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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 1/4/17

Zinc eaten at levels found in biofortified crops reduces 'wear and tear' on DNA - Science Daily, 1/3/17 - "a modest 4 milligrams of extra zinc a day in the diet can have a profound, positive impact on cellular health that helps fight infections and diseases. This amount of zinc is equivalent to what biofortified crops like zinc rice and zinc wheat can add to the diet of vulnerable, nutrient deficient populations ... Around much of the world, many households eat polished white rice or highly refined wheat or maize flours, which provide energy but do not provide enough essential micronutrients such as zinc. Zinc is an essential part of nearly 3,000 different proteins, and it impacts how these proteins regulate every cell in our body. In the absence of sufficient zinc, our ability to repair everyday wear and tear on our DNA is compromised" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com.

Why you shouldn't use cotton swabs to clean your ears - CNN, 1/3/17 - "Cotton swabs, hair pins, house keys and toothpicks -- the many smaller-than-our-elbow-objects we love to put in our ears -- can cause cuts in our ear canals, perforate our eardrums and dislocate our hearing bones. And any of these things could lead to hearing loss, dizziness, ringing or other symptoms of ear injury ... Instead, most people can just let nature do its job. Our bodies produce earwax to keep our ears lubricated, clean and protected: Dirt, dust and anything else that might enter our ears gets stuck to the wax, which keeps any such particles from moving farther into the ear canal. Our usual jaw motions from talking and chewing, along with skin growth within the canal, typically helps move old earwax from inside to the outside the ear, where it is washed off during bathing"

Common antioxidant may guard against liver disease - Science Daily, 1/3/17 - "Pyrroloquinoline quinone, or PQQ, is a natural antioxidant found in soil and many foods and enriched in human breast milk ... fed adult mice healthy diets or Western-style diets heavy on fat, sugar and cholesterol. They gave a subset of both groups PQQ in their drinking water ... Their offspring were kept on the diets for 20 weeks. Those fed a Western diet gained more weight than those on a healthy diet. PQQ did not change the weight gain but it did reduce the fat in the livers even before the mice were born ... The antioxidant also reduced inflammation in the livers of mice fed the Western diet. The researchers found that PQQ protected adult mice from fatty liver, even when it was stopped after three weeks when the mice quit breastfeeding" - See pyrroloquinoline quinone at Amazon.com.

Metformin Still Best as First Type 2 Diabetes Treatment - WebMD, 1/2/17 - "Metformin, unless contraindicated, is an effective treatment strategy because it has better effectiveness, is associated with fewer adverse effects, and is cheaper than most other oral medications ... The escalating rates of obesity in the U.S. are increasing the incidence and prevalence of diabetes substantially. Metformin has the added benefit of being associated with weight loss" - See metformin at IAS.

Pot May Restrict Blood Flow to Brain: Study - WebMD, 12/30/16 - "Brain scans of nearly 1,000 past and present marijuana users revealed abnormally low blood flow throughout their brains, compared with a smaller control group of 92 people who'd never used pot ... The differences were astonishing ... Virtually every area of the brain we measured was lower in blood flow and activity in the marijuana smokers than in the healthy group ... Blood flow was lowest in the hippocampus of marijuana users, which Amen found most troubling ... The hippocampus is the gateway to memory, to get memories into long-term storage"

New Options for Treating Genital Atrophy - Medscape, 12/29/16 - "In November 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaginal dehydroepiandrosterone, also known as DHEA or prasterone and marketed as Intrarosaâ„¢, for menopausal women experiencing pain with sexual intercourse due to genital atrophy, a condition that is also known as genitourinary syndrome of menopause.[1] In clinical trials, vaginal ovules of DHEA were found to be effective in reducing symptoms of atrophy.[2] Vaginal discharge was the most common adverse effect. After menopause, DHEA, which is produced largely by the adrenals, is the main source of sex steroids. DHEA is enzymatically transformed at the intracellular level into estrogen, which is then inactivated locally. Accordingly, use of vaginal DHEA causes little, if any, rise in serum estradiol levels"

Iron deficiency anemia associated with hearing loss - Science Daily, 12/29/16 - "iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a common and easily correctable condition ... An association exists between IDA in adults and hearing loss" - See iron supplements at Amazon.com.

Fish Oil For Moms May Cut Kids' Asthma Risk - WebMD, 12/29/16 - "randomly assigned 736 pregnant women to take either fish oil capsules or a placebo every day during the third trimester. The placebo capsules contained olive oil ... In the end, children in the fish-oil group were about one-third less likely to develop asthma or persistent wheezing -- a sign of asthma in very young children. By the age of 5, nearly 17 percent were diagnosed with either condition, versus almost one-quarter of children in the placebo group" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.

Abstracts from this week:

Zinc-rich oysters as well as zinc yeast- and astaxanthin-enriched food improved sleep efficiency and sleep onset in a randomized controlled trial of healthy individuals - Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Dec 25 - "These subjects were divided into 4 groups: placebo, zinc-rich food, zinc- and astaxanthin-rich food, and placebo supplemented with zinc-enriched yeast and astaxanthin oil. Compared with the placebo group, the zinc-rich food group efficiently decreased the time necessary to fall asleep and improved sleep efficiency, whereas the group that ingested zinc-enriched yeast and astaxanthin oil significantly improved the sleep onset latency" - See Nutrex Hawaii BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin, 120 Gel Caps supply, 4mg Astaxanthin per Serving and Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com.  Cut and paste from my 11/9/16 newsletter:

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