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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 5/8/13.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Autism and Folic Acid in Pregnancy - Medscape, 5/7/13 - "The investigators concluded that maternal use of folic acid from 4 weeks before conception through 8 weeks after conception was associated with a lower odds of the offspring being diagnosed with ASD" - See folic acid products at Amazon.com.

Korean Ginseng Berry Extract Effect on Sexual Function in ED - Medscape, 5/6/13 - "were administered 4 tablets of either standardized Korean ginseng berry (SKGB, 350 mg ginseng berry extract per tablet), or placebo, daily, for 8 weeks. Efficacy was assessed with the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF)-15 and premature ejaculation diagnostic tool (PEDT) at the end of the 4th and 8th week. We observed that the total and each of the individual domain scores of IIEF-15 increased from 40.95+/-7.05 to 46.19+/-12.69 significantly in the SKGB by the 8th week (P<0.05). The erectile function domain of IIEF changed slightly from 17.17+/-2.57 to 18.59+/-5.99 in the SKGB group by the 8th week (P<0.05). In addition, PEDT scores significantly improved from 9.14+/-4.57 to 7.97+/-4.4 and 7.53+/-4.26 in the SKGB group after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment (P<0.05). Safety markers including hormone and lipid in the blood were assessed at the end of the 4th and 8th week and they remained unchanged. Oral administration of the SKGB extract improved all domains of sexual function" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.

Magnesium may be as important to kids' bone health as calcium - Science Daily, 5/5/13 - "Lots of nutrients are key for children to have healthy bones. One of these appears to be magnesium ... Results showed that the amounts of magnesium consumed and absorbed were key predictors of how much bone children had. Dietary calcium intake, however, was not significantly associated with total bone mineral content or density" - See magnesium supplements at Amazon.com.

Preterm infants may need 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day - Science Daily, 5/5/13 - "Recommendations from medical organizations on how much vitamin D should be given to preemies range from 400 IU to 1000 IU per day. This lack of consensus prompted researchers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, to conduct the largest study to date on vitamin D supplementation in preterm infants ... The infants then were randomly assigned to receive either 800 IU or 400 IU of oral vitamin D3 ... vitamin D insufficiency (VDI) ... After supplementation, the prevalence of VDI at 40 weeks was 43 percent lower in the 800 IU group than the 400 IU group (38 percent vs. 67 percent). In addition, VDI was significantly lower in the 800 IU group when the infants were 3 months old (12 percent vs. 35 percent)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Vitamin C may head off lung problems in babies born to pregnant smokers - Science Daily, 5/4/13 - "If a woman absolutely can't kick the habit, taking vitamin C during pregnancy may improve her newborn's lung function and prevent wheezing in the first year of life ... Specifically, 21 percent of infants in the vitamin C group had at least one episode of wheezing compared to 40 percent of those in the placebo group and 27 percent of infants born to nonsmokers. In addition, 13 percent of infants whose mothers were randomized to vitamin C needed medication for their wheezing compared to 22 percent of infants in the placebo group and 10 percent in the nonsmoking group" - Err!!  Why would pregnant women smoke to begin with?  See vitamin C at Amazon.com.

Chronic Marijuana Use Linked to Hypopituitarism - Medscape, 5/3/13 - "Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can suppress multiple hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis pathways, with subsequent effects on multiple organ systems ... Any gland can be affected, including the whole pituitary ... several states have passed laws legalizing marijuana. Use will probably go up, and people won't be so afraid to come forward … We'll probably start finding all kinds of cases like this ... described the symptoms of the 37-year-old man who presented to the emergency department with dyspnea on exertion, increased fatigue, and loss of libido. On physical exam, he was found to have bibasilar rales, gynecomastia, and atrophied testes ... He had low levels of luteinizing hormone, follicular-stimulating hormone, and testosterone (0.2 mIU/mL, 1.8 mIU/mL, and 22 ng/dL, respectively), high prolactin (53.3 ng/mL), and ACTH of 6 pg/mL. He also had abnormal thyroid-function tests, normal growth-hormone levels, and low insulinlike growth factor-1"

Gray hair and vitiligo reversed at the root - Science Daily, 5/3/13 - "people who are going gray develop massive oxidative stress via accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle, which causes our hair to bleach itself from the inside out, and most importantly, the report shows that this massive accumulation of hydrogen peroxide can be remedied with a proprietary treatment developed by the researchers described as a topical, UVB-activated compound called PC-KUS (a modified pseudocatalase). What's more, the study also shows that the same treatment works for the skin condition, vitiligo"

Mechanism for how grapes reduce heart failure associated with hypertension identified - Science Daily, 5/2/13 - "Grapes are a known natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols ... grapes exert beneficial effects in the heart: influencing gene activities and metabolic pathways that improve the levels of glutathione, the most abundant cellular antioxidant in the heart" - See Jarrow Formulas, OPCs + 95 at Amazon.com.

Best and Worst Foods for Teeth - ABC News, 5/2/13 - "Citrus fruit ... Chewy candy ... Hard candy ... Pickles ... Soda ... Sports drinks ... Wine ... Crackers ... Coffee ... Tea"

Poison lips? Troubling levels of toxic metals found in cosmetics - Science Daily, 5/2/13 - "Using acceptable daily intakes derived from this study, average use of some lipsticks and lip glosses would result in excessive exposure to chromium, a carcinogen linked to stomach tumors. High use of these makeup products could result in potential overexposure to aluminum, cadmium and manganese as well. Over time, exposure to high concentrations of manganese has been linked to toxicity in the nervous system"

Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs may also reduce the risk of dying from prostate cancer - Science Daily, 5/2/13 - "After a mean follow-up of almost eight years, the researchers found that the risk of death from prostate cancer among statin users was 1 percent as compared to 5 percent for nonusers"

Mild iodine deficiency in womb associated with lower scores on children's literacy tests - Science Daily, 4/30/13 - "Although the participants' diet was fortified with iodine during childhood, later supplementation was not enough to reverse the impact of the deficiency during the mother's pregnancy ... inadequate iodine exposure during pregnancy was associated with lasting effects. As 9-year-olds, the children who received insufficient iodine in the womb had lower scores on standardized literacy tests, particularly in spelling. However, inadequate iodine exposure was not associated with lower scores on math tests" - See iodine 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):

Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes: A meta-analysis - Atherosclerosis. 2013 Apr 17 - "The pooled RRs of the risk of CVD, CVD for separated diabetes patients, and diabetes for the highest vs lowest egg intake were 1.19 (95% CI 1.02-1.38), 1.83 (95% CI 1.42-2.37), 1.68 (95% CI 1.41-2.00), respectively. For each 4/week increment in egg intake, the RRs of the risk for CVD, CVD for separated diabetes patients, diabetes was 1.06 (95% CI 1.03-1.10), 1.40 (95% CI 1.25-1.57), 1.29 (95% CI 1.21-1.37), respectively ... Our study suggests that there is a dose-response positive association between egg consumption and the risk of CVD and diabetes" - Note:  At least part of that could be connected to how most cook the eggs (such as fried) and what they have with it (such as sausage or bacon and fried hash browns and toast with butter or margarine (hydrogenated oils)).

Consumption of low-fat dairy foods for 6 months improves insulin resistance without adversely affecting lipids or bodyweight in healthy adults: a randomized free-living cross-over study - Nutr J. 2013 May 2;12(1):56 - "Twenty-three healthy subjects completed a randomized, crossover trial of 12 months. Participants consumed their habitual diets and were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: a high dairy supplemented group instructed to consume 4 servings of dairy per day (HD); or a low dairy supplemented group limited to no more than 2 servings of dairy per day (LD) ... HD consumption improved (p < 0.05) plasma insulin (-9%,) and insulin resistance (-11%, p = 0.03) as estimated by HOMA-IR compared with the LD group"

Limited effect of testosterone treatment for erectile dysfunction caused by high-estrogen levels in rats - Int J Impot Res. 2013 May 2 - "testosterone treatment did not improve the ED caused by high-estrogen levels" - Note:  One of the problems with testosterone replacement is that it increases estrogen (percentage wise) as much as testosterone.  Search and read the product guide for Androgel.  They keep moving the link on me.

Predictors of increased body weight and waist circumference for middle-aged adults - Public Health Nutr. 2013 May 1:1-11 - "Prospective cohort study, the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS), with data at baseline (1990-1994) and wave 2 (2003-2007) ... Our findings indicate that promoting vigorous physical activity, encouraging a diet high in carbohydrate and fibre but low in fat and protein, and limiting alcohol intake could be promising approaches for preventing obesity in middle-aged adults"

Homocysteine, folate, vitamin B-12, and 10-y incidence of age-related macular degeneration - Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 May 1 - "Serum folate, vitamin B-12, and tHcy were determined from blood samples drawn in 1997-1999 from cohort members aged ≥55 y. AMD was assessed in 1760 survivors from retinal photographs taken in 2002-2004 and 2007-2009. Total intakes of folate and vitamin B-12 were assessed by using a food-frequency questionnaire ... Elevated serum tHcy and folate and vitamin B-12 deficiencies predicted increased risk of incident AMD, which suggests a potential role for vitamin B-12 and folate in reducing AMD risk" - See folic acid products at Amazon.com and vitamin B12 at Amazon.com.

Mediterranean Diet and Depressive Symptoms among Older Adults over Time - J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(5):441-5 - "Community-dwelling participants (n=3502) of the Chicago Health and Aging Project aged 65+ years (59% African American) who had no evidence of depression at the baseline ... Our results support the hypothesis that adherence to a diet comprised of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, and legumes may protect against the development of depressive symptoms in older age"

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d levels and the risk of depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis - J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(5):447-55 - "Relevant studies were identified by systematically searching the PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and PsycINFO databases ... Our results indicate an inverse association between serum 25(OH)D levels and the risk of depression" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Low vitamin and carotenoid levels are related to cerebral white matter lesions - J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(5):456-60 - "To determine the effects of vitamins and carotenoids on brain white matter lesions (WMLs), we examined the associations between WMLs with vitamin and carotenoid levels in Japanese middle-aged and elderly subjects ... Deep white matter lesions (DWLs) ... Lower gamma-tocopherol levels were significantly associated with DWLs in all subjects. While lower gamma-tocopherol and vitamin C levels were significantly associated with DWLs in males, lower delta-tocopherol levels were associated with DWLs in females. The associations between DWLs and lower gamma- and delta-tocopherol and vitamin C levels were independent of age, hypertension, or smoking. However, the associations between DWLs and lower alfa-tocopherol were not significant following adjustments for smoking" - Note:  Most supplements only contain alfa-tocopherol which had no affect.  See Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com.

Supplement Focus (Phosphatidylserine):

Specific Recommendations:

News & Research:

  • Novel Strategy to Restore Brain Cell Function - Life Extension Magazine, 5/06 - "Alzheimer’s patients taking 300 mg of phosphatidylserine daily performed significantly better on standardized memory tests at the end of the 12-week trial period than did the study participants who received placebo. Importantly, those patients who were the least afflicted by dementia demonstrated the greatest benefit from phosphatidylserine therapy. These results suggest that beginning supplementation very early on, or perhaps even before the appearance of symptoms, can help prevent age-related loss of memory and other cognitive impairments"
  • Cortisol, Stress, and Health - Life Extension Magazine, 12/05 - "Supplements to reduce high cortisol levels secondary to stress ... Vitamin C: 1000-3000 mg/day ... Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids):1-4 gm/day ... Phosphatidylserine: 300-800 mg/day ... Rhodiola rosea: 100-200 mg/day, standardized extract ... Ginseng: 100-300 mg/day, standardized extract ... Ginkgo biloba: 100-200 mg/day, standardized extract ... DHEA: 25-50 mg/day (any hormone supplementation should be monitored by your physician)"
  • Cortisol - Keeping a Dangerous Hormone in Check - Life Extension Magazine, 7/04 - "Phosphatidylserine, DHEA, and ginkgo biloba all have been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol produced during stressful events, and these stress fighters can help retard the negative consequences of this hormone"
  • Stress and Cortisol Levels - Vitamin Research News, 2/04 - "I want to reduce cortisol levels in my body ... Phosphatidylserine, 300 mg per day, is a good choice"
  • Phospholipids: Versatile Nutraceutical Ingredients For Functional Foods - Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals, 12/02 - "Ryser concluded that PS yielded clinically significant benefit to 25 of the 27 children. PS improved attention, concentration, learning, behaviour and academic performance, seemingly extending their level of benefit once they had "plateaued" on fish oil and other nutritional supplements. Those prescribed methylphenidate (Ritalin) or other pharmaceuticals also seemed to derive additional benefit from PS which also benefited the depression and anxiety commonly seen in these children"
  • Using Complementary Treatments - PsychiatricTimes.com, 11/15/02 - "Phosphatidylserine is active at cell membranes, including synaptic membrane zones. Partial improvement of learning and recall capacity was noted in subjects with age-related cognitive decline"
  • Stress, Cortisol and Health - Supplement Watch Newsletter, 10/02 - "several lines of evidence have converged to solidify the concept that stress makes us fat (because of cortisol), thins our bones (because of cortisol), shrinks our brains (because of cortisol), suppresses our immune system (because of cortisol), saps our energy levels (because of cortisol), and kills our sex drive (because of cortisol) ... Take a daily multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement - because calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and B-complex vitamins are needed for a proper stress response ... Chief among the supplements with documented cortisol-controlling effects are Phosphatidylserine, Beta-sitosterol, Magnolia bark, Theanine, Epimedium, Ashwagandha and Passionflower"
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) The Essential Brain Nutrient - Life Extension Magazine, 9/02 - "Among its list of functions, phosphatidylserine stimulates the release of dopamine (a mood regulator that also control physical sensations, and movement), increases the production of acetylcholine (necessary for learning and memory), enhances brain glucose metabolism (the fuel used for brain activity), reduces cortisol levels (a stress hormone), and boosts the activity of nerve growth factor (NGF), which oversees the health of cholinergic neurons"
  • A Supplement to Prevent Alzheimer’s - Dr. Weil, 8/20/02 - "In theory, PS works by strengthening cell membranes thus protecting them and their contents from damage, particularly from the stress hormone cortisol"
  • Choline Precursors Lower Stroke Death and Disability Rates, Meta-analysis Indicates - Doctor's Guide, 2/11/02 - "Choline precursors are a group of molecules that get converted to phospholipids in the brain. Phospholipids perform many functions, including serving as crucial nerve cell membrane components and acting as neurotransmitters. Choline precursors include drugs like lecithin and citicoline ... Death and disability rate was 54.6 (611/1119) percent for patients treated with choline precursors compared to 66.4 (561/844) percent for those on placebo ... choline precursors might improve ischemic brain damage in two ways, by neuroprotection or by enhancement of neurorepair processes"
  • Phosphatidylserine Boosts Brain Function - Nutrition Science News, 3/01 - "Recent animal studies have now compared PS taken from different sources (egg, soy and cow brain), and have found injectable soy PS to be on par with cow brain PS"
  • The Latest from the American College of Sports Medicine - Nutrition Science News, 9/00 - "It is generally accepted that the enzyme creatine kinase is an indicator of cell membrane damage and necrosis of the muscle fibers," says John Seifert, a principal investigator at St. Cloud. "Our work shows that PS supplementation results in significantly lower amounts of creatine kinase (CK) levels 24 hours after exercise. This implies that PS can help minimize muscle fiber damage caused by muscular stress."
  • Enhancing Cognitive Function - Life Extension Magazine, 5/00 - "It has been shown that PS can increase the number of neurotransmitter receptors back to youthful levels."


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