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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 12/26/18

Cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce brown adipose tissue - Science Daily, 12/21/18 - "brown adipose tissue helps to convert sugar and fat into heat. People with brown adipose tissue are better at regulating their body temperature in the winter, and are less likely to suffer from excess weight or diabetes ... 6 percent of those not taking the medication had brown adipose tissue, but this tissue type was present in only a little over 1 percent of those who were taking statins ... Although the study demonstrated that statins have a negative impact, Wolfrum warns against talking them down. "We also have to consider that statins are incredibly important as a way to prevent cardiovascular disease. They save millions of lives around the world, and they are prescribed for a very good reason," he says"

Study: Today's Stronger Pot Is More Addictive - WebMD, 12/17/18 - "This added punch may be associated with an higher risk of cannabis use disorder ... Meanwhile, average risk of developing cannabis use disorder increased by about 40 percent with every 1 percentage point increase in national pot potency, they found ... It definitely is a signal that potency increases the addictive potential of cannabis ... It's a legal substance, but it has the potential for major health consequences"

Nutrients in blood linked to better brain connectivity, cognition in older adults - Science Daily, 12/19/18 - "These nutrients, which appeared to work synergistically, included omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, carotenoids, lycopene, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D ... The analysis also revealed that a pattern of omega-3s, omega-6s and carotene was linked to better functional brain network efficiency."

New houseplant can clean your home's air - Science Daily, 12/19/18 - "some hazardous compounds are too small to be trapped in these filters. Small molecules like chloroform, which is present in small amounts in chlorinated water, or benzene, which is a component of gasoline, build up in our homes when we shower or boil water, or when we store cars or lawn mowers in attached garages. Both benzene and chloroform exposure have been linked to cancer ... Now researchers at the University of Washington have genetically modified a common houseplant -- pothos ivy -- to remove chloroform and benzene from the air around it. The modified plants express a protein, called 2E1, that transforms these compounds into molecules that the plants can then use to support their own growth" - I see pothos ivy sold online.  Here's a variety of pothos at Amazon that claims to clean the air.

Diet and Exercise Might Reverse Aging in the Brain - Time, 12/18/18 - "The 160 people in the study, who were all over 55, began the study showing thinking skills that were similar to people in their 90s: 28 years older, on average, than they actually were ... The group that exercised and changed its diet at the same time showed the greatest improvements in cognitive tests after six months. They improved their test scores by nine years, to resemble those of people 84 years old. The control group showed a continued decline in their brain test scores, and the researchers did not see a significant benefit from either exercise or change in diet alone."

Exposure to cannabis alters the genetic profile of sperm - Science Daily, 12/19/18 - "men in their child-bearing years should also consider how THC could impact their sperm and possibly the children they conceive during periods when they've been using the drug ... Much like previous research that has shown tobacco smoke, pesticides, flame retardants and even obesity can alter sperm, the Duke research shows THC also affects epigenetics, triggering structural and regulatory changes in the DNA of users' sperm ... THC appears to target genes in two major cellular pathways and alters DNA methylation, a process essential to normal development ... What we have found is that the effects of cannabis use on males and their reproductive health are not completely null, in that there's something about cannabis use that affects the genetic profile in sperm"

Dr. Google Is a Liar - NYT, 12/16/18 - "Numerous studies have shown that the benefits of statins far outweigh the risks, especially for people at high risk of heart disease. But they have been targeted online by a disparate group that includes paranoid zealots, people selling alternative therapies and those who just want clicks. Innumerable web pages and social media posts exaggerate rare risks and drum up unfounded claims, from asserting that statins cause cancer to suggesting that low cholesterol is actually bad for health. Even stories simply weighing the risks versus benefits of statins, a 2016 study found, were associated with patients’ stopping the cholesterol-lowering drugs — which is associated with a spike in heart attacks"

Metformin and B12 Deficiency: A Bigger Problem Than We Thought - Medscape, 12/18/18 - "On average, the women were 63 years old, were taking 2000 mg/day of metformin, and had been on the drug for about 6 years ... The majority of the women had not had their B12 levels measured. However, upon testing, almost 1 in 10 were found to have a B12 deficiency." - See vitamin B12 at Amazon.com.

The fat-burning heart-rate zone is a myth: How exercise and weight loss really work - Washington Post, 12/18/18 - "If you’re the kind of exerciser who constantly checks your heart rate to ensure you’re in the fat-burning zone, you should stop. You’ll probably never meet your weight-loss goals that way. That’s because there’s no special fat-burning zone that’s key to getting lean"

How marijuana may damage teenage brains in study using genetically vulnerable mice - Science Daily, 12/17/18 - "pot exposure increases inflammation in a specific type of brain cell in adolescent mice that carries a rare genetic mutation linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other major psychiatric disorders"

CBD in marijuana may worsen glaucoma, raise eye pressure - Science Daily, 12/17/18 - "One of the most commonly proposed uses of medical marijuana is to treat glaucoma ... But a study from researchers at Indiana University has found that a major chemical component in the substance appears to worsen the primary underpinning of the disease: a rise in pressure inside the eye"

Study shows magnesium optimizes vitamin D status - Science Daily, 12/14/18 - "magnesium optimizes vitamin D status, raising it in people with deficient levels and lowering it in people with high levels ... Magnesium deficiency shuts down the vitamin D synthesis and metabolism pathway ... magnesium deficiency is an under-recognized issue. Up to 80 percent of people do not consume enough magnesium in a day to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) based on those national estimates" - See magnesium supplements at Amazon.com.

Probiotics could help millions of patients suffering from bipolar disorder - Science Daily, 12/13/18 - "a probiotic supplement may reduce inflammation of the gut, which is known to exacerbate bipolar disorder ... In recent years, research has demonstrated a strong link between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. This connection, named the "gut-brain axis" (GBA), allows for crosstalk between the endocrine, immune, and autonomic nervous systems ... There is also mounting evidence linking imbalances in the microbial species that make up the gut microbiome to a number of health problems including allergies, autoimmune disorders, and psychiatric mood disorders ... Overall, these results indicate that changes in intestinal inflammation can alter the trajectory of psychiatric mood disorders and that modulating the intestinal microbiota may be a new avenue of treatment for patients suffering from these diseases" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Found in E-Cig Liquids - WebMD, 12/12/18 - "Lab tests found both sildenafil and tadalafil in E-Cialis HelloCig E-Liquid and sildenafil in E-Rimonabant HelloCig E-Liquid. The e-liquids are made by HelloCig Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. of Shanghia, China"

Benefits of Medical Cannabis for Resistant Epilepsy Time-Limited? - Medscape, 12/13/18 - "Long-term exposure may produce a different picture. With time, efficacy may decrease, resulting in a need to increase the dose. This suggests the development of tolerance ... We know marijuana may have cognitive consequences with long-term, chronic recreational use. I think we need to be a little more cautious on our expectations of this therapy" - Note:  So one of the conditions that pot might be helpful for might not be so helpful after all.  When are people going to wake up.

Physical activity in the evening does not cause sleep problems - Science Daily, 12/13/18 - "The scientists combed through the literature on the subject and analysed all 23 studies that met their quality requirements. They concluded that doing exercise in the four hours before going to bed does not have a negative effect on sleep"

Phys Ed: Is Aerobic Exercise the Key to Successful Aging? - NYT, 12/11/18 - "Aerobic activities like jogging and interval training can make our cells biologically younger; weight training did not have the same effect." - Note:  I'm always been an aerobic person and never bought off on the anaerobic craze.  You can only do so much and I already spend an hour and a half on aerobics per day.

Can 'Normal' T4 Levels Increase AF Risk? - Medscape, 12/11/18 - "After adjustment, the relative risk for prevalent AF in the highest normal free T4 quartile group was double that of the lowest group. No similar associations were seen between the quartiles for free T3. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) results were mixed."

Guidelines for the therapeutic use of melatonin - Science Daily, 12/11/18 - "According to the authors, most oral formulations require approximately 45 minutes to an hour to become bioavailable, so a dose should be taken about an hour before the usual reported bedtime. Given that melatonin is a powerful timer of the organism's physiology, it should be taken strictly at the same time every day"

Benefits of Melatonin (increase your longevity?) - 10 minute YouTube Video

Abstracts from this week:

Exogenous (Pomegranate Juice) or Endogenous (Paraoxonase1) Antioxidants Decrease Triacylglycerol Accumulation in Mouse Cardiovascular Disease-Related Tissues - Lipids. 2018 Dec 17 - "Both PJ consumption and rePON1 injection decreased the serum levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (16% and 19%) and triacylglycerols (TAG, 24% and 27%), while only rePON1 increased the levels of thiol groups (35%) and decreased serum cholesterol (15%). Both PJ and rePON1 significantly decreased aortic cholesterol (38% and 32%) and TAG (62% and 58%) contents in association with downregulation of the key TAG biosynthetic enzyme diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1, 71% and 65%), while only PJ decreased aortic lipid peroxides (47%). Substantial TAG-lowering effects of both PJ and rePON1 were observed also in the heart (31% and 42%), liver (34% and 42%), and kidney (42% and 57%). In both VAT and SAT, rePON1 decreased the levels of lipid peroxides (28% and 25%), while PJ decreased the TAG content (22% and 18%). Ex vivo incubation of SAT with serum derived from mice that consumed PJ or injected with rePON1 decreased SAT lipid peroxides (35% or 28%) and TAG mass (12% or 10%). These novel findings highlight potent TAG-lowering properties of exogenous (PJ) and endogenous (PON1) antioxidants in tissues associated with CVD" - See pomegranate extract at Amazon.com.

Cordycepin reduces weight through regulating gut microbiota in high-fat diet-induced obese rats - Lipids Health Dis. 2018 Dec 6 - "Our study suggests that cordycepin can reduce body weight and microbiome done by cordycepin seems be a result among its mechanisms of obesity reduction" - See cordyceps at Amazon.com.

Effects of probiotic supplements on the progression of chronic kidney disease: a meta-analysis - Nephrology (Carlton). 2018 Dec 18 - "urea level was significantly reduced in probiotics-administrated non-dialysis patients" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

  • What Is a Blood Urea Nitrogen Test? - WebMD - "The blood urea nitrogen test, which is also called a BUN or serum BUN test, measures how much of the waste product you have in your blood. If your levels are off the normal range, this could mean that either your kidneys or your liver may not be working properly."

Melatonin inhibits MLL-rearranged leukemia via RBFOX3/hTERT and NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathways - Cancer Lett. 2018 Dec 11;443:167-178 - "MLL-rearranged leukemia is an aggressive malignancy associated with poor outcome, which is refractory to conventional treatment. Melatonin has been proven to exert anti-tumor activity ... Collectively, these results suggest that melatonin inhibits MLL-rearranged leukemia through suppressing the RBFOX3/hTERT and NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathways. Our findings provide new insights into the role of melatonin for MLL-r leukemia treatment" - See melatonin at Amazon.com.

Vitamin D Daily versus Monthly Administration: Bone Turnover and Adipose Tissue Influences - Nutrients. 2018 Dec 6;10(12) - "Interestingly, the main determinant of vitamin D at baseline was the waist circumference. In addition, 22 patients treated by monthly regimen were evaluated after 18 months of treatment. At the end of follow-up, patients showed normal levels of vitamin D, with increased calcium levels and decreased bone turnover. Waist circumference also decreased" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Improvement in mood, oxidative stress, fatigue, and insomnia following supplementary management with Robuvit® - J Neurosurg Sci. 2018 Aug;62(4):423-42 - "Oxidative stress (OS) plays a substantial role in inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, causing cellular damage and mitochondrial dysfunction. OS also contributes to aging and severe neural disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases ... They received three capsules of Robuvit® 100 mg per day, for 8 weeks ... Tolerability to the supplementation with Robuvit® was overall good, and no safety concerns were raised. Mood tests showed a significant general improvement in 13 out of 16 items of the BMIS (P<0.05) in the active treatment group. Oxidative stress levels decreased significantly with Robuvit® supplementation after 4 and 8 weeks. Fatigue and insomnia score were also significantly better in supplemented subjects (P<0.05). No changes were observed in controls" - [Nutra USA] - See Robuvit® at Amazon.com.

Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Withania somnifera on Strength Training Adaptations and Recovery: The STAR Trial - Nutrients. 2018 Nov 20 - "Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is an Ayurvedic herb categorized as having "rasayana" (rejuvenator), longevity, and revitalizing properties. Sensoril® is a standardized aqueous extract of the roots and leaves of Withania somnifera ... Gains in 1-RM squat (S500: +19.1 ± 13.0 kg vs. PLA +10.0 ± 6.2 kg, p = 0.009) and bench press (S500: +12.8 ± 8.2 kg vs. PLA: +8.0 ± 6.0 kg, p = 0.048) were significantly greater in S500 ... only the S500 group experienced statistically significant improvements in average squat power, peak bench press power, 7.5 km time trial performance, and perceived recovery scores ... A 500 mg dose of an aqueous extract of Ashwagandha improves upper and lower-body strength, supports a favorable distribution of body mass, and was well tolerated clinically in recreationally active men over a 12-week resistance training and supplementation period" - [Nutra USA] - See ashwagandha at Amazon.com.

Metabolic impact of protein feeding prior to moderate-intensity treadmill exercise in a fasted state: a pilot study - J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Nov 29 - "Eleven healthy, college-aged males (23.5 ± 2.1 years, 86.0 ± 15.6 kg, 184 ± 10.3 cm, 19.7 ± 4.4%fat) completed four testing sessions in a randomized, counter-balanced, crossover fashion after observing an 8-10 h fast. During each visit, baseline substrate oxidation and resting energy expenditure (REE) were assessed via indirect calorimetry. Participants ingested isovolumetric, solutions containing 25 g of whey protein isolate (WPI), 25 g of casein protein (CAS), 25 g of maltodextrin (MAL), or non-caloric control (CON). After 30 min, participants performed 30 min of treadmill exercise at 55-60% heart rate reserve. Substrate oxidation and energy expenditure were re-assessed during exercise and 15 min after exercise ... Protein consumption before fasted moderate-intensity treadmill exercise significantly increased post-exercise energy expenditure compared to maltodextrin ingestion and tended to be greater than control. Post-exercise fat oxidation was improved following protein ingestion. Throughout exercise, fasting (control) did not yield more fat oxidation versus carbohydrate or protein, while casein protein allowed for more fat oxidation than whey. These results indicate rates of energy expenditure and fat oxidation can be modulated after CAS protein consumption prior to moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise and that fasting did not lead to more fat oxidation during or after exercise" - [Nutra USA] - See casein at Amazon.com.

Health Focus (Macular Degeneration):