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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 7/18/12.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Increased recommended dietary Vitamin C could help reduce heart disease, stroke, cancer - Science Daily, 7/16/12 - "The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, of vitamin C is less than half what it should be, scientists argue in a recent report, because medical experts insist on evaluating this natural, but critical nutrient in the same way they do pharmaceutical drugs and reach faulty conclusions as a result ... the RDA of vitamin C should be raised to 200 milligrams per day for adults, up from its current levels in the United States of 75 milligrams for women and 90 for men ... Rather than just prevent the vitamin C deficiency disease of scurvy, they say, it's appropriate to seek optimum levels that will saturate cells and tissues, pose no risk, and may have significant effects on public health at almost no expense ... higher levels of vitamin C could help reduce the chronic diseases that today kill most people in the developed world -- heart disease, stroke, cancer, and the underlying issues that lead to them, such as high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, poor immune response and atherosclerosis" - See vitamin C at Amazon.com.

Vitamin B12 and Sensory and Motor Peripheral Nerve Function - Medscape, 7/13/12 - "Deficient B12 status is associated with worse sensory and motor nerve function in older adults. These findings have important implications for functioning and disability in older adults. Several studies have shown an association between peripheral neuropathy or poor peripheral nerve function and impaired mobility and falls.[22,25,44–48] ... In the aftermath of the 1998 mandatory folic acid fortification in the United States, it is important to study vitamin B12 and consequences of poor B12 status in older adults.[2] A high intake of folic acid may correct megaloblastic anemia, which is caused by a deficiency in B12 or folic acid.[14, 49] Because the classic sign of anemia may not be present, B12 deficiency may go unnoticed, and neurological damage may progress and not be easily reversible.[2] Although current recommendations do not advise monitoring B12 levels in older adults, the current results suggest that low levels are associated with peripheral nerve impairments, which have been associated with lower musculoskeletal function in our population.[22,23,26] Supplemental B12 is easily available, adequately absorbed, and well tolerated in older adults[50] and may correct vitamin B12 deficits associated with impaired peripheral nerve function. Randomized clinical trials are needed to establish that sufficient B12 supplementation can improve peripheral nerve function" - See vitamin B12 at Amazon.com.

Association Between Plasma 25-OH Vitamin D and Testosterone - Medscape, 7/13/12 - "In conclusion, the present study confirms previous findings of a positive association between vitamin D status as reflected by 25(OH) vitamin D levels and testosterone levels, although in our study, this finding was not supported by parallel seasonal variation patterns of 25(OH) vitamin D and testosterone. Whether these cross-sectional findings reflect a causal relationship deserves further scientific examination" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Low Vitamin D May Blunt Effectiveness of Asthma Treatment - Medscape, 7/13/12 - "In asthmatic children treated with inhaled corticosteroids, vitamin D deficiency is associated with poorer lung function than [in] children with vitamin D insufficiency or sufficiency ... the investigators analyzed data from the Childhood Asthma Management Program, a multicenter trial of 1041 children diagnosed with mild to moderate persistent asthma ... Among children being treated with corticosteroids, those who were vitamin D deficient were less likely than other children taking the same drug to show big improvements in prebronchodilator FEV1 scores after 12 months of treatment" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Chemicals in personal care products -- phthalates -- may increase risk of diabetes in women - Science Daily, 7/13/12 - "Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals that are commonly found in personal care products such as moisturizers, nail polishes, soaps, hair sprays and perfumes. They are also used in adhesives, electronics, toys and a variety of other products ... women with higher levels of phthalates in their urine were more likely to have diabetes. Specifically:  Women who had the highest levels of the chemicals mono-benzyl phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate had almost twice the risk of diabetes compared to women with the lowest levels of those chemicals ... Women with higher than median levels of the chemical mono-(3-carboxypropyl) phthalate had approximately a 60 percent increased risk of diabetes ... Women with moderately high levels of the chemicals mono-n-butyl phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate had approximately a 70 percent increased risk of diabetes"

Your Brain -- Use It or Lose It - Medscape, 7/12/12 - "It is not yet known whether an active cognitive lifestyle and social engagement directly affect the brain and cerebral vasculature, whether people who are more resilient neurologically have more active cognitive lifestyles, or whether predisposition to greater resiliency is linked to predisposition to cognitive activity. However, improvement of cognitive decline by cognitive retraining (JW Psychiatry Oct 17 2011) suggests that a two-way interaction between the environment and the brain might protect against dementia via several mechanisms"

Effect of Long-term Cannabis Use on Axonal Fiber Connectivity - Medscape, 7/12/12 - "Our results suggest that long-term cannabis use is hazardous to white matter in the developing brain. Given the association between cannabis-related harms and age of onset of regular use, delaying use may minimize such harmful effects. Disturbed brain connectivity in cannabis users may underlie cognitive impairment and vulnerability to psychosis, depression and anxiety disorders (Lim et al., 2002), all of which are significant public health concerns. White matter alterations have been associated with various functional and clinical outcomes in schizophrenia, including illness, symptomatic and cognitive measures (Walterfang et al., 2011), with white matter pathology underlying faulty integration of cortical–cerebellar–thalamic–cortical circuits thought to play a primary role in the observed cognitive deficits (Wexler et al., 2009). Similar connectivity disturbances, particularly in the fimbria of the hippocampus and commissural fibres extending to the precuneus reported in this study, may underlie the memory impairment and other cognitive deficits that are observed in long-term heavy cannabis users"

Anxiety linked to shortened telomeres, accelerated aging - Science Daily, 7/11/12 - "researchers had obtained blood samples from 5,243 women, age 42 to 69 years, who were participants in the Nurses' Health Study. Using the samples, the researchers analyzed telomere lengths, as well as the participants' concurrent self-reports regarding phobic symptoms on a validated questionnaire ... Having a high phobic anxiety level was associated with significantly shorter telomere lengths. The difference in telomere lengths for women who were highly phobic vs. not was similar to what was seen for an additional six years of age"

Widespread exposure to BPA substitute is occurring from cash register receipts, other paper - Science Daily, 7/11/12 - "growing evidence of the potentially toxic effects of BPA has led some manufacturers to replace it with BPS in thermal paper and other products. BPS is closely related to BPA, with some of the same estrogen-mimicking effects, and unanswered questions exist about whether it is safer ... they analyzed 16 types of paper from the U.S., Japan, Korea and Vietnam ... The study detected BPS in all the receipt paper they tested, 87 percent of the samples of paper currency and 52 percent of recycled paper. The researchers estimate that people may be absorbing BPS through their skin in larger doses than they absorbed BPA when it was more widely used -- 19 times more BPS than BPA. People who handle thermal paper in their jobs may be absorbing much more BPS"

Metformin May Help Renew Neurons - Medscape, 7/10/12 - "Animal studies showed that metformin activates a key pathway (aPKC-CBP) that promotes neurogenesis and enhanced hippocampus-dependent spatial memory formation in study animals. Results also showed that the drug has similar activity on human neural precursors, increasing the likelihood that it might enhance neurogenesis in the human brain as well ... compared with mice given a control substance, those treated with metformin had about a third more new neurons in the hippocampus, and almost double the number of new neurons produced by stem cells ... in a spatial learning maze test, mice given metformin (200 mg/kg) were significantly better able to learn the location of a submerged platform compared with those given a sterile saline solution" - See metformin at IAS.

Nutrient mixture improves memory in patients with early Alzheimer's - Science Daily, 7/10/12 - "Wurtman came up with a mixture of three naturally occurring dietary compounds: choline, uridine and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA ... These nutrients are precursors to the lipid molecules that, along with specific proteins, make up brain-cell membranes, which form synapses. To be effective, all three precursors must be administered together ... In animal studies, he showed that his dietary cocktail boosted the number of dendritic spines, or small outcroppings of neural membranes, found in brain cells. These spines are necessary to form new synapses between neurons ... 40 percent of patients who consumed the drink improved in a test of verbal memory, while 24 percent of patients who received the control drink improved their performance ... Patients, whether taking Souvenaid or a placebo, improved their verbal-memory performance for the first three months, but the placebo patients deteriorated during the following three months, while the Souvenaid patients continued to improve ... as the trial went on, the brains of patients receiving the supplements started to shift from patterns typical of dementia to more normal patterns. Because EEG patterns reflect synaptic activity, this suggests that synaptic function increased following treatment, the researchers say" - Avoid the patent mark-up.  See citicholine at Amazon.com, uridine at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA 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):

L-Carnitine prevents the development of ventricular fibrosis and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction in hypertensive heart disease - J Hypertens. 2012 Jul 12 - "Prognosis of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) remains poor because of unknown pathophysiology and unestablished therapeutic strategy ... L-carnitine supplementation attenuates cardiac fibrosis by increasing prostacyclin production through arachidonic acid pathway, and may be a promising therapeutic option for HFpEF" - See l-carnitine at Amazon.com.

Association of glycated hemoglobin with carotid intimal medial thickness in Asian Indians with normal glucose tolerance - J Diabetes Complications. 2012 Jul 11 - "To assess the association of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels with carotid intimal medial thickness (CIMT) in Asian Indians with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) ... The study group included 1383 NGT subjects, of whom 760 (54.9%) were women. The mean CIMT value in the 1st quartile of HbA1c (<5.2%) was 0.65 and it increased significantly to 0.73 in the last quartile of HbA1c (>5.8) (p<0.001). Regression analysis showed that HbA1c had a strong association with CIMT after adjusting for age, gender, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, serum triglycerides, HOMA-IR and smoking (ß - 0.046, p=0.047) ... Even among subjects with NGT, there is a significant increase in CIMT with increasing levels of HbA1c, showing the value of using HbA1c for diagnosis of glucose intolerance"

Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance is associated with low T(3)/T(4) ratio in pre diabetic euthyroid pakistani subjects - J Diabetes Complications. 2012 Jul 11 - "Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are associated with low T(3)/T(4) ratio in pre-diabetic euthyroid Pakistani subjects" - See T3 at International Anti-aging Systems.

Resveratrol decreases inflammation and increases utrophin gene expression in the mdx mouse model of duchenne muscular dystrophy - Clin Nutr. 2012 Jul 12 - "Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal genetic disease with no cure ... Resveratrol may be a therapy for DMD by reducing inflammation" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

Plasma adiponectin levels in relation to prognosis in patients with angiographic coronary artery disease - Metabolism. 2012 Jul 10 - "major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) ... The incidence of MACE was significantly higher in the low adiponectin group (P=.037). In a multivariate Cox regression analysis for adiponectin levels, previously documented risk factors, coronary artery stenosis scores, and low adiponectin levels were indicated as independent predictors of MACE in patients with CAD (RR 1.75; 95% CI, 1.066-2.865; P=.027). Further adjustment for hsCRP, Ccr, LVEF, fasting glucose and lipid profile did not attenuate this association (RR=2.36; 95% CI 1.338-4.167; P=.003). The relative risk for low adiponectin levels after additional adjustment for the coronary score was 2.42 (95% CI 1.367-4.279; P=.002). The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis curve suggested that patients with lower adiponectin concentrations had a decreased event-free survival ratio (log-rank χ(2) =4.592, P=.032)"

Use of thiazolidinediones and the risk of bladder cancer among people with type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis - CMAJ. 2012 Jul 3 - "The limited evidence available supports the hypothesis that thiazolidinediones, particularly pioglitazone, are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer among adults with type 2 diabetes"

Lactobacilli vs Antibiotics to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections: A Randomized, Double-blind, Noninferiority Trial in Postmenopausal Women - Arch Intern Med. 2012 May 14;172(9):704-12 - "Growing antibiotic resistance warrants studying nonantibiotic prophylaxis for recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Use of lactobacilli appears to be promising ... Between January 2005 and August 2007, we randomized 252 postmenopausal women with recurrent UTIs taking part in a double-blind noninferiority trial to receive 12 months of prophylaxis with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 480 mg, once daily or oral capsules containing 109 colony-forming units of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 twice daily ...The mean number of symptomatic UTIs in the year preceding randomization was 7.0 in the trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole group and 6.8 in the lactobacilli group. In the intention-to-treat analysis, after 12 months of prophylaxis, these numbers were 2.9 and 3.3, respectively. The between-treatment difference of 0.4 UTIs per year (95% CI, -0.4 to 1.5) was outside our noninferiority margin. At least 1 symptomatic UTI occurred in 69.3% and 79.1% of the trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and lactobacilli participants, respectively; median times to the first UTI were 6 and 3 months, respectively. After 1 month of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole prophylaxis, resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, and amoxicillin had increased from approximately 20% to 40% to approximately 80% to 95% in E coli from the feces and urine of asymptomatic women and among E coli causing a UTI. During the 3 months after trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole discontinuation, resistance levels gradually decreased. Resistance did not increase during lactobacilli prophylaxis. CONCLUSIONS In postmenopausal women with recurrent UTIs, L rhamnosus GR-1 and L reuteri RC-14 do not meet the noninferiority criteria in the prevention of UTIs when compared with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. However, unlike trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, lactobacilli do not increase antibiotic resistance" - See lactobacillus products at iHerb.

Aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, paracetamol, and risk of endometrial cancer: A case control study, systematic review, and meta-analysis - Int J Cancer. 2012 Jul 9 - "We analysed data from the Australian National Endometrial Cancer Study (ANECS), a population-based case-control study ... For the meta-analysis risk estimates were pooled using a random-effects model. In our case-control study women who had ever used aspirin in the last 5 years had significantly lower risk of endometrial cancer OR=0.78 (95%CI: 0.63-0.97). There was a significant inverse dose-response (P-trend <0.001) such that women who reported using =2 aspirin/week had almost half the risk OR=0.54 (0.38-0.78). No significant associations were observed between use of half-aspirin/day, non-aspirin NSAIDs or paracetamol and endometrial cancer risk. The results were similar when examined by cancer subtype. Nine studies were included in the meta-analysis. The overall pooled risk estimate for any vs. no use of aspirin was 0.87 (0.79-0.96) with no evidence of heterogeneity. The pooled risk estimate for obese women (BMI=30 kg/m(2) ) was 0.72 (0.58-0.90) but there was no association for non-obese women. Overall these results suggest that aspirin may reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, particularly among obese women"

Diabetes, metformin use, and colon cancer: A population-based cohort study in Taiwan - Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Jul 9 - "Even though diabetes patients had a significantly higher probability of receiving examinations that could lead to the detection of colon cancer, they had a significantly higher risk (24%) of this cancer after adjustment. Metformin users had a significantly lower risk (27%) of colon cancer. While comparing patients with diabetes for <1, 1-3, and ≥3 years to non-diabetes individuals, the adjusted relative risk (95% confidence interval) was 1.308 (1.020-1.679), 1.087 (0.900-1.313), and 1.185 (1.055-1.330), respectively. The higher risk among those with diabetes for <1 year suggested a possible reverse causality or a link with prediabetes. However, diabetes still might play some role in colon cancer development among those with diabetes for ≥3 years. The duration of metformin use showed an inverse trend, with a significant relative risk of 0.643 (0.490-0.845) in users for ≥3 years, when compared to non-users. In addition, metformin may reduce colon cancer risk associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a surrogate for smoking)" - See metformin at IAS.

Erythrocyte n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid and Seafood Intake Decrease the Risk of Depression: Case-Control Study in Korea - Ann Nutr Metab. 2012 Jul 6;61(1):25-31 - "Multivariate-adjusted regression analysis showed that the risk of depression was significantly and negatively associated with erythrocyte levels of 20:5 n-3, 22:6 n-3, 16:0 and 18:0, but positively associated with erythrocyte levels of 18:2t and 16:1 after adjusting for confounding factors. In addition, the risk of depression was negatively associated with the intake of energy, carbohydrate, seafood and grains, but positively with the intake of fat and meat after adjustment for confounding factors. Conclusions: The risk of depression could be decreased with increased erythrocyte levels of n-3 PUFA and saturated fatty acids, as well as seafood intake, but decreased erythrocyte levels of trans fatty acids in Koreans" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Health Focus (Liothyronine/Cytomel®/Triiodothyronine (T3)):

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