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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 11/16/16

Marijuana use may be linked to temporarily weakened heart muscle - heart.org, 11/13/16 - "marijuana users were almost twice as likely to develop stress cardiomyopathy compared to non-users, even after taking other cardiovascular risk factors into consideration ... Stress cardiomyopathy is a sudden, usually temporary, weakening of the heart muscle that reduces the heart’s ability to pump, leading to chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness and sometimes fainting"

Time for a U-turn on Levothyroxine? Overuse Is Rife, Say Docs - Medscape, 11/14/16 - "current guidelines say that those with TSH of ≥10 mlU/L, or those with TSH between 5.5 and 10 mlU/L who have potentially related symptoms, positive autoantibodies, or cardiovascular disease, should receive treatment ... Yet the guidelines are not backed up by data — the doctors argue there is a lack of evidence to suggest that there is a clear benefit of levothyroxine therapy outside of patients with thyroid cancer"

Huperzine A provides seizure protection in genetic epilepsy models - Science Daily, 11/10/16 - "In particular, huperzine A shows potential for protecting against febrile seizures, which are a feature of both Dravet syndrome, a severe form of childhood epilepsy, and a related condition, GEFS+ (genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus ... The protection observed in normal mice suggest huperzine A might also increase seizure resistance in other forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy. While these results are encouraging, further research will be required to determine suitability of using huperzine A as a clinical treatment for epilepsy ... Huperzine A is thought to work, in part, by inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Thus, huperzine A can increase the levels of acetylcholine in the brain" - See huperzine at Amazon.com.

Probiotics improve cognition in Alzheimer's patients - Science Daily, 11/14/16 - "a daily dose of probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria taken over a period of just 12 weeks is enough to yield a moderate but significant improvement in the score of elderly Alzheimer's patients on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scale, a standard measure of cognitive impairment ... scientists have long hypothesized that probiotics might also boost cognition, as there is continuous two-way communication between the intestinal microflora, the gastrointestinal tract, and the brain through the nervous system, the immune system, and hormones (along the so-called "microbiota-gut-brain axis"). In mice, probiotics have indeed been shown to improve learning and memory, and reduce anxiety and depression- and OCD-like symptoms ... Over the course of the study, the average score on the MMSE questionnaire significantly increased (from 8.7 to 10.6, out of a maximum of 30) in the group receiving probiotics, but not in the control group (from 8.5 to 8.0)" - See Garden of Life Primal Defense ULTRA 180 Capsules at Amazon.com.

Abstracts from this week:

Vitamin B6 and Cancer Risk: A Field Synopsis and Meta-Analysis - J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016 Oct 30;109(3) - "Epidemiological evidence supports the potential of vitamin B6 as a cancer risk reduction agent and the role of PLP as a cancer screening biomarker, especially for gastrointestinal tumors. However, inconsistent findings from total intake and intervention studies suggest that vitamin B6 might also be an indicator of other dietary protective micronutrients" - See Best Naturals Vitamin B-6 25 mg 250 Tablets at Amazon.com.

Probiotics and Subclinical Psychological Symptoms in Healthy Participants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis - J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Nov 14 - "These results show that probiotic consumption may have a positive effect on psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress in healthy human volunteers" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Serum B6 vitamers (pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, pyridoxal, and 4-pyridoxic acid) and pancreatic cancer risk: two nested case-control studies in Asian populations - Cancer Causes Control. 2016 Nov 9 - "high serum PLP was associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer (P for trend = 0.048); the adjusted odds ratio for the highest category of PLP (>52.4 nmol/L) was 0.46 (95% CI 0.23, 0.92) compared to vitamin B6 deficiency (<20 nmol/L) ... Higher concentrations of PLP may protect against the development of pancreatic cancer. The protective effect may be more apparent in populations with low concentrations of circulating vitamin B6" - Note: B6 also helps the body to make melatonin and may be helpful in Alzheimer's disease.  I take 25 mg with 1 mg of melatonin every night.  See Best Naturals Vitamin B-6 25 mg 250 Tablets at Amazon.com.

  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) - University of Maryland Medical Center - "Vitamin B6 helps the body make several neurotransmitters, chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another. It is needed for normal brain development and function, and helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence mood, and melatonin, which helps regulate the body clock"
  • Preventing Alzheimer's disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment - Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 May 20 - "Is it possible to prevent atrophy of key brain regions related to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease (AD)? One approach is to modify nongenetic risk factors, for instance by lowering elevated plasma homocysteine using B vitamins. In an initial, randomized controlled study on elderly subjects with increased dementia risk (mild cognitive impairment according to 2004 Petersen criteria), we showed that high-dose B-vitamin treatment (folic acid 0.8 mg, vitamin B6 20 mg, vitamin B12 0.5 mg) slowed shrinkage of the whole brain volume over 2 y. Here, we go further by demonstrating that B-vitamin treatment reduces, by as much as seven fold, the cerebral atrophy in those gray matter (GM) regions specifically vulnerable to the AD process, including the medial temporal lobe ... B vitamins lower homocysteine, which directly leads to a decrease in GM atrophy, thereby slowing cognitive decline"

Acute Sildenafil Use Reduces 24-Hour Blood Pressure Levels in Patients With Resistant Hypertension: A Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial - J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2016 Nov;18(11):1168-1172 - "resistant hypertensive (RH) ... A dose of sildenafil (187.5mg) was given, and after a washout period of 14 days the patients received a single oral dose of placebo and the protocol was repeated ... The reduction of systolic (-8.8±1.4 vs 1.3±1.2 mm Hg, P=.02), diastolic (-5.3±3.3 vs 1.8±1.1 mm Hg, P=.03), and mean (-7.9±3.6 vs 0.8±0.9 mm Hg, P=.01) 24-hour BP were found after the use of sildenafil compared with placebo. Improvement in daytime BP levels was also observed (systolic -6.0±4.7 vs 4.4±1.5 mm Hg [P=.02] and mean -4.8±3.9 vs 3.5±1.4 mm Hg [P=.02] for sildenafil vs placebo, respectively). Considering its antihypertensive effect, sildenafil may represent a therapeutic option for RH treatment"

Efficacy, tolerability, and safety of an oral enzyme combination vs diclofenac in osteoarthritis of the knee: results of an individual patient-level pooled reanalysis of data from six randomized controlled trials - J. Pain Research, 4 November 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 941—961 - "oral enzyme combination (OEC) containing proteolytic enzymes and bioflavonoid vs diclofenac (DIC) ... When compared with DIC, OEC showed comparable efficacy and a superior tolerability/safety profile associated with a significantly lower risk of treatment-emergent adverse events, related study discontinuations, and changes in laboratory parameters" - [Nutra USA] - See Wobenzym at Amazon.com.

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