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Japanese researchers observe anti-stress and antioxidant effects of raw cane sugar.

Modern life can be somewhat stressful and excessive stress is related to a wide variety of diseases. It is thought certain foods can help relieve stress through antioxidant activity and by suppressing stress biomarkers in serum. Many such studies now investigate the anti-stress properties of various dietary supplements. In one recent study at Kagoshima University by Yukiko et al., Kokuto, an unrefined form of cane sugar, was reported to possess potential antioxidant and anti-stress properties. However, the associated mechanisms of action require further investigation. This particular study focused on the non-sugar components of Kokuto. The authors investigated antioxidant status and how serum corticosterone level (used as a stress marker) was affected in restraint-stressed mice treated with Kokuto extracts. Serum corticosterone was measured using Arbor Assays’ Corticosterone Enzyme Immunoassay Kit, K014-H1/H5. Oral administration of a methanol Kokuto extract suppressed both corticosterone secretion into the serum and showed a reduction of antioxidant activity in liver tissue of restraint-stressed mice. Analysis of the methanol extracted fraction identified five antioxidative phenolic compounds including p-coumaric acid. Previous reports show that p-coumaric acid exhibits considerable GABAergic activity, and oral administration of p-coumaric acid produce a strong anti-anxiety effect in rats, similar to the anxiety-reducing effects of orally administered diazepam. This study provides additional insight into the potential health benefits found in Kukuto and the potential benefits of dietary supplements with anti-oxidative and anti-stress properties.

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