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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 5/26/10.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

15 best age-erasing superfoods - MSNBC, 5/25/10 - "Yogurt ... Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food’s health benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions of probiotic organisms that serve as reinforcements to the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body, which keep your digestive tract healthy and your immune system in top form, and provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic, though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.”"

Top sunscreens? Consumer Reports ranks best - MSNBC, 5/25/10 - "The top 4 sunscreens rated by Consumer Reports, based on how well they protected against UVA and UVB rays while worn on volunteers who soaked in water for 40 or 80 minutes ... Up & Up Sport Continuous (Target) spray SPF 30 ... Walgreens Sport Continous spray SPF 50 ... Banana Boat Sport Performance Continuous spray SPF 30 ... Aveeno Continuous Protection spray SPF 50 .... And the lowest scoring sunscreens: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40 with Mexoryl SX crea SPF 40 ($18.82 per ounce) ... Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535 Expedition pump spray SPF 30 (Doesn't block UVA rays) ... Burt's Bees Chemical-Free with Hemp Seed Oil lotion SPF 30 (Doesn't block entire UVA spectrum)"

More 'good' cholesterol is not always good for your health - Science Daily, 5/25/10 - "Patients in the high-risk subgroup were characterized as having high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a well-known marker of inflammation, in addition to high HDL cholesterol. Study authors believe genetics and environmental factors, particularly inflammation, influence whether high levels of HDL cholesterol are protective or if they increase cardiovascular risk in individual patients. Given an inflammatory environment, an individual's unique set of genes helps determine whether HDL cholesterol transforms from a good actor to a bad actor in the heart disease process"

Bacteria as a predicter of colorectal cancer - Science Daily, 5/25/10 - "Several bacterial signatures were detected only in subjects with polyps, others only in subjects without polyps. Eubacterium ramulus was increased in the stools of subjects with polyps while Ruminococcus sp and a human intestine firmicute were increased in subjects without polyps. In tissue samples, Acidovorax sp. was found more frequently in subjects with polyps. Other bacterial signatures that differed between cases and controls were observed but did not match any know bacteria, suggesting unidentified and uncharacterized bacteria are also present"

Folate prevents alcohol-induced congenital heart defects in mice, study finds - Science Daily, 5/24/10 - "A new animal study has found that high levels of the B-vitamin folate (folic acid) prevented heart birth defects induced by alcohol exposure in early pregnancy"

Drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages may lower blood pressure - Science Daily, 5/24/10 - ""Our findings suggest that reducing sugar-sweetened beverages and sugar consumption may be an important dietary strategy to lower blood pressure and further reduce other blood pressure-related diseases," Chen said. "It has been estimated that a 3-millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) reduction in systolic blood pressure should reduce stroke mortality by 8 percent and coronary heart disease mortality by 5 percent. Such reductions in systolic blood pressure would be anticipated by reducing sugar-sweetened beverages consumption by an average of 2 servings per day ... a reduction of one serving/day of SSB was associated with a 1.8 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) drop in systolic pressure and a 1.1 mm Hg decline in diastolic pressure over 18 months"

Bilberry-pine bark mix shows eye health benefits - Nutra USA, 5/24/10 - "One group received daily Mirtogenol supplements (40 mg Pycnogenol, 80 mg Mirtoselect), one group received Latanoprost eye drops, and the third group received a combination of both ... After 24 weeks of intervention, the researchers noted a reduction of blood pressure in the eye from an average of 38.1 to 29.0 mmHg in the Mirtogenol group, from 37.7 to 27.2 mmHg in the Latanoprost group, and from 38.0 to 23.0 mmHg in the combined group. Normal eye pressure is reported to range from 10 to 21 mmHg"

Vitamin E may boost immune function: Mouse study - Science Daily, 5/20/10 - "The animals were fed 0.1 per cent Tocomin 50 per cent (Carotech), which is a mixture of tocotrienols and alpha-tocopherols, or a control diet containing only tocopherol, for six weeks ... Older mice fed the tocotrienol supplement displayed a greater level of lymphocyte proliferation, a marker of how quickly white blood cells can reproduce in response to infection, than old mice fed the control ... mice of both ages fed the tocotrienol supplement had higher levels of the interleukin-1beta, a cytokine released by immune cells (macrophages). ... There are eight forms of vitamin E: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). Alpha-tocopherol (alpha-Toc) is the main source found in supplements and in the European diet, while gamma-tocopherol (gamma-Toc) is the most common form in the American diet" - [Abstract] - See Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com.

Abdominal fat at middle age associated with greater risk of dementia: Obesity linked to lower total brain volume - Science Daily, 5/20/10 - "excess abdominal fat places otherwise healthy, middle-aged people at risk for dementia later in life ... 24.3 million people have some form of dementia, with 4.6 million new cases annually"

Yogurt-like drink DanActive reduced rate of common infections in daycare children - Science Daily, 5/19/10 - "Researchers found a 19 percent decrease of common infections among the children who drank the yogurt-like drink with L. casei DN-114 001 compared to those whose drink did not have the probiotic. More specifically, those who drank DanActive had 24 percent fewer gastrointestinal infections (such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting), and 18 percent fewer upper respiratory tract infections (such as ear infections, sinusitis and strep). However, the reduction in infections did not result in fewer missed school days or activities -- also a primary outcome of the study" - [Abstract] - Note:  For what it's worth, I tried Activa in my yogurt maker and it worked fine however Activa has fruit mixed with it but most of it flouted to the top and I was able to skim it off.

Canned Food May Expose People to BPA - WebMD, 5/18/10 - "A study conducted by a coalition of consumer and food safety groups found detectable levels of BPA in 46 of 50 grocery store cans tested. The results suggest BPA routinely leaches from can linings into food ... The highest BPA level detected was 1,140 parts per billion, found in a can of Del Monte French Style Green Beans"

'Female Viagra' May Treat Low Sexual Desire - WebMD, 5/18/10 - "Flibanserin, an antidepressant-like drug, makes sex more satisfying for some premenopausal women distressed over their low sexual desire"

Abstracts from this week's Doctor's Guide Nutrition/Dietetics plus abstracts from my RSS feeds (Click here for the journals, the PubMed ones at the top):

Effect of dutasteride, tamsulosin and the combination on patient-reported quality of life and treatment satisfaction in men with moderate-to-severe benign prostatic hyperplasia: 4-year data from the CombAT study - Int J Clin Pract. 2010 May 7 - "Subjects were randomised to receive 0.5 mg dutasteride, 0.4 mg tamsulosin or the combination once daily for 4 years ... At 4 years, combination therapy resulted in significantly superior improvements from baseline in BII and IPSS Q8 than either monotherapy; these benefits were observed from 3 months onwards compared with dutasteride and from 9 months (BII) or 12 months (IPSS Q8) onwards compared with tamsulosin. Also at 4 years, the PPSM questionnaire showed that a significantly higher proportion of patients was satisfied with, and would request treatment with, combination therapy compared with either monotherapy. Conclusions: Combination therapy (dutasteride plus tamsulosin) provides significantly superior improvements in patient-reported quality of life and treatment satisfaction than either monotherapy at 4 years in men with moderate-to-severe BPH symptoms" - See dutasteride at OffshoreRx.com.

Tea consumption and risk of ovarian cancer - Cancer Causes Control. 2010 May 20 - "We also systemically reviewed all the available evidence regarding the potential association between green tea and risk of ovarian cancer, given the abundance of bioavailable polyphenols and higher antioxidant capacity of green tea than black tea, to provide the best summary estimate of the association. RESULTS: In our case-control study, while we found uniformly inverse odds ratios (OR) for tea drinkers compared to non-tea drinkers [4 + cups/day any tea OR 0.71 (95% CI 0.52-0.97); green tea OR 0.82 (95% CI 0.38-1.79); herbal tea OR 0.77 (95% CI 0.28-2.14): black tea OR 0.88 (95% CI 0.66-1.18)], we saw no dose-response trends. Our meta-analysis provided some evidence that women who drink green tea have a lower risk of ovarian cancer, although the summary estimate did not reach statistical significance (0.58, 95% CI 0.33-1.01 for >/=1 cup/green tea day). This result is consistent with two recent meta-analyses that evaluated the association of tea (all types combined) and ovarian cancer risk" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Reducing the risk of infection in the elderly by dietary intake of yoghurt fermented with Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus OLL1073R-1 - Br J Nutr. 2010 May 21:1-9 - "90 g yoghurt or drink 100 ml milk once per d over an 8- or 12-week period. A meta-analysis of the results of these two independent studies showed the risk of catching the common cold was about 2.6 times lower (OR 0.39; P = 0.019) in the yoghurt group than in the milk group and the increase of natural killer cell activity was significantly higher in the yoghurt group than in the milk group" - See Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker at Amazon.com.

Dietary zinc intake is inversely related to subclinical atherosclerosis measured by carotid intima-media thickness - Br J Nutr. 2010 May 21:1-10 - "After adjustment for potential confounders, the mean carotid IMT in the low Zn intake group was higher than that in the high Zn intake group. When subclinical atherosclerosis was defined as >80th percentile value of IMT or >/= 1 mm of carotid IMT, after adjustment for potential confounders, Zn intake was inversely related to subclinical atherosclerosis (5th v. 1st quintile, OR 0.64, 95 % CI 0.45, 0.90, P for trend = 0.069; 5th v. 1st quintile, OR 0.34, 95 % CI 0.16, 0.70, P for trend = 0.005, respectively). In persons free of clinical CVD, dietary Zn intake was inversely correlated with subclinical atherosclerosis. The present findings suggest a putative protective role of dietary Zn intake against the development of atherosclerosis" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com (zinc supplementation can cause a copper deficiency.

Arterial Stiffness and Wave Reflections in Marathon Runners - Am J Hypertens. 2010 May 20 - "Marathon runners had significantly higher systolic, diastolic, pulse (both aortic and brachial), and mean pressures compared to controls (P < 0.05 for all). Marathon runners had significantly higher PWV (6.89 m/s vs. 6.33 m/s, P < 0.01), whereas there was no difference in AIx and AIx corrected for heart rate (AIx@75) compared to controls (13.8% vs. 13.9%, P = 0.985 and 8.2% vs. 10.3%, P = 0.340, respectively). Marathon race caused a significant fall in both AIx (12.2% vs. -5.8%, P < 0.001) and AIx@75 (7.0% vs. 0.0%, P = 0.01), whereas PWV did not change significantly (6.66 m/s vs. 6.74 m/s, P = 0.690). Aortic and brachial systolic, diastolic, and mean pressures were also decreased (P < 0.05).Conclusions A significant fall in wave reflections was observed after marathon race, whereas aortic stiffness was not altered. Moreover, marathon runners have increased aortic stiffness and pressures, whereas wave reflections indexes do not differ compared to controls"

Anti-atherogenic effects of resveratrol - Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 May 19 - "RS exerts several health benefits including anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. RS may also prevent lipid oxidation, platelet aggregation, arterial vasodilation and modulates the levels of lipids and lipoproteins. As a potent, anti-oxidant RS reduces oxidative stress and regenerates alpha-tocopherol, which further strengthens the anti-oxidant defense mechanism. RS has been considered safe as no significant toxic effects have been identified, even when consumed at higher concentrations. This evidence identified RS as an effective anti-atherogenic agent, which could be used in the prevention and treatment of CVD" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

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