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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 3/7/18

Depression linked to reduced arginine levels - Science Daily, 2/21/18 - "Arginine is an amino acid which the body uses to produce, e.g., nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in turn, is a nervous system and immune defence mediator, and it also plays a role in vascular regulation ... It is possible that depression-induced inflammatory responses lead to reduced arginine levels. This may result in insufficient production of nitric oxide for the needs of the nervous system and circulation. However, we don't know yet what exactly causes reduced arginine bioavailability in people with depression ... The concentrations of three amino acids, namely arginine, citrulline and ornithine, were analysed from their fasting glucose samples, and this data was used to calculate their GABRs ... Although our study shows that people with depression have reduced arginine bioavailability, this doesn't mean that taking an arginine supplement would protect against depression. That's an area for further research ... Arginine bioavailability was slightly higher in people who had recovered from depression than in people who remained depressed. However, a more extensive set of data and a longer follow-up period are necessary for estimating arginine's role in depression recovery" - See L-arginine products at Amazon.com.

Wine polyphenols could fend off bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease - Science Daily, 2/21/18 - "The researchers checked out the effect of two red wine polyphenols, as well as commercially available grape seed and red wine extracts, on bacteria that stick to teeth and gums and cause dental plaque, cavities and periodontal disease. Working with cells that model gum tissue, they found that the two wine polyphenols in isolation -- caffeic and p-coumaric acids -- were generally better than the total wine extracts at cutting back on the bacteria's ability to stick to the cells. When combined with the Streptococcus dentisani, which is believed to be an oral probiotic, the polyphenols were even better at fending off the pathogenic bacteria. The researchers also showed that metabolites formed when digestion of the polyphenols begins in the mouth might be responsible for some of these effects."

Largest study of its kind finds alcohol use biggest risk factor for dementia - Science Daily, 2/20/18 - "The findings indicate that heavy drinking and alcohol use disorders are the most important risk factors for dementia, and especially important for those types of dementia which start before age 65, and which lead to premature deaths ... on average, alcohol use disorders shorten life expectancy by more than 20 years, and dementia is one of the leading causes of death for these people ... Screening for and reduction of problem drinking, and treatment for alcohol use disorders need to start much earlier in primary care"

Counting Calories Is Not the Key to Weight Loss, New Study Finds - NYT, 2/20/18 - "a new study, published Tuesday in JAMA, may turn that advice on its head. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year ... The strategy worked for people whether they followed diets that were mostly low in fat or mostly low in carbohydrates. And their success did not appear to be influenced by their genetics or their insulin-response to carbohydrates, a finding that casts doubt on the increasingly popular idea that different diets should be recommended to people based on their DNA makeup or on their tolerance for carbs or fat"

Acetaminophen Use Alters Sex Hormones, May Cause Birth Defects? - Medscape, 2/19/18 - "Acetaminophen (paracetamol) use has been linked with a depletion of sulfated sex hormones in a large metabolomic study, and the findings suggest that fetal exposure to the drug could even be linked with risk of male urogenital malformation at birth ... The surprising thing that we observed in people who were taking acetaminophen (paracetamol) was that all of them had a peculiar profile in hormone metabolites ... For example, the effect of taking acetaminophen on pregnen-diol disulfate was roughly equivalent to the effect of 35 years of aging, or the normal decrease in levels seen in menopause ... The study also sheds light on how acetaminophen may ease pain ... "Individuals who took acetaminophen," they note, "had very low levels of neurosteroids such as pregnenolone sulfate and DHEAS [dehydroepiandrosterone], a mechanism that could synergize with acetaminophen's known mode of action in the central nervous system that implicates the COX [cyclooxygenase], vanilloid, and endocannabinoid systems.""

Abstracts from this week:

Impact of Western and Mediterranean Diets and Vitamin D on Muscle Fibers of Sedentary Rats - Nutrients 2018, 10(2), 231 - "High-fat western diet could impair muscle metabolism and lay the ground for subsequent muscle damage. VitD associated with a Mediterranean diet showed trophic action on the muscle fibers" - [Nutra USA]

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