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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 1/26/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Smoking, obesity to blame for lag in U.S. lifespan - MSNBC/Associated Press, 1/25/11 - "The U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation yet has worse life expectancy than many — and a new report blames smoking and obesity ... That may sound surprising, considering that public smoking is being stamped out here while it's common in parts of Europe. And obesity is a growing problem around the world ... But the U.S. led those unhealthy trends, lighting up and fattening up a few decades ahead of other high-income countries. And the long-term consequences are life expectancy a few years shorter than parts of Europe and Japan"

Hot flushes are linked with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk, study finds - Science Daily, 1/25/11 - "Women who have experienced hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause may have a 50 percent lower risk of developing the most common forms of breast cancer than postmenopausal women who have never had such symptoms"

New dishware sanitizers prove more effective at killing harmful bacteria - Science Daily, 1/25/11 - "The two sanitizers -- one carrying the name brand PROSAN® and the other called neutral electrolyzed oxidizing water -- not only proved more effective, but they also contained fewer toxic chemicals ... Traditional sanitizers used by restaurants contain chemicals found in bleach, which can corrode dishware, damage the environment, and irritate or burn the skin ... Such sanitizers also lose their effectiveness with each additional washing cycle. This means that the killing agents within the sanitizers kill fewer amounts of harmful bacteria with each rinse ... E. coli outbreaks have been on the decline since 2002, but food is still the primary means for food borne illness transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 28 percent of food borne outbreaks between 1982 and 2002 originated from restaurants or other public food establishments" - Note:  Click here for their website.  It appears that it's only sold in a pouch that requires you to mix it with 8 gallons of water.

HEPA filters reduce cardiovascular health risks associated with air pollution, study finds - Science Daily, 1/12/11 - "portable HEPA filters reduced the average concentrations of fine particulates inside homes by 60% and woodsmoke by 75%, and their use was associated with improved endothelial function (a 9.4% increase in reactive hyperemia index) and decreased inflammation (a 32.6% decrease in C-reactive protein)"

When I first learned of Giffords’ slim chances and then learned of her miraculous recovery I wondered how they found a trauma surgeon that good in a small city like Tucson. Mystery solved:

  • Gabrielle Giffords’ surgeon trained on the battlefield  - BostonHerald.com, 1/10/11 - “I was in the Navy 24 years, and I trained to do nothing but battlefield casualty care. When I did go to Afghanistan and Iraq, I wasn’t in a hospital. I was in very forward surgical units … with very little gear and people and personnel, very little resources, with wounds that are very different than civilian injuries”

Statins Lower Cardiovascular Risk Regardless of Baseline LDL : Abstract and Introduction - Medscape, 1/21/11 - "In the placebo-controlled trials, statin recipients had a 41-mg/dL greater decline in LDL-C and a significant 22% reduction in first major vascular events (2.8% vs. 3.6% annually). In the high-dose versus low-dose trials, high-dose patients had a 20-mg/dL greater decline in LDL-C and a significant 15% reduction in first major vascular events (4.5% vs. 5.3% annually). Relative risk reductions of about 20% per 40-mg/dL decline in LDL-C were seen in both placebo-controlled and high- versus low-dose trials for all prespecified patient subgroups, and at all baseline LDL-C levels (including <80 mg/dL)"

ADHD Now, Dementia Later? - WebMD, 1/20/11 - "Adults with symptoms of ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, are more than three times as likely as other adults to develop a form of dementia later in life ... Our hypothesis is that ADHD could be the clinical result of the first step in these pathway disorders, and after a long time, this problem degenerates to a more severe pathology with structural changes in the brain, as Lewy Body Dementia is"

Does long-term cell phone use lead to brain tumors? - Science Daily, 1/19/11 - "Based on an analysis of pooled data from different studies, researchers write, "[L]ong-term cell phone usage can approximately double the risk of developing a glioma or acoustic neuroma in the more exposed brain hemisphere" -- that is, on the side where the user typically holds the phone to the ear. That conclusion is consistent even with data on the long-term cell phone users from the Interphone studies"

Antioxidants may improve chances of conceiving in male subfertility - Science Daily, 1/18/11 - "Compared to controls, a couple was more likely to have a pregnancy or live birth if the man took antioxidants"

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):

Coffee consumption and reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: findings from the Singapore Chinese Health Study - Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Jan 22 - "High levels of coffee or caffeine consumption were associated with reduced risk of HCC (p for trend < 0.05). Compared with non-drinkers of coffee, individuals who consumed three or more cups of coffee per day experienced a statistically significant 44% reduction in risk of HCC (hazard ratio 0.56, 95% confidence interval, 0.31-1.00, p = .049) after adjustment for potential confounders and tea consumption"

Consumption of long-chain n-3 PUFA, α-linolenic acid and fish is associated with the prevalence of chronic kidney disease - Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan 24:1-8 - "The highest compared with the lowest quartile of fish consumption was associated with a reduced likelihood of CKD (OR 0.68, 95 % CI 0.48, 0.97; P for trend = 0.02). The present study shows that an increased dietary intake of long-chain n-3 PUFA and fish reduces the prevalence of CKD. Hence, a diet rich in n-3 PUFA and fish could have a role in maintaining healthy kidney function, in addition to roles of these nutrients in the prevention and modulation of other diseases" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Pioglitazone improves endothelial and adipose tissue dysfunction in pre-diabetic CAD subjects - Atherosclerosis. 2010 Dec 28 - "Pioglitazone significantly improves endothelial and adipose tissue dysfunction in pre-diabetic patients with CAD"

Effects of pioglitazone vs metformin on circulating endothelial microparticles and progenitor cells in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes - a randomized controlled trial - Diabetes Obes Metab. 2011 Jan 21 - "Participants assigned to pioglitazone gained more weight and experienced greater improvements in some coronary risk measures (HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, adiponectin, and C-reactive protein) than did those assigned to metformin. Conclusion: Compared with metformin, pioglitazone treatment improved the imbalance between endothelial damage and repair capacity, and led to more favorable changes in coronary risk factors in patients with newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes"

α-Lipoic acid can improve endothelial dysfunction in subjects with impaired fasting glucose - Metabolism. 2011 Jan 19 - "Our data showed that IFG subjects have impaired endothelial function and that antioxidant α-lipoic acid can improve endothelial function through a decrease of oxygen-derived free radicals" - See alpha lipoic acid at Amazon.com.

Comparison of Effects of Alpha Receptor Blockers on Endothelial Functions and Coagulation Parameters in Patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia - Urology. 2011 Jan 20 - "When coagulation tests were evaluated, there were significant increases in bleeding and coagulation times in the groups using doxazosin and terazosin. Doxazosin and terazosin lowered arterial blood pressure significantly compared with other treatments. With regard to effects on endothelial function, there were significant differences in flow-mediated dilation rates of the brachial artery at 60 and 90 seconds before and during treatment in the alfuzosin and terazosin groups ... Alpha receptor blockers can decrease the risk of cardiovascular complications by both reducing platelet aggregation and protecting endothelial functions in patients with prostatic hyperplasia. The only drug with a favorable effect in all 4 areas of interest, including BPH symptoms, blood pressure, platelet aggregation, and endothelial functions, was terazosin"

Insulin resistance: an independent risk factor for lung cancer? - Metabolism. 2011 Jan 18 - "As expected, smoking was associated with an approximately 10-fold increase in lung cancer risk in multiple logistic regression models. A positive association between HOMA-IR, treated as continuous variable, and lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 1.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.16-1.99, P = .002, model 1) was demonstrated, which persisted after adjustment for somatometric and lifestyle variables (OR = 2.36, 95% CI: 1.00-5.55, P = .05, model 2). When serum adiponectin was also taken into account, the association seemed fairly robust (OR = 2.58, 95% CI: 1.11-6.01, P = .03, model 3); on the contrary, when serum leptin was added, the association remained positive, but lost its statistical significance (OR = 1.76, 95% CI: 0.78-3.98, P = .17, model 4). In the fully adjusted model, HOMA-IR was still positively, but only marginally, associated with lung cancer risk (OR = 2.02, 95% CI: 0.88-4.65, P = .10, model 5). Insulin resistance may represent a meaningful risk factor for lung cancer"

Contribution of adiponectin to the cardiometabolic risk of postmenopausal women with loss-of-function lipoprotein lipase gene mutations - Menopause. 2011 Jan 19 - "these results suggest that a low plasma adiponectin level significantly contributes to the cardiometabolic risk profile of postmenopausal women with LPLD, independently of anthropometrics, lipids, and other covariates" - See my adiponectin page for ways to increase it.

Effects of Metformin on Body Weight and Body Composition in Obese Insulin-Resistant Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial - Diabetes. 2011 Jan 12 - "1,000 mg metformin (n = 53) or placebo (n = 47) twice daily for 6 months ...Children prescribed metformin had significantly greater decreases in BMI (difference -1.09 kg/m(2), CI -1.87 to -0.31, P = 0.006), body weight (difference -3.38 kg, CI -5.2 to -1.57, P < 0.001), BMI Z score (difference between metformin and placebo groups -0.07, CI -0.12 to -0.01, P = 0.02), and fat mass (difference -1.40 kg, CI -2.74 to -0.06, P = 0.04). Fasting plasma glucose (P = 0.007) and homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) insulin resistance index (P = 0.006) also improved more in metformin-treated children than in placebo-treated children. Gastrointestinal symptoms were significantly more prevalent in metformin-treated children, which limited maximal tolerated dosage in 17%. During the 6-month open-label phase, children treated previously with placebo decreased their BMI Z score; those treated continuously with metformin did not significantly change BMI Z score further. CONCLUSIONS Metformin had modest but favorable effects on body weight, body composition, and glucose homeostasis in obese insulin-resistant children participating in a low-intensity weight-reduction program" - Note: 3.38 kg equals 7.4 pounds.  See metformin at IAS.

The association of serum potassium level with left ventricular mass in patients with primary aldosteronism - Eur J Clin Invest. 2011 Jan 21 - "Primary aldosteronism (PA) is associated a worse cardiovascular outcome than essential hypertension. Hypokalemia, which is one major characteristic of PA, can affect both cardiac structure and function ... the control group (group 1). Thirty-two patients with serum potassium < 3.5 mmol L(-1) were defined as hypokalemia (group 2), and 53 patients with serum potassium ≥ 3.5 mmol L(-1) were defined as normokalemia (group 3) ... Group 2 patients had significant higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), log-transformed plasma aldosterone concentration, log-transformed aldosterone-to-renin ratio and lower serum potassium level than groups 1 and 3. In echocardiographic measurement, group 2 patients had higher LV mass index (LVMI) than groups 1 and 3. In multivariate analysis for factors affecting LVMI in PA patients, only serum potassium level (P = 0.001), use of spironolactone (P = 0.004) and DBP (P = 0.005) were independent factors. In the TDI study, both groups 2 and 3 had lower e' and E/e' values than group 1. Conclusions  Serum potassium level is significantly associated with LVMI in PA patients. Compared with essential hypertensive patients, PA patients had a greater impairment of cardiac diastolic function" - See potassium citrate at Amazon.com.

Homocysteine levels are associated with hippocampus volume in type 2 diabetic patients - Eur J Clin Invest. 2011 Jan 20 - "Elevated total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) levels are associated with cognitive dysfunction, in which changes in the hippocampus plausibly play a pivotal role ... Our results indicate that the elevated levels of tHcy in Japanese nondementia patients with type 2 diabetes are characterised by hippocampal atrophy and insulin resistance and that the Z-score and HOMA index may be the primary factors that influence tHcy levels"

Fruit and vegetable intake and mortality from ischaemic heart disease: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Heart study - Eur Heart J. 2011 Jan 18 - "average of 8.4 years ... Participants consuming at least eight portions (80 g each) of fruits and vegetables a day had a 22% lower risk of fatal IHD [relative risk (RR) = 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.65-0.95] compared with those consuming fewer than three portions a day. After calibration of fruit and vegetable intake to account for differences in dietary assessment between the participating centres, a one portion (80 g) increment in fruit and vegetable intake was associated with a 4% lower risk of fatal IHD (RR = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.92-1.00, P for trend = 0.033). Conclusion Results from this large observational study suggest that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of IHD mortality. Whether this association is causal and, if so, the biological mechanism(s) by which fruits and vegetables operate to lower IHD risks remains unclear"

High oolong tea consumption predicts future risk of diabetes among Japanese male workers: a prospective cohort study - Diabet Med. 2011 Jan 18 - "Compared with those not consuming oolong tea, multivariable adjusted hazard ratios for developing diabetes were 1.00 (95% CI 0.67-1.49) for those who drank one cup of oolong tea per day and 1.64 (95% CI 1.11-2.40) for those drinking two or more cups per day ... Long-term consumption of oolong tea may be a predictive marker for new onset diabetes" - Note:  Oolong tea is purported to prevent diabetes.  This is claiming an 64% increased chance of diabetes the way I read it.

  • Antihyperglycemic effect of oolong tea in type 2 diabetes - Diabetes Care. 2003 Jun;26(6):1714-8 - "oolong tea markedly lowered concentrations of plasma glucose (from 229 +/- 53.9 to 162.2 +/- 29.7 mg/dl, P < 0.001) and fructosamine (from 409.9 +/- 96.1 to 323.3 +/- 56.4 micromol/l ... Oolong tea may be an effective adjunct to oral hypoglycemic agents in the treatment of type 2 diabetes"

Comparison of Central Artery Elasticity in Swimmers, Runners, and the Sedentary - Am J Cardiol. 2011 Jan 17 - "Brachial systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure were higher (p <0.05) in swimmers than in sedentary controls and runners. Runners and swimmers had lower (p <0.05) carotid systolic blood pressure and carotid pulse pressure than sedentary controls. Carotid arterial compliance was higher (p <0.05) and β-stiffness index was lower (p <0.05) in runners and swimmers than in sedentary controls. There were no significant group differences between runners and swimmers. Cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity was greater (p <0.05) in runners than in sedentary controls and swimmers and baroreflex sensitivity tended to be higher in swimmers than in sedentary controls (p = 0.07). Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation was significant greater (p <0.05) in runners compared with sedentary controls and swimmers. In conclusion, our present findings are consistent with the notion that habitual swimming exercise may be an effective endurance exercise for preventing loss in central arterial compliance"

Niacin results in reduced monocyte adhesion in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus - Atherosclerosis. 2010 Dec 25 - "Patients with type 2 diabetes have increased expression of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs). CAMs and monocyte adhesion mediate essential processes in atherogenesis ... Niacin 1500mg daily raised HDL-cholesterol from 0.8mmol/l (95% CI: 0.7-0.9) to 0.9mmol/l (95% CI: 0.8-1.1), p=0.10, and significantly reduced PECAM-1 by 24.9% (95% CI: 10.9-39.0; p<0.05), increased adiponectin by 30.5% (95% CI: 14.1-47.0; p<0.05), with monocyte adhesion reduced by 9.2% (95%CI: 0.7-17.7; p<0.05) in endothelial cells treated in basal conditions, and 7.8% (95% CI: 3.1-12.5; p<0.05) after TNF-α stimulation ... Monocytes isolated from patients on niacin had reduced adhesion to endothelial cells. Our findings suggest niacin has broad range of effects apart from lipid-modification, and these could be important in cardiovascular risk reduction" - Note: Increased adiponectin is another advantage of niacin. See niacin at Amazon.com.

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