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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 4/13/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Moderate exercise dramatically improves brain blood flow in elderly women - Science Daily, 4/12/11 - "it's never too late for women to reap the benefits of moderate aerobic exercise. In a 3-month study of 16 women age 60 and older, brisk walking for 30-50 minutes three or four times per week improved blood flow through to the brain as much as 15% ... At study's end, the team measured blood flow in the women's carotid arteries again and found that cerebral blood flow increased an average of 15% and 11% in the women's left and right internal carotid arteries, respectively. The women's VO2 max increased roughly 13%, their blood pressure dropped an average of 4%, and their heart rates decreased approximately 5% ... A steady, healthy flow of blood to the brain achieves two things. First, the blood brings oxygen, glucose and other nutrients to the brain, which are vital for the brain's health. Second, the blood washes away brain metabolic wastes such as amyloid-beta protein released into the brain's blood vessels. Amyloid-beta protein has been implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease"

Omega-3 consumed during pregnancy curbs risk for postpartum depression symptoms - Science Daily, 4/12/11 - "maternal consumption of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; a prominent omega-3 fatty acid) during pregnancy gives infants a developmental advantage even 9 months after they are born. These findings prompted her to consider the benefits that DHA could holistically have on the maternal-infant dyad ... randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled dietary intervention trial in which 52 pregnant women took either a placebo (corn oil) or a fish oil capsule containing 300 milligrams of DHA 5 days each week from 24-40 weeks of pregnancy ... Although the study did not have enough women to investigate if fish oil consumption resulted in a lower incidence of diagnosable postpartum depression, women in the treatment group had significantly lower total Postpartum Depression Screening Scale scores, with significantly fewer symptoms common to postpartum depression" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Vitamin D Protects Against Age-Related Vision Loss in Women - ABC News, 4/12/11 - "women who consume high levels of vitamin D through certain fish, dairy, eggs, and leafy greens could lower the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in later life, by 59 percent" - [Nutra USA] - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Bacteria supplements may affect weight gain: Rat study extends microflora-obesity link - Nutra USA, 4/12/11 - "Early exposure to bacterial strains during pregnancy, breast feeding, and early life has a profound impact on weight gain in the offspring, says a new study with rats ... supplementation of a high-energy-dense diet with the bacterial strain Lactobacillus plantarum resulted in less weight gain, compared to rats fed only the high energy diet ... animals fed the high energy diet and supplemented with less friendly Escherichia coli bacteria experienced significantly higher levels of body fat, compared to the control animals ... the L. plantarum supplemented animals had significantly lower weight gain than both the control and E. coli-supplemented groups. This difference was observed at birth (indicating a potential influence of the mother’s diet) with the L. plantarum pups having an average birth weight of 7.5 grams, compared with 8.2 and 9.6 grams for the control and E.coli animals, respectively ... After six months, a similar trend was observed, with L. plantarum animals having an average weight of 304 grams, compared with 340 and 352 grams for the control and E.coli animals, respectively" - [Abstract] - See probiotics at Amazon.com.

Blueberries may inhibit development of fat cells - Science Daily, 4/10/11 - "The benefits of blueberry consumption have been demonstrated in several nutrition studies, more specifically the cardio-protective benefits derived from their high polyphenol content. Blueberries have shown potential to have a positive effect on everything from aging to metabolic syndrome ... The study was performed in tissue cultures taken from mice. The polyphenols showed a dose-dependent suppression of adipocyte differentiation. The lipid content in the control group was significantly higher than the content of the tissue given three doses of blueberry polyphenols. The highest dose of blueberry polyphenols yielded a 73% decrease in lipids; the lowest dose showed a 27% decrease" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com.

Vehicle pollution significantly damages mouse brain - Science Daily, 4/7/11 - "after short-term exposure to vehicle pollution, mice showed significant brain damage -- including signs associated with memory loss and Alzheimer's disease ... The mind-numbing toxin is not an exhaust gas, but a mix of tiny particles from burning of fossil fuel and weathering of car parts and pavement ... The freeway particles measured between a few dozen to 200 nanometers -- roughly one-thousandth the width ... You can't see them, but they are inhaled and have an effect on brain neurons that raises the possibility of long-term brain health consequences of freeway air ... Even an all-electric car culture would not solve the problem on its own ... It would certainly sharply decrease the local concentration of nanoparticles, but then at present electrical generation still depends upon other combustion processes -- coal -- that in a larger environment contribute nanoparticles anyway"

Political views are reflected in brain structure - Science Daily, 4/7/11 - "Individuals who call themselves liberal tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, while those who call themselves conservative have larger amygdalas. Based on what is known about the functions of those two brain regions, the structural differences are consistent with reports showing a greater ability of liberals to cope with conflicting information and a greater ability of conservatives to recognize a threat"

Amazing acai alleviates atherosclerosis: Study - Nutra USA, 4/6/11 - "The study, published in Atherosclerosis , presents evidence to suggest that the athero-protective effect of the açaí juice is in part due to reduced break down of lipids (lipid peroxidation) – which may be due to increasing the levels and activity of two antioxidant enzymes ... Markers of oxidative stress were found to be significantly lower in the serum and liver of açaí juice fed animals ... Results from analysis of 17 genes related to oxidation/antioxidant enzymes also showed that expression of two antioxidant enzyme genes glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione reductase (GSR) – considered important antioxidant enzymes in vascular systems – were significantly up-regulated in the aorta of açaí juice fed mice ... The activities of GSR in serum and liver and GPX in serum were also reported to increase in açaí juice fed mice ... Hence, these two antioxidant enzymes may act synergistically to reduce lipid peroxidation ... In further experiments, mice fed açaí juice for 5 weeks were reported to have significantly lower serum levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α" -[Abstract] - See acai berry products at iHerb.

DSM builds olive extract IP with energy & exercise performance patent - Nutra USA, 4/7/11 - "According to European Patent EP2009/063492, the invention refers to hydroxytyrosol in combination with at least one other ingredient, including the likes of CoQ10, resveratrol, B vitamins, and EGCG from green tea ... Hydroxytyrosol is thought to be the main antioxidant compound in olives, and believed to play a significant role in the many health benefits attributed to olive oil. Previous research has linked the compound to cardiovascular benefits, with reductions in LDL or 'bad' cholesterol. Data has also suggested the compound may boost eye health and reduce the risk of against macular degeneration ... Hydroxytyrosol significantly increased the running distance to exhaustion in mice and so improved endurance in prolonged exercise ... hydroxytyrosol promotes mitochondrial activity and mitochondrial biogenesis leading to an enhancement of mitochondrial function and cellular defense system" - See olive leaf extract at Amazon.com.  As far as the synergy, I would think that most would be already taking the CoQ-10, resveratrol, B-vitamins and green tea.

Curcumin-soy formulation may boost absorption 60-fold: Indena study - Nutra USA, 4/6/11 - "Curcumin has been a sort of ‘forbidden fruit’ for biomedical research, since its poor oral bioavailability has substantially hampered clinical development, despite the very promising indications of the preclinical research ... The volunteers received five (low-dose - 209 mg total curcuminoids) or nine (high-dose - 376 mg total curcuminoids) hard-shell capsules of either the soybean-based phospholipid-curcumin formulation (Meriva) or five capsules of a non-formulated curcuminoid mixture containing 1799 mg of curcuminoids ... Total curcuminoid absorption was about 29-fold higher for Meriva than for its corresponding unformulated curcuminoid mixture, but only phase-2 metabolites could be detected, and plasma concentrations were still significantly lower than those required for the inhibition of most anti-inflammatory targets of curcumin ... the major plasma curcuminoid after administration of Meriva was not curcumin, but demethoxycurcumin, a more potent analogue in many in vitro anti-inflammatory assays" - [Abstract]

Some diabetes drugs are better than others, according to new study - Science Daily, 4/6/11 - "compared to metformin treatment, monotherapy with most ISs, including glimepiride, glibenclamide, glipizide and tolbutamide, was associated with a greater risk of death from any cause, and a greater risk of heart attacks, stroke or death from cardiovascular diseases. This was the case both for patients who had already suffered a heart attack and for patients who had not. Two other ISs, gliclazide and repaglinide, showed no significant difference to metformin in their effectiveness in patients with and without a history of heart attacks ...Patients taking metformin had the best outcomes, supporting prior evidence of metformin benefit and making it the first-line drug recommended for almost all patients with type 2 diabetes. Compared against this beneficial drug, most of the ISs were associated with worse outcomes, but they would almost certainly be similar to, or better, had the comparison been made against placebo treatment, with the added benefit on kidney, eye, and nerve disease of the glucose control they yield" - Note:  Why would they have a study like that and not include the #2 diabetes drug a thiazolidinedione, Actos (pioglitazone).  Makes you question their motives.  See http://www.pharmacytimes.com/media/pdf/PHTM_36.pdf.

Fatty liver: How a serious problem arises - Science Daily, 4/6/11 - "Up to 80 percent of obese people develop fatty liver disease, which is regarded a typical characteristic of the dangerous metabolic syndrome. Deposition of fat in the liver may lead to chronic liver inflammation and even to liver cancer. In addition, fatty liver is considered to be an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis"

Older age memory loss tied to stress hormone receptor in brain - Science Daily, 4/6/11 - "one receptor was activated by low levels of cortisol, which helped memory. However, once levels of this stress hormone were too high they spilled over onto a second receptor. This activates brain processes that contribute to memory impairment ... high levels of the stress hormone in aged mice made them less able to remember how to navigate a maze. The memory recall problem was reversed when the receptor linked to poor memory was blocked ... lowering the levels of these stress hormones will prevent them from activating a receptor in the brain that is bad for memory ... The researchers are currently investigating a new chemical compound which blocks an enzyme -- 11beta-HSD1 -- that is involved in producing stress hormones within cells"

Fish oil boosts responses to breast cancer drug tamoxifen, researchers find - Science Daily, 4/6/11 - "omega-3 fatty acids -- abundant in fish -- could be a safe and beneficial booster for tamoxifen therapy ... [in rats] Omega-3 fatty acids produced a greater expression of genes related to cellular specialization, or differentiation -- a sign of lower cancer severity -- compared to corn oil. The combination of fish oil and tamoxifen reduced the expression of genes linked to tumor growth and spreading ... If a tumor was being treated with tamoxifen, the addition of an omega-3 fatty acid diet seemed to make the tumor, at least at the molecular level, more benign and less aggressive and responsive to tamoxifen" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Strawberries may slow precancerous growth in the esophagus, study suggests - Science Daily, 4/6/11 - "freeze-dried strawberries significantly inhibited tumor development in the esophagus of rats ... daily consumption of strawberries suppressed various biomarkers involved in esophageal carcinogenesis, including cell proliferation, inflammation and gene transcription ... Each of the 36 study participants ate 60 grams (about two ounces) of freeze-dried strawberries daily for six months. The researchers obtained biopsy specimens before and after the strawberry consumption. The results showed that 29 out of 36 participants experienced a decrease in histological grade of the precancerous lesions during the study ... The survival rate of this type of esophageal cancer is very low, with only 10 percent of patients living 5 years after diagnosis"

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):

Biology of gait control: Vitamin D involvement - Neurology. 2011 Apr 6 - "Adverse neuromuscular events have been described in case of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) concentrations, suggesting that vitamin D may be involved in gait stability. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to examine the association between stride-to-stride variability of stride time (STV) and serum 25OHD concentration in adults aged 65 years and older ... A total of 16.6% (n = 68) of subjects had severe 25OHD insufficiency, 70.3% (n = 289) moderate insufficiency, and 13.1% (n = 54) normal concentrations. In the full adjusted and the stepwise backward linear regression models, high STV (worse performance) was associated with severe 25OHD insufficiency (p = 0.028 and p = 0.044, respectively), high CoM motion (p = 0.031 and p = 0.014, respectively), and low lower limb proprioception score (p = 0.017 and p = 0.008, respectively). The stepwise backward regression model also showed that high STV was associated with female gender (p = 0.041) ... Low serum 25OHD concentrations were associated with high STV reflecting a disturbed gait control. This association could be explained by a possible action of vitamin D on different components involved in gait control" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

The Association of Telomere Length and Cancer: A Meta-Analysis - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Apr 5 - "Short telomeres in surrogate tissues (e.g., blood cells) are associated with increased cancer risk in several case-control studies, but findings are inconsistent in prospective studies ... Studies on bladder, esophageal, gastric, head and neck, ovarian, renal, and overall incident cancer found associations between short telomeres and these cancers. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast, lung and colorectal cancer reports were inconsistent. Single studies on endometrial, prostate, and skin cancers were null. In a random effects meta-analysis, short TL was significantly associated with cancer in retrospective studies (pooled OR for the shortest TL quartile compared with the longest: 2.9, 95%CI 1.73 - 4.8, P<0.0001). The pooled OR for prospective studies was 1.16 (95%CI 0.87 - 1.54, P=0.32). All studies combined yielded a pooled OR of 1.96 (95%CI 1.37 - 2.81, P=0.0001) for the association of short TL and cancer.Conclusion and Impact: There is suggestive evidence that short surrogate tissue TL is associated with cancer; the strongest evidence exists for bladder, esophageal, gastric, and renal cancers"

Value of Angiotensin receptor blocker therapy in diabetes - J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011 Apr;13(4):290-5 - "There are more clinical trials investigating angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in diabetes than any other drug class, ranging from early "prevention" trials to the treatment of individuals with advanced organ damage. In its earliest manifestations, visceral adiposity predisposes to hypertension and hyperglycemia (metabolic syndrome). In these individuals, ARB therapy delays the progression to chronic hypertension and may also delay the progression to overt diabetes. Based on the increased cardiovascular disease risk of the metabolic syndrome, which is similar to stage 1 hypertension, both lifestyle modification and ARB therapy are justifiable. ARB therapy has also been found to delay the onset of microalbuminuria and retinopathy. In established diabetic nephropathy, ARB therapy is recommended as a standard alternative to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition to reduce macroalbuminuria and delay the progression to end-stage disease. Finally, large trials in ischemic heart disease, heart failure, and stroke have demonstrated clear benefits of ARB therapy. Because ARBs have side effect rates equal to placebo and far lower than any other antihypertensive drug class, the benefit/risk ratio is highly favorable across the entire spectrum of diabetic disease. Thus, ARB therapy is a highly attractive alternative for individuals at any stage of diabetes and with any pattern of complications" - See telmisartan at OffshoreRx1.com.

Açaí juice attenuates atherosclerosis in ApoE deficient mice through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities - Atherosclerosis. 2011 Feb 24 - "ApoE(-/-) mice were fed AIN-93G diet (CD) or CD formulated to contain 5% freeze-dried açaí juice powder (AJ) for 20 weeks. The mean lesion areas in the aorta for apoE(-/-) mice fed AJ were 58% less (P<0.001) compared to that for CD fed mice. HDL-cholesterol was higher in AJ fed mice. Biomarkers of lipid peroxidation, including F(2)-isoprostanes and isomers of hydroxyoctadecadienoic acids and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids were significantly lower in serum and in liver of AJ fed mice. Expression of the two antioxidant enzyme genes, Gpx3 and Gsr, were significantly up-regulated in the aorta from AJ fed mice. The activity of GPX, GSR and PON1 increased in serum and/or liver of mice fed AJ. In the second experiment, ApoE(-/-) mice were fed CD or AJ for 5 weeks. Serum levels, gene expression and protein levels of the two proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 in the resident macrophages with or without LPS stimulation were lower in mice fed AJ. SEAP reporter assay determined that AJ reduced NF-κB activation" - See acai berry products at iHerb.

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