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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 1/30/13.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Hydrogen sulfide: The next anti-aging agent? - Science Daily, 1/29/13 - "Hydrogen sulfide* (H2S) may play a wide-ranging role in staving off aging ... Hydrogen sulfide is produced within the human body, and has a variety of important physiological effects. For example, it relaxes the vascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells, which is important to maintaining clean arteries as one ages ... It functions as an antioxidant. And it inhibits expression of pro-inflammatory factors, all of which "imply an important role in aging and age-associated diseases," ... Produced in the kidneys, it has direct angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibiting activity; that is, it's an ACE inhibitor, just like certain drugs that mitigate high blood pressure. Not surprisingly, plasma H2S declines with age, and is lower in spontaneously hypertensive rats than in those with normal blood pressure. More generally, a lack of H2S is implicated in cardiovascular disease"

Eating Bright-Colored Fruits and Vegetables May Prevent or Delay Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - Science Daily, 1/29/13 - "Using data from five prospective groups: the National Institutes of Health (NIH)–AARP Diet and Health Study, the Cancer Prevention Study II-Nutrition Cohort, the Multiethnic Cohort, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers investigated more than one million participants for the present study ... subjects with diets high in beta-carotene and lutein—found in dark green vegetables—had a lower risk ALS risk" - See Jarrow Formulas, CarotenALL at Amazon.com.

Diabetes drug could hold promise for lung cancer patients - Science Daily, 1/28/13 - "Ever since discovering a decade ago that a gene altered in lung cancer regulated an enzyme used in therapies against diabetes, Reuben Shaw has wondered if drugs originally designed to treat metabolic diseases could also work against cancer ... phenformin, a derivative of the widely-used diabetes drug metformin, decreased the size of lung tumors in mice and increased the animals' survival ... Metformin and phenformin both inhibit mitochondria; however, phenformin is nearly 50 times as potent as metformin ... The Food and Drug Administration took phenformin off the market in 1978 due to a high risk of lactic acid buildup in patients with compromised kidney function, which is not uncommon among diabetics but less of an issue for most cancer patients" - See metformin at IAS.

Eating deep-fried food linked to increased risk of prostate cancer - Science Daily, 1/28/13 - "men who reported eating French fries, fried chicken, fried fish and/or doughnuts at least once a week were at an increased risk of prostate cancer as compared to men who said they ate such foods less than once a month ... In particular, men who ate one or more of these foods at least weekly had an increased risk of prostate cancer that ranged from 30 to 37 percent. Weekly consumption of these foods was associated also with a slightly greater risk of more aggressive prostate cancer ... Deep frying may trigger formation of carcinogens in food ... Foods cooked with high heat also contain high levels of advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs, which have been associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Deep-fried foods are among the highest in AGE content. A chicken breast deep fried for 20 minutes contains more than nine times the amount of AGEs as a chicken breast boiled for an hour, for example"

Lose fat faster before breakfast - Science Daily, 1/25/13 - "those who had exercised in the morning did not consume additional calories or experience increased appetite during the day to compensate for their earlier activity ... They also found that those who had exercised in a fasted state burned almost 20% more fat compared to those who had consumed breakfast before their workout. This means that performing exercise on an empty stomach provides the most desirable outcome for fat loss"

Metabolic Syndrome in 40s Linked to TV, Exercise at Age 16 - Medscape, 1/25/13 - "TV viewing habits and leisure-time physical activity at age 16 years were assessed by self-administered questionnaires in a population-based cohort in Northern Sweden. The presence of the metabolic syndrome at age 43 years was ascertained in 888 participants (82% of the baseline sample) using the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria ... Those who reported "watching several [TV] shows a day" at 16 were twice as likely to have the metabolic syndrome at age 43 than those who said they watched "1 show/week" or less (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.14). Similarly, those who noted leisure-time physical activity "several times per month" were more likely to have metabolic syndrome later in life than those who reported "daily" leisure-time physical activity in their teens (OR, 2.31) ... TV viewing at age 16 years was linked to central obesity, low HDL cholesterol, and hypertension at age 43 years. Low leisure-time physical activity in the teen years was associated with central obesity and raised triglycerides later in life"

Peginesatide Rivals EPO as Anemia Treatment - Medscape, 1/25/13 - "Peginesatide taken once monthly was as safe and effective as epoetin taken 1 to 3 times per week in treating anemia"

Fruit and Vegetable Intake Is Associated With Lower Risk of ER Breast Cancer - Science Daily, 1/25/13 - "total fruit and vegetable intake was statistically significantly linked to a lower risk of ER- breast cancer, but not with risk of overall breast cancer or risk of ER+ breast tumors. The results showed that the lower risk was mostly associated with higher vegetable consumption. "These findings support the value of examining etiologic factors in relation to breast cancer characterized by hormone receptor status in large pooled analyses because modest associations with less common breast cancer subtypes may have been missed in smaller studies," ... the findings of the study support the emphasis on greater intake for vegetables (and to a lesser extent fruit) to lower the risk of ER- breast cancer. However, they also write that, "interpretation of these findings may also be challenged by the known effects of other potential confounders, including the aggregation of health behaviors.""

Many apples a day keep the blues at bay - Science Daily, 1/23/13 - "On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier and more energetic than they normally did ... After further analysis we demonstrated that young people would need to consume approximately seven to eight total servings of fruits and vegetables per day to notice a meaningful positive change. One serving of fruit or vegetables is approximately the size that could fit in your palm, or half a cup"

High Blood Calcium Levels May Indicate Ovarian Cancer - Science Daily, 1/23/13 - "women who were later diagnosed with ovarian cancer and women who later died of ovarian cancer had higher levels of calcium in blood than women who did not before their cancer diagnosis ... men whose calcium levels were higher than normal have an increased risk of fatal prostate cancer ... many ovarian cancers express increased levels of a protein, parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTRHrP), which is known to raise calcium levels in blood in many other cancers"

Maker Aware of 40% Failure in Hip Implant - NYTimes.com, 1/23/13 - "An internal analysis conducted by Johnson & Johnson in 2011 not long after it recalled a troubled hip implant estimated that the all-metal device would fail within five years in nearly 40 percent of patients who received it, newly disclosed court records show"

Alcohol and a Good Night's Sleep Don't Mix - WebMD, 1/22/13 - "alcohol does not improve sleep quality. According to the findings, alcohol does allow healthy people to fall asleep quicker and sleep more deeply for a while, but it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep ... the more you drink before bed, the more pronounced these effects. REM sleep happens about 90 minutes after we fall asleep. It's the stage of sleep when people dream, and it's thought to be restorative. Disruptions in REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration, and rob you of needed ZZZs ... overall it is more disruptive to sleep, particularly in the second half of the night"

Exercise Can Slow Onset of Alzheimer's Memory Loss: Scientists Identify Link - Science Daily, 1/25/13 - "the stress hormone CRF -- or corticotrophin-releasing factor -- may have a protective effect on the brain from the memory changes brought on by Alzheimer's disease ... CRF is most associated with producing stress and is found in high levels in people experiencing some forms of anxiety and depressive diseases. Normal levels of CRF, however, are beneficial to the brain, keeping the mental faculties sharp and aiding the survival of nerve cells. Unsurprisingly then, studies have shown that people with Alzheimer's disease have a reduced level of CRF ... interrupting the hormone from binding on to the CRFR1 receptor blocked the improvement of memory normally promoted by exercise. However, in mice with Alzheimer's a repeated regime of moderate exercise restored the normal function of the CRF system allowing its memory enhancing effects. The results are in line with the idea that regular exercise is a means of improving one's ability to deal with everyday stress in addition to keeping mental abilities keen"

  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), originally named corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)"

BPA Substitute Could Spell Trouble: Experiments Show Bisphenol S Also Disrupts Hormone Activity - Science Daily, 1/22/13 - "A few years ago, manufacturers of water bottles, food containers, and baby products had a big problem. A key ingredient of the plastics they used to make their merchandise, an organic compound called bisphenol A, had been linked by scientists to diabetes, asthma and cancer and altered prostate and neurological development ... The industry responded by creating "BPA-free" products, which were made from plastic containing a compound called bisphenol S ... BPS also resembles BPA in a more problematic way. Like BPA, the study found, BPS disrupts cellular responses to the hormone estrogen, changing patterns of cell growth and death and hormone release. Also like BPA, it does so at extremely low levels of exposure ... this study shows us that very low levels of BPS can disrupt natural estrogen hormone actions in ways similar to what we see with BPA. That's a real cause for concern" - Note:  So if the label says "BPA Free", that might just mean that the BPA has been replaced with something else just as bad.

Follow-Up to REDUCE Study Shows Low Rate of Prostate Cancer Diagnosis - Science Daily, 1/22/13 - "The four-year REDUCE (REduction by DUtasteride of prostate Cancer Events) clinical study evaluated prostate cancer risk reduction in men taking dutasteride, a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor (5ARI) typically used to treat enlarged prostate ... dutasteride decreased the risk of biopsy detectable prostate cancer by 22.8 percent compared to a placebo group ... few new prostate cancers were detected during the two-year follow-up in either treatment group and no deaths were reported. However, the former dutasteride group produced double the number of cancers than the former placebo group (14 vs. 7). Investigators hypothesize that any prostate cancer that may have been suppressed by dutasteride during REDUCE was no longer being suppressed for those subjects who did not continue on 5ARI therapy ... Overall, men in either group who took a 5ARI during the follow-up study tended to have fewer cancers" - See dutasteride at OffshoreRx1.com.

Vitamin D Holds Promise in Battling a Deadly Breast Cancer - Science Daily, 1/22/13 - "triple-negative breast cancer ... Importantly, vitamin D plays a role in turning off this pathway, providing a safe and cost-effective strategy to fight these types of tumors ... In previous research, Gonzalo's team showed that vitamin D inhibits CTSL-mediated degradation of 53BP1 in non-tumor cells, as efficiently as specific CTSL inhibitors. This time, they found that treatment of BRCA1-deficient tumor cells with vitamin D restores high levels of 53BP1, which results in increased genomic instability and reduced proliferation. Importantly, their evidence suggests that vitamin D treatment might restore the sensitivity to PARP inhibitors in patients who become resistant ... In the future, women with triple-negative breast cancer may benefit from a treatment that includes vitamin D" - See vitamin D 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):

Oral green tea catechin metabolites are incorporated into human skin and protect against UV radiation-induced cutaneous inflammation in association with reduced production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoid 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid - Br J Nutr. 2013 Jan 28:1-10 - "sixteen healthy human subjects (phototype I/II) were given low-dose GTC (540 mg) with vitamin C (50 mg) daily for 12 weeks. Pre- and post-supplementation, the buttock skin was exposed to UVR and the resultant erythema quantified. Skin blister fluid and biopsies were taken from the unexposed and the UVR-exposed skin 24 h after a pro-inflammatory UVR challenge (three minimal erythema doses) ... GTC intake results in the incorporation of catechin metabolites into human skin associated with abrogated UVR-induced 12-HETE; this may contribute to protection against sunburn inflammation and potentially longer-term UVR-mediated damage" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Glutamine modifies immune responses of mice infected with porcine circovirus type 2 - Br J Nutr. 2013 Jan 28:1-8 - "Taken together, the present results suggest that dietary l-glutamine supplementation enhances immune function in PCV2-infected mice" - See L-glutamine at Amazon.com.

Consumption of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, is associated with reduced breast cancer risk - Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Jan 25 - "A food frequency questionnaire was used to measure the consumption of flaxseed and flax bread by 2,999 women with breast cancer and 3,370 healthy control women who participated in the Ontario Women's Diet and Health Study (2002-2003) ... Consumption of flaxseed was associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk (odds ratio (OR) = 0.82, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.69-0.97), as was consumption of flax bread (OR = 0.77, 95 % CI 0.67-0.89)" - See flaxseed products at iHerb.

Pioglitazone and risk of bladder cancer: a meta-analysis of controlled studies - Diabet Med. 2013 Jan 28 - "Six studies involving 215 142 patients using pioglitazone were included, with a median period of follow-up of 44 months. The hazard of developing bladder cancer was significantly higher in patients using pioglitazone (hazard ratio 1.23; 95% CI 1.09-1.39; I(2) = 0%) compared with control groups. The risk of bias was moderate across the six studies. Considering an incidence rate of 20.8 per 100 000 person years, the number needed to harm was five additional cases of bladder cancer per 100 000 person years"

Effects of folic acid supplementation on overall and site-specific cancer incidence during the randomised trials: meta-analyses of data on 50 000 individuals - Lancet. 2013 Jan 24 - "Folic acid supplementation does not substantially increase or decrease incidence of site-specific cancer during the first 5 years of treatment. Fortification of flour and other cereal products involves doses of folic acid that are, on average, an order of magnitude smaller than the doses used in these trials"

Enhanced cognitive function and antidepressant-like effects after krill oil supplementation in rats - Lipids Health Dis. 2013 Jan 25;12(1):6 - "Imipramine (IMIP) ... active components (eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and astaxanthin) in KO facilitate learning processes and provide antidepressant-like effects. Our findings also suggest that KO might work through different physiological mechanisms than IMIP" - See Krill Oil products at Amazon.com.

Marijuana use and long-term mortality among survivors of acute myocardial infarction - Am Heart J. 2013 Feb;165(2):170-5 - "Compared with nonusers, the mortality rate was 29% higher (95% CI 0.81-2.05, P = .28) among those reporting any marijuana use"

Habitually Higher Dietary Glycemic Index During Puberty Is Prospectively Related to Increased Risk Markers of Type 2 Diabetes in Younger Adulthood - Diabetes Care. 2013 Jan 24 - "A higher dietary GI was prospectively related to greater values of HOMA-IR (P(trend) = 0.03), ALT (P(trend) = 0.02), and GGT (P(trend) = 0.04). After adjustment for sex, adult age, baseline BMI, and early life and socioeconomic factors as well as protein and fiber intake, predicted mean HOMA-IR values in energy-adjusted tertiles of GI were 2.37 (95% CI 2.16-2.60), 2.47 (2.26-2.71), and 2.59 (2.35-2.85). The amount of carbohydrates, GL, and added sugar, fiber, and whole-grain intake were not related to the analyzed markers ... Our data indicate that a habitually higher dietary GI during puberty may adversely affect risk markers of type 2 diabetes in younger adulthood"

Kava for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder RCT: Analysis of Adverse Reactions, Liver Function, Addiction, and Sexual Effects - Phytother Res. 2013 Jan 24 - "The study design was a 6-week, double-blind, randomized controlled trial (n = 75) involving chronic administration of kava (one tablet of kava twice per day; 120 mg of kavalactones per day, titrated in non-response to two tablets of kava twice per day; 240 mg of kavalactones) or placebo for participants with generalized anxiety disorder. Results showed no significant differences across groups for liver function tests, nor were there any significant adverse reactions that could be attributed to kava. No differences in withdrawal or addiction were found between groups. Interesting, kava significantly increased female's sexual drive compared to placebo (p = 0.040) on a sub-domain of the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX), with no negative effects seen in males. Further, it was found that there was a highly significant correlation between ASEX reduction (improved sexual function and performance) and anxiety reduction in the whole sample" - See kava at Amazon.com.

Higher Magnesium Intake Is Associated with Lower Fasting Glucose and Insulin, with No Evidence of Interaction with Select Genetic Loci, in a Meta-Analysis of 15 CHARGE Consortium Studies - J Nutr. 2013 Jan 23 - "Fifteen studies from the CHARGE (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology) Consortium provided data from up to 52,684 participants of European descent without known diabetes ... After adjustment for age, sex, energy intake, BMI, and behavioral risk factors, magnesium (per 50-mg/d increment) was inversely associated with fasting glucose [β = -0.009 mmol/L (95% CI: -0.013, -0.005), P < 0.0001] and insulin [-0.020 ln-pmol/L (95% CI: -0.024, -0.017), P < 0.0001]" - See magnesium supplements at Amazon.com.

Medical Treatment of Cushing's Disease - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jan 23 - "Medical therapy for CD can be classified into pituitary-directed, adrenal-blocking, and glucocorticoid receptor-antagonizing drugs. Recent studies demonstrate that somatostatin receptor subtype 5 (sst(5)) and dopamine receptor subtype 2 (D(2)) are frequently (co-)expressed by corticotroph adenomas. Pituitary-directed therapy with pasireotide and cabergoline, targeting sst(5) and D(2), respectively, is successful in approximately 25-30% of patients. Adrenal-blocking drugs can be effective by inhibiting steroidogenic enzyme activity. Finally, the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone induces clinical and metabolic improvement in the majority of patients. Each drug can have important side effects that may impair long-term treatment. Generally, patients with moderate to severe hypercortisolism need combination therapy to normalize cortisol production"

The Inhibitory Effects of the Standardized Extracts of Ginkgo biloba on Aromatase Activity in JEG-3 Human Choriocarcinoma Cells - Phytother Res. 2013 Jan 21 - "There are many endocrine adjuvant therapies for breast cancer patients that are categorized according to their mechanisms. Among them, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) that block the synthesis of estrogens have proven superiority compared with tamoxifen and have replaced it as a first-line hormonal therapy. However, AIs also have limitations due to their side effects - increased rate of bone loss and musculoskeletal complaints ... The extracts of Ginkgo biloba (EGb), which contain phytochemicals from the tree, had biphasic effects for estrogens and osteoporosis-inhibiting activities in our previous experiments. In this study, we explored the possibility of EGb as an AI and their mechanisms. Aromatase activities were inhibited by EGb both in JEG-3 cells and in recombinant CYP19 microsomes ... From these results, we concluded that EGb could act as an AI at both the enzyme and transcriptional levels" - See Ginkgo biloba at Amazon.com.

Folic acid supplementation and cancer risk: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - Int J Cancer. 2013 Jan 22 - "Our findings indicate that folic acid supplementation has no significant effect on total cancer incidence, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, or hematological malignancy, but reduces the risk of melanoma"

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Health Focus (White Blood Cells):

Alternative News:

  • Spirulina shows immune boosting power for seniors - Nutra USA, 2/17/11 - "Twelve weeks of spirulina supplementation were associated with increased counts of white blood cells, foot soldiers of the immune system ... Immune function was measured using complete blood cell (CBC) counts and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) enzyme activity, and results showed that over half of all participants receiving spirulina had higher IDO activity after 6 and 12 weeks, while this proportion was “striking in men with over 75 percent of subjects manifesting such phenomenon” ... In terms of cell counts, spirulina was associated with a steady increase in corpuscular hemoglobin, thereby ameliorating anemia" - [Abstract] - See spirulina at Amazon.com.
  • The effects of Spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens - Cell Mol Immunol. 2011 Jan 31 - "Participants took a Spirulina supplementation for 12 weeks and were administered comprehensive dietary questionnaires to determine their nutritional regimen during the study. Complete cell count (CCC) and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) enzyme activity, as a sign of immune function, were determined at baseline and weeks 6 and 12 of supplementation. Thirty study participants completed the entire study and the data obtained were analyzed. Over the 12-week study period, there was a steady increase in average values of mean corpuscular hemoglobin in subjects of both sexes. In addition, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration also increased in male participants. Older women appeared to benefit more rapidly from Spirulina supplements. Similarly, the majority of subjects manifested increased IDO activity and white blood cell count at 6 and 12 weeks of Spirulina supplementation. Spirulina may ameliorate anemia and immunosenescence in older subjects" - See spirulina products at iHerb.
  • Vitamin E may boost immune function: Mouse study - Science Daily, 5/20/10 - "The animals were fed 0.1 per cent Tocomin 50 per cent (Carotech), which is a mixture of tocotrienols and alpha-tocopherols, or a control diet containing only tocopherol, for six weeks ... Older mice fed the tocotrienol supplement displayed a greater level of lymphocyte proliferation, a marker of how quickly white blood cells can reproduce in response to infection, than old mice fed the control ... mice of both ages fed the tocotrienol supplement had higher levels of the interleukin-1beta, a cytokine released by immune cells (macrophages). ... There are eight forms of vitamin E: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). Alpha-tocopherol (alpha-Toc) is the main source found in supplements and in the European diet, while gamma-tocopherol (gamma-Toc) is the most common form in the American diet" - [Abstract] - See Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 DHA boost for heart health in high-risk men: Study - Nutra USA, 3/6/09 - "supplementation with DHA for 45 days resulted in decreased levels of the number of circulating white blood cells (neutrophils) by 11.7 per cent, and these reductions were maintained until the end of the 90-day study (10.5 per cent reduction) ... levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) had decreased by 15 per cent, and IL-6 had decreased by 23 per cent ... Furthermore, levels of the anti-inflammatory matrix metalloproteinase-2 rose by 7 per cent ... In conclusion, DHA may lessen the inflammatory response by altering blood lipids and their fatty acid composition" - [Abstract] - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Gamma-tocopherol and docosahexaenoic acid decrease inflammation in dialysis patients - J Ren Nutr. 2007 Sep;17(5):296-304 - "gamma tocopherol (308 mg) and DHA (800 mg) ... In the treatment group, but not in the placebo group, there were significant decreases in IL-6 (21.4 +/- 3.5 to 16.8 +/- 3.7 pg/mL), white blood cell (WBC) count (7.4 +/- 0.3 to 6.9 +/- 0.4 10(3)/microL), and neutrophil fraction of WBCs (4.8 +/- 0.3 to 4.4 +/- 0.3 10(3)/microL), at P < .05 for all"
  • Mediterranean Diet Lowers C-reactive Protein Levels - Medscape, 11/11/03 - "white blood cell count decreased significantly"

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