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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 10/17/12.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed in large-scale Swedish study - Science Daily, 10/16/12 - "The results confirmed those of their previous study, that certain mental illness -- bipolar disorder -- is more prevalent in the entire group of people with artistic or scientific professions, such as dancers, researchers, photographers and authors. Authors also specifically were more common among most of the other psychiatric diseases (including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety syndrome and substance abuse) and were almost 50 per cent more likely to commit suicide than the general population"

Eating lots of carbs, sugar may raise risk of cognitive impairment - Science Daily, 10/16/12 - "People 70 and older who eat food high in carbohydrates have nearly four times the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, and the danger also rises with a diet heavy in sugar, Mayo Clinic researchers have found. Those who consume a lot of protein and fat relative to carbohydrates are less likely to become cognitively impaired ... Researchers tracked 1,230 people ages 70 to 89 who provided information on what they ate during the previous year ... A high carbohydrate intake could be bad for you because carbohydrates impact your glucose and insulin metabolism"

HRT Cuts CVD by 50%, Latest 'Unique' Data Show - Medscape, 10/15/12 - " In 2002, primary results from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) showed no cardiovascular benefit from HRT--something that had been suggested by numerous observational trials--and even an indication there may be harm; this led to the widespread abandonment of this therapy. But subsequent analyses of WHI, and data from other studies, have suggested that the time at which HRT is first prescribed is key. The women in this Danish study were 13 years younger, on average, than the women in WHI (mean age 63 years) ... The women in the treated group with an intact uterus received 2-mg synthetic 17-{:beta:}-estradiol for 12 days, 2 mg 17-{:beta:}-estradiol plus 1 mg norethindrone acetate for 10 days, and 1 mg 17-{:beta:}-estradiol for six days (Trisekvens, Novo Nordisk, Denmark) ... After 10 years of intervention, there was a 52% reduction in the primary composite end point of death, MI, or heart failure, and this was not associated with an increase in any cancer ... Hodis says emotion has long overtaken reason in the HRT debate. "We have had observational studies for the past 50 years in this field, at least 40 of them, and they are all consistent--and you just don't see that in medicine--across two very important outcomes: they reduced cardiovascular disease and they reduced mortality" in women around the time of menopause, he asserts. "But when WHI was conducted, it was done in women who were 12 years or more past menopause. These are two completely different populations of women"

Missing link between mental health disorders and chronic diseases in Iraq war refugees - Science Daily, 10/15/12 - "Those who left Iraq after the war began and suffered from mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and self-rated their physical health as worse than their actual health, were 43 times more likely than pre-Gulf War immigrants to report obstructive sleep apnea (30.2 percent versus 0.7 percent) and later develop major chronic health issues such as cardiovascular disease"

Stressful day ahead? Grab a yogurt for breakfast - TODAY Health, 10/12/12 - "Researchers from the University of Cork fed mice a diet full of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (JB-1), bacteria that colonize the gut that provide healthy digestion and prevent diarrhea, and found that the mice exhibited fewer signs of depression and anxiety and expressed less corticosterone, a stress hormone. A regular diet of probiotics changed the brain chemistry in the mice -- probiotics modified how the mice expressed receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA, suggesting that probiotics change neurochemistry" - See the recipe at the top of my yogurt page.

Prostate cancer: Curcumin curbs metastases, study shows - Science Daily, 10/12/12 - "The new study was designed to investigate the efficacy of curcumin in the prevention of prostate cancer metastases, and to determine the agent's mechanism of action ... curcumin may be useful in the prevention of breast and prostate cancers -- which are both linked to inflammation -- and in reducing their metastatic potential ... This does not mean that the compound should be seen as a replacement for conventional therapies. However, it could play a positive role in primary prevention -- before a full-blown tumor arises -- or help to avert formation of metastases. In this context the fact that the substance is well tolerated is very important, because one can safely recommend it to individuals who have an increased tumor risk" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.

Effect of DHEA-S on Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Women: Abstract and Introduction - Medscape, 10/12/12 - "Dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate replacement produced weight loss in the obese women studied. Moreover, waist circumference, glucose and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, among other metabolic syndrome parameters, improved in the postmenopausal group, who showed a significant reduction in the total metabolic syndrome score (P < 0.05). In contrast, in premenopausal women, the effect of DHEA-S was limited to obesity parameters, and no effect was observed on metabolic syndrome components. No significant changes were evident in the placebo group" - See DHEA at Amazon.com.

Testosterone increases honesty, study suggests - Science Daily, 10/10/12 - "this sex hormone surprisingly also fosters social behavior. In play situations, subjects who had received testosterone clearly lied less frequently than individuals who had only received a placebo ... Neither the subjects themselves nor the scientists performing the study knew who had received testosterone and who hadn't"

Vitamin C prevents bone loss in animal models - Science Daily, 10/9/12 - "What this study shows is that large doses of vitamin C, when ingested orally by mice, actively stimulate bone formation to protect the skeleton. It does this by inducing osteoblasts, or premature bone cells, to differentiate into mature, mineralizing specialty cells." - See vitamin C at Amazon.com.

Chronic kidney disease alters intestinal microbial flora - Science Daily, 10/9/12 - "consumption of high-fiber foods and better control of uremia -- a disease common in kidney failure -- by diet and dialysis may improve the composition of gut microbes and the well-being of patients ... They found marked differences in the abundance of some 190 types of bacteria in the gut microbiome of those with kidney disease -- and confirmed the results in a concurrent study of rats with and without chronic kidney disease ... One solution, Vaziri said, is to provide longer, more frequent dialysis treatments. This would let more potassium be removed by dialysis and allow for more potassium in the diet. Alternatively, packaged fiber foods that do not contain potassium could be used as a dietary supplement" - See Garden of Life, RAW Fiber at Amazon.com and probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Caffeine may block inflammation linked to mild cognitive impairment - Science Daily, 10/8/12 - "Freund's team examined the effects of caffeine on memory formation in two groups of mice -- one group given caffeine, the other receiving none. The two groups were then exposed to hypoxia, simulating what happens in the brain during an interruption of breathing or blood flow, and then allowed to recover ... The caffeine-treated mice recovered their ability to form a new memory 33 percent faster than the non-caffeine-treated mice. In fact, caffeine had the same anti-inflammatory effect as blocking IL-1 signaling. IL-1 is a critical player in the inflammation associated with many neurodegenerative diseases ... caffeine blocks all the activity of adenosine and inhibits caspase-1 and the inflammation that comes with it, limiting damage to the brain and protecting it from further injury"

New link between high-fat 'Western' diet and atherosclerosis identified - Science Daily, 10/8/12 - "endothelial lipase (EL), an enzyme associated with the development of atherosclerosis ... In the current study, a strain of mice susceptible to atherosclerosis was fed a normal diet enriched with either palmitic acid (a common saturated fat) or eicosapentaenoic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid, or polyunsaturated fat, found in fish oil, among other foods). After 12 weeks, the mice's aortas were examined for changes in the expression of EL and inflammatory factors. Aortas of mice fed the saturated fat diet showed a significant increase in EL and detrimental changes in inflammatory factors, while those of mice fed the polyunsaturated fat diet showed a significant decrease in EL and beneficial changes in inflammatory factors ... when the macrophages were given rosiglitazone, the expression of EL increased markedly. The addition of omega-3 fatty acids to the cells blocked this increase. "This would suggest that besides raising LDL cholesterol levels, rosiglitazone can raise the risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing EL,"" - See Mega Twin EPA 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):

The risk of lung cancer related to dietary intake of flavonoids - Nutr Cancer. 2012 Oct;64(7):964-74 - "Overall, total flavonoid intake was not associated with lung cancer risk, the effect being similar regardless of sex and smoking level. However, low flavonoid intake from food, but not from beverages, was associated with an increased risk. The adjusted ORs (95% CIs) comparing the highest vs. the lowest quartiles of intake were 0.63 (0.47-0.85) for total flavonoids, 0.82 (0.61-1.11) for anthocyanidins, 0.67 (0.50-0.90) for flavan-3-ols, 0.68 (0.50-0.93) for flavones, 0.62 (0.45-0.84) for flavonols, and 0.70 (0.53-0.94) for flavanones. An inverse association with total flavone and flavanone intake was observed for squamous cell carcinoma but not adenocarcinoma. In conclusion, low flavonoid intake from food may increase lung cancer risk" - See Garden of Life, Radical Fruits Antioxidant Complex at Amazon.com.

The association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and vertebral fractures in patients with type 2 diabetes - Endocr J. 2012 Oct 13 - "After adjusting for multiple confounding factors, men with a serum 25(OH)D concentration of less than 20 ng/ml were associated with an increased risk of vertebral fractures (OR 7.87; 95% CI 1.69-36.71), but not women. In conclusion, serum 25(OH)D levels below 20 ng/ml were associated with an increased vertebral fracture risk in men with type 2 diabetes" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Relationship Between Serum Isoflavone Levels and Disability-Free Survival Among Community-Dwelling Elderly Individuals: Nested Case-Control Study of the Tsurugaya Project - J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Oct 9 - "The longer healthy life expectancy observed in Japan may be partly attributed to the Japanese diet ... The researchers used a nested case-control study to compare serum isoflavones (daidzein, genistein, glycitein, and equol) levels between 165 participants that died or were certificated as disabled (cases) and 177 controls ... Higher serum equol levels, but not any other isoflavones, were inversely associated with the composite endpoint of disability and death. Although it cannot be concluded that equol per se has preventive effects on disability or death, higher equol levels appear associated with better health"

Prospective cohort study of tea consumption and risk of digestive system cancers: results from the Shanghai Women's Health Study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct 10 - "We used the Shanghai Women's Health Study, a population-based prospective cohort study of middle-aged and older Chinese women who were recruited in 1996-2000 ... In comparison with women who never drank tea, regular tea intake (mostly green tea) was associated with reduced risk of all digestive system cancers combined (HR: 0.86; 95% CI: 0.74, 0.98), and the reduction in risk increased as the amount and years of tea consumption increased (P-trend = 0.01 and P-trend < 0.01, respectively). For example, women who consumed ≥150 g tea/mo (~2-3 cups/d) had a 21% reduced risk of digestive system cancers combined (HR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.63, 0.99). The inverse association was found primarily for colorectal and stomach/esophageal cancers" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Dietary intake of fish and PUFA, and clinical depressive and anxiety disorders in women - Br J Nutr. 2012 Oct 10:1-8 - "The present study analysed data from a sample of 935 randomly selected, population-based women aged 20-93 years. A validated and comprehensive dietary questionnaire ascertained the consumption of n-3 and n-6 PUFA. Another assessed fish and energy intake and provided data for a dietary quality score. The General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) measured psychological symptoms and a clinical interview (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Research Version, Non-patient edition) assessed depressive and anxiety disorders ... The only PUFA related to categorical depressive and anxiety disorders was DHA. There was a non-linear relationship between DHA intake and depression; those in the second tertile of DHA intake were nearly 70 % less likely to report a current depressive disorder compared to those in the first tertile. The relationship of DHA to anxiety disorders was linear; for those in the highest tertile of DHA intake, the odds for anxiety disorders were reduced by nearly 50 % after adjustments, including adjustment for diet quality scores, compared to the lowest tertile. Those who ate fish less than once per week had higher GHQ-12 scores, and this relationship was particularly obvious in smokers" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Blueberry intervention improves vascular reactivity and lowers blood pressure in high-fat-, high-cholesterol-fed rats - Br J Nutr. 2012 Oct 9:1-9 - "Rats were randomly assigned to follow a control chow diet, a chow diet supplemented with 2 % (w/w) BB, a high-fat diet (10 % lard; 0.5 % cholesterol) or the high fat plus BB for 10 weeks. Rats supplemented with BB showed significant reductions in systolic BP (SBP) of 11 and 14 %, at weeks 8 and 10, respectively, relative to rats fed the control chow diet (week 8 SBP: 107.5 (sem 4.7) v. 122.2 (sem 2.1) mmHg, P = 0.018; week 10 SBP: 115.0 (sem 3.1) v. 132.7 (sem 1.5) mmHg, P < 0.0001). Furthermore, SBP was reduced by 14 % in rats fed with the high fat plus 2 % BB diet at week 10, compared to those on the high-fat diet only (SBP: 118.2 (sem 3.6) v. 139.5 (sem 4.5) mmHg, P < 0.0001). Aortas harvested from BB-fed animals exhibited significantly reduced contractile responses (to l-phenylephrine) compared to those fed the control chow or high-fat diets. Furthermore, in rats fed with high fat supplemented with BB, aorta relaxation was significantly greater in response to acetylcholine compared to animals fed with the fat diet" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com and Garden of Life, Radical Fruits Antioxidant Complex at Amazon.com (which contains blueberry extract).

Plasma phospholipid fatty acid composition in ischemic stroke: Importance of docosahexaenoic acid in the risk for intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis - Atherosclerosis. 2012 Sep 20 - "intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS) ... no cerebral atherosclerotic stenosis, NCAS ... Age, coexistence of hypertension/diabetes were significantly different among the groups. Phospholipid FA compositions were significantly different between non-stroke control and ischemic stroke patients, and interestingly, between NCAS and ICAS in stroke patients. Pattern analysis showed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the ω3-polyunsaturated FAs were important FAs in distinguishing NCAS and ICAS in strokes. Particularly, the risk of ICAS was inversely associated with levels of DHA contents in phospholipids (OR: 0.590, 95% CI: 0.350-0.993, p < 0.05), indicating that the risk may be increased at lower levels of DHA contents ... DHA and EPA are important FAs for distinguishing NCAS and ICAS in strokes. Additionally, the risk of ICAS was inversely associated with the levels of phospholipid DHA, which indicates that sufficient amounts of DHA in plasma or in diet may reduce the risk of ICAS" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Melatonin Prolonged Release : In the Treatment of Insomnia in Patients Aged ≥55 years - Drugs Aging. 2012 Oct 9 - "Melatonin prolonged release (PR) 2 mg is approved for the treatment of primary insomnia characterized by poor sleep quality in patients aged ≥55 years in the EU and elsewhere ... Administration of melatonin PR 2 mg 1-2 h before bedtime mimics the natural secretion pattern of melatonin, thereby leading to improvements in the circadian regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. In older adults, melatonin PR 2 mg had no effect on psychomotor functions, memory recall or driving skills during the night or the next morning relative to placebo, and was associated with significantly less impairment on many of these tasks relative to zolpidem 10 mg alone or in combination with melatonin PR 2 mg. In 3-week and 6-month, randomized, double-blind clinical trials in patients with primary insomnia aged ≥55 years, melatonin PR 2 mg 1-2 h before bedtime was associated with significant improvements relative to placebo in many sleep and daytime parameters, including sleep quality and latency, morning alertness and health-related quality of life. Melatonin PR 2 mg was very well tolerated in clinical trials in older patients, with a tolerability profile that was similar to that of placebo. Short- or longer-term treatment with melatonin PR 2 mg was not associated with dependence, tolerance, rebound insomnia or withdrawal symptoms" - See melatonin at Amazon.com.

Serum lycopene decreases the risk of stroke in men: A population-based follow-up study - Neurology. 2012 Oct 9;79(15):1540-7 - "The study population consisted of 1,031 Finnish men aged 46-65 years in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor cohort. Serum concentrations of carotenoids retinol and α-tocopherol were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography ... men in the highest quartile of serum lycopene concentrations had 59% and 55% lower risks of ischemic stroke and any stroke, compared with men in the lowest quartile (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.25-0.95, p = 0.036 for any stroke and HR = 0.41; 95% CI 0.17-0.97, p = 0.042 for ischemic stroke). α-Carotene, β-carotene, α-tocopherol, and retinol were not related to the risk of strokes" - See Jarrow Lyco-Sorb (contains Lyco-O-Mato) at Amazon.com.

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