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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 6/26/19

Low vitamin K levels linked to mobility limitation and disability in older adults - Science Daily, 6/13/19 - "The new study examined two biomarkers: circulating levels of vitamin K (phylloquinone) and a functional measure of vitamin K (plasma ucMGP). Using participant data from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study (Health ABC), the study found that older adults with low levels of circulating vitamin K were more likely to develop mobility limitation and disability ... Specifically, older adults with low circulating vitamin K levels were nearly 1.5 times more likely to develop mobility limitation and nearly twice as likely to develop mobility disability compared to those with sufficient levels." - See vitamin K at Amazon.com.

Increasing red meat intake linked with heightened risk of early death - Science Daily, 6/12/19 - "After adjusting for age and other potentially influential factors, increasing total red meat intake (both processed and unprocessed) by 3.5 servings a week or more over an eight year period was associated with a 10% higher risk of death in the next eight years ... Similarly, increasing processed red meat intake, such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages and salami, by 3.5 servings a week or more was associated with a 13% higher risk of death, whereas increasing intake of unprocessed red meat was associated with a 9% higher risk." -

Vitamin D and estradiol help guard against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes - Science Daily, 6/12/19 - "vitamin D has been associated with several markers of metabolic syndrome, including obesity, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Supplementation with vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome over a 20-year follow-up ... Because the synergistic benefits of vitamin D and estrogen are already documented to improve bone health in women, researchers in this newest study from China hypothesized that the same interaction might affect metabolic syndrome. The cross-sectional study included 616 postmenopausal women aged 49 to 86 years who were not taking estrogen and vitamin D/calcium supplements at the beginning of the trial. It concluded there was a positive correlation between vitamin D and estradiol" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

What is inulin, and why is it showing up in so many food products? - Washington Post, 6/12/19 - "Both inulin and FOS are extracted from chicory root fiber, a natural dietary fiber that is extracted using hot water from a plant that’s part of the dandelion family ... Longer-chain inulin has a creamy mouthfeel, so it’s often used to help reduce the fat content in products. Short-chain inulin (FOS) tastes slightly sweet, so it’s used to help reduce some of the sugar and sugar substitutes in foods and beverages. Inulin supplements and some foods and beverages will use a blend of short- and longer-chain inulin ... Chicory root fiber passes through your small intestine and then is fermented by the bacteria in your large intestine. As noted above, taking in too much too quickly can lead to digestive discomfort — which can happen with any fiber. In addition, some people seem to be more sensitive to inulin and FOS than others, and may need to limit their consumption ... Inulin does have some digestive benefits. A blend of short- and long-chain inulin has been shown to reduce discomfort and help with constipation. The fiber increases the amounts of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli bacteria in the gut. The European Food Safety Association has approved the claim that consuming at least 12 grams of chicory inulin or FOS a day eases constipation ... Inulin and FOS also may reduce our calorie intake and blood-sugar levels and increase calcium absorption ... Chicory root fiber seems to slow down stomach emptying and suppresses appetite signals in the brain, which could help you eat less ... A weight-loss study of 44 people with pre-diabetes who were receiving counseling from a dietitian found that the group taking inulin supplements for 18 weeks had a weight loss of 7.6 percent of body weight, compared with a weight loss of 4.9 percent in the group taking cellulose, another type of fiber ... Inulin also seems to lower glucose and insulin levels after meals in average-weight and overweight people ... In prehistoric times — when we were eating far more vegetables and gnawing at roots — it’s estimated that our ancestors consumed about 135 grams of inulin a day. I wouldn’t recommend aiming for those levels, given what our digestive levels are now accustomed. But we can realistically reach much lower levels that promote health benefits ... Randal Buddington, professor at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, likens increasing your inulin intake to exercising more. “If a couch potato starts exercising with a very intense workout, the pain and agony may very well keep them from continuing. If they start slow, and gradually build up, the benefits will increase and the person will continue.”" - See inulin at Amazon.com.  See my write-up in my 5/29/19 newsletter on using inulin to replace half the sugar in an ice cream recipe.  That and xanthan gum makes the creamiest ice cream you'll find.

Pembro Now Approved for First-Line Use in Head and Neck Cancer - Medscape, 6/11/19 - "overall survival (OS) ... For the whole patient population, the median OS for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy was 13 months vs 10.7 months"

High Blood Pressure at Doctor's Could Signal Danger - WebMD, 6/10/19 - "People who had untreated white-coat hypertension had double the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke compared with people with normal blood pressure ... Besides looking at white-coat hypertension, the review also looked at white-coat effect. This is when elevated in-office blood pressure is treated with medication. The concern is that if readings are only elevated in the doctor's office, high blood pressure drugs might drop pressure too low ... But researchers didn't find any significant links between white-coat effect and heart disease and strokes, or deaths from heart disease and strokes, or deaths from any cause" - Note:  The article seems to contradict itself.

Acute Sleep Loss Increases Blood Levels of Alzheimer's Biomarker - Medscape, 6/11/19 - "Acute sleep loss results in increased plasma levels of tau, which has been proposed as a biomarker to assess subsequent risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) ... This may be because of "increased neuronal activity that's required to sustain wakefulness during the night ... We noted an evening to morning increase in plasma levels of total tau following the acute sleep loss condition, while levels of total tau decreased in the normal sleep condition, such that there was a significant change in the evening to morning levels between these two conditions"

Abstracts from this week:

Central Hemodynamics in Relation to Circulating Desphospho-Uncarboxylated Matrix Gla Protein: A Population Study - J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Apr 2 - "Stiffening and calcification of the large arteries are forerunners of cardiovascular complications. MGP (Matrix Gla protein), which requires vitamin K-dependent activation, is a potent locally acting inhibitor of arterial calcification ... In people representative for the general population, higher inactive dp-uc MGP was associated with greater PWV , central pulse pressure, forward pulse wave, and backward pulse wave. These observations highlight new avenues for preserving vascular integrity and preventing cardiovascular complications (eg, by improving a person's vitamin K status)" - [Nutra USA] - See vitamin K at Amazon.com.

High flavonoid cocoa supplement ameliorates plasma oxidative stress and inflammation levels while improving mobility and quality of life in older subjects: a double blind randomized clinical trial - J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 May 6 - "Regular flavonoids consumption positively impact blood oxidative stress and inflammation endpoints, cardiometabolic risk markers, physical performance and QoL. The sum of such effects may help to mitigate the extent of frailty development in the elderly" - [Nutra USA] - See Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Squares, Midnight Reverie, 4.12 oz., 86% Cacao (Pack of 4) at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

 

Health Focus (Vitamin D):