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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 3/6/13.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

What predicts distress after episodes of sleep paralysis? - Science Daily, 3/4/13 - Note:  I threw this in because it's the first time I've read about it and being aware of what it is might diminish the stress. I've had it happen twice in my life though not within the last 30 years. It's scary though. It's as though your mind wakes up but your body is still asleep. You cannot move but you’re totally aware of where you are, what day and approximate time, etc. The only thing you can control is your breathing. Both times I increased the rate and depth of my breathing to make enough noise that I woke up. Both times I had a long and exhausting day prior and it was too hot to sleep (once in Vietnam and once in a non-air conditioned dorm in Miami) which may have caused it. I've always believed and still do that it's connected to severe sleep deprivation.  The first time it was when I had had about 2 hours sleep in the last 40 hours.

Grape seed and skin extract: A weapon in the fight against kidney disease caused by high-fat diets - Science Daily, 2/28/13 - "Grape seed and skin extract (GSSE) is known to contain powerful antioxidants ... Rats were fed a high-fat diet that induced a low-grade reno-lipotoxicity, that is, kidney damage associated with lipids. This was characterized by elevations in plasma urea and protein in the urine. The researchers found increased deposits of triglycerides (TG) (especially saturated fatty acids), increased signs of oxidative stress and depleted copper levels in the kidneys. There was also histological evidence of disturbance in the kidney structure. When the animals received GSSE at 500 mg/kg bw (which corresponds to 35g/day for a 70 kg human adult) along with the high-fat diet there was a partial reversal of the TG deposition as well as the histological damage. The authors suggest polyphenols including resveratrol are likely the components in GSSE responsible for the positive effects. Furthermore the GSSE prevented the oxidative stress and copper depletion" - See Jarrow Formulas, OPCs + 95 at Amazon.com.

Brain Can't Cope With Making a Left-Hand Turn and Talking On Hands-Free Cell Phone - Science Daily, 2/28/13 - "that could be the most dangerous thing they ever do on the road"

White Coat Hypertension in the Very Elderly: Worth Treating? - Medscape, 2/28/13 - "We should not ignore patients who say that their blood pressures at home are not high, so we do not need to treat them, because white coat hypertensives in this elderly age group benefited just as much as people who had ambulatory monitoring elevations"

Higher Indoor Humidity Levels Might Slow Flu's Spread - WebMD, 2/28/13 - "the team found that when humidity levels were set to 43 percent, only 14 percent of the virus particles that were released were able to transmit the influenza virus, compared with a transmission rate of 70 percent to 77 percent in a relatively low-humidity environment (23 percent)" - Note:  That might be true but most of what I've read indicates that the virus is usually spread by surface to surface contact.  People touch something that has the virus then they touch their mouth, eyes or nose.

Taking omega-3 supplements may help prevent skin cancer, new study finds - Science Daily, 2/26/13 - "the study analysed the effect of taking omega-3 on 79 healthy volunteers ... taking a regular dose of fish oils boosted skin immunity to sunlight. Specifically, it also reduced sunlight-induced suppression of the immune system, known as immunosuppression, which affects the body's ability to fight skin cancer and infection ... it was the first time the research had been carried out on humans" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Women's Iron Intake May Help to Protect Against PMS - Science Daily, 2/26/13 - "women who consumed the most non-heme iron, the form found primarily in plant foods and in supplements, had a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of developing PMS than women who consumed the lowest amount of non-heme iron ... The level of iron intake at which we saw a lower risk of PMS, roughly greater than 20 mg per day, is higher than the current recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iron for premenopausal women, which is 18 mg per day ... Iron may be related to PMS because it is involved in producing serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood ... The level of zinc intake at which we saw suggestion of a lower risk of PMS, greater than 15 mg per day, was also higher than current recommendations of 8 mg per day"

FDA approves drug for painful sex in women - nbcnews.com, 2/26/13 - "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug, Osphena, for a type of pain known as dyspareunia, which is a symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause ... The drug's label includes a boxed warning, the most severe available, alerting patients to an increased risk of strokes and deep vein thrombosis. Common side effects include hot flashes, vaginal discharge, muscle spasms and excessive sweating"

Half of Colorectal Cancers Linked to Obesity and Inactivity - Medscape, 2/26/13 - "increased body weight and decreased levels of physical activity are only associated with an increased risk for colorectal cancer that tests negative for the biomarker CTNNB1. This subtype accounted for 54% of the cases tested ... Higher body mass index (BMI) was associated with a significantly higher risk for CTNNB1-negative colorectal cancer (multivariate hazard ratio (HR) for increments of 5 kg/m², 1.34; P trend < .0001). Physical activity was associated with a significantly lower risk for CTNNB1-negative colorectal cancer (multivariate HR for increments of 10 MET-h/week, 0.93; P trend = .044) ... The mechanism may involve insulin and insulin-like growth factors (IGF), which are the main suspects in the search for putative mediators of the causal link between obesity and colorectal cancer" - Note:  Seems like they could phrase it in English.  The way I read it, 54% of colon cancer patients were CTNNB1-negative.  Of that 54%, a higher BMI results in a 34% increase in odds of getting colon cancer and a higher fitness level results in a 7% decrease in getting colon cancer”

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):

Green tea and coffee consumption is inversely associated with depressive symptoms in a Japanese working population - Public Health Nutr. 2013 Mar 4:1-9 - "Higher green tea consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms. Compared with participants consuming ≤1 cup/d, those consuming ≥4 cups green tea/d had a 51 % significantly lower prevalence odds of having depressive symptoms ... Coffee consumption was also inversely associated with depressive symptoms (≥2 cups/d v. <1 cup/d: OR = 0.61; 95 % CI 0.38, 0.98). Multiple-adjusted odds for depressive symptoms comparing the highest with the lowest quartile of caffeine consumption was OR = 0.57 (95 % CI 0.30, 1.05; P for trend = 0.02)" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Arterial Stiffness and Wave Reflections in Relation to Plasma Advanced Glycation End Products in a Chinese Population - Am J Hypertens. 2013 Feb 28 - "AGEs accumulate with aging and high cholesterol and are associated with arterial wave reflections and, in an age-dependent manner, with arterial stiffness"

Effects of Low-Dose Atorvastatin on Arterial Stiffness and Central Aortic Pressure Augmentation in Patients With Hypertension and Hypercholesterolemia - Am J Hypertens. 2013 Feb 28 - "50 hypertensive and hypercholesterolemic patients were allocated to receive 10mg of atorvastatin or placebo for 26 weeks ... At study end, aortic PWV (9.0+/-1.5 vs. 10.9+/-2.6 m/sec; P<0.001) and AIx(75) (24.9% +/- 9.7% vs 28.8% +/- 11.8%; P < 0.001) were significantly lower in the atorvastatin group than that placebo group. Furthermore, decreases in central aortic systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure were evident at study-end with atorvastatin but not with placebo (130+/-8 vs. 138+/-6mm Hg, P < 0.001; 48+/-7 vs. 53+/-6mm Hg, P < 0.05, respectively). Atorvastatin-induced reductions in aortic PWV during follow-up showed significant associations with changes in AIx(75) and central aortic systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure"

Strong associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations with all-cause, cardiovascular, cancer, and respiratory disease mortality in a large cohort study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Feb 27 - "ESTHER study, which is a German population-based cohort aged 50-74 y at baseline. Deaths were recorded during 9.5 y of follow-up (median) ... The overall mortality [HR (95% CI)] of subjects with vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D concentrations <30 nmol/L] or vitamin D insufficiency [25(OH)D concentrations from 30 to 50 nmol/L) was significantly increased [1.71 (1.43, 2.03) and 1.17 (1.02, 1.35), respectively] compared with that of subjects with sufficient 25(OH)D concentrations (>50 nmol/L)]. Vitamin D deficiency was also associated with increased cardiovascular mortality [1.39 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.89)], cancer mortality [1.42 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.88)] and respiratory disease mortality [2.50 (95% CI: 1.12, 5.56)]. The association of 25(OH)D concentrations with all-cause mortality proved to be a nonlinear inverse association with risk that started to increase at 25(OH)D concentrations <75 nmol/L" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Association of pre-diagnosis physical activity with recurrence and mortality among women with breast cancer - Int J Cancer. 2013 Feb 27 - "physical activity (PA) ... assessed the association of pre-diagnosis PA with recurrence, overall and cause-specific survival in a prospective cohort study in Germany including 3,393 non-metastatic breast cancer patients aged 50-74 years ... median follow-up of 5.6 years ... Overall mortality was significantly inversely associated with pre-diagnosis recreational PA. However, this effect was mainly attributed to deaths due to causes other than breast cancer. Multiple fractional polynomial analyses yielded a non-linear association with markedly increased non-breast cancer mortality for women who did not engage in any sports or cycling in the years before the breast cancer diagnosis with a hazard ratio HR (none vs. any) of 1.71, 95% confidence interval (1.16, 2.52). There were no further risk reductions with increasing activity levels. The association with breast cancer-specific mortality showed a similar dose-response but was far less pronounced with HR (none vs. any)=1.22 (0.91, 1.64). In contrast, regarding cancer recurrence the dose-response was linear. However, this association was restricted to estrogen/progesterone receptor-negative (ER-/PR-) cases (p(interaction) =0.033) with HR (highest vs. no recreational PA)=0.53 (0.24, 1.16), p(trend) =0.0045"

Dietary total antioxidant capacity and colorectal cancer: A large case-control study in Italy - Int J Cancer. 2013 Feb 27 - "A reproducible and valid food frequency questionnaire was used to assess subjects' usual diet. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was measured using Italian food composition tables in terms of FRAP (Ferric Reducing-Antioxidant Power), TEAC (Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity), and TRAP (Total Radical-trapping Antioxidant Parameter) ... TAC was inversely related with colorectal cancer risk: the OR for the highest versus the lowest quintile was 0.68 (95% CI, 0.57-0.82) for FRAP, 0.69 (95% CI, 0.57-0.83) for TEAC, and 0.69 (95% CI, 0.57-0.83) for TRAP. Corresponding values, excluding TAC deriving by coffee, were 0.75 (95% CI, 0.61-0.93) for FRAP, 0.76 (95% CI, 0.61-0.93) for TEAC, and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.57-0.89) for TRAP" - See Garden of Life, Radical Fruits Antioxidant Complex at Amazon.com.

Coffee intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: the Multiethnic Cohort - Public Health Nutr. 2013 Feb 27:1-9 - "The risk for diabetes associated with total coffee consumption differed by sex (P interaction < 0.0001). Women consuming ≥3 cups of any type of coffee daily had a significantly lower risk (HR = 0.66; 95 % CI 0.58, 0.77; P trend < 0.0001) than those reporting <1 cup/d, whereas the relationship in men was borderline (HR = 0.89; 95 % CI 0.80, 0.99; P trend = 0.09). The same difference by sex was seen for regular coffee consumption, with HR of 0.65 (95 % CI 0.54, 0.78; P trend < 0.0001) and 0.86 (95 % CI 0.75, 0.98; P trend = 0.09) in men and women, respectively. No significant association with diabetes was apparent for decaffeinated coffee in women (HR = 0.85; 95 % CI 0.72, 1.01; P trend = 0.73) or men (HR = 1.07; 95 % CI 0.93, 1.23; P trend = 0.71)"

Maternal fish consumption during pregnancy and risks of wheezing and eczema in childhood: The Generation R Study - Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Feb 27 - "We observed no consistent associations of maternal total-, lean- or fatty-fish consumption during pregnancy with the risks of childhood wheezing. Maternal shellfish consumption of 1-13 g per week was associated with overall increased risks of childhood wheezing and eczema (OR 1.20 (1.04, 1.40) and OR 1.18 (1.01, 1.37), respectively). Maternal fatty fish consumption of 35-69 g per week was associated with increased overall risks of childhood eczema (OR 1.17 (1.00, 1.38)), but maternal total- or lean-fish consumption was not"

Higher plasma homocysteine is associated with increased risk of developing colorectal polyps - Nutr Cancer. 2013 Feb;65(2):195-201 - "participants with higher plasma homocysteine [odds ratio (OR) = 1.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.13, 3.08) level exhibited significantly increased risk of colorectal polyps after adjusting for potential confounders. Plasma homocysteine was a strong predictor of the risk of colorectal polyps in participants with adequate B-vitamins status"

Using genetic proxies for lifecourse sun exposure to assess the causal relationship of sun exposure with circulating vitamin D and prostate cancer risk - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Feb 25 - "Individuals who tend to burn are more likely to spend less time in the sun and consequently have lower plasma vitamin D levels and higher susceptibility to prostate cancer" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

  • Video: Classic Macaroni and Cheese - Allrecipes.com - I took this recipe and modified it.  Instead of evaporated whole milk I used evaporated skim milk and substituted the fat I saved with omega-9 and omega-3 by combining 1/4 cup of olive oil then adding Smart Balance Omega-3 margarine until the measuring cup came up to a half cup (including the olive oil).  Adding it immediately after draining the noodles caused it to melt in.  Then I skipped the butter shown in the recipe.  I also substituted brown rice noodles for the wheat noodles plus I added cup of chicken breast strips from Costco (16 ounces) plus a package of frozen broccoli.  For the cheese, I used four different kinds:  Mozzarella, cheddar, Muenster and Monterey Jack.  That was nearly everything sold in square slices.  The Mozzarella and cheddar slices had both types combined into each slice.  The Pyrex Easy Grab 3-qt Oblong with Red Plastic Cover is the perfect size container. I'd go with three layers, not four as indicated in the video.  Plus with the Mozzarella and cheddar slices combined, there are only three packages of cheese.  You one package with about a 25% overlap on each layer and it works perfectly.  Also I'd go seven minutes on boiling the noodles.  They'll finish cooking in the oven.

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