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4/23/14 (under construction)
Previous newsletters

Anti-aging Newsletter for the seven days ending 4/16/14:

Note:  It was a slow week for health news.  I held off half a day for more news.  I think everyone is on spring break.

Marijuana Re-Shapes Brains of Users, Study Claims - NBC News, 4/15/14 - "Anytime you find there’s a relationship to the amount of marijuana consumed, and you see differences of core brain regions involved in processing of rewards, the making of decisions, the ability to assess emotions, that is a serious issue ... When we saw that there was a consistent abnormality and that it was directly related to the amount of cannabis one took in, it gave us some significant pause ... Seeing these differences raises a cautionary flag that we need to do more research" - [Fox]

More Fractures Seen When Vitamin D Is Consistently Low - Medscape, 4/15/14 - "Adequate levels of vitamin D help increase calcium absorption from the gut, and both calcium and vitamin D are important in terms of bone health ... The remaining question, said Dr. Judge, is "Would intervening with the women with the lowest 25OHD levels decrease their risk of fractures?" He continued, "I believe the evidence suggests that the answer is yes. The working hypothesis is that vitamin D reduces fractures in elderly people by improving balance and reducing the risk of falls, rather than through its effect on bone density."" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Fifty Years On, Half As Many Americans Now Smoke, but… - Medscape, 4/14/14 - "The 1964 report heralded the beginning of a dramatic change in the United States — from smoking being accepted as a social norm to becoming a social stigma" - Note:  I see the same thing happening with marijuana.   When I was a kid, grown-ups thought I was a nut for criticizing tobacco.  Sometimes it seems inconceivable that people ignore what is so obvious.  50 years from now saying marijuana is medicinal will sound as ridiculous as doctors doing cigarette commercials 50 years ago seems today.

Can Coffee Treat Liver Disease? - Medscape, 4/14/14 - "Current studies suggest that caffeine binds to adenosine receptors and reduces the development of hepatic fibrosis from liver injury by limiting stellate cell activation and the secretion of connective-tissue growth factors and collagen.[4] The diterpenes cafestol and kahweol present in coffee can increase cholesterol formation, but cafestol and kahweol are retained on paper filters during coffee brewing ... Alcohol (ethanol) consumption and cigarette smoking can increase gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) levels.[6] Coffee appears to reduce circulating levels of GGT ... Alcoholics who also drank coffee had a significant reduction in the risk for alcoholic cirrhosis ... Whether the effect of coffee on liver disease is related to caffeine or some other agent in coffee is not clear. However, many studies have failed to show a significant effect of other caffeine-containing drinks, such as green or black tea, on reducing fibrosis or inhibiting the development of HCC"

Taking iron improves women's exercise performance, study shows - Science Daily, 4/11/14 - "iron supplementation improved women's exercise performance, in terms of both the highest level they could achieve at 100% exertion (maximal capacity) and their exercise efficiency at a submaximal exertion. Women who were given iron were able to perform a given exercise using a lower heart rate and at a higher efficiency ... Iron deficiency can also produce fatigue and lethargy and eventually result in iron deficiency anemia" - See the abstract below.  See iron supplements at Amazon.com.

Study Links Coffee to Lower Liver Cancer Risk - WebMD, 4/9/14 - "the study started in the 1990s, researchers asked nearly 180,000 adults of different racial and ethnic backgrounds about their coffee drinking and other lifestyle habits ... tracked for as long as 18 years ... People who said they drank one to three cups of coffee a day had a 29 percent reduced risk of liver cancer compared to those who drank six cups or less each week. And more was apparently better: People who regularly had more than four cups of coffee a day had a 42 percent reduced risk ... coffee has close to 100 active compounds including antioxidants, polyphenols and caffeine. It's also known to affect liver enzymes"

Regular aerobic exercise boosts memory area of brain in older women - Science Daily, 4/9/14 - "The researchers tested the impact of different types of exercise on the hippocampal volume of 86 women who said they had mild memory problems, known as mild cognitive impairment -- and a common risk factor for dementia ... All the women were aged between 70 and 80 years old ... the results showed that the total volume of the hippocampus in the group who had completed the full six months of aerobic training was significantly larger than that of those who had lasted the course doing balance and muscle toning exercises ... No such difference in hippocampal volume was seen in those doing resistance training compared with the balance and muscle toning group ... at the very least, aerobic exercise seems to be able to slow the shrinkage of the hippocampus and maintain the volume in a group of women who are at risk of developing dementia"

BPA and related chemicals: Human safety thresholds for endocrine disrupting chemicals may be inaccurate - Science Daily, 4/8/14 - "Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are compounds that interfere with animal hormone (or endocrine) systems in various ways. Sometimes, this can lead to developmental problems, including those of the reproductive system. Over the past four decades, human sperm counts have been markedly decreasing and the rate of testicular cancer rates has risen. Meanwhile, the occurance of undescended testicles and abnormally developed male urethras are also thought to be increasing. Evidence suggests that these male reproductive disorders are at least partially due to the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals which are becoming increasingly concentrated and prevalent in the environment and that these EDs act on the testis during fetal development" - Note how the media has been sensationalizing the endocrine disruption of BPA but doesn't seem to want to irritate their readers with the endocrine disruption caused my marijuana which is probably even worse.  I'm against both.

Abstracts from this week:

The Effects of α-Tocopherol on Bone: A Double-Edged Sword? - Nutrients. 2014 Apr 10;6(4):1424-1441 - "Recent studies have found conflicting evidence on the role of α-tocopherol (αTF) on bone health ... Our review found that αTF exerted beneficial, harmful or null effects on bone formation cells. Animal studies generally showed positive effects of αTF supplementation on bone in various models of osteoporosis. However, high-dose αTF was possibly detrimental to bone in normal animals. Human studies mostly demonstrated a positive relationship between αTF, as assessed using high performance liquid chromatography and/or dietary questionnaire, and bone health, as assessed using bone mineral density and/or fracture incidence. Three possible reasons high dosage of αTF can be detrimental to bone include its interference with Vitamin K function on bone, the blocking of the entry of other Vitamin E isomers beneficial to bone, and the role of αTF as a prooxidant. However, these adverse effects have not been shown in human studies" - See Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com.

Gender-specific associations between lipids and cognitive decline in the elderly - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Feb 17 - "In men, a hypercholesterolemic pattern in late-life (high total cholesterol (T-C), low HDL-C, high LDL-C levels) was associated with a 25 to 50% increased risk of decline over 7 years in psychomotor speed, executive abilities, and verbal fluency ... In contrast, in women, a 30% higher rate of decline was found in psychomotor speed with high HDL-C levels and in executive abilities with low levels of LDL-C and triglycerides, in interaction with hormonal treatment. For men and women, vascular pathologies only slightly outweighed the risk related to lipids. This suggests a complex gender-specific pattern of cognitive decline involving genetic vulnerability in men and hormonal status in women" - Note:  Did I read that right?  HDL-C is good for cognition in men but bad for cognition in women?

beta-alanine supplementation improves tactical performance but not cognitive function in combat soldiers - J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Apr 10;11(1):15 - "Twenty soldiers (20.1 +/- 0.9 years) from an elite combat unit were randomly assigned to either a beta-alanine (BA) or placebo (PL) group. Soldiers were involved in advanced military training, including combat skill development, navigational training, self-defense/hand-to-hand combat and conditioning. All participants performed a 4-km run, 5-countermovement jumps using a linear position transducer, 120-m sprint, a 10-shot shooting protocol with assault rifle, including overcoming a misfire, and a 2-min serial subtraction test to assess cognitive function before (Pre) and after (Post) 28 days of supplementation ... The training routine resulted in significant increases in 4-km run time for both groups, but no between group differences were seen (p = 0.597). Peak jump power at Post was greater for BA than PL (p = 0.034), while mean jump power for BA at Post was 10.2% greater (p = 0.139) than PL. BA had a significantly greater (p = 0.012) number of shots on target at Post (8.2 +/- 1.0) than PL (6.5 +/- 2.1), and their target engagement speed at Post was also significantly faster" - See beta-alanine at Amazon.com.

Iron Supplementation Benefits Physical Performance in Women of Reproductive Age: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis - J Nutr. 2014 Apr 9 - "women of reproductive age (WRA) ... Daily iron supplementation significantly improves maximal and submaximal exercise performance in WRA, providing a rationale to prevent and treat iron deficiency in this group" - See iron supplements at Amazon.com.

Antidepressant Effects of Resveratrol in an Animal Model of Depression - Behav Brain Res. 2014 Apr 6 - "More recently resveratrol was shown to alleviate depressive-like symptoms induced by stress or other means in mice and rats ... forced swim test (FST: a measure of helplessness) ... Both acute and chronic administration of resveratrol resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in FST ... These findings indicate an antidepressant-like effect of resveratrol in an animal model of depression possibly via activation of hippocampal BDNF, and suggest therapeutic potential of resveratrol in at least a subpopulation of depressed patients" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

Fish Consumption and Lung Cancer Risk: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis - Nutr Cancer. 2014 Apr 7 - "The pooled results from all studies indicated that high fish consumption was significantly associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer (pooled RR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.69-0.92)" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.

Curcumin counteracts loss of force and atrophy of hindlimb-unloaded rat soleus by hampering nNOS untethering from sarcolemma - J Physiol. 2014 Apr 7 - "curcumin represents an effective and safe tool to upregulate Grp94 muscle levels and to maintain muscle function during unweighting" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

USB 3.0 jumps to light speed with new 10-meter optical cabl - PC World, 4/15/14 - "The optical cable is compatible with existing USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports on cameras, storage devices, printers, displays and other peripherals ... They can maintain data transfer rates of 5Gbps (bits per second), unlike copper cables where data transfer can slow down over longer distances" - See USB 3.OpticalTM Cable, A plug to A receptacle, 10 meter.

Health Focus (Apple Cider Vinergar):

Specific Recommendations:

News & Research:

  • Alkaline-Forming Food Chart - Bone Health - betterbones.com - I was surprised to see apple cider vinegar on it.
  • The Surprising Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar - U.S. News, 12/6/13 - "Weight loss ... Growth Hormone Production ... Iron Use ... Mood Enhancement"
  • Does a Spoonful of Vinegar Make the Sugar Go Down? - Medscape, 2/16/12
  • Really? - The Claim - Vinegar Can Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels - NYTimes.com, 11/23/09 - "THE BOTTOM LINE Studies suggest that adding vinegar to a meal may reduce its impact on blood sugar"
  • New Evidence That Vinegar May Be Natural Fat-fighter - Science Daily, 6/22/09 - "Their new study showed that laboratory mice fed a high-fat diet and given acetic acid developed significantly less body fat (up to 10 percent less) than other mice. Importantly, the new research adds evidence to the belief that acetic acid fights fat by turning on genes for fatty acid oxidation enzymes. The genes churn out proteins involved in breaking down fats, thus suppressing body fat accumulation in the body"
  • Could vinegar be natural fat fighter? - Nutra USA, 6/18/09 - "fed mice a high-fat diet, with 50 per cent of energy coming from fat, and treated the animals with 1.5 per cent vinegar (high-dose group), 0.3 per cent vinegar (low-dose group), or water (control group) ... the researchers noted that that both vinegar groups produced reductions in fat mass of about 10 per cent, with no apparent dose-dependent effect, compared to the control mice ... The results of this study suggest that acetic acid suppresses body fat accumulation by increasing fatty oxidation and thermogenesis in the liver through PPAR-alpha" - [Abstract]
  • Dietary Strategies for Improving Post-Prandial Glucose, Lipids, and More - Medscape, 1/29/08 - "The amount and type of carbohydrate consumed with a meal is a major determinant of the post-prandial glucose excursion.[21] The glycemic index of a food is defined as the incremental increase in the area under the post-prandial glucose curve after ingestion of 50 g of a specific food compared with that noted after ingestion of 50 g of oral glucose. A meal such as white bread and jelly with a glycemic index of 80 will result in a 2-fold higher incremental increase in glucose compared with an isocaloric meal of whole-grain bread and peanut butter with a glycemic index of 40. Most studies show that diets rich in high-glycemic-index, low-fiber foods independently increase the risk of both CV disease and type 2 diabetes ... Excess intake of processed carbohydrates sets up a vicious cycle whereby the transient spikes in blood glucose and insulin early after a meal trigger reactive hypoglycemia and hunger.[25] The chronic consumption of a diet high in processed carbohydrates leads to excess visceral fat, which increases both insulin resistance and inflammation and predisposes to diabetes, hypertension, and CV disease.[25] In contrast, restriction of refined carbohydrates will improve the post-prandial levels of both glucose and triglycerides and can reduce intra-abdominal fat, particularly in individuals with insulin resistance ... Recent studies show that 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar, when added to a meal containing high-glycemic-index foods such as white bread or white rice, will both: 1) lower post-prandial glucose by 25% to 35% (Fig. 5), and 2) increase post-meal satiety by more than 2-fold.[32] Thus the addition of vinegar to a standard meal can not only improve the meal-induced oxidant stress by blunting the post-prandial glucose excursion, but also can increase and prolong satiety, which should help to reduce food cravings and lower caloric intake over the subsequent 2 to 4 h" - See apple cider vinegar at Amazon.com - 4.5 tablets equals about 3 tablespoons by my calculations.  I've been popping 4 of these with meals for years and more and more research keeps backing me up.    If 1 to 2 tablespoons is correct you could get by with just two tablets.
  • Vinegar at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Level in Type 2 Diabetics - Medscape, 12/4/07 - "The investigators report that the vinegar treatment was especially effective for subjects with a typical fasting glucose greater than 7.2 mmol/L (n = 6). Fasting glucose in these participants was reduced 6% compared with a reduction of 0.7% in those with a typical fasting glucose less than 7.2 mmol/L"
  • Vinegar may help dieters eat less - Nutra USA, 9/7/05 - "Both glucose and insulin responses were about 25 per cent lower at 90 minutes when the volunteers had consumed the highest level of vinegar compared to the reference meal ... This level of vinegar is equivalent to about two to three tablespoons"
  • Vinegar as a Sweet Solution? - Science News, 12/18/04 - "2 tablespoons of vinegar before a meal—perhaps, as part of a vinaigrette salad dressing—will dramatically reduce the spike in blood concentrations of insulin and glucose that come after a meal ... vinegar cut their blood-glucose rise in the first hour after a meal by about half ... a 2-pound weight loss, on average, over the 4 weeks in the vinegar group"


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