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British scientist identifies how nutritional intervention could help those most at risk from COVID

New Zealand Black Currant Supplement – CurraNZ – after 7 days can help reduce obesity driven inflammation by 24% and whole-body insulin sensitivity by 22%


WITH experts claiming Britain’s obesity and Diabetes crisis as one of the main reasons behind the nation’s alarming Covid-19 mortality rates, the spotlight has fallen on how we can urgently find a way for millions of overweight Brits to lose weight and cut their risk factors.

One in three UK adults is obese and suffers a 48% greater risk of dying from Covid-19. As fat cells act as a reservoir for Covid-19, those with a high body mass suffer from an increased viral load and are at greater risk of experiencing aggravated symptoms.

Being overweight, having immune-system fatigue and possessing high levels of inflammation are central to the conversation for those at greatest risk of Covid-19.

Overweight individuals typically develop chronic inflammation, which leads to insulin resistance, poor blood flow and increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

But one British researcher has identified a fast-acting nutritional intervention that has been shown to fight inflammation and improve these health markers – and it’s affordable, natural and requires very little effort.

Dr Sam Shepherd, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at John Moores Liverpool University, has focused his recent research attentions on the polyphenol-rich New Zealand blackcurrant, CurraNZ which he believes could offer an easy way for Brits to cut their risk of Type 2 Diabetes, improve fat burning and reduce obesity-driven inflammation.

Dr Shepherd’s research1 has shown that overweight individuals, tested in free-living conditions, slashed their obesity-driven inflammation 24%. They also improved their post-breakfast and lunch blood sugar levels and improved whole-body insulin sensitivity a staggering 22% after just one week’s intake of CurraNZ.

This is highly significant, because insulin resistance promotes fat storage, causes weight gain and can lead to the development of Type 2 Diabetes.

Dr Shepherd says: “It’s an exciting finding because whilst the population group we studied were inactive and overweight or obese, they weren’t metabolically unhealthy. Because we have shown a positive effect in this population, then when you move up the spectrum of disease towards Type 2 Diabetes, we could expect the effects of New Zealand blackcurrant (CurraNZ) to potentially be even greater.


“We know that exercise and specific diets can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and CurraNZ provides an additional approach.

“The big difference is its implementation, as unlike exercise and diet, taking two blackcurrant capsules a day doesn’t require a lot of effort from the user.”

Scientists are showing that the berry offers a double action for helping tackle obesity, thanks to its recently-discovered effect on making the body favour fat as fuel2,3,4,5,6,7. Plus, it appears to be more effective in overweight individuals and those with the poorest rates of fat burning3.

Dr Shepherd has also shown that one week of the berry extract improves fat burning on average 30% in trained women cyclists during moderate-intensity activity2, equivalent to improvements normally only seen after a month’s daily exercise.

This previously unknown quality in this antioxidant-rich berry has been linked to their effect on circulation. Clinical trials8,9 have shown that CurraNZ increases cardiac function and main arterial blood flow by 35%, and is thought to be part of the underlying mechanism for boosting fat burning.

A recent breakthrough from the University of Chichester3 has revealed the berry can be even more effective in individuals with a higher body mass index (BMI), with fat burning increases of up to 106% during 30 minutes of brisk walking.

The findings are significant for overweight and obese individuals, who suffer from lower rates of fat burning.

Dr Shepherd says: “The additional benefits for fat oxidation and blood flow are all linked to an improvement in insulin sensitivity.

“We’re now starting to build a picture of how New Zealand blackcurrant anthocyanin extract is working to improve health. We’ve demonstrated it can improve whole body insulin sensitivity and further studies will look at whether this is related to improved fat oxidation, or blood flow, or something else.

“For now, what we do know is that the New Zealand blackcurrant anthocyanin extract, is great news for helping to cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, improving metabolic and glycaemic responses, as well as cardiovascular function.”

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