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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 12/29/10.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Persistent organic pollutants affect the stress hormone cortisol - Science Daily, 12/28/10 - "persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as PCB and mixtures of different POPs, affect the way the adrenal cortex functions and thereby the synthesis of the stress hormone cortisol ... altered cortisol balance during early life may lead to a predisposition to develop several diseases in adulthood, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases"

Study: You Are What Your Dad Ate - Time Magazine, 12/27/10 - "placed male mice on a low-protein diet from the time they were weaned until they reached sexual maturity. They then studied the offspring those males produced and found some striking changes: the second-generation mouse pups had hundreds of genetic mutations — particularly in the liver — and this had a severe impact on their metabolic functioning. One gene that changed in offspring, for example — known as Ppara — is essential in cholesterol management and the liver's role in converting lipids ... Previous research has suggested that it is this third tier of a family that is most affected by epigenetic changes — or those alterations in a genome that accumulate throughout an animal's life"

New clues uncover how 'starvation hormone' works - Science Daily, 12/26/10 - "how the hormone adiponectin functions and eventually could lead to new treatments for conditions ranging from diabetes and weight loss to heart disease and cancer ... the researchers used models of inducible cell suicide in both pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin, and cardiomyocytes, which are specific muscle cells located in a part of the heart known as the myocardium, to determine how the single hormone could exert such different influences ... When the researchers introduced adiponectin into cells, they found that the hormone triggers the conversion of ceramides from a destructive force into one that helps cells survive and inhibits cell death ... the new findings have implications for the treatment of numerous diseases including diabetes and cancer ... we can protect those cells from cell death with adiponectin ... Adiponectin, which Dr. Scherer discovered in 1994, not only controls sensitivity to insulin but also is known to play an integral role in metabolism and obesity ... As a person accumulates more fat, however, adiponectin levels decline. Once adiponectin levels start dropping, the body begins storing fat in dangerous places such as the heart, liver and muscle tissues -- where it can cause inflammation and pave the way for heart disease ... adiponectin is very important and is probably a key manipulator of lipid levels" - See my adiponectin page.  It's an important hormone that most have never heard of.  There are many ways to increase it.

Highest Mortality Risk Seen With High-Fat Dairy and High Sugar Intake - Medscape, 12/23/10 - "Compared to people who ate healthy foods, men and women in their 70s had a 40% higher risk of death if they got most of their calories from high-fat dairy foods or from sweets and desserts" - I'd take that one study with a grain of salt.  In regard to dairy, it contradicts this analysis of many studies.

  • Milk and dairy consumption and incidence of cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies - Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jan;93(1):158-71 - "PubMed, EMBASE, and SCOPUS were searched for articles published up to February 2010. Of >5000 titles evaluated, 17 met the inclusion criteria, all of which were original prospective cohort studies ... A modest inverse association was found between milk intake and risk of overall CVD [4 studies; relative risk (RR): 0.94 per 200 mL/d; 95% CI: 0.89, 0.99]. Milk intake was not associated with risk of CHD (6 studies; RR: 1.00; 95% CI: 0.96, 1.04), stroke (6 studies; RR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.72, 1.05), or total mortality (8 studies; RR per 200 mL/d: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.95, 1.03). Limited studies of the association of total dairy products and of total high-fat and total low-fat dairy products (per 200 g/d) with CHD showed no significant associations"

Designer probiotics could reduce obesity - Science Daily, 12/22/10 - "engineered a strain of Lactobacillus to produce a version of a molecule called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). When this engineered bacterial strain was fed to mice, the researchers found that the composition of the mice's fat tissue was significantly altered ... One type, called t10, c12 CLA, has been shown to be associated with decreased body fat in humans and other animals. t10, c12 CLA also has the ability to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells and induce their death. However, this type of CLA is only produced by certain types of bacteria including Propionibacterium acnes -- a skin bacterium that can cause acne ... In this study, an enzyme-encoding gene from P. acnes was transferred to the Lactobacillus strain allowing it to produce t10, c12 CLA ... CLA has already been shown to alleviate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that often accompanies obesity. Therefore, increasing levels of CLA in the liver by ingestion of a probiotic strain is of therapeutic relevance ... The same group of researchers previously found that microbially produced CLA was able to reduce the viability of colon cancer cells by 92%"

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):

Haemoglobin A1c is superior to fasting glucose in predicting the incidence of diabetes over 8 years among Chinese - Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Dec 22 - "Baseline haemoglobin A1c had a higher standardized hazard ratio, and more optimal sensitivity and specificity than fasting glucose in predicting the 8-year incidence of diabetes among 530 non-diabetic Chinese from the population-based Hong Kong Cardiovascular Risk Factor Prevalence Study"

Association between extended-release niacin treatment and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: analysis of an administrative-claims database - Metabolism. 2010 Dec 23 - "antihyperglycemic agents (AHAs) ... extended-release niacin (ERN) compared with other lipid-modifying therapy (LMT) ... In the ERN cohort, 82.1% of patients experienced no change in AHA prescriptions between baseline and follow-up compared with 79.4% of patients in the LMT cohort (P = .20); 13% of the ERN cohort and 16% of the LMT cohort (P = .17) experienced a dose increase or the addition of another AHA; and 5% of both cohorts were prescribed fewer AHAs or switched to a lower dose (P = .92). Treatment with ERN (vs other types of LMT) did not significantly increase AHA use, implying that T2DM status did not worsen in this cohort"

Vitamin D3 Is More Potent Than Vitamin D2 in Humans - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Dec 22 - "D3 is approximately 87% more potent in raising and maintaining serum 25(OH)D concentrations and produces 2- to 3-fold greater storage of vitamin D than does equimolar D2 ... Given its greater potency and lower cost, D3 should be the preferred treatment option when correcting vitamin D deficiency"

Docosahexaenoic acid: brain accretion and roles in neuroprotection after brain hypoxia and ischemia - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Dec 21 - "DHA is a major n-3 fatty acid in the mammalian central nervous system and enhances synaptic activities in neuronal cells ... DHA attenuates brain necrosis after hypoxic ischemic injury, principally by modulating membrane biophysical properties and maintaining integrity in functions between presynaptic and postsynaptic areas, resulting in better stabilizing intracellular ion balance in hypoxic-ischemic insult. Additionally, DHA alleviates brain apoptosis, by inducing antiapoptotic activities such as decreasing responses to reactive oxygen species, upregulating antiapoptotic protein expression, downregulating apoptotic protein expression, and maintaining mitochondrial integrity and function" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Vitamin supplement use during breast cancer treatment and survival: a prospective cohort study - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Dec 21 - "Antioxidants may protect normal cells from the oxidative damage that occurs during radiotherapy and certain chemotherapy regimens, however, the same mechanism could protect tumor cells and potentially reduce effectiveness of cancer treatments ... Vitamin use shortly after breast cancer diagnosis was associated with reduced mortality and recurrence risk, adjusted for multiple lifestyle factors, sociodemographics, and known clinical prognostic factors. Women who used antioxidants (vitamin E, vitamin C, multivitamins) had 18% reduced mortality risk (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.82, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.65-1.02) and 22% reduced recurrence risk (HR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.63-0.95). The inverse association was found regardless of whether vitamin use was concurrent or non-concurrent with chemotherapy, but was only present among patients who did not receive radiotherapy"

Adherence to a Mediterranean-type dietary pattern and cognitive decline in a community population - Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec 22 - "investigated whether adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern or to the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005) is associated with cognitive change in older adults ... For both scoring systems, higher scores connote greater adherence ... Mean (+/-SD) scores for participants were 28.2 +/- 0.1 for the MedDiet and 61.2 +/- 9.6 for the HEI-2005. White participants had higher energy-adjusted MedDiet scores but lower HEI-2005 scores than did black participants. Higher MedDiet scores were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline (β = +0.0014 per 1-point increase, SEE = 0.0004, P = 0.0004) after adjustment for age, sex, race, education, participation in cognitive activities, and energy. No such associations were observed for HEI-2005 scores"

Fruit, vegetables, and olive oil and risk of coronary heart disease in Italian women: the EPICOR Study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec 22 - "aimed to investigate the association between consumption of fruit, vegetables, and olive oil and the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in 29,689 women enrolled between 1993 and 1998 ... A strong reduction in CHD risk among women in the highest quartile of consumption of leafy vegetables (hazard ratio: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.33, 0.90; P for trend = 0.03) and olive oil (hazard ratio: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.31, 0.99; P for trend = 0.04) was found. In contrast, no association emerged between fruit consumption and CHD risk"

Clinical effectiveness of telmisartan alone or in combination therapy for controlling blood pressure and vascular risk in the elderly - Clin Interv Aging. 2010 Dec 3;5:403-16 - "Two large clinical trials, ONTARGET (Ongoing Telmisartan Alone in combination with Ramipril Global Endpoint Trial) and TRANSCEND (Telmisartan Randomized AssessmeNt Study in ACE-I iNtolerant subjects with cardiovascular disease) have assessed the cardioprotective and antidiabetic effects of telmisartan. The collective data suggest that telmisartan is a promising drug for controlling hypertension and reducing vascular risk in high-risk elderly patients with new-onset diabetes" - Also see my telmisartan as a fist line treatment page.

Effect of n-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Urinary Risk Factors for Calcium Oxalate Stone Formation - J Urol. 2010 Dec 18 - "evaluated the physiological effects of supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid on urinary risk factors for calcium oxalate stone formation under standardized conditions ... After short-term supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in phase 1 we noted no changes in urinary parameters compared to the control phase. After 30-day supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in phase 3 relative supersaturation with calcium oxalate decreased significantly by 23% from a mean +/- SD of 2.01 +/- 1.26 to 1.55 +/- 0.84 due to significantly decreased urinary oxalate excretion (p = 0.023) ... Calcium oxalate stone formers may benefit from long-term n-3 fatty acid supplementation" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Folic acid and prevention of colorectal adenomas: A combined analysis of randomized clinical trials - Int J Cancer. 2010 Dec 17 - "Observational data suggest that lower folate status is associated with an increased risk of colorectal neoplasia, implying that folate may be useful as a chemopreventive agent. We conducted a combined analysis of three large randomized trials of folic acid supplementation for the prevention of metachronous adenomas in patients with an adenoma history. Participants included 2,632 men and women with a history of adenomas randomized to either 0.5 or 1.0 mg/day of folic acid or placebo, and who had a follow-up endoscopy 6 to 42 months after randomization ... The RR comparing folic acid vs. placebo was 0.98 (95% CI=0.82-1.17) for all adenomas and 1.06 (95% CI=0.81-1.39) for advanced lesions. Folic acid was associated with a non-significant decreased risk of any adenoma among subjects in the lowest quartile of baseline plasma folate (≤11 nmol/L) and no effect among individuals in the highest quartile (>29 nmol/L, p for trend = 0.17). There was a non-significant trend of decreasing risk of any adenoma associated with folic acid supplements with increasing alcohol intake. During the early follow-up reported here, more deaths occurred in the placebo group than in the folic acid group (1.7% vs. 0.5%, p=.002)"

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