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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 3/14/12.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to increased risk of heart disease in men - Science Daily, 3/1/12 - "Men who drank a 12-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who didn't drink any sugar-sweetened drinks"

Red Meat Tied to Increased Mortality Risk - ABC News, 3/12/12 - "The study, which followed more than 120,000 American men and women, linked daily consumption of unprocessed red meat with a 13 percent increase in mortality risk ... A daily serving of processed meat carried an even bigger risk. Eating one hotdog or two strips of bacon per day was associated with a 20 percent increased risk of death ... The study could not conclude that red meat consumption caused the increased risk of death, rather that there was an association between the two. But red meat contains compounds known to boost the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, such as saturated fat, sodium nitrites and other "chemicals produced during processing and cooking," ... Swapping red meat for healthy protein sources, such as poultry, fish, legumes and whole grains was linked to a decrease in mortality risk, ranging from 7 percent for fish to 19 percent for nuts"

How the human body controls viruses thought to cause a variety of cancers - Science Daily, 3/12/12 - "One of the many factors that can contribute to the development of cancer is infection with cancer-causing viruses, among them gamma-herpesviruses like the Epstein Barr virus and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus"

Low Vitamin D Raises Mortality Risk in Nursing Home Patients - Medscape, 3/12/12 - "The first prospective cohort study to examine vitamin D deficiency and mortality among elderly female nursing home patients found that nearly all have 25(OH)D levels below the limits of normal, and that those with the lowest vitamin D levels were most likely to die within the next 27 months" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Pine bark extract may ease menopause symptoms: Study - Nutra USA, 3/8/12 - "A daily dose of the branded ingredient Pycnogenol for eight weeks was associated with improvements in signs and symptoms menopause including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irregular periods, loss of libido and vaginal dryness" - [Abstract] - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.

Excess Salt May Stiffen Heart Vessels - Science News, 3/6/12 - "Coronary flow reserve, or CFR, offers a gauge of how well tiny blood vessels in the heart dilate or contract in response to hormonal commands. The lower the CFR, the stiffer the vessels — and the less responsive they become to the heart’s constantly changing workloads ... The new study examined CFR and salt intake among 143 pairs of male twins in their 50s or older. CFR declined by about 10 percent for each additional 1,000 milligrams of sodium that a man consumed per day compared with his brother ... “That’s huge,” ... adults who routinely consume too much sodium might have trouble raising sufficient blood flow in the heart — which could lead to angina or disturbances of heart function"

Cushing's Drug Benefits Some, but Has New Adverse Effects - Medscape, 3/7/12 - "Pasireotide normalized cortisol levels in 20% of patients with Cushing's disease who participated in a year-long phase 3 trial ... However, the drug also led to hyperglycemia-related adverse events in almost three quarters of the participants ... The median percentage change from baseline at 6 months was −47.9% (95% CI, −74.1% to −40.7%) in the low-dose group, and −47.9− (95% CI, −66.9% to −35.5%) in the 900-μg group. The median percentage change at 12 months in the low-dose group was −67.6% (95% CI, −72.7% to −42.4%) and −62.4% (95% CI, −78.7% to −38.5%) in the high-dose group"

Do Fruits and Veggies Make You More Attractive? - WebMD, 3/7/12 - "changes in the redness and yellowness of skin in white people may be linked to the number of servings of fruit and vegetables they eat on a daily basis. These antioxidant-rich foods, which are loaded with plant-based pigments, seem to affect skin tone ... They suggest it's the carotenoids -- the red, yellow, and orange pigments in fruits and vegetables -- that play an important role in skin tone. Foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and apricots are rich in beta-carotene, as are some dark green vegetables, including spinach and kale ... Another carotenoid is lycopene, which is found in tomatoes and pink grapefruits" - See Jarrow Formulas, CarotenALL at Amazon.com and Garden of Life, Radical Fruits Antioxidant Complex at Amazon.com.

Rhodiola rosea: Nature’s anti-depressant - Fox News, 3/7/12 - "Many studies support what even the ancient Chinese emperors knew - that Rhodiola rosea gives a terrific lift to body and mind. In one study of people with stress-related fatigue conducted in Sweden, the Rhodiola exerted an anti-fatigue effect, increased mental performance, decreased the stress hormone cortisol in the blood, and reduced stress overall ... In another study reported in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Rhodiola rosea caused improvement in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Yet another study of depressed people in Armenia showed significant improvement in overall mood as a result of taking Rhodiola rosea extract" - See Rhodiola rosea at Amazon.com.

Eating berries benefits the brain - Science Daily, 3/7/12 - "blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits ... berry fruits help the brain stay healthy in several ways. Berry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals ... berry fruits change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition"

Estrogen After Hysterectomy Lowers Cancer Risk? - WebMD, 3/6/12 - "New results from a long-running government study of the effect of hormones on women’s health show that estrogen-only appears to cut a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer by about 20% and significantly reduces her risk of dying from the disease. Those benefits appear to last for years after the therapy ends ... The effects on breast cancer are so different between estrogen and progestin and estrogen alone that we felt it was time to say that women taking estrogen alone may not need to stop at three to five years. Because over that amount of time, no breast cancer showed up in women taking estrogen alone ... Compared to women taking a placebo, women who took estrogen had a 23% reduced risk of invasive breast cancer ... Women taking estrogen also had a 63% reduced risk of dying from breast cancer compared to women on the placebo"

Muscle Gain From Testosterone Not Hampered by Dutasteride - Medscape, 3/6/12 - "Sexual function was not significantly related to testosterone dose or testosterone concentrations during treatment, and did not differ significantly between placebo and dutasteride groups ... [T]he inhibition of testosterone's conversion to DHT by dutasteride had no significant effect on the ability of testosterone to exert its effects on muscle mass and strength, sexual function, erythropoiesis, plasma lipid levels, prostate volume, and sebum production"

Scientists pinpoint how vitamin D may help clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's - Science Daily, 3/6/12 - "vitamin D3 may activate key genes and cellular signaling networks to help stimulate the immune system to clear the amyloid-beta protein ... in both Type I and Type II macrophages, the added 1a,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 played a key role in opening a specific chloride channel called "chloride channel 3 (CLC3)," which is important in supporting the uptake of amyloid beta through the process known as phagocytosis. Curcuminoids activated this chloride channel only in Type I macrophages ... The scientists also found that 1a,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 strongly helped trigger the genetic transcription of the chloride channel and the receptor for 1a,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in Type II macrophages" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Exercise and caffeine change your DNA in the same way, study suggests - Science Daily, 3/6/12 - "when healthy but inactive men and women exercise for a matter of minutes, it produces a rather immediate change to their DNA. Perhaps even more tantalizing, the study suggests that the caffeine in your morning coffee might also influence muscle in essentially the same way ... for those who can't exercise, the new findings might point the way to medicines (caffeinated ones, perhaps?) with similar benefits"

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):

Vitamin D Levels Predict All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Subjects With the Metabolic Syndrome: The Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) Study - Diabetes Care. 2012 Mar 7 - "Most subjects (92%) had suboptimal levels of 25(OH)D (<75 nmol/L), with 22.2% being severely deficient (<25 nmol/L) ... After full adjustment, including the metabolic syndrome components, those with optimal 25(OH)D levels showed a substantial reduction in all-cause (hazard ratio [HR] 0.25 [95% CI 0.13-0.46]) and cardiovascular disease mortality (0.33 [0.16-0.66]) compared with those with severe vitamin D deficiency" - See vitamin D products at iHerb.

Egg consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a case-control study - Public Health Nutr. 2012 Mar 6:1-5 - "After adjustment for possible confounders more than twofold increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus was determined for individuals consuming 3-4.9 eggs/week (OR = 2.60; 95 % CI 1.34, 5.08) and threefold increased risk of the disease was determined for individuals consuming ≥5 eggs/week (OR = 3.02; 95 % CI 1.14, 7.98) compared with those eating <1 egg/week"

22 : 6n-3 DHA inhibits differentiation of prostate fibroblasts into myofibroblasts and tumorigenesis - Br J Nutr. 2012 Mar 6:1-9 - "DHA represents a suitable agent to inhibit prostate myofibroblast differentiation, invasiveness and EMT, two most important tumour-promoting activities involved in the progression of prostate cancer cells" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

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