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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 1/10/18

Scientists uncover why sauna bathing is good for your health - Science  Daily, 1/5/18 - "Immediately after 30 minutes of sauna bathing, test subjects' mean systolic blood pressure reduced from 137 mmHg to 130 mmHg, and their diastolic blood pressure from 82 mmHg to 75 mmHg. Furthermore, their systolic blood pressure remained lower even after 30 minutes of sauna bathing. Test subjects' mean carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, which is an indicator of vascular compliance, was 9.8 m/s before sauna, decreasing to 8.6 m/s immediately after ... The benefits of regular sauna bathing on cardiac health observed in the population-based study can, according to this experimental study, be explained by the fact that sauna bathing reduces blood pressure and increases vascular compliance" - See saunas at Amazon.com.

Eating more foods with choline during pregnancy could boost baby’s brain - Science Daily, 1/4/18 - "half the women received 480 mg/day of choline, slightly more than the adequate intake level, and the other half received 930 mg/day ... While offspring in both groups showed cognitive benefits, information processing speeds were significantly faster for the group of expectant mothers who consumed 930 mg/day when compared with the group that took 480 mg/day over the same period ... Though the study has a small sample, it suggests that current recommendations for daily choline intake may not be enough to produce optimal cognitive abilities in offspring" - See citicholine at Amazon.com.

High doses of vitamin D rapidly reduce arterial stiffness in overweight/obese, vitamin-deficient African-Americans - Science Daily, 1/2/18 - "In just four months, high-doses of vitamin D reduce arterial stiffness in young, overweight/obese, vitamin-deficient, but otherwise still healthy African-Americans ... The 4,000 upper-limit dose restored healthy blood level quicker -- by eight weeks -- and was also better at suppressing parathyroid hormone, which works against vitamin D's efforts to improve bone health by absorbing calcium ... More than 80 percent of Americans, the majority of whom spend their days indoors, have vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency." - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

How alcohol damages DNA and increases cancer risk - Science Daily, 1/3/18 - "They then used chromosome analysis and DNA sequencing to examine the genetic damage caused by acetaldehyde, a harmful chemical produced when the body processes alcohol ... They found that acetaldehyde can break and damage DNA within blood stem cells leading to rearranged chromosomes and permanently altering the DNA sequences within these cells ... We know that alcohol contributes to over 12,000 cancer cases in the UK each year"

Prenatal Vitamins Tied to Lower Autism Risk - WebMD, 1/3/18 - "Women who took supplements prior to pregnancy were 61 percent less likely to have a child diagnosed with autism ... taking supplements during pregnancy was linked to a 73 percent reduced risk of an autism diagnosis"

Diabetes drug 'significantly reverses memory loss' in mice with Alzheimer's - Science Daily, 1/1/18 - "Although the benefits of these 'triple agonist' drugs have so far only been found in mice, other studies with existing diabetes drugs such as liraglutide have shown real promise for people with Alzheimer's ... This is the first time that a triple receptor drug has been used which acts in multiple ways to protect the brain from degeneration. It combines GLP-1, GIP and Glucagon which are all growth factors ...In a maze test, learning and memory formation were much improved by the drug which also: ... enhanced levels of a brain growth factor which protects nerve cell functioning ... reduced the amount of amyloid plaques in the brain linked with Alzheimer's ... reduced both chronic inflammation and oxidative stress ... slowed down the rate of nerve cell loss ... Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer's and has been implicated in the progression of the disease. Impaired insulin has been linked to cerebral degenerative processes in type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Insulin desensitisation has also been observed in the Alzheimer's disease brain. The desensitisation could play a role in the development of neurodegenerative disorders as insulin is a growth factor with neuroprotective properties"

  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 - wikipedia.org - "Alongside glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), GLP-1 is the only known incretin describing its ability to decrease blood sugar levels in a glucose-dependent manner by enhancing the secretion of insulin. Beside the insulinotropic effects, GLP-1 has been associated with numerous regulatory and protective effects. Unlike GIP, the action of GLP-1 is preserved in patients with type 2 diabetes and substantial pharmaceutical research has therefore been directed towards the development of GLP-1-based treatment"
  • Long-Acting Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Receptor Agonists - diabetesjournals.org - "Two classes of incretin-based therapy have been developed to overcome the clinical limitations of native GLP-1: GLP-1 receptor agonists (e.g., liraglutide and exenatide), which exhibit increased resistance to DPP-4 degradation and thus provide pharmacological levels of GLP-1, and DPP-4 inhibitors (e.g., sitagliptin, vildagliptin, saxagliptin), which reduce endogenous GLP-1 degradation, thereby providing physiological levels of GLP-1"
  • Gastric inhibitory polypeptide - wikipedia.org - "Gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) or gastroinhibitory peptide, also known as the glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, is an inhibiting hormone of the secretin family of hormones.[5] While it is weak inhibitor of gastric acid secretion, its main role is to stimulate insulin secretion ... GIP, along with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), belongs to a class of molecules referred to as incretins"
  • Glucagon - wikipedia.org - "Glucagon is a peptide hormone, produced by alpha cells of the pancreas. It works to raise the concentration of glucose and fat in the bloodstream, and is considered to be the main catabolic hormone of the body [3]. It is also used as a medication to treat a number of health conditions. Its effect is opposite to that of insulin, which lowers the extracellular glucose"

Wrecked And Retching: Obscure Vomiting Illness Linked To Long-Term Pot Use - Washington Post, 1/2/18 - Did I ever mention that for every study claiming pot might help a condition there's about 20 negative studies?

Berry gives boost to cervical cancer therapy - Science Daily, 12/29/17 - "Radiation decreased cancer cells by approximately 20 percent. Interestingly, the cell group that received only blueberry extract had a 25 percent decrease in cancer. However, the biggest decline in cancer cells occurred in the radiation and extract group, with a decrease of about 70 percent ... Fang explained that the mechanism that makes blueberry extract a radiosensitizer also reduces the abnormal explosion of cell growth which is what cancer is" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com.

Amber-Tinted Glasses Might Get You More Sleep - WebMD, 12/26/17 - "adults diagnosed with insomnia got about 30 minutes more sleep when wearing wrap-around amber lenses for two hours before bedtime ... participants also reported better-quality sleep and an overall reduction in their insomnia symptoms" - See amber tinted glasses at Amazon.com.

Testosterone Therapy and PCa Risk in Hypogonadal Men - Medscape, 12/27/17 - "At the end of the day, we can say that administering testosterone replacement to men who are hypogonadal does not appear to raise their risk of getting prostate cancer. We must ask ourselves why it should appear to lower the risk of having more aggressive disease. Another question is, why should men who are untreated when they are hypogonadal have a higher risk from their cancer? Curiously, we reported with some other authors many years ago on men who were being diagnosed and treated for metastatic prostate cancer. We found that lower testosterone conveyed a worse survival compared with men with higher testosterone levels"

More Pregnant Women Are Using Pot - WebMD, 12/27/17 - "Why the trend? The growing acceptance of marijuana may be a driving factor ... Whatever the reasons, the findings could be bad news for babies, since "initial evidence suggests that prenatal marijuana may impair fetal growth and neurodevelopment,""

Air Pollution Contributes to More Than 20,000 Deaths a Year - NYT, 12/27/17 - "This amounts to more deaths per year than caused by AIDS"

Calcium and vitamin D supplements may not protect against bone fractures - Washington Post, 12/26/17 - "bone health involves many different aspects of eating and activity ... Bone preservation throughout life requires eating healthfully, engaging in weight-bearing activity, avoiding excessive alcohol, and not smoking — good advice for everyone" - There's a lot more to it than just calcium and vitamin D.  See my osteoporosis page.

7 nutrition trends you’ll see in 2018 - Washington Post, 12/19/17 - "Omega-9s ... Why it’s a trend: Healthy fats are in, and in 2018 we’ll home in on omega-9s (also known as monounsaturated fats) for their potential to regulate blood sugar levels and promote a healthy weight ... Where you’ll see it: Algae has been touted as a superfood in its own right, but the newest use for algae is in the production of ­omega-9 cooking oil. The process doesn’t use genetically modified organisms or chemical extraction, further broadening its appeal. Thrive algae oil is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. It has a high smoke point of 485 degrees, which means you can use it in baking, roasting and sauteing."

Abstracts from this week:

Role of Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and the Protective Effect of Silymarin in Cisplatin-Induced Acute Renal Failure in Rats - Am J Med Sci. 2018 Jan;355(1):76-83 - "There was a significant improvement in kidney function tests and renal histopathology by using silymarin as protective mechanism in cisplatin-induced ARF" - See silymarin at Amazon.com.

Curcumin potentiates cholesterol-lowering effects of phytosterols in hypercholesterolaemic individuals. A randomised controlled trial - Metabolism. 2017 Dec 29 - "The addition of curcumin to phytosterol therapy provides a complementary cholesterol-lowering effect that is larger than phytosterol therapy alone. Implications of these findings include the development of a single functional food containing both the active ingredients for enhanced lipid-lowering and compliance in hypercholesterolaemic individuals" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.

Effect of high-dose oral multivitamins and minerals in participants not treated with statins in the randomized Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) - Am Heart J. 2018 Jan;195:70-77 - "In a prespecified subgroup analysis of participants not on statin therapy at baseline in the TACT, a high-dose complex oral multivitamins and multimineral regimen was found to have a large unexpected benefit compared with placebo .. High-dose oral multivitamin and multimineral supplementation seem to decrease combined cardiac events in a stable, post-MI population not taking statin therapy at baseline" - See Garden of Life, Vitamin Code, 50 & Wiser Men at Amazon.com and Garden of Life, Vitamin Code, 50 & Wiser Women at Amazon.com.

Chronic consumption of quercetin reduces erythrocytes oxidative damage: evaluation at resting and after eccentric exercise in humans - Nutr Research, 14 Dec 17 - "In conclusion, our study provides evidences that chronic quercetin supplementation has antioxidant potential prior to and after a strenuous eccentric exercise thus making the erythrocytes capable to better cope with an oxidative insult" - [Nutra USA] - See quercetin at Amazon.com

Health Focus (HDL Cholesterol):