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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 3/2/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Marijuana Use Linked to Risk of Psychotic Symptoms - Science Daily, 3/1/11 - "Those participants who had no psychotic symptoms and had never tried marijuana when the study began and then started using marijuana had nearly double the risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms in the future"

Vitamin D linked to lung cancer survival, study suggests - Science Daily, 3/1/11 - "Recent research suggests vitamin D may be able to stop or prevent cancer. Now, a new study finds an enzyme that plays a role in metabolizing vitamin D can predict lung cancer survival ... Levels of the enzyme, called CYP24A1, were elevated as much as 50 times in lung adenocarcinoma compared with normal lung tissue. The higher the level of CYP24A1, the more likely tumors were to be aggressive. About a third of lung cancer patients had high levels of the enzyme. After five years, those patients had nearly half the survival rate as patients with low levels of the enzyme ... Researchers then linked this to how CYP24A1 interacts with calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Happiness improves health and lengthens life - Science Daily, 3/1/11 - "We reviewed eight different types of studies ... the general conclusion from each type of study is that your subjective well-being -- that is, feeling positive about your life, not stressed out, not depressed -- contributes to both longevity and better health among healthy populations ... Laboratory experiments on humans have found that positive moods reduce stress-related hormones, increase immune function and promote the speedy recovery of the heart after exertion. In other studies, marital conflicts and high hostility in married couples were associated with slow wound healing and a poorer immune response"

Sugar-sweetened drinks associated with higher blood pressure - Science Daily, 3/1/11 - "for every extra sugar-sweetened beverage drunk per day participants on average had significantly higher systolic blood pressure by 1.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure higher by 0.8 mm Hg ... They found no consistent association between diet soda intake and blood pressure levels. Those who drank diet soda had higher mean BMI than those who did not and lower levels of physical activity ... One possible mechanism for sugar-sweetened beverages and fructose increasing blood pressure levels is a resultant increase in the level of uric acid in the blood that may in turn lower the nitric oxide required to keep the blood vessels dilated. Sugar consumption also has been linked to enhanced sympathetic nervous system activity and sodium retention"

Boost Potassium Intake to Cut Stroke by 20% - Medscape, 2/28/11 - "Potassium intake may be increased by well-described dietary changes, mainly an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, as recommended by all guidelines to prevent vascular diseases ... those that are very rich in potassium--including bananas, tomatoes, oranges, apricots, and most legumes--is probably best ... The researchers identified 11 studies on the association between habitual dietary potassium intake and incidence of vascular events over the past 30 years ... In the pooled analysis, a 1.64-g (42 mmol)/day higher potassium intake--which Strazzullo says is equivalent to around three pieces of fruit high in potassium--was associated with a 21% lower risk of stroke (risk ratio 0.79; p=0.0007), with a trend toward lower risk of CHD and total CVD that attained statistical significance after the exclusion of a single cohort (RR 0.93; p=0.03 and RR 0.74; p=0.0037)" - See potassium citrate at Amazon.com.

Fish oil fights weight loss due to chemotherapy - Science Daily, 2/28/11 - "supplementing the diet with fish oil may prevent muscle and weight loss that commonly occurs in cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy ... Researchers suspect that supplementing the diet with fish oil -- which contains omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid -- may help patients maintain or gain muscle ... Patients who did not take fish oil lost an average of 2.3 kilograms whereas patients receiving fish oil maintained their weight. Patients with the greatest increase in eicosapentaenoic acid concentration in the blood following fish oil supplementation had the greatest gains in muscle. Sixty-nine percent of patients in the fish oil group gained or maintained muscle mass. Comparatively, only 29 percent of patients in the standard care group maintained muscle mass, and overall, patients in this group lost 1 kilogram of muscle. No difference in total fat tissue was observed between the two groups" - Note: 2.3 kilograms equals 5.1 pounds.  See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Napping may help with blood pressure management - Science Daily, 2/28/11 - "those participants who slept for at least 45 minutes during the day had lower average blood pressure after psychological stress than those who did not sleep ... The average sleep duration is now almost 2 hours shorter per night than it was 50 years ago. And this could be impacting our long-term health. For example, sleeping less has been linked to an increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular problems generally ... One group was allotted a 60-minute interval during the day when they had the opportunity to sleep; the other group did not sleep during the day ... daytime sleep seemed to have a restorative effect with students in the sleep condition reporting lower scores of sleepiness than those who did not sleep. Although blood pressure and pulse rates rose in both groups between baseline and the stress phase, during the recovery phase, those who had napped had significantly lower average blood pressure readings than those who had not slept"

Gut bacteria can control organ functions - Science Daily, 2/28/11 - "The gut microbiota enhances the host's metabolic capacity for processing nutrients and drugs and modulates the activities of multiple pathways in a variety of organ systems ... Here we describe the first evidence of an in vivo association between a family of bacteria and hepatic lipid metabolism. These results provide new insights into the fundamental mechanisms that regulate host-gut microbiota interactions and are of wide interest to microbiological, nutrition, metabolic, systems biology and pharmaceutical research communities ... Another important finding in the paper, according to Claus, is that gut colonization strongly stimulated the expression and activity of the cytochrome P450 3A11, an essential enzyme in drug-detoxification pathways"

Bisphenol A exposures lower in Canadians compared to Americans - Science Daily, 2/27/11 - "Canada invoked the precautionary principle when it became the first country in the world to declare bisphenol A a health hazard in October 2010 ... The comparison between concentrations measured in Canada and US populations are particularly interesting because these two populations are often thought to be demographically similar ... Surprisingly, for each age group that was analysed, the concentrations found in Canadians were approximately half those found in Americans ... differences in sources such as food packaging and thermal receipt papers might be a factor" - Note:  This is probably the main reason:

New way to identify patients at risk of dysphagia after head and neck cancer treatment - Science Daily, 2/25/11 - "dysphagia (swallowing dysfunction) ... Dysphagia may be acute (starting in direct association with treatment) or late (starting months to years after treatment). Risk factors for developing severe acute dysphagia were large tumours, spreading of cancer cells to the lymph nodes, swallowing problems at the time of diagnosis, 6 treatments per week and tumour location other than the vocal cords. Risk factors for developing late dysphagia were large tumours, swallowing problems at the time of diagnosis and tumour location other than the vocal cords ... 83% of all head & neck cancer patients develop some kind of dysphagia"

Low vitamin D levels linked to allergies in kids - Science Daily, 2/24/11 - "When the resulting data was analyzed by Einstein researchers, no association between vitamin D levels and allergies was observed in adults. But for children and adolescents, low vitamin D levels correlated with sensitivity to 11 of the 17 allergens tested, including both environmental allergens (e.g., ragweed, oak, dog, cockroach) and food allergens (e.g., peanuts). For example, children who had vitamin D deficiency (defined as less than 15 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood), were 2.4 times as likely to have a peanut allergy than were children with sufficient levels of vitamin D (more than 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Probiotic identified to treat ulcers - Science Daily, 2/24/11 - "H. pylori is considered one of the major risk factors underlying the development of gastritis and gastric and duodenal ulcers ... Currently, antibiotic-based treatment for H. pylori infection is neither sufficient nor satisfactory, with the most successful treatments reaching 75 to 90% eradication rates ... Among probiotics Bifidobacterium is one of the favorite genera in studies focused on the prevention of gastrointestinal infection and is often used in fermented dairy products or food supplements ... They identified one strain (Bifidobacterium bifidum CECT 7366) that under certain conditions had an inhibition level of nearly 95% in vitro and tested its activitity against infection in mi ... After 21 days, mice treated with the potentially probiotic strain developed significantly less ulcers than the control group" - See probiotics at Amazon.com.

Is dairy colostrum the key to Olympic success? - Science Daily, 2/24/11 - "bovine colostrum can massively reduce gut permeability -- otherwise known as 'leaky gut syndrome.' Their findings, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, could have positive implications not just for athletes but also for sufferers of heatstroke ... The London School of Medicine and Dentistry looked at athletes who were asked to run for 20 minutes at 80 per cent of their aerobic maximum. At the end of the exercise, changes in the subjects gut leakiness were measured using urine sample -- also determined were changes in the athletes' core temperature. Under standard conditions, gut leakiness had increased by 250 per cent and temperature had risen by 2 degrees. However, when the group were given a drink of dairy colostrum for two weeks before the trial, the rise in gut leakiness was reduced by about 80 per cent, despite the same effort and temperature rise" - See colostrum at Amazon.com.

Change in PSA level does not predict prostate cancer - Science Daily, 2/24/11 - "Dr. Vickers and colleagues found no important association between PSA velocity and biopsy outcome after adjusting for risk factors such as age, race, and PSA levels. PSA alone was a much better predictor of biopsy outcome than PSA velocity ... We have previously published papers determining that PSA naturally varies from month to month and have urged men whose PSA suddenly rises to wait six weeks and repeat the test before agreeing to a needle biopsy. This new study in a large population of men provides even stronger evidence that using changes in PSA as a basis for recommendation for biopsy leads to many more unnecessary biopsies and does not help to find the more aggressive cancers that we want to find and treat"

Given prior to loud noise, two drugs protect hearing better than one - Science Daily, 2/23/11 - "We found they have synergy ... anticonvulsant drugs for treating epilepsy helped protect hearing in mice after exposure to loud noise. And other groups had determined that glucocorticoids, anti-inflammatory drugs often used to treat allergies and asthma, were also protective ... they administered the drugs to different groups of mice 24 hours after noise exposure ... Three of the four drugs showed increasing protection with higher doses. And two of the drugs in combination, the anticonvulsant zonisamide and the glucocorticoid methylprednisolone, showed comparable hearing protection at much lower doses than when administered alone"

Iron storage status not linked to mortality: Study - Nutra USA, 2/23/11 - "The study shows that – in a healthy population – there is no association with the biomarkers for iron storage and mortality … meaning that the upper limits of iron storage are no associated with an increased risk of death" - [Abstract]

Selenium may reduce prostate cancer markers: Study - Nutra USA, 2/23/11 - "The new study tested whether a 6-week supplementation of 200 micrograms of selenium (in the form of glycinate) affected the activities of 2 blood selenium enzymes (erythrocyte and plasma GPx) and a marker of prostate cancer risk (plasma PSA) ... selenium supplementation, but not placebo, raised both plasma and erythrocyte GPx activities ... selenium glycinate, but again not placebo, lowered the cancer risk marker of serum PSA" - See selenium at Amazon.com.  Note:  Most of what I've read over the years recommend the selenomethionine form.

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):

Shortened telomeres in individuals with abuse in alcohol consumption - Int J Cancer. 2011 Feb 23 - "Alcohol abuse leads to earlier onset of aging-related diseases, including cancer at multiple sites. Shorter telomere length (TL) in peripheral blood leucocytes (PBLs), a marker of biological aging, has been associated with alcohol-related cancer risks ... To investigated the effect of alcohol abuse on PBL TL and its interaction with alcohol metabolic genotypes, we examined 200 drunk-driving traffic offenders diagnosed as alcohol abusers as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-IV-TR] and enrolled in a probation program, and 257 social drinkers (controls) ... TL was nearly halved in alcohol abusers compared to controls (GMs 0.42 vs. 0.87 relative T/S ratio; P<0.0001) and decreased in relation with increasing drink-units/day (P-trend=0.003). Individuals drinking >4 drink-units/day had substantially shorter TL than those drinking ≤4 drink-units/day (GMs 0.48 vs. 0.61 T/S, P=0.002). Carriers of the common ADH1B*1/*1 (rs1229984) genotype were more likely to be abusers (P=0.008), reported higher drink-units/day (P=0.0003), and exhibited shorter TL (P<0.0001). The rs698 ADH1C and rs671 ALDH2 polymorphisms were not associated with TL. The decrease in PBL-TL modulated by the alcohol metabolic genotype ADH1B*1/*1 may represent a novel mechanism potentially related to alcohol carcinogenesis in alcohol abusers"

Adiponectin and adiponectin receptor in relation to colorectal cancer progression - Int J Cancer. 2010 Dec 15;127(12):2758-67 - "Although obesity is a risk factor for colorectal cancer, the underlying mechanism is not clear. Adiponectin is an adipokine that binds to 2 types of receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2. The plasma concentrations of adiponectin are reduced in obese individuals and adiponectin has been reported to have anticarcinogenic properties. Furthermore, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 have been reported to be expressed in several malignancies ... AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 immunostaining was detected in 72 and 68% of human colorectal cancer tissue, respectively. AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 expression levels were inversely related to T stage. The lowest AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 expression were detected in poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma. RT-PCR also showed the expression of AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 in HCT116 and SW620. MTT assay and TUNEL assay demonstrated the tendency of growth inhibition and apoptosis induction in both cell lines after full-length adiponectin treatment although statistically insignificant. Microarray analysis revealed several gene responses to full-length adiponectin, including upregulation of ENDOGL1 and MT1G. In conclusion, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 may be intimately related to the progression of colorectal cancer"

Relation of Vitamin D Level to Maximal Oxygen Uptake in Adults - Am J Cardiol. 2011 Feb 22 - "Low cardiorespiratory fitness and low serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are associated with increased cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, but whether low 25(OH)D is independently associated with cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy adults is not known ... Serum 25(OH)D concentration was positively related to Vo(2max) (r = 0.29, p = 0.0001), even after adjusting for relevant predictors (e.g., age, gender, and body mass index). There was also a significant interaction between 25(OH)D level and self-reported hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA; p <0.02). With each SD increase in 25(OH)D, Vo(2max) increased by 2.6 ml/kg/min (p = 0.0001) when MVPA was low (16 hours/week) and 1.6 ml/kg/min (p <0.0004) when MVPA was moderate (35 hours/week) but only 0.01 ml/kg/min (p = 0.9) when MVPA was high (64 hours/week). In conclusion, serum 25(OH)D levels predict Vo(2max) in adults; the effect is greatest in those with low levels of physical activity" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Caffeinated Coffee Does Not Acutely Affect Energy Intake, Appetite, or Inflammation but Prevents Serum Cortisol Concentrations from Falling in Healthy Men - J Nutr. 2011 Feb 23 - "Our aim in this crossover study was to investigate the acute effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption on appetite feelings, energy intake, and appetite-, inflammation-, stress-, and glucose metabolism-related markers. Sixteen healthy men (age range, 21-39 y; BMI range, 19.7-28.6 kg/m(2)) received in a random order on 3 separate occasions a standard breakfast snack with 200 mL of either caffeinated coffee (3 mg caffeine/kg body weight), decaffeinated coffee, or water (control). Before intervention (-15 min) and at standard time points following breakfast consumption (0, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 min), participants recorded their appetite feelings and we collected blood samples for measurements of circulating glucose, insulin, cortisol, and appetite- and inflammation-related markers. At 180 min, participants consumed a meal ad libitum. The appetite-related ratings, the appetite plasma hormonal responses as well as the plasma glucose, serum insulin, and plasma and serum inflammatory marker responses did not show an overall intervention effect or a time x intervention interaction. Ad libitum energy intake did not differ among the 3 interventions. However, a significant intervention effect (P = 0.04) and a time x intervention interaction (P-interaction = 0.02) were found for serum cortisol; cortisol concentrations were significantly higher following the caffeinated coffee intervention, compared to control, at 60 min and thereafter. In conclusion, the usually consumed amount of caffeinated coffee does not have short-term effects on appetite, energy intake, glucose metabolism, and inflammatory markers, but it increases circulating cortisol concentrations in healthy men"

Citrus Polyphenol Hesperidin Stimulates Production of Nitric Oxide in Endothelial Cells while Improving Endothelial Function and Reducing Inflammatory Markers in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Feb 23 - "Hesperidin, a citrus flavonoid, and its metabolite hesperetin may have vascular actions relevant to their health benefits ... Treatment of BAEC with hesperetin acutely stimulated phosphorylation of Src, Akt, AMP kinase, and endothelial NO synthase to produce NO; this required generation of H(2)O(2). Increased adhesion of monocytes to BAEC and expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 in response to TNF-α treatment was reduced by pretreatment with hesperetin. In the clinical study, when compared with placebo, hesperidin treatment increased flow-mediated dilation (10.26 +/- 1.19 vs. 7.78 +/- 0.76%; P = 0.02) and reduced concentrations of circulating inflammatory biomarkers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A protein, soluble E-selectin). Conclusions: Novel mechanisms for hesperetin action in endothelial cells inform effects of oral hesperidin treatment to improve endothelial dysfunction and reduce circulating markers of inflammation in our exploratory clinical trial. Hesperetin has vasculoprotective actions that may explain beneficial cardiovascular effects of citrus consumption" - See hesperidin at Amazon.com.

Association of Diurnal Patterns in Salivary Cortisol with All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality: Findings from the Whitehall II Study - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Feb 23 - "We assessed all-cause, cardiovascular, and noncardiovascular death. Results: There were 139 deaths, 32 of which were deaths due to cardiovascular disease, during a mean follow-up period of 6.1 yr. Flatter slopes in cortisol decline across the day were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio for 1 sd reduction in slope steepness 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.09-1.55). This excess mortality risk was mainly driven by an increased risk of cardiovascular deaths (hazard ratio = 1.87; 95% confidence interval = 1.32-2.64). The association with cardiovascular deaths was independent of a wide range of covariates measured at the time of cortisol assessment. There was no association between morning cortisol, the cortisol awakening response, and mortality outcomes. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate, for the first time, the relationship between a flatter slope in cortisol levels across the day and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in a nonclinical population"

Is Bifidobacterium breve effective in the treatment of childhood constipation? Results from a pilot study - Nutr J. 2011 Feb 23;10(1):19 - "Probiotics are increasingly used in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Studies in constipated adults with a Bifidus yoghurt (containing Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus) showed a significant increase in defecation frequency ... The defecation frequency per week significantly increased from 0.9 (0-2) at baseline to 4.9 (0-21) in week 4 (p< 0.01). The mean stool consistency score increased from 2.6 (2-4) at baseline to 3.5 (1-6) in week 4 (p = 0.03). The number of faecal incontinence episodes per week significantly decreased from 9.0 (0-35) at baseline to 1.5 (0-7) in week 4 (p <0.01). Abdominal pain episodes per week significantly decreased from 4.2 (0-7) at baseline to 1.9 (0-7) in week 4 (p = 0.01). No side effects occurred" - See Bifidobacterium breve products at iHerb.

Effect of soya protein on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials - Br J Nutr. 2011 Feb 23:1-10 - "Meta-analyses of twenty-seven RCT showed a mean decrease of 2.21 mmHg (95 % CI - 4.10, - 0.33; P = 0.021) for systolic BP (SBP) and 1.44 mmHg (95 % CI - 2.56, - 0.31; P = 0.012) for diastolic BP (DBP), comparing the participants in the soya protein group with those in the control group. Soya protein consumption significantly reduced SBP and DBP in both hypertensive and normotensive subjects, and the reductions were markedly greater in hypertensive subjects. Significant and greater BP reductions were also observed in trials using carbohydrate, but not milk products, as the control diet. Meta-regression analyses further revealed a significantly inverse association between pre-treatment BP and the level of BP reductions. In conclusion, soya protein intake, compared with a control diet, significantly reduces both SBP and DBP, but the BP reductions are related to pre-treatment BP levels of subjects and the type of control diet used as comparison"

Growth hormone replacement therapy in elderly growth hormone deficient patients: a systematic review - Eur J Endocrinol. 2011 Feb 21 - "Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) is indicated for the treatment of adults with growth hormone deficiency (GHD). However, conflicting data are available on the efficacy of rhGH treatment in elderly GHD patients ... We found 11 eligible studies with a total of 534 patients. Only 2 studies had prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study designs with a duration of rhGH treatment of 6 (n=15) and 12 months (n=62), respectively. Treatment with rhGH decreased total and LDL cholesterol levels by 4-8% and 11-16%, respectively, but did not alter HDL or triglyceride levels. RhGH did not affect body mass index, but decreased waist circumference (by~3cm) and waist/hip ratio. RhGh did not consistently affect blood pressure or bone mineral density. RhGH increased lean body mass by 2-5% and decreased total fat mass by 7-10% in 4 studies, but did not affect body composition in 2 other studies. RhGH consistently improved quality of life (QoL) parameters reflected in AGHDA-scores. There are no explicit data on elderly GHD patients aged >80 yrs"

The association of biomarkers of iron status with mortality in US adults - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Feb 15 - "The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) for all-cause mortality comparing the fourth versus the second quartiles of ferritin and transferrin saturation were 1.09 (0.82-1.44; p-trend across quartiles = 0.92) and 1.08 (0.82-1.43; p-trend across quartiles = 0.62), respectively, for men, 1.43 (0.63-3.23; p-trend across quartiles = 0.31) and 1.48 (0.70-3.11; p-trend across quartiles = 0.60), respectively, for premenopausal women, and 1.03 (0.79-1.34; p-trend across quartiles = 0.95) and 1.17 (0.92-1.49; p-trend across quartiles = 0.63), respectively, for postmenopausal women. Quartile of ferritin and transferrin saturation also showed no association between biomarkers of iron status and mortality ... CONCLUSIONS: In a large nationally representative sample of US adults, within the spectrum of normal iron metabolism, ferritin and transferrin saturation were not associated with risk of mortality among people who were not taking iron supplements and did not have a baseline history of cardiovascular disease or cancer"

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