk of bias. More trials are needed.The pooled analyses for CVD risk factors suggest reductions in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol with increased fibre intake, and reductions in diastolic blood pressure...Risk of bias was unclear in the majority of studies and high for some quality domains so results need to be interpreted cautiously. There is a need for longer term, well-conducted RCTs
wholegrains5diabetesdiabetesgrain / pulse12,000,000wholegrains diabetesVery large studies have consistently shown that those who eat more wholegrains have a lower risk of type II diabetes. Findings from large observational-prospective or cross-sectional studies have consistently demonstrated that a higher intake of wholegrain is associated with a lower risk of T2DM, as well as an improvement of its major risk factors, i.e., overweight/obesity, plasma glucose regulation, postprandial hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance. Moreover, habitual wholegrain consumption is also associated with a reduced risk of other chronic diseases and with a better nutritional quality of the diet, due to greater intakes of micronutrients. Epidemiological evidence indicates that individuals who consume an average of two-to-three daily servings (60–90 g/day) of wholegrain have a 21–32% reduction in the incidence of T2DM compared with those who rarely or never consume wholegrain.
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine; European Journal of Epidemiology; Nutrients
seaweedAscophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus4type II diabetesdiabetesalgaOTW2,930,000seaweed diabetesSeaweed has similar effects to known anti-diabetic drugs, and shows huge potential in type II diabetes management. Phenolic and non-phenolic compounds isolated from seaweed have positive impacts on the recognised hallmarks of T2DM such as hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidaemia. Generally, these seaweed bioactive compounds’ modes of action are comparably similar to other known anti-diabetic drugs. Therefore, seaweed and seaweed-derived bioactive compounds possess huge potential to be employed in T2DM management either as part of dietary intake or as purified pharmacological agents and supplements. Drugs
nattōfermented soybeans3glucose and insulin responsesdiabetesmicrobe904,000fermented soybeans diabetesFemented soy products (e.g. nattō) may reduce risk of type II diabetes, but the mechanism is unclear.Soy products and soy constituents (soy protein and soy isoflavones) may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Future studies should focus on the dose-response effect and the mechanism. The evidence does suggest that fermented soy products may be better for preventing or delaying the progression of type 2 diabetes compared with nonfermented soybeans.
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice; Nutrition Research
nettlesstinging nettle, Urtica dioica3type 2 diabetesdiabetesvegetable659,000nettles diabetesNettle may safely improve blood sugar control in type II diabetic patients needing insulin therapy.Nettle may safely improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients needing insulin therapy.
Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine; Clinical Laboratory; Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
buckwheat2type II diabetesdiabetesgrain / pulse1,810,000buckwheat diabetesSmall studies found that buckwheat has beneficial effects on some, but not all, type II diabetes markers.Small studies found that buckwheat intake has beneficial effects on some (but not all) markers of diabetes type II.
Nutrition Research; Metabolism
cinnamon 1diabetesdiabetesherb / spice23,300,000cinnamon diabetesCinnamon is no more effective than a placebo in reducing glucose levels. More high-quality studies are needed.The review authors found cinnamon to be no more effective than placebo, another active medication or no treatment in reducing glucose levels and glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a long‐term measurement of glucose control. Many of the trials conducted were of poor quality. High quality studies are needed.
sweet potato1type 2 diabetesdiabetesvegetable20,600,000sweet potato diabetesInsufficient evidence about the use of sweet potato for type II diabetes.There is insufficient evidence about the use of sweet potato for type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition to improvement in trial methodology, issues of standardization and quality control of preparations ‐ including other varieties of sweet potato ‐ need to be addressed. Further observational trials and RCTs evaluating the effects of sweet potato are needed to guide any recommendations in clinical practice.
eggshen's eggs, chicken's eggs0cardio risk factors in diabetesdiabetes, cardioanimal product132,000,000eggs diabetesEating eggs may may increase incidence of type II diabetes among the general population and worsen symptoms of diabetic patients. Egg consumption may be associated with an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes among the general population and CVD comorbidity among diabetic patients.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; The Journal of Nutrition; European Journal of Epidemiology
kiwifruit5constipationdigestionfruit1,110,000kiwi constipationDaily intake can relieve constipation.Several RCTs suggest that daily intake of kiwi fruit can help in relieving constipation symptoms similarly to psyllium.
Dietary Patterns and Whole Plant Foods in Aging and Disease; Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Bali Medical Journal
probiotics5antibiotic-associated diarrheadigestionother1,420,000probiotics antibiotic diarrheaShort term use can reduce diarrhea caused by antibiotics.Based on this systematic review and meta-analysis of 31 randomized controlled trials including 8672 patients, moderate certainty evidence suggests that probiotics are effective for preventing [diarrhea associated with antibiotic use]...The short-term use of probiotics appears to be safe and effective when used along with antibiotics in patients who are not immunocompromised or severely debilitated.'
prunes5constipationdigestionfruit831,000prunes constipationDaily intake can relieve constipation.Several RCTs suggest that daily intake of prunes (dried plums) can help in relieving constipation symptoms similarly to psyllium.
Dietary Patterns and Whole Plant Foods in Aging and Disease; Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Bali Medical Journal
peppermint oil4irritable bowel syndromedigestionherb / spiceOTW1,030,000peppermint oil ibsPeppermint oil is a safe and effective short-term treatment for IBS.Peppermint oil is a safe and effective short-term treatment for IBS. Future studies should assess the long-term efficacy and safety of peppermint oil and its efficacy relative to other IBS treatments including antidepressants and antispasmodic drugs. Gatroenterology
flaxseed3constipationdigestionnut / seedOTW1,840,000flax seed constipationSmall studies show daily flaxseed intake to be an effective treatment for constipation, with no adverse effects. There have been no large trials or metastudies yet though.Small individual studies have shown daily flaxseed intake to be an effective treatment for constipation, with no adverse effects. However, we found no large trials or metastudies.
turmeric (curcumin)curcuma longa, curcumin (active ingredient)3IBS and other bowel diseasesdigestionherb / spice2,310,000turmeric IBSCurcumin is potentially useful in treating IBS symptoms, but it hasn't been compared to other treatments.Random-effects meta-analysis based on three studies and 326 patients found curcumin to have a beneficial albeit not statistically significant effect on IBS symptoms. With its unique anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and ability to modulate gut microbiota, curcumin is a potentially useful addition to our armamentarium of agents for IBS. However, it has not been compared to standard treatment for IBS.
Current Gastroenterology Reports; Journal of Clinical Medicine
yoghurt, liveprobiotics4gut health, immune systemdigestion, infectionsmicrobe4,770,000probiotic yogurt immuneProbiotics are effective in treating IBS, but the magnitude of benefit and the most effective species and strains are uncertain.Probiotics appear to be efficacious in IBS, but the magnitude of benefit and the most effective species and strain are uncertain. Overall, the picture that emerges from studies of probiotics on immune, infectious and inflammatory outcomes in humans is mixed and there appear to be large species and strain differences in effects seen.
British Medical Journal; Current Pharmaceutical Design
lychees1exercise performanceexercise performancefruit688,000lychees workoutsIn two small studies, young athletes felt less fatigued during training. Two small studies suggest lychee derivative supplementation in young athletes shows significant subjective positive effects particularly on the feeling of fatigue during regular track-and-field training, possibly contributing to the maintenance of good conditioning.
Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition; Advances in Exercise and Sports Physiology
coffee5many conditionsgeneral healthgrain / pulse261,000,000coffee health benefitsA review of 218 studies found that coffee lowered the risk of cardiovascular, cancer and general mortality. It also improved type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, gallstones, gout, renal stones and several liver conditions. Finally, coffee consumption seems to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Go get a hit!An umbrella review of 218 meta-analyses concluded: The benefit associated with coffee consumption was supported by significant associations with lower risk for the generic outcomes of all cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and total cancer. Consumption was associated with a lower risk of specific cancers, including prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and liver cancer. Consumption also had beneficial associations with metabolic conditions including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, gallstones, gout, and renal stones and for liver conditions including hepatic fibrosis, cirrhosis, cirrhosis mortality, and chronic liver disease combined. The beneficial associations between consumption and liver conditions stand out as consistently having the highest magnitude compared with other outcomes across exposure categories. Finally, there seems to be beneficial associations between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Overall, there is no consistent evidence of harmful associations between coffee consumption and health outcomes, except for those related to pregnancy and for risk of fracture in women.
British Medical Journal
blueberries4chronic disease / general healthgeneral healthfruitOTW9,780,000blueberries healthCan help prevent and cure chronic inflammatory diseases.The consumption of blueberries is a supplementary function to prevent and cure chronic inflammatory diseases, providing an admirable medical therapy support in order to reduce degenerative damage. However, further studies conducted on larger populations are strongly recommended.
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition; The Natural Products Journal; Journal of Functional Foods; USDA; Innovation in Aging
coffee4asthmageneral healthgrain / pulse29,500,000coffee asthmaCaffeine appears to modestly improve breathing, for up to four hours, in people with asthma. Some trials used caffeine pills rather than coffee.Caffeine appears to improve airways function modestly, for up to four hours, in people with asthma. Some trials used caffeine pills rather than coffee.
quinoa3many conditionsgeneral healthgrain / pulseOTW62,000,000quinoa healthQuinoa could reduce cardio risk and diabetes risk factors and might even reverse the effects of these diseases. There have been a small number of clinical trials, plus numerous cell culture and animal studies. A 2016 review concludes: Including quinoa in the diet could decrease oxidative stress, improve serum lipid profile, help to control body weight and serum glucose, and decrease cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk factors; quinoa may even prove beneficial in reversing the effects of these diseases. There is a justified need for well-designed clinical trials and increased scientific research in this field. of Nutritional and Food Sciences
cherries3many conditionsgeneral healthfruit9,970,000cherries health benefitsReasonably strong evidence that cherries reduce inflamation, blood pressure and muscle soreness after exercise. Limited evidence for beneficial effects on arthritis, diabetes, blood lipids, sleep, cognitive functions, and possibly moodEvidence from published reports is reasonably strong to indicate that consumption of cherries decreased markers for oxidative stress, inflammation, exercise-induced muscle soreness and loss of strength, and blood pressure acutely after ingesting cherries. Limited numbers of published reports also indicate beneficial effects of consuming cherries on arthritis, diabetes, blood lipids, sleep, cognitive functions, and possibly mood. Many of these studies used amounts (45–270 cherries/day) that might be considered to be a high dose. Because of the finite number of studies and some inconsistencies among the results, additional studies are needed to support these claims.
apples2many conditionsgeneral healthfruit42,300,000apples health benefitsLimited evidence in human studies, but apples may reduce blood pressure and blood lipids.There is very limited evidence available from human studies. Preliminary findings show that polyphenols present in apples may potentially have a positive influence on blood lipid parameters and blood pressure in humans. However, firm conclusions cannot be made based on the limited studies available. Further research is needed to evaluate the full potential of polyphenols and their effect on human health. Bulletin
eggshen's eggs, chicken's eggs2eye healthgeneral healthanimal product102,000,000eggs eye healthIncreasing evidence suggests eggs and enhanced egg products may protect eye health.Increasing evidence suggests a beneficial effect of lutein and zeaxanthin on the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Daily consumption of lutein or zeaxanthin enriched egg yolks as well as an egg yolk-based beverage show increases in serum lutein and zeaxanthin levels that are comparable with a daily use of 5 mg supplements.
Plos One; Journal of Nutrition
goji berry wolfberry2eye healthgeneral healthfruit2,550,000goji berry eye healthGoji berry improved markers of eye health in a small study, but the mechanism isn't clear. Goji berry (Lycium barbarum L.) is purported to benefit vision because of its high antioxidant (especially zeaxanthin) content, although this effect has not been demonstrated in high-quality human studies. A small study (150 subjects) found supplementation with goji berry for 90 days increases plasma zeaxanthin and antioxidant levels as well as protects from hypopigmentation and soft drusen accumulation in the macula of elderly subjects. However, the mechanism of action is unclear, given the lack of relationship between change in plasma zeaxanthin and change in macular characteristics. British Journal of Nutrition
wheatgrass juice2many conditionsgeneral healthplant extract1,330,000wheatgrass juice health benefitsWheatgrass may boost chemotherapy results and improve side effects, benefit rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, hematological diseases, diabetes, obesity, and oxidative stress. However, all the trials were small and some were poor quality. Clinical trials show that wheatgrass may induce synergistic benefits to chemotherapy and may attenuate chemotherapy-related side effects, as well as benefit rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, hematological diseases, diabetes, obesity, and oxidative stress. However, all the trials were small and a number of methodological problems arose. in Medicinal Chemistry
açaí berry1weight controlgeneral healthfruit4,530,000açaí berry weight lossThere's no definitive scientific evidence that acai berries have any effect on weight loss.Acai berries are widely marketed for weight loss despite no definitive scientific evidence. Institute of Health
fish oil / omega 31asthmageneral healthanimal product15,300,000fish oil asthmaPopulations with diets high in fish also have low rates of asthma, but there is no evidence that fish oil actually causes those low rates.Eating more fish has been recommended as one way of possibly reducing asthma. Populations with diets high in fish also have low rates of asthma. As diets in other communities have become higher in saturated fats, asthma has also increased. The theory has been that an ingredient in fish oil may reduce inflammation. Inflammation causes the swelling in the airways of the lungs that leads to asthma attacks. However, this review of trials found that people with asthma changing their diets to include more fish oil did not improve their asthma.
blackcurrants2cancergeneral health, ageingfruit659,000blackcurrants cancerLimited evidence that anthocyanins, found in blackcurrents, can allow terminal cancer patients to live longer. But the mechanism is largely unexplained.Limited evidence from clinical data indicates that the use of anthocyanins [as found in blackcurrants] can improve life qualityand might provide a survival advantage in terminal care for cancer patients. However, the availability and stability of anthocyanins in the human body is problematic, and the mechanisms of action remain largely unexplained. Further rigorous scientific investigation and more clinical proof are required.
British Journal of Pharmacology; Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
camu camumyrciaria dubia, camucamu, cacari, camocamo2oxidative stressgeneral health, cancerfruit64,100camu camu oxidative stressOnly two small human studies to date. One showed benefits for smokers. The other showed no change for non-smokers.There have only been two human studies to date, both very small (20 and 12 subjects). One study examined the effect of camu camu on the oxidative stress of smokers, with positive results. The other studied its effect in healthy non-smokers, and reported no change. Thus, there is some very slight evidence that camu camu might be beneficial to those in situations with increased oxidative challenge, such as smoking, physical activity, and after consumption of food. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
turmeric (curcumin)curcuma longa, curcumin (active ingredient)4many conditionsgeneral health, cancer, diabetes, mental healthherb / spiceOTW54,400,000turmeric healthCurcumin has a long list of protective properties. However, very large amounts have to be ingested to get the effects - a problem that researchers are working on solving.
Extensive cell studies and a smaller number of clinical trials have demonstrated neuroprotective, antitumor, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-acidogenic, radioprotective, anti-esophageal, anti-nephrotoxicity, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-angiogeneic, anti-proliferative, anti-immunomodulatory, hepatoprotectivity, antimalarial, anticytotoxicity and anti-diabetic properties. However, clinical applications of curcuminoids are restricted by their poor solubility, low absorption and bioavailability, high metabolism rate, a limitation that can be resolved with various modifications. Overall, it is clear from the studies described that curcuminoids are highly promiscuous and can be used as a novel drug in future. Biology; Reviews of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology; Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine; Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry
amla berryaamla berry, Indian gooseberry, Phyllanthus emblica2oxidative stress in people with kidney failuregeneral health, urinaryfruit1,530,000amla berry kidneyOne small study suggests that Amla berry might increase plasma antioxidant power and decrease oxidative stress in people with kidney failure.Data from one small study suggest that Amla supplementation may increase plasma antioxidant power and decrease oxidative stress in uremic patients. However, Amla extract did not influence hepatic or renal function, or diabetic and atherogenic indices in uremic patients. American Journal of Chinese Medicine
dandeliondandelion soup2tonsillitisinfectionsplant / herb338,000dandelion tonsillitisDandelion might have antimicrobial properties, which could help with throat infections. Dandelion might have antimicrobial properties, which could help with throat infections. Health Care
elderberry2fluinfectionsfruit1,740,000elderberry fluTwo exploratory human studies suggest elderberry extract might be useful in treating flu symptoms. Several in vitro studies together with two exploratory studies in humans and one open study in chimpanzees indicate that the aqueous elderberry extract Sambucol may be useful for the treatment of viral influenza infections. These promising effects of elderberry fruit preparations from experimental and clinical studies should be backed by more rigorous studies before these preparations are recommended in the prevention of diseases and in treatment schedules. Research
honey2coughs in childreninfectionsanimal product35,700,000honey coughHoney is as effective at relieving coughs as some conventional treatments, but less effective than others. Honey probably relieves cough symptoms to a greater extent than no treatment, diphenhydramine, and placebo, but may make little or no difference compared to dextromethorphan. Honey probably reduces cough duration better than placebo and salbutamol. There was no strong evidence for or against using honey.; Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
garlic 1coldsinfectionsplant / herb3,370,000garlic coldsInsufficient clinical trial evidence on the effects of garlic on the common cold. There is insufficient clinical trial evidence regarding the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold.
tomatoes3prostate cancer preventionmen, cancerfruitOTW1,720,000tomatoes prostate cancerA huge review found that those who eat more tomatoes have a lower risk of prostate cancer, but we don't understand the mechanism yet. A review of 30 studies related to tomato consumption and PCa risk were included in a meta-analysis, which summarized data from 24,222 cases and 260,461 participants. The review concluded that increased tomato consumption is inversely associated with prostate cancer risk. Further studies are required to determine the underlying mechanisms of these associations. Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
prickly pear cactusnopal cactus, Opuntia ficus indica1hangovers, inflammationmen, women, general healthvegetable129,000prickly pear hangoverNo evidence that any treatment for a hangover works.No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to practise abstinence or moderation. Medical Journal
sageSalvia officinalis3Alzheimer's, mood, memorymental healthherb / spiceOTW3,670,000sage alzheimer'sSage appears to be safe and effective in enhancing cognitive performance for both healthy patients and those with dementia, but trial quality issues undermine the results. Sage appears to enhance cognitive performance both in healthy subjects and patients with dementia or cognitive impairment and is safe for this indication. Mood-enhancing properties may applications in the treatment of agitation in advanced dementia. There is no report of negative side effects for long-term use. Unfortunately, promising beneficial effects are debased by methodological issues. Further clinical trials of higher quality are needed.
CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics; Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine
coffeecaffeine3Alzheimer's, dementiamental healthgrain / pulse48,500,000coffee dementiaIn several large studies, coffee, tea and caffeine use have shown a protective effect against late-life cognitive decline.Several cross-sectional and longitudinal population-based studies suggested a protective effect of coffee, tea, and caffeine use against late-life cognitive impairment/decline, although the association was not found in all cognitive domains investigated and there was a lack of a distinct dose-response association, with a stronger effect among women than men. Furthermore, for dementia and AD prevention, some studies with baseline examination in midlife pointed to a lack of association, although other case-control and longitudinal population-based studies with briefer follow-up periods supported favourable effects of coffee, tea, and caffeine consumption against AD.
The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging; Archives of Medical Science; Nutrition
peppersbell peppers, sweet peppers2Parkinson's diseasemental healthfruitOTW574,000peppers Parkinson's diseaseVegetables from the solenaceae family, specifically peppers, may protect against Parkinson's.Multiple observational studies show vegetables from the solenaceae family, specifically peppers, have a protective effect, possibly due to their nicotine content. Full clinical trials are warranted. Academic Works
fish oil / omega 31dementia preventionmental healthanimal product9,140,000fish oil dementiaFish oil supplements have no benefit on cognitive function in healthy older people. The results of the available studies show no benefit for cognitive function with omega‐3 PUFA supplementation among cognitively healthy older people.
fish oil / omega 32child intelligencemental health, childrencompound31,900,000fish oil omega 3 child intelligenceFish oil supplementation has a very minor positive impact on some measures of learning and performance.Fish oil supplementation has a very minor positive impact on some measures of learning and performance.; Research in Developmental Disabilities
coffee4depressionmental health, womengrain / pulse123,000,000coffee depressionCoffee and caffeine are associated with a decreased risk of depression.Coffee and caffeine consumption were significantly associated with decreased risk of depression in a meta-review of human observation studies (~370,000 subjects in total).
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry; Molecular Nutrition and Food Research
nattōfermented soy2bone healthmusculoskeletalmicrobeOTW3,100,000fermented soy milk bone healthNattō (fermented soy milk) may prevent bone loss in post-menopausal women. Preliminary findings show that fermented soymilk may prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women. However, further studies with a larger number of subjects per group are required to evaluate trends showing a positive effect on hormones, bone formation and cardiovascular disease risk.; Climacteric
pineapple3osteoarthritismusculoskeletalfruit578,000pineapple osteoarthritisResults are mixed. One study recorded a short-term effect, but no long-term effect. Another found significant improvements. Results are mixed. One recent study concluded bromelain (found in pineapple) has no difference in reducing symptoms of mild-to-moderate knee OA after 4 weeks when compared with diclofenac, but did work in the short-term (>4wks). Another found significant improvement in reducing pain in patients treated with oral enzymes and diclofenac sodium combination therapy.
Clinical Rheumatology; Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
horsetailEquisetum arvense, shavegrass, common horsetail, field horsetail, tsukushi2osteoporosismusculoskeletalvegetable98,600horsetail osteoporosisA small, old study showed horsetail improved bone density in menopausal women. Contains silicon, a mineral needed for bone health. An old (1999) study of menopausal women treated with titrated dry horsetail extract for 40 or 80 days showed improved bone density above placebo. Improvements were enhanced when the women took horsetail in combination with calcium.
krill oil1arthritismusculoskeletalanimal product650,000krill oil arthritisMarine oils might have a slight effect on arthritis pain, but the evidence is poor quality. Meta-analysis suggests a small favorable effect of marine oil in reducing pain in patients with arthritis, but the evidence was of low quality. More research is needed in order to provide evidence for firm conclusions regarding the effect of marine oil in OA and other types of arthritis, but also regarding the optimal dose, ratio of EPA and DHA, and which type of marine oil is preferable.
elk velvet antlerelk antler velvet1rheumatoid arthritismusculoskeletalanimal product45,300elk velvet antler arthritisNo good quality evidence for elk velvet antler as a treatment for arthritis. Claims made for velvet antler supplements do not appear to be based upon rigorous research from human trials. New Zealand Medical Journal
cordyceps sinensisophiocordyceps sinensis, caterpillar fungus, yartsa gunbu, yatsa gunbu, Dōng chóng xià cǎo, bailing3kidney healthurinaryfungus200,000cordyceps sinensis kidneyCordyceps mushrooms, taken alongside conventional medicine, shows potential promise in improving kidney health. More high-quality research is needed.Cordyceps preparation, as an adjuvant therapy to conventional medicine, showed potential promise to decrease serum creatinine, increase creatine clearance, reduce proteinuria and alleviate CKD‐associated complications, such as increased haemoglobin and serum albumin. However, definitive conclusions could not be made because of the low quality of evidence.
nettlesstinging nettle, Urtica dioica3urinary symptomsurinary, menvegetable774,000nettles urinarySome studies have shown nettle extracts can treat benign prostatic hypertrophy, while others have provided contradictory or uncertain results. Although earlier reviews suggested stinging nettle extracts may be useful in the treatment of mild to moderate symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy, more recent reviews have noted the contradictory outcomes of individual studies and the fact that other studies suggesting efficacy were done with combination products that included stinging nettle but also several other potentially active ingredients. Toxicities in the
studies have generally been mild. of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews
cranberry productscranberry juice, cranberries1urinary tract infectionsurinary, womenplant / herb880,000cranberry urinary tract infectionsThere is no statistically significant evidence that cranberry juice or supplements prevent UTIs. There is no statistically significant evidence that cranberry juice or supplements prevent UTIs.
coconut oilCocos nucifera4weight controlweight controlplant extract74,300,000coconut oil weight lossReplacing other cooking oils with coconut oil could lead to modest weight loss. But better studies needed.Replacement of long chain triglycerides with medium-chain triglycerides (MTCs) [as found in coconut oil] in the diet could potentially induce modest reductions in body weight and composition without adversely affecting lipid profiles. However, further research is required by independent research groups using large, well-designed studies to confirm the efficacy of MCT and to determine the dosage needed for the management of a healthy body weight and composition. of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
eggshen's eggs, chicken's eggs4appetiteweight controlanimal product29,300,000eggs appetiteEating eggs keeps you fuller for longer, reducing appetite through the day. They might also regulate blood glucose and insulin in the body. Eating eggs, particularly for breakfast, may keep you feeling fuller for longer – reducing feelings of hunger over the next 4-36 hours – and may also reduce food intake and regulate blood glucose and insulin levels. Research
seaweed3weight lossweight controlalga9,040,000seaweed weight lossSeaweed might increase fullness, reduce energy intake and support weight loss, but longer trials are needed for firm conclusions.The majority of studies assessing the short-term effects of alginate consumption indicate that alginate may increase satiety, reduce energy intake and support weight reduction. Mechanisms suggested for these effects include delayed gastric clearance, stimulation of gastric stretch receptorsand attenuated nutrient absorption. Long-term studies in humans are required in order to allow firm conclusions.
Food Science and Human Wellness; Obesity Reviews
pu-erh teapu'er tea, black Chinese tea1weight lossweight controlplant extract474,000pu-erh tea weight lossA very small study found that participants lost significantly more weight over 8 weeks when drinking pu-erh tea.A fermented dark Chinese tea with high gallic acid content. Demonstrated to elicit antiobese effects in animals. We could only find one human study. 36 preobese Japanese adults drank powdered barley tea with or without pu-erh tea extract for 12 weeks. After 8 weeks, the pu-erh tea group had lost significantly more weight, reduced their waist circumference and visceral fat. Research
ecklonia cava seaweed3cholesterol, weight lossweight control, cardioalga62,600ecklonia cava cholesterolThere's evidence that seaweed supplements can combat several mechanisms behind the onset of cardiovascular disease. Ecklonia in particular has been shown to decrease cholesterol.A review suggests there is evidence that diet supplementation with whole macroalgae or products of macroalgae origin can ameliorate several mechanisms underlying the onset and propagation of CVDs. One study of ecklonia cava in particular (80 subjects) concluded that ECE supplementation improved blood lipid profiles through decreasing total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels which are known as major cardiovascular risk factors. More studies are needed to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness. Drugs
fermented kimchi2body weight, metabolic parametersweight control, cardiomicrobe3,230,000kimchi weight lossA small trial found fermented kimchi improved factors associated with metabolic syndrome. Not the case with non-fermented kimchi. Kimchi is a Korean fermented vegetable condiment. A small trial of 22 overweight and obese patients found the ingestion of fermented kimchi had positive effects on various factors associated with metabolic syndrome, including systolic and diastolic blood pressures, percent body fat, fasting glucose, and total cholesterol, compared with the fresh kimchi. These results suggest that the maturity of kimchi (fresh vs fermented) may affect obesity, lipid metabolism, and inflammatory processes.
grapefruit2weight loss, cardiovascular healthweight control, cardiofruit17,200,000grapefruit weight lossSome evidence that grapefruit decreases blood pressure, but doesn't appear to help with weight loss. A review of 3 randomized clinical trials looking into body weight, blood pressure, and lipid profile in overweight and obese subjects concluded that grapefruit made no difference to bodyweight, but appeared to decrease systolic blood pressure. However, paucity in the number of RCTs, short durations of interventions, and lack of an established minimum effective dose limit the conclusions that can be drawn about the effects of grapefruit on body weight and metabolic parameters. Further clinical trials evaluating the effects of grapefruit are warranted. Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition