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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 9/7/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Marine, but not plant, omega-3s may boost heart health for women: Study - Nutra USA, 9/7/11 - "High intakes of long chain omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6 n-3) was associated with a 38% reduction in the risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD) in women, but not men ... Much attention has been paid to the conversion of ALA to the longer chain EPA, with many stating that this conversion is very small. Indeed, between 8 and 20 per cent of ALA is reportedly converted to EPA in humans, and between 0.5 and 9 per cent of ALA is converted to DHA ... high intakes of long chain omega-3s ranging from 0.45 to 11.2 grams per day were associated with a 38% reduction in IHD risk for women only" - [Abstract] - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Chondroitin sulfate improves hand function, relieves morning stiffness caused by osteoarthritis, study finds - Science Daily, 9/6/11 - "OA -- the most common form of arthritis -- affects more than 27 million adults in the U.S., causing joint pain and stiffness ... 20% to 30% of adults have OA of the hand, with the prevalence rising to more than 50% after 60 years of age ... Participants received either 800 mg of chondroitin sulfate (80 patients) or placebo (82 patients) once daily for 6 months ... patients in the chondroitin sulfate group had significant decrease in global hand pain compared with the placebo group, reflecting an 8.7 decrease on the VAS. Hand function also improved significantly for those taking chondroitin sulfate, decreasing more than 2 points on the FIHOA. Researchers also reported significantly improved hand function and reduction in morning stiffness for participants taking chondroitin sulfate versus placebo ... Alternative therapies, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), provide similar pain reducing effects, but with considerably more long-term toxicities" - See chondroitin sulfate at Amazon.com.

Quality problems more likely in offshore drug plants, study suggests - Science Daily, 9/6/11 - "drugs produced in Puerto Rican plants owned and operated by U.S. pharmaceutical firms were more likely to have quality problems than those produced by the same firm in a matched plant on the United States mainland ... The most effective way to improve quality standards in offshore plants may be to rotate managers and line employees from mainland plants with well-established quality programs ... "One of the managers I spoke to currently in a Puerto Rican plant said it best: No one here knows what it looks like to run a world-class operation in terms of quality control,""

Anti-inflammatory drugs taken in early pregnancy more than double risk of miscarriage, study finds - Science Daily, 9/6/11 - "The risk of miscarriage is 2.4 times greater for women who took any type and dosage of nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in early pregnancy"

New polymer research could boost probiotics industry - Science Daily, 9/5/11 - "One of the challenges for manufacturers of probiotic foods is getting high enough numbers of these bacteria into the intestines; most perish under the heavy acidic conditions of the stomach ... The novel biopolymer is completely biodegradable and is able to remain intact in the stomach and continue to the intestine, where it disintegrates, releasing the bacteria ... The researchers believe their findings could have a major impact on the probiotics industry"

Flu shots are already available - USA Today, 9/3/11 - "The top level of immunity occurs about two weeks after vaccination, and protection lasts throughout a typical flu season ... Because flu season across the country usually doesn't peak until late January or early February, Major said he doesn't plan to start urging his patients to get the shots until later this month or early October" - Note:  I'd like to see a curve of the drop off rate in level of immunity.  It doesn't seem like it would be steep.  Last year there were articles about people still being partially immune because they had been exposed to a strand of the virus back in 1918.  If I'm in the area where they're giving the shots, I'm not going to wait.

Business Digest - The Daily, 9/3/11 - See the lower right corner.  Generic Lipitor is supposed to be available on November 30th.  Also it mentions a new study that questions whether Crestor beats Lipitor.

Powerful antioxidant resveratrol prevents metabolic syndrome in lab tests, study finds - Science Daily, 9/2/11 - "administering resveratrol to the young offspring of lab rats after weaning actually prevented the development of a metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and higher deposits of abdominal fat" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

Bad Bugs Common on Hospital Workers’ Clothes - WebMD, 9/2/11 - "Uniforms worn by hospital personnel often are contaminated with the superbug MRSA and a variety of other bacteria ... They swabbed white coats and uniforms worn by doctors and nurses and found potentially dangerous bacteria on more than 60% of items they examined" - Note:  I admit being a germaphobe or maybe I just see or understand what others don't.  60% is hard to overlook.  I put my clothes through the speed cycle with soap then through steam cycle.  I change clothes and shower whenever I've been waiting around doctor's waiting rooms.

Valerian may ease menopausal sleep woes - msnbc.com, 8/30/11 - "For the new study, researchers in Iran randomly assigned 100 postmenopausal women with insomnia to take either two valerian capsules or inactive placebo capsules every day for a month ... Overall, the study found, 30 percent of the women assigned to valerian reported an improvement in their sleep quality -- which includes factors like how long it takes to fall asleep at night and how often a person wakes up overnight ... In contrast, only four percent of women taking the placebo reported better sleep ... Women in this study reported no side effects ... Women in the current study took two valerian capsules a day, each containing 530 milligrams of valerian root extract. Both the valerian and placebo capsules they used were made specifically for the study ... A recent report by ConsumerLab.com, an independent testing company, found that of nine valerian supplements sold in the U.S., five had lower amounts of the herb than indicated on the packaging. That included one product with no valerian in it at all" - See valerian root at Amazon.com.

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):

Inhibitory Effect of Vitamin C in Combination With Vitamin K3 on Tumor Growth and Metastasis of Lewis Lung Carcinoma Xenografted in C57BL/6 Mice - Nutr Cancer. 2011 Sep 2 - "Vit CK3 restored the body weight of tumor-bearing mice to the level of tumor-free mice ... These results demonstrate that vit CK3 inhibits primary tumor growth and exhibits antimetastastic potential in vivo through attenuated tumor invasion and proliferation" - See vitamin C products at Amazon.com and vitamin K at Amazon.com.

Probiotics and prebiotics in the management of irritable bowel syndrome: a review of recent clinical trials and systematic reviews - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Sep 1 - "Most systematic reviews indicate that probiotics have a beneficial impact on global IBS symptoms, abdominal pain and flatulence. However, recent trials indicate that different probiotics can improve, have no effect, or even worsen symptoms, confirming that benefits are likely to be strain and symptom-specific. There are no recent clinical trials of prebiotics in IBS, although previous studies indicate potential benefit at lower doses ... Clearly, some probiotics have considerable potential in the management of IBS; however, the benefits are likely to be strain-specific. Preliminary studies suggest low doses of prebiotics may improve symptoms of IBS, although further robust clinical trials are required" - See probiotics at Amazon.com.

Feasibility and antihypertensive effect of replacing regular salt with mineral salt- rich in magnesium and potassium- in subjects with mildly elevated blood pressure - Nutr J. 2011 Sep 2;10(1):88 - "subjects consumed processed foods salted with either NaCl or Smart Salt ... 24-h dU-Na decreased significantly in the Smart Salt group (-29.8 mmol; p=0.012) and remained unchanged in the control group: resulting in a 3.3 g difference in NaCl intake between the groups. Replacement of NaCl with Smart Salt resulted in a significant reduction in SBP over 8 weeks (-7.5 mmHg; p=0.016). SBP increased (+3.8 mmHg, p=0.072) slightly in the Regular salt group" - See smartsalt.com.

Calcium intake and prostate cancer among African Americans: Effect modification by vitamin D receptor calcium absorption genotype - J Bone Miner Res. 2011 Sep 1 - "Compared to men in the lowest quartile of calcium intake, men in the highest quartile had an approximately two-fold increased risk of localized and advanced prostate cancer (odds ratio [OR]= 2.20, 95% confidence interval [CI]= 1.40, 3.46), with a significant dose-response. Poor absorbers of calcium (VDR Cdx2 GG genotype) had a significantly lower risk of advanced prostate cancer (OR= 0.41, 95% CI = 0.19, 0.90). The gene-calcium interaction was statistically significant (p = 0.03). Among men with calcium intake below the median (680 mg/day), carriers of the G allele had an approximately 50% decreased risk compared to men with the AA genotype. These findings suggest a link between prostate cancer risk and high intestinal absorption of calcium" - Note:  Calcium interferes with magnesium absorption and possibly the absorption of trace minerals.  I seems like they should have at least checked magnesium at the same time to see if that was the high calcium or maybe low magnesium being the cause. Maybe it would have added a half percent to the cost of the study.

Pro-bone and anti-fat effects of green tea and its polyphenol, epigallocatechin in rat mesenchymal stem cells in vitro - J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Aug 31 - "In conclusion, this is the first report of dual action of green tea polyphenol EGC in promoting osteogenesis and inhibiting adipocyte formation in MSCs. Our results provide scientific evidence to support the potential use of green tea in supporting the bone against degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Creatine Supplementation Prevents the Accumulation of Fat in the Livers of Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet - J Nutr. 2011 Aug 31 - "In conclusion, creatine supplementation prevented the fatty liver induced by feeding rats a HF diet, probably by normalization of the expression of key genes of β-oxidation" - See creatine at Amazon.com.

Whole Blueberry Powder Modulates the Growth and Metastasis of MDA-MB-231 Triple Negative Breast Tumors in Nude Mice - J Nutr. 2011 Aug 31 - "In this study, tumor volume was 75% lower in mice fed the 5% BB diet and 60% lower in mice fed the 10% BB diet than in control mice (P ≤ 0.05). Tumor cell proliferation (Ki-67) was lower in the 5 and 10% BB-fed mice and cell death (Caspase 3) was greater in the 10% BB-fed mice compared to control mice (P ≤ 0.05). Gene analysis of tumor tissues from the 5% BB-fed mice revealed significantly altered expression of genes important to inflammation, cancer, and metastasis, specifically, Wnt signaling, thrombospondin-2, IL-13, and IFNγ. To confirm effects on Wnt signaling, analysis of tumor tissues from 5% BB-fed mice revealed lower β-catenin expression and glycogen synthase kinase-3β phosphorylation with greater expression of the β-catenin inhibitory protein adenomatous polyposis coli compared to controls. A second study tested the ability of the 5% BB diet to inhibit MDA-MB-231-luc-D3H2LN metastasis in vivo. In this study, 5% BB-fed mice developed 70% fewer liver metastases (P = 0.04) and 25% fewer lymph node metastases (P = 0.09) compared to control mice. This study demonstrates the oral antitumor and metastasis activity of whole BB powder against TNBC in mice" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com.

The effect of coffee on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in hypertensive individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis - Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug 31 - "In 5 trials, the administration of 200-300 mg caffeine produced a mean increase of 8.1 mm Hg (95% CI: 5.7, 10.6 mm Hg) in systolic BP and of 5.7 mm Hg (95% CI: 4.1, 7.4 mm Hg) in diastolic BP. The increase in BP was observed in the first hour after caffeine intake and lasted ≥3 h. In 3 studies of the longer-term effect (2 wk) of coffee, no increase in BP was observed after coffee was compared with a caffeine-free diet or was compared with decaffeinated coffee. Last, 7 cohort studies found no evidence of an association between habitual coffee consumption and a higher risk of CVD ... In hypertensive individuals, caffeine intake produces an acute increase in BP for ≥3 h. However, current evidence does not support an association between longer-term coffee consumption and increased BP or between habitual coffee consumption and an increased risk of CVD in hypertensive subjects"

Persistence of Mortality Risk in Patients With Acute Cardiac Diseases and Mild Thyroid Dysfunction - Am J Med Sci. 2011 Aug 26 - "A total of 1026 patients (mean age: 67.7 years) were divided into 4 groups: (1) euthyroid (EU, n = 579); (2) subclinical-like hypothyroidism (SLHYPO, n = 68); (3) subclinical-like hyperthyroidism (SLHYPER, n = 23) and (4) low-triiodothyronine syndrome (LowT3, n = 356). Follow-up started from the day of thyroid hormone evaluation (mean follow-up: 30 months). The events considered were cardiac and overall deaths ... Survival rate for cardiac death was lower in SLHYPO and in LT3 than in EU (log rank test; χ = 33.6; P < 0.001). Survival rate for overall death was lower in SLHYPO, SLHYPER and LowT3 than in EU (48.3; P < 0.001). After adjustment for several risk factors, the hazard ratio for cardiac death was higher in SLHYPO (3.65; P = 0.004) in LowT3 (1.88; P = 0.032) and in SLHYPER (4.73; P = 0.047). Hazard ratio for overall death was higher in SLHYPO (2.30; P = 0.009), in LowT3 (1.63; P = 0.017) and in SLHYPER than in EU (3.71; P = 0.004). Hazards for SLHYPO, SLHYPER and LowT3 with respect to EU were proportional over the follow-up period ... In patients with acute cardiac disease, a mildly altered thyroid status was associated with increased risk of mortality that remains constant during all the follow-up" - See T3 at International Anti-aging Systems.

Association Between Vitamin D and Risk of Colorectal Cancer: A Systematic Review of Prospective Studies - J Clin Oncol. 2011 Aug 29 - "Relevant studies were identified by a search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases before October 2010 with no restrictions ... The pooled RRs of colorectal cancer for the highest versus lowest categories of vitamin D intake and blood 25(OH)D levels were 0.88 (95% CI, 0.80 to 0.96) and 0.67 (95% CI, 0.54 to 0.80), respectively. There was no heterogeneity among studies of vitamin D intake (P = .19) or among studies of blood 25(OH)D levels (P = .96). A 10 ng/mL increment in blood 25(OH)D level conferred an RR of 0.74 (95% CI, 0.63 to 0.89) ... Vitamin D intake and blood 25(OH)D levels were inversely associated with the risk of colorectal cancer in this meta-analysis" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

The Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial: 11-year mortality follow-up of the lipid-lowering arm in the UK - Eur Heart J. 2011 Aug 28 - "ASCOT-LLA was stopped prematurely after a median 3.3-year follow-up because of a 36% relative risk reduction (RRR) in non-fatal myocardial infarction and fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) (the primary outcome) in favour of atorvastatin and a non-significant reduction in CV deaths (16%) and all-cause mortality (13%). After a further 2.2 years at the end of ASCOT-BPLA, despite extensive crossovers from and to statin usage, the RRR in all endpoints remained essentially unchanged. A median 11 years after initial randomization and years after closure of LLA, all-cause mortality (n= 520 and 460 in placebo and atorvastatin, respectively) remained significantly lower in those originally assigned atorvastatin (HR 0.86, CI 0.76-0.98, P= 0.02). CV deaths were fewer, but not significant (HR 0.89, CI 0.72-1.11, P= 0.32) and non-CV deaths were significantly lower (HR 0.85, CI 0.73-0.99, P= 0.03) in those formerly assigned atorvastatin attributed to a reduction in deaths due to infection and respiratory illness"

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