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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 2/23/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Cell phone use may have effect on brain activity, but health consequences unknown - Science Daily, 2/22/11 - "Metabolism in the brain region closest to the antenna (orbitofrontal cortex and temporal pole) was significantly higher (approximately 7 percent) for cell phone on than for cell phone off conditions. "The increases were significantly correlated with the estimated electromagnetic field amplitudes both for absolute metabolism and normalized metabolism," the authors write. "This indicates that the regions expected to have the greater absorption of RF-EMFs from the cell phone exposure were the ones that showed the larger increases in glucose metabolism"

Cannabis use may worsen sexual dysfunction, rat study suggests - Science Daily, 2/22/11 - "While it was previously known that cannabis could affect certain receptors in the brain, it's now believed that these receptors also exist in the penis. Cannabis use may have an antagonizing effect on these receptors in the penis, making it more difficult for a man to achieve and maintain an erection"

Markedly higher vitamin D intake needed to reduce cancer risk, researchers say - Science Daily, 2/22/11 - "We found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4000-8000 IU are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce by about half the risk of several diseases -- breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes ... Most scientists who are actively working with vitamin D now believe that 40 to 60 ng/ml is the appropriate target concentration of 25-vitamin D in the blood for preventing the major vitamin D-deficiency related diseases ... only 10 percent of the US population has levels in this range, mainly people who work outdoors" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Simple spit and blood tests might detect burnout before it happens - Science Daily, 2/21/11 - "In addition to professional and personal suffering, burnout puts distressed workers at further risk of physical and psychological problems if ignored ... We hypothesized that healthy workers with chronic stress and with mild burnout symptoms would have worse physiological dysregulations and lower cortisol levels -- a profile consistent with burnout ... Cortisol is a stress hormone involved in our bodies stress response and naturally as part of our body's daily rhythm. Cortisol levels are often high in people suffering from depression, while it tends to be low in cases of burnout. Too much cortisol can be as bad as too little when it comes to both mental and physical health ... Critically, people with burnout are often treated with anti-depressant medications that lower cortisol levels. If cortisol is already lower than it should be, this course of treatment could represent a therapeutic mistake. "The use of an allostatic load index gives researchers and clinicians a window to see how chronic stress is straining the person""

High cholesterol and blood pressure in middle age tied to early memory problems - Science Daily, 2/21/11 - "people who had higher cardiovascular risk were more likely to have lower cognitive function and a faster rate of overall cognitive decline compared to those with the lowest risk of heart disease. A 10-percent higher cardiovascular risk was associated with poorer cognitive test scores in all areas except reasoning for men and fluency for women. For example, a 10 percent higher cardiovascular risk was associated with a 2.8 percent lower score in the test of memory for men and a 7.1 percent lower score in the memory test for women ... Higher cardiovascular risk was also associated with a 10-year faster rate of overall cognitive decline in both men and women compared to those with lower cardiovascular risk"

Careful cleaning of children's skin wounds key to healing, regardless of antibiotic choice - Science Daily, 2/21/11 - "proper wound care, not antibiotics, may have been the key to healing"

Why toddlers throw temper tantrums - CNN, 2/21/11 - "Let's take a quick tour of the human brain, stopping at a little blob of gray matter behind the eyebrows called the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This is the part of the brain that regulates emotion and controls social behavior. It's also the last area of the brain to develop; it has only just begun to mature at age 4. That immaturity -- as difficult as it makes parenting a toddler or a preschooler -- may serve an important developmental role in the acquisition of language (the most significant social tool humans have), says a new report out of the University of Pennsylvania" - Note:  I read the article because it seems like some student protestors have an adult version of this and I was wondering what causes it.

Using amphetamines may increase risk of Parkinson's disease, study suggests - Science Daily, 2/20/11 - "people who have used amphetamines such as benzedrine and dexedrine appear to be at an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease ... people who reported using Benzedrine or Dexedrine were nearly 60 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's than those people who didn't take the drugs. There was no increased risk found for those people who used drugs for weight loss"

  • What's the difference between Ritalin, dexedrine, and Adderall?  - Yahoo! Answers, "Technical difference: Dexedrine and Adderall both contain amphetamine type stimulants where Ritalin contains a stimulant that is not an amphetamine. Dexedrine is made up of 1 amphetamine salt which is dextroamphetamine. Adderall is made up of 4 amphetamine salts, 1 of which is dextroamphetamine which makes up 25% of the Adderall pill. Ritalin usually requires a dosage similar to Adderall and twice that of Dexedrine to be effective"

Groundbreaking technology will revolutionize blood pressure measurement - Science Daily, 2/20/11 - "The new technology uses a sensor on the wrist to record the pulse wave and then, using computerised mathematical modelling of the pulse wave, scientists are able to accurately read the pressure close to the heart. Patients who have tested the new device found it easier and more comfortable, as it can be worn like a watch ... Being able to measure blood pressure in the aorta which is closer to the heart and brain is important because this is where high blood pressure can cause damage. In addition, the pressure in the aorta can be quite different from that traditionally measured in the arm" - Note:  There might be something to this.  It even made BBC News.

7 Germiest Public Places - ABC News, 2/20/11 - "Restaurant menus ... Lemon wedges ... Condiment dispensers ... Restroom door handles ... Soap dispensers ... Grocery carts ... Airplane bathrooms ... Doctor's office" - Note:  Problem with that higher math?  I count 8.

Brain function linked to birth size; Study sheds light on mental health problems later in life - Science Daily, 2/18/11 - "children who were born small, with relatively large placentas, showed more activity on the right side of their brains than the left. It is this pattern of brain activity that has been linked with mood disorders such as depression"

Fountain of youth from the tap? Environmental lithium uptake promotes longevity, scientists demonstrate in worms - Science Daily, 2/18/11 - "A regular uptake of the trace element lithium can considerably promote longevity ... even a low concentration of lithium leads to an increased life expectancy in humans as well as in a model organism, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans ... the Jena scientists analyzed the mortality rate in 18 adjacent Japanese municipalities in relation to the amount of lithium contained in tap water from the respective regions. "We found that the mortality rate was considerably lower in those municipalities with more lithium in the drinking water," Ristow explains the key finding. In a second experiment, the Jena scientists examined exactly this range of concentration in the model organism C. elegans. The result was confirmed: "The average longevity of the worms is higher after they have been treated with lithium at this dosage," ... we know already that a higher uptake of lithium through drinking water is associated with an improvement of psychological well-being and with decreased suicide rates" - See lithium supplement at Amazon.com. Note:  Click here for the specs on a GE reverse osmosis system.  It filters out about 98% of everything.  It doesn't list lithium but I would think it would be about the same.  Also see customer reviews of the lithium at iHerb.

Stretching before a run does not prevent injury, study finds - Science Daily, 2/18/11 - "This study included 2,729 runners who run 10 or more miles per week. Of these runners, 1,366 were randomized to a stretch group, and 1,363 were randomized to a non-stretch group before running. Runners in the stretch group stretched their quadriceps, hamstrings, and gastrocnemius/soleus muscle groups. The entire routine took 3 to 5 minutes and was performed immediately before running ... The study found that stretching before running neither prevents nor causes injury ... There was no significant difference in injury rates between the runners who stretched and the runners who didn't for any specific injury location or diagnosis" - Note:  I've read studies going as far back as the '70's saying the same thing but people still do it.  I remember showing fellow runners in the '70's a study published in "Time" (I believe) showing that stretching actually increased injuries.

PSA Minimum for Biopsy Might Be 3.0 - Medscape, 2/17/11 - "an initial PSA level of 2.0 to 2.9 ng/mL was 7.6 times more likely to result in death than an initial level below 1.0 ng/mL, and was 4 times more likely to result in death than an initial level of 1.0 to 1.9 ng/mL"

Mobile phone use not related to increased brain cancer risk, UK study suggests - Science Daily, 2/17/11 - "Our findings indicate that a causal link between mobile phone use and cancer is unlikely because there is no evidence of any significant increase in the disease since their introduction and rapid proliferation" - Note:  A lot of conflicting studies on that one.

  • 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"

Statins may prevent diabetic-related blindness, study suggests - Science Daily, 2/17/11 - "oral treatment with the drug atorvastatin blocked the formation of free radicals in the retina, which restored proper levels of nerve growth factor and preserved neurons in the retina. "It removed the break on the pro-form nerve growth factor to develop into its mature form," she said. The drug was orally administered to rats in doses proportional to levels given to human patients with cardiovascular problems ... In a related study, also in the March edition of the journal Diabetologia, El-Remessy and her colleagues found that epicathecin, a component of green tea, also prevented the adverse actions of proNGF in the retina. It does not affect the maturation of proNGF into NGF, explained El-Remessy, but regulated a receptor downstream that proNGF uses to send a signal to kill the neuron. Epicathechin prevents the death by inhibiting that receptor. "We are still getting the same result, that we are preventing neuronal death and restoring neuronal function, but just in a different way,"" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Passion flower may boost sleep quality: Study - Nutra USA, 2/17/11 - "sleep quality showed a significantly better rating for the passion flower compared to the placebo, with an increase of over five percent in sleep quality reported" - [Abstract] - See Passion flower products at iHerb.  Also see valerian, lemon balm, theanine and melatonin.

Spirulina shows immune boosting power for seniors - Nutra USA, 2/17/11 - "Twelve weeks of spirulina supplementation were associated with increased counts of white blood cells, foot soldiers of the immune system ... Immune function was measured using complete blood cell (CBC) counts and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) enzyme activity, and results showed that over half of all participants receiving spirulina had higher IDO activity after 6 and 12 weeks, while this proportion was “striking in men with over 75 percent of subjects manifesting such phenomenon” ... In terms of cell counts, spirulina was associated with a steady increase in corpuscular hemoglobin, thereby ameliorating anemia" - [Abstract] - See spirulina products at iHerb.

Fermented milk containing Lactobacillus asei strain Shirota reduces incidence of hard or lumpy stools in healthy population - Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Feb 15 - "Healthy subjects with Bristol Stool Form Scale (BS) score < 3.0 were randomized to fermented milk treatment for 3 weeks or non-intervention control. The primary endpoint was the proportion of subjects that produced hard or lumpy stools (HLS) ≥ 25% of bowel movements (H-HLS). Secondary endpoints included changes in BS score, constipation-related symptom scores and stool parameters. Efficacy was analyzed in 39 subjects. After 3 weeks of treatment the proportion of H-HLS subjects had significantly decreased from 73.7% to 36.8%, whereas in the control group the proportion had increased from 75.0% to 85.0% during the same period (P = 0.002). The BS score was significantly improved after the treatment compared with the control (P < 0.001). In conclusion, daily consumption of fermented milk containing LcS reduced the incidence of HLS" - See Garden of Life, Primal Defense, HSO Probiotic Formula, 180 + 36 = 216 Caplets at iHerb which includes the Lactobacillus casei strain.

Fenugreek extract shows male libido boost: Human RCT - Nutra USA, 2/16/11 - "A formulation containing a standardized extract of Trigonella foenum-graecum and minerals was associated with an improvement in libido for 81 percent of the men in the study, and a 63 percent improvement in the ‘quality of sexual performance’, compared with no such improvements in the placebo group" - [Abstract] - See Fenugeek products at iHerb.

Regrowing hair: Researchers may have accidentally discovered a solution - Science Daily, 2/16/11 - "a short-duration treatment with this compound causes an astounding long-term hair regrowth in chronically stressed mutant mice ... the researchers had been using mice that were genetically altered to overproduce a stress hormone called corticotrophin-releasing factor, or CRF. As these mice age, they lose hair and eventually become bald on their backs, making them visually distinct from their unaltered counterparts. The Salk Institute researchers had developed the chemical compound, a peptide called astressin-B, and described its ability to block the action of CRF. Stenzel-Poore had created an animal model of chronic stress by altering the mice to overproduce CRF ... researchers injected the astressin-B into the bald mice to observe how its CRF-blocking ability affected gastrointestinal tract function. The initial single injection had no effect, so the investigators continued the injections over five days to give the peptide a better chance of blocking the CRF receptors. They measured the inhibitory effects of this regimen on the stress-induced response in the colons of the mice and placed the animals back in their cages with their hairy counterparts ... About three months later, the investigators returned to these mice to conduct further gastrointestinal studies and found they couldn't distinguish them from their unaltered brethren. They had regrown hair on their previously bald backs" - Note:  To the best of my knowledge there's nothing non-experimental on the market, either conventional or alternative, that inhibits CRF.  If there were people would be taking it to reduce cortisol.

Mouth Rinse Reduces Preterm Birth in Women With Periodontal Disease - Science Daily, 2/16/11 - "the incidence of preterm birth at less than 35 weeks was 6.1% in the rinse group and 21.9% in the control group (P = .01). In the intent-to-treat analysis, the relative risk for preterm birth was 0.26 in the rinse group. The mean gestational age in the rinse group was significantly higher than in the control group (38.4 vs 36.8 weeks; P < .011). The analysis also showed that the mean birth weight in the rinse group was significantly higher than in the control group (3087 vs 2633 g; P < .001)"

Treatment for manic-depressive illness restores brain volume deficits - Science Daily, 2/16/10 - "bipolar patients taking lithium displayed significantly increased hippocampal and amygdala volume compared with patients not treated with lithium and healthy comparison subjects. Cerebral volume reduction was also significantly associated with illness duration in bipolar individuals" - See lithium supplement at Amazon.com.

Zinc reduces the burden of the common cold - Science Daily, 2/15/11 - "In total, data from 15 trials, involving 1,360 people, were included. According to the results, zinc syrup, lozenges or tablets taken within a day of the onset of cold symptoms reduce the severity and length of illness. At seven days, more of the patients who took zinc had cleared their symptoms compared to those who took placebos. Children who took zinc syrup or lozenges for five months or longer caught fewer colds and took less time off school. Zinc also reduced antibiotic use in children, which is important because overuse has implications for antibiotic resistance" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com (taking zinc alone may cause a copper deficiency).

Surgery without incisions for heartburn - Science Daily, 2/14/11 - "The procedure is called the Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, or TIF, which uses the EsophyX® device and is performed without incisions ... the TIF procedure, on the other hand, is an option for those patients who do not do well on daily medications or those who have concerns about the implications of lifelong pill therapy like cost and side effects ... The TIF procedure recreates the anti-reflux barrier between the esophagus and stomach and is performed trans-orally (through the mouth)," ... TIF can reduce patients' dependency on medications with 80 percent of patients remaining off their daily medications after two years and experiencing an improvement in their quality of life. After the TIF procedure, clinical trials show that many patients can eat and drink foods they avoided for years"

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):

Serum advanced glycation end products is associated with insulin resistance - Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2011 Feb 17 - "On multiple regression analysis, serum AGEs remained an independent determinant of HOAM-IR even after adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, waist, smoking, adiponectin and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation ... CONCLUSIONS: Formation and accumulation of AGEs progress during normal aging. We have demonstrated that circulating level of AGEs is associated with insulin resistance even in non-obese, non-diabetic subjects independent of adiponectin"

Docosahexaenoic Acid reduces amyloid {beta} production via multiple, pleiotropic mechanism - J Biol Chem. 2011 Feb 15 - "Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by accumulation of the amyloidogenic peptide Aβ generated by β- and γ-secretase processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). The intake of the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been associated with decreased amyloid deposition and a reduced risk in AD in several epidemiological trials; however the exact underlying molecular mechanism remains to be elucidated ... DHA reduces amyloidogenic processing by decreasing β- and γ-secretase activity, whereas the expression and protein levels of BACE1 and Presenilin1 remain unchanged. In addition, DHA increases protein stability of α-secretase resulting in increased non-amyloidogenic processing. Beside the known effect of DHA to decrease cholesterol de novo synthesis, we found cholesterol distribution in plasma membrane to be altered. In presence of DHA, cholesterol shifts from raft to non-raft domains, which is accompanied by a shift in γ-secretase activity and Presenilin1 protein level. Taken together, DHA directs amyloidogenic processing of APP towards non-amyloidogenic processing, effectively reducing Aβ release. DHA has a typical pleiotropic effect; DHA-mediated Aβ reduction is not the consequence of a single major mechanism, but the result of combined multiple effects" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Chemopreventative Potential of the Cruciferous Vegetable Constituent Phenethyl Isothiocyanate in a Mouse Model of Prostate Cancer - J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Feb 17 - "This study was undertaken to determine the chemopreventative efficacy of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a bioactive constituent of many edible cruciferous vegetables, in a mouse model of prostate cancer, and to identify potential biomarker(s) associated with PEITC response ... Administration of PEITC (3 μmol/g diet) decreased incidence (PEITC diet vs control diet, mean = 21.65 vs 57.58%, difference = -35.93%, 95% confidence interval = -45.48% to -13.10%, P = .04) as well as burden (affected area) (PEITC diet vs control diet, mean = 18.53% vs 45.01%, difference = -26.48%, 95% confidence interval = -49.78% to -3.19%, P = .02) of poorly differentiated tumors in the dorsolateral prostate of transgenic mice compared with control mice, with no toxic effects. PEITC-mediated inhibition of prostate carcinogenesis was associated with induction of autophagy and overexpression of E-cadherin in the dorsolateral prostate. However, PEITC treatment was not associated with a decrease in cellular proliferation, apoptosis induction, or inhibition of neoangiogenesis. Plasma proteomics revealed distinct changes in the expression of several proteins (eg, suppression of clusterin protein) in the PEITC-treated mice compared with control mice. Conclusions In this transgenic model, dietary PEITC suppressed prostate cancer progression by induction of autophagic cell death. Potential biomarkers to assess the response to PEITC treatment in plasma were identified" - See cruciferous supplements at Amazon.com.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers and Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials - Am J Hypertens. 2011 Feb 17 - "new onset diabetes (NOD) ... Over an average follow-up of 4.0 +/- 1.0 years, there were 1,284/15,142 (8.5%) cases of NOD in active-treated and 1,411/15,130 (9.3%) cases in placebo-treated patients in the ACE inhibitor trials, and 2,330/18,756 (12.4%) cases in active-treated and 2,669/18,800 (14.2%) cases in placebo-treated patients in the ARB trials. Overall, active therapy reduced NOD compared to placebo (odds ratio (OR) 95%, confidence interval (CI): 0.8 (0.8-0.9); P < 0.01). Both ACE inhibitors (OR 95%, CI: 0.8 (0.7-1.0); P = 0.07) and ARBs (OR 95%, CI: 0.8 (0.8-0.9); P < 0.01) reduced NOD as compared to placebo. Active treatment reduced CV mortality (OR 95%, CI: 0.9 (0.8-1.0); P < 0.01) and had a favorable impact on non-CV mortality (OR 95%, CI: 0.7 (0.9-1.0); P = 0.2) as compared to placebo.ConclusionsOur findings demonstrated that ACE inhibitors or ARBs should be preferred in patients with clinical conditions that may increase risk of NOD, since these drugs reduced NOD incidence. In addition, these drugs have favorable effects on CV and non-CV mortality in high CV risk patients"

Pulse Pressure Predicts Incident Cardiovascular Disease but Not Diabetic Nephropathy in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes (The FinnDiane Study) - Diabetes Care. 2011 Feb 17 - "PP was higher at baseline in patients who experienced a CVD event (66 +/- 18 vs. 52 +/- 14 mmHg; P < 0.001) or progressed in their renal status (58 +/- 18 vs. 54 +/- 15 mmHg; P < 0.01) during follow-up. In a Cox regression model, PP was independently associated with a first ever CVD event (hazard ratio per 10 mmHg 1.22 [95% CI 1.10-1.34]) but not progression of renal disease (1.00 [0.89-1.12]) after adjustments for traditional risk factors. CONCLUSIONS PP, a marker of arterial stiffness, is a risk factor for cardiovascular complications but not for diabetic nephropathy in patients with T1D"

Telmisartan, ramipril and their combination improve endothelial function in different tissues in a murine model of cholesterol-induced atherosclerosis - Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Feb 16 - "Erectile dysfunction correlates with cardiovascular disease and its common risk factors due to the development of endothelial dysfunction. Positive effects on endothelial and erectile function have been described for substances inhibiting the renin-angiotensin-system ... Wildtype (WT, C57/B6) and ApoE(-/-) mice were treated with a cholesterol-rich diet for 8 weeks. ApoE(-/-) mice were supplemented with either telmisartan (20mg/kg/day), ramipril (2.5mg/kg/day) or the combination thereof. Key results: Systolic blood pressure significantly decreased in treatment groups (p < 0.001), with significantly smaller reduction under ramipril monotherapy (p < 0.05). Endothelial function (assessed by pharmacological stimulation of aortic rings and CC in organ bath chambers) was impaired in ApoE(-/-) mice compared to WT animals, which was improved by all three treatments to a comparable extent (p < 0.05). Atherosclerotic lesion size in the ascending aorta and aortic sinus (p < 0.001), the amount of lipid peroxides in cavernosal and aortic tissue (p < 0.05) and free radical load (DHE-stain) (p < 0.05) were enhanced in untreated ApoE(-/-) mice in comparison to WT animals and were significantly reduced by either treatment. In penile tissue, expression of eNOS could be restored by RAAS-blockade. Conclusions and implications: Telmisartan and ramipril significantly improved endothelial function of aortic and cavernosal tissues in ApoE(-/-) via reduction of oxidative stress. Combination of both agents does not enhance beneficial effects significantly" - See my telmisartan as a first line treatment for hypertension page.

The effects of Spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens - Cell Mol Immunol. 2011 Jan 31 - "Participants took a Spirulina supplementation for 12 weeks and were administered comprehensive dietary questionnaires to determine their nutritional regimen during the study. Complete cell count (CCC) and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) enzyme activity, as a sign of immune function, were determined at baseline and weeks 6 and 12 of supplementation. Thirty study participants completed the entire study and the data obtained were analyzed. Over the 12-week study period, there was a steady increase in average values of mean corpuscular hemoglobin in subjects of both sexes. In addition, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration also increased in male participants. Older women appeared to benefit more rapidly from Spirulina supplements. Similarly, the majority of subjects manifested increased IDO activity and white blood cell count at 6 and 12 weeks of Spirulina supplementation. Spirulina may ameliorate anemia and immunosenescence in older subjects" - See spirulina products at iHerb.

A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Investigation of the Effects of Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower) Herbal Tea on Subjective Sleep Quality - Phytother Res. 2011 Feb 3 - "Passiflora incarnata is a traditional herbal sedative, anxiolytic and a popular sleep aid used for the treatment of sleep disturbance ... Forty-one participants (18-35 years) were exposed to each treatment for a week, whereby they consumed a cup of the tea and filled out a sleep diary for 7 days, and completed Spielberger's state-trait anxiety inventory on the seventh morning. Ten participants also underwent overnight PSG on the last night of each treatment period. Of six sleep-diary measures analysed, sleep quality showed a significantly better rating for passionflower compared with placebo (t(40) = 2.70, p < 0.01). These initial findings suggest that the consumption of a low dose of Passiflora incarnata, in the form of tea, yields short-term subjective sleep benefits for healthy adults with mild fluctuations in sleep quality" - See Passion flower products at iHerb.  Also see valerian, lemon balm, theanine and melatonin.

Physiological Aspects of Male Libido Enhanced by Standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum Extract and Mineral Formulation - Phytother Res. 2011 Feb 10 - "The aim of the clinical study was to evaluate the effect of Testofen, a standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek) extract and mineral formulation, on male libido (sexual drive, urge or desire) in a double blind randomized placebo controlled study. The study recruited 60 healthy males aged between 25 and 52, without erectile dysfunction and randomized to an oral dose (two tablets per day) of the active treatment (600 mg Testofen per day) or placebo for 6 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the DISF-SR (male) self-administered QOL total score and the four domain scores. The secondary outcome was specific quality of life parameters. Testofen had an overall positive effect on physiological aspects of libido. In particular, there was a significant increase in the subdomains of sexual arousal and orgasm. Testofen had a positive effect on QOL in self-reported satisfaction with muscle strength, energy and well-being but did not have an effect on mood or sleep. Serum prolactin and testosterone levels remained within the reference range. It was concluded that Testofen demonstrated a significant positive effect on physiological aspects of libido and may assist to maintain normal healthy testosterone levels" - See Fenugeek products at iHerb.

A protein-rich beverage consumed as a breakfast meal leads to weaker appetitive and dietary responses v. a protein-rich solid breakfast meal in adolescents - Br J Nutr. 2011 Feb 15:1-5 - "A total of fifteen adolescents (eight girls and seven boys; age 14 (sem 1) years, BMI percentile 79 (sem 4) %) randomly completed two testing days that included protein-rich (PR) breakfast meals (38 % of energy as protein, 48 (sem 2) g/meal) provided as a solid (S) or beverage (B). Breakfast was 24 % of estimated daily energy needs (2146 (sem 96) kJ/meal). Perceived appetite and satiety responses were collected over 5 h followed by an ad libitum lunch buffet. The PR-S meal led to greater reductions in 4 h postprandial appetite ( - 6221 (sem 1171) mm × 240 min) v. the PR-B meal ( - 3570 (sem 957) mm × 240 min; P < 0.05). When examining the data according to hourly responses, the PR-S meal led to greater reductions in appetite during postprandial hours 2, 3 and 4 v. the PR-B meal (all comparisons, P < 0.05). No differences in postprandial hourly or total (4 h) fullness were observed following the PR-S v. PR-B meals. The PR-S meal led to approximately 480 kJ less energy consumed at the ad libitum lunch buffet (1418 (sem 222) kJ) v. the PR-B meal (1900 (sem 326) kJ; P < 0.05). These data indicate that, although the food form of the PR breakfast meals had little, if any, effect on satiety, the appetitive responses were diminished and the subsequent food intake was greater when protein was consumed as a beverage v. a solid meal"

Dietary Fiber Intake and Mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study - Arch Intern Med. 2011 Feb 14 - "During an average of 9 years of follow-up, we identified 20 126 deaths in men and 11 330 deaths in women. Dietary fiber intake was associated with a significantly lowered risk of total death in both men and women (multivariate relative risk comparing the highest with the lowest quintile, 0.78 [95% CI, 0.73-0.82; P for trend, <.001] in men and 0.78 [95% CI, 0.73-0.85; P for trend, <.001] in women). Dietary fiber intake also lowered the risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory diseases by 24% to 56% in men and by 34% to 59% in women. Inverse association between dietary fiber intake and cancer death was observed in men but not in women. Dietary fiber from grains, but not from other sources, was significantly inversely related to total and cause-specific death in both men and women" - See brown rice pasta at Amazon.com (my favorite with turkey meatballs and roasted garlic tomato sauce).

Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) reduce prostate size in experimental benign prostatic hyperplasia - Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 14 - "Reduction of prostate weights was observed after 6 wk of treatment with GHRH antagonists: a 17.8% decrease with JMR-132 treatment; a 17.0% decline with MIA-313 treatment; and a 21.4% reduction with MIA-459 treatment (P < 0.05 for all). We quantified transcript levels of genes related to growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, and signal transduction and identified significant changes in the expression of more than 80 genes (P < 0.05). Significant reductions in protein levels of IL-1β, NF-κβ/p65, and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) also were observed after treatment with a GHRH antagonist. We conclude that GHRH antagonists can lower prostate weight in experimental BPH. This reduction is caused by the direct inhibitory effects of GHRH antagonists exerted through prostatic GHRH receptors. This study sheds light on the mechanism of action of GHRH antagonists in BPH and suggests that GHRH antagonists should be considered for further development as therapy for BPH"

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Health Focus (Quercetin):

News & Research:

  • quercetin at Amazon.com
  • Antioxidant may boost exercise endurance - msnbc.com, 6/29/09 - "Compared with days of no supplementation, the quercetin supplement periods were associated with a modest — nearly 4 percent — increase in maximum oxygen uptake. Quercetin was also associated with a 13 percent increase in "ride time" before the volunteers were too fatigued to continue"
  • Quercetin Inhibits Path to Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury - Medscape, 3/16/09 - "The naturally occurring flavone quercetin inhibits mRNA and protein expression of several components involved in the pathophysiology of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in rabbits"
  • Cranberry extracts may prevent colon cancer: Lab study - Nutra USA, 2/13/09 - "These findings are important because they demonstrate that the F-κB signalling pathway provides a potential mechanistic link between inflammation and cancer and that the anti-inflammatory properties of crude cranberry extract or quercetin can be used to modulate this pathway" - See cranberry extract at Amazon.com.
  • Flavonoids’ heart health benefits in the blood vessels: Study - Nutra USA, 10/10/08 - "A daily dose of quercetin or (-)-epicatechin led to improvements in endothelial function, a key marker of cardiovascular health" - [Abstract]
  • Substance Found In Fruits And Vegetables Reduces Likelihood Of The Flu - Science Daily, 0/3/08 - "Mice that exercised and took quercetin had nearly the same rate of illness as those that did not exercise. In other words, quercetin canceled out the negative effect of stressful exercise ... Although this study was done with mice, a recent human study found that people who took quercetin suffered fewer illnesses following three days of exhaustive exercise compared to those who did not"
  • Veggies, Exercise May Cut Cancer Risk - WebMD, 4/15/08 - "People who ate quercetin-rich foods at least four times a week, on average, were 51% less likely to have lung cancer than those who ate none"
  • Onion compound linked to lower blood pressure - Nutra USA, 10/23/07 - "receive a daily supplement of quercetin (730 mg, USANA Health Sciences) or placebo for 28 days ... the hypertensives receiving the quercitin supplement experienced reductions in systolic and diastolic BP of seven and five mmHg, respectively, compared to placebo"
  • Chemical in Curry May Cut Colon Cancer - WebMD, 8/2/06 - "Each of the patients then received 480 milligrams of curcumin and 20 milligrams of quercetin three times a day for six months ... The results showed that treatment with the curry and onion compounds reduced the average number of polyps by 60%, and decreased their size by 50%" - See iHerb or Vitacosticon curcumin products and iHerb or Vitacosticon quercetin products.
  • Apples May Ward Off Alzheimer's Disease - WebMD, 11/18/04 - "The results suggest that quercetin "contributes significantly" to the protection of brain cells from free radicals in conditions like Alzheimer's disease"
  • Mediterranean diet 'extends life' - bbc.co.uk. 8/24/03 - "The[y] found that quercetin, which is abundant in olive oil, has a similar effect"
  • Drinking Tea May Help Prevent Heart Attacks - Doctor's Guide, 5/9/02 - "Drinking more tea and increasing flavonoid intake may help primary prevention of ischaemic heart disease ... The intake of the dietary flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin was significantly associated inversely with fatal myocardial infarction only in upper tertiles of intake"
  • Quercetin Relieves Prostate Pain - Nutrition Science News, 7/01
  • Quercetin Is Promising for Chronic Prostatitis - Nutrition Science News, 4/01 - "an encouraging 59 percent of the subjects improved"
  • Canceling Cancer: New Cancer Prevention Strategies on the Horizon - WebMD, 3/26/01 - "Xing has shown that quercetin blocks androgen receptors when applied to cancer cells in the laboratory ... We are very excited by our finding that the new approach quercetin [can be used] in the fight against prostate cancer"
  • Eating apples improves lung function - Doctor's Guide, 1/26/00 - "Apples are high in the antioxidant flavoid quercetin. This antioxidant is also found in onions, tea and red wine and it may be important in protecting the lungs from the harmful effects of atmospheric pollution and cigarette smoke"
  • New Study Offers Hope for Chronic Prostatitis Treatment - Medscape, 1/00 - "More than 80% of chronic prostatitis patients who took a proprietary formulation of quercetin, a natural dietary supplement, significantly reduced pain and improved their quality of life, according to a new study published in the December issue of Urology"

Abstracts:

  • The Flavonoid Quercetin Modulates the Hallmark Capabilities of Hamster Buccal Pouch Tumors - Nutr Cancer. 2011 Feb 2:1 - "Epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated the protective effects of dietary phytochemicals against cancer risk. Quercetin, a ubiquitous dietary flavonoid, has attracted considerable attention owing to its potent antioxidant and antiproliferative activities ... Simultaneous administration of quercetin to DMBA-painted hamsters reduced tumor incidence and tumor burden, while posttreatment of quercetin resulted in a significant tumor growth delay. In addition, quercetin administration induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis and blocked invasion and angiogenesis. We found a positive correlation between the inhibition of HDAC-1 and DNMT1 by quercetin and its anticancer properties. A dietary phytochemical such as quercetin that modulates a plethora of molecules offers promise as an ideal candidate for multitargeted cancer prevention and therapy" - See quercetin at Amazon.com.
  • Quercetin is equally or more effective than resveratrol in attenuating tumor necrosis factor-{alpha}-mediated inflammation and insulin resistance in primary human adipocytes - Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Oct 13 - "These data suggest that quercetin is equally or more effective than trans-RSV in attenuating TNF-α-mediated inflammation and insulin resistance in primary human adipocytes"
  • Dietary flavonoid intake and colorectal cancer: a case-control study - Br J Nutr. 2009 Sep 7:1-8 - "We concluded that flavonols, specifically quercetin, obtained from non-tea components of the diet may be linked with reduced risk of developing colon cancer"
  • Inhibition of UVA and UVB radiation-induced lipid oxidation by quercetin - J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jun 24;57(12):5301-5 - "Quercetin, which absorbs UV radiation at 255 and 365 nm, was determined to be a stronger inhibitor of lipid oxidation induced by UVB (3.7 radicals scavenged per molecule) than by lipid oxidation induced by UVA (1.9 radicals scavenged per molecule). The values for inhibition of UVB-induced lipid oxidation by quercetin are comparable to those when 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) was used as an oxidizing system (four radicals scavenged per molecule). The protective effect of quercetin appears to be mainly the result of scavenging of UV-generated radical species, although this may be decreased slightly in the UVA as a result of its absorption at 365 nm"
  • Quercetin inhibits fatty acid and triacylglycerol synthesis in rat-liver cells - Eur J Clin Invest. 2009 Jun 8 - "In hepatocytes from normal rats, the quercetin-induced decrease in both de novo fatty acid and TAG synthesis, with a consequent reduction in VLDL-TAG formation, may represent a potential mechanism contributing to the reported hypotriacylglycerolemic effect of quercetin"
  • Quercetin reduces systolic blood pressure and plasma oxidised low-density lipoprotein concentrations in overweight subjects with a high-cardiovascular disease risk phenotype: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over study - Br J Nutr. 2009 Apr 30:1-10 - "Subjects were randomised to receive 150 mg quercetin/d in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over trial with 6-week treatment periods separated by a 5-week washout period. Mean fasting plasma quercetin concentrations increased from 71 to 269 nmol/l (P < 0.001) during quercetin treatment. In contrast to placebo, quercetin decreased systolic blood pressure (SBP) by 2.6 mmHg (P < 0.01) in the entire study group, by 2.9 mmHg (P < 0.01) in the subgroup of hypertensive subjects and by 3.7 mmHg (P < 0.001) in the subgroup of younger adults aged 25-50 years. Quercetin decreased serum HDL-cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.001), while total cholesterol, TAG and the LDL:HDL-cholesterol and TAG:HDL-cholesterol ratios were unaltered. Quercetin significantly decreased plasma concentrations of atherogenic oxidised LDL, but did not affect TNF-alpha and C-reactive protein when compared with placebo ... Blood parameters of liver and kidney function, haematology and serum electrolytes did not reveal any adverse effects of quercetin. In conclusion, quercetin reduced SBP and plasma oxidised LDL concentrations in overweight subjects with a high-CVD risk phenotype. Our findings provide further evidence that quercetin may provide protection against CVD"
  • Quercetin up-regulates paraoxonase 1 gene expression with concomitant protection against LDL oxidation - Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Jan 10 - "Compared to the pair-fed control group, feeding quercetin (10mg/L) in the liquid diet for 4 weeks increased (a) hepatic expression of PON1 by 35% (p<0.01), (b) serum and liver PON1 activities by 29% (p<0.05) and 57% (p<0.01), respectively, and (c) serum homocysteine thiolactonase (HCTL) activity by 23% (p<0.05). Correspondingly, the lag time of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation was increased by >3-fold (p<0.001) with plasma HDL from quercetin-fed group compared to the HDL from control group. Our data suggest that quercetin has antiatherogenic effect by up regulating PON1 gene expression and its protective capacity against LDL oxidation"
  • Protective Effect of Quercetin against Gentamicin-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Rats - Pharm Bull. 2009 Jan;32(1):61-7 - "Gentamicin (GM) is an antibiotic widely used in treating severe gram-negative infections. However, its clinical use is limited by its nephrotoxicity ... Histopathological examination of GM-treated rats revealed degenerative changes in glomeruli and tubules. On the other hand, simultaneous administration of quercetin plus gentamicin protected kidney tissues against nephrotoxic effects of gentamicin as evidenced from amelioration of histopathological changes and normalization of kidney biochemical parameters"
  • Pure dietary flavonoids quercetin and (-)-epicatechin augment nitric oxide products and reduce endothelin-1 acutely in healthy men - Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;88(4):1018-25 - "Dietary flavonoids, such as quercetin and (-)-epicatechin, can augment nitric oxide status and reduce endothelin-1 concentrations and may thereby improve endothelial function"
  • Serum C-reactive protein concentrations are inversely associated with dietary flavonoid intake in u.s. Adults - J Nutr. 2008 Apr;138(4):753-60 - "Among the flavonoid compounds investigated, quercetin, kaempferol, malvidin, peonidin, daidzein, and genistein had inverse associations with serum CRP concentration"
  • Quercetin inhibits vascular superoxide production induced by endothelin-1: Role of NADPH oxidase, uncoupled eNOS and PKC - Atherosclerosis. 2008 Mar 16 - "Chronic administration of the most abundant dietary flavonoid quercetin exerts antihypertensive effects and improves endothelial function ... endothelin-1 (ET-1, 10nM). ET-1 increased the contractile response induced by phenylephrine and reduced the relaxant responses to acetylcholine in phenylephrine contracted intact aorta, and these effects were prevented by co-incubation with quercetin, isorhamnetin or chelerythrine (protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor). This endothelial dysfunction was also improved by superoxide dismutase (SOD), apocynin (NADPH oxidase inhibitor) and sepiapterin (tetrahydrobiopterin synthesis substrate). Furthermore, ET-1 increased intracellular O(2)(-) production in all layers of the vessel, protein expression of NADPH oxidase subunit p47(phox) without affecting p22(phox) expression and lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence signal stimulated by calcium ionophore A23187. All these changes were prevented by both quercetin and isorhamnetin. Moreover, apocynin, endothelium denudation and N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methylester (l-NAME, nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) suppressed the ET-1-induced increase in A23187-stimulated O(2)(-) generation. Moreover, quercetin but not isorhamnetin, inhibited the increased PKC activity induced by ET-1"
  • The flavonoid luteolin inhibits niacin-induced flush - Br J Pharmacol. 2008 Jan 28 - "Sustained release niacin effectively lowers serum cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, while raising HDL. However, 75% of patients experience cutaneous warmth and itching known as flush, leading to discontinuation. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) reduces this flush only by about 30% ... Quercetin and luteolin (4.3 mg per rat; 1000 mg per human), administered i.p. 45 min prior to niacin, inhibited the niacin effect by 96 and 88%, respectively. Aspirin (1.22 mg per rat; 325 mg per human) inhibited the niacin effect by only 30%. Niacin almost doubled plasma PGD(2) and 5-HT, but aspirin reduced only PGD(2) by 86%. In contrast, luteolin inhibited both plasma PGD(2) and 5-HT levels by 100 and 67%, respectively"
  • Quercetin selectively inhibits bioreduction and enhances apoptosis in melanoma cells that overexpress tyrosinase - Nutr Cancer. 2007;59(2):258-68 - "quercetin can selectively sensitize Tyr+ expressing melanoma cells to apoptosis and may serve as an adjuvant to chemotherapy by enhancing cell death and interfering with GST-mediated drug resistance"
  • Quercetin reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects - J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11):2405-11 - "730 mg quercetin/d for 28 d vs. placebo ... reductions in (P < 0.01) systolic (-7 +/- 2 mm Hg), diastolic (-5 +/- 2 mm Hg), and mean arterial pressures (-5 +/- 2 mm Hg) were observed in stage 1 hypertensive patients after quercetin treatment"
  • Comparative effects of quercetin and its predominant human metabolites on adhesion molecule expression in activated human vascular endothelial cells - Atherosclerosis. 2007 Sep 17 - "both quercetin and its metabolites, at physiological concentrations, can inhibit the expression of key molecules involved in monocyte recruitment during the early stages of atherosclerosis"

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