First he was the Central Otago representative at this year’s Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year. Then he was the National winner. Now Simon Gourley is New Zealand’s Young Horticulturist of the year.
The study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, contributes to mounting research on the benefits of anthocyanin-rich NZ blackcurrants on exercise recovery and post-exercise immune function.
“NZ blackcurrants may have benefits for those living an active lifestyle,” says Dr Roger Hurst, a biomedical scientist leading the work at Plant & Food Research.
This new study looked at the minimum serve size required and found that consumption of a single serve of 1.6mg of NZ blackcurrant anthocyanins per kg of bodyweight taken one hour before exercise had positive effects on exercise recovery.
According to this study, the benefits are unlikely to be attributable to the antioxidant properties of the extract and more likely due to the blackcurrant extract activating adaptive defensive pathways in cells and tissues.
A separate pilot trial explored the effects of the NZ blackcurrant supplement on immune function, which can be compromised following prolonged or intense exercise.
The researchers looked at neutrophils – the body’s first line of defence against infection – and found that consumption of the NZ blackcurrant extract one hour prior to exercise preserved circulating neutrophil function. This could benefit active people wanting to maintain performance and avoid decreased immune function that can accompany training.
Previous studies by Plant & Food Research found that NZ blackcurrants could promote a positive mood and the desire to exercise for longer.
Other intervention studies are underway.