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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 11/27/19

Men's Marijuana Use Linked to Elevated Miscarriage Risk - Medscape, 11/25/19 - "Some studies have shown that marijuana may negatively affect sperm quality and increase DNA fragmentation, which may contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage, so there is a plausible mechanism ... The risk for spontaneous abortion was nearly twofold higher when expectant fathers used marijuana at least once a week than when they did not use marijuana ... "This finding is concerning," said Eve Feinberg, MD, from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, who is vice president of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. "As marijuana is becoming legalized, its use is much more ubiquitous. I think people assume legal equals safe, but that's certainly not the case""

Rapamycin may slow skin aging - Science Daily, 11/25/19 - "In the current Drexel-led study, 13 participants over age 40 applied rapamycin cream every 1-2 days to one hand and a placebo to the other hand for eight months. The researchers checked on subjects after two, four, six and eight months, including conducting a blood test and a biopsy at the six- or eight-month mark ... After eight months, the majority of the rapamycin hands showed increases in collagen protein, and statistically significant lower levels of p16 protein, a key marker of skin cell aging. Skin that has lower levels of p16 has fewer senescent cells, which are associated with skin wrinkles. Beyond cosmetic effects, higher levels of p16 can lead to dermal atrophy, a common condition in seniors, which is associated with fragile skin that tears easily, slow healing after cuts and increased risk of infection or complications after an injury"

Increased use of antibiotics may predispose to Parkinson's disease - Science Daily, 11/22/19 - "The strongest associations were found for broad spectrum antibiotics and those that act against against anaerobic bacteria and fungi. The timing of antibiotic exposure also seemed to matter ... The study suggests that excessive use of certain antibiotics can predispose to Parkinson's disease with a delay of up to 10 to 15 years. This connection may be explained by their disruptive effects on the gut microbial ecosystem" - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Study shows that ‘extraordinary’ level of exercise does not damage the heart - Washington Post, 11/18/19 - "A group of Dallas-based researchers shared health and mortality data for 54 men and 12 women who regularly engaged in 35 hours per week of leisure-time physical activity. No one had previously investigated more than a handful of similar individuals ... Despite their unusual regimens, the extraordinary exercisers, who had an average age of 53, suffered no heart-related deaths in 10 years of follow-up. In addition, they differed in no significant way from a comparison group of 2,088 exercisers who reported about 1.5 hours a day of activity." - Damn, 5 hours per day average.  And I thought my 1.5 hours swimming, six days per week was good.  I can't imagine three times that.

Gut microbiota imbalance promotes the onset of colorectal cancer - Science Daily, 11/18/19 - "an imbalance in the gut microbiota, also known as "dysbiosis," promotes the onset of colorectal cancer ... transplanting fecal flora from patients with colon cancer into mice caused lesions and epigenetic changes characteristic of the development of a malignant tumor" - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Statin Drugs Not Linked to Memory Decline in Study - NYT, 11/18/19 - "There has been some evidence that statins cause cognitive problems, and enough case reports to make the Food and Drug Administration require a warning label on the medicines. But a large Australian study reports that the cholesterol-lowering drugs are not associated with a decline in memory or thinking ability ... The rate of cognitive decline was the same in those who used statins continuously and those who never took them. Brain volume changes were the same in statin users and in those who never used the drugs. In participants with heart disease and a genetic disposition to Alzheimer’s disease, statin use was actually associated with better scores on some memory tests"

Consider Vitamin D in Alzheimer's Prevention and Management - Medscape, 11/18/19 - "A recent study from China suggests that there actually may be a role for vitamin D supplementation in this area. Investigators randomized 210 people (105 in each arm) with Alzheimer's disease to 800 IU/day of vitamin D or placebo for 12 months. They looked not only at the potential beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation on cognitive function, but also at its impact on Alzheimer's disease biomarkers like amyloid beta. Although the study was small and conducted at only one center, it was nonetheless positive in showing that vitamin D supplementation not only improved various measures of cognitive function in people already diagnosed with the earliest phases of Alzheimer's, but it also had a positive impact on Alzheimer's disease biomarkers" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Omega-3 shows protection against heart disease-related death, without prostate cancer risk - Science Daily, 11/17/19 - "In one study, the Intermountain research team identified 87 patients who were part of the Intermountain INSPIRE Registry and had developed prostate cancer. These patients were also tested for plasma levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are two common omega-3 fatty acids ... When compared to a matched control group of 149 men, the researchers found that higher omega-3 levels were not linked with elevated prostate cancer risk ... In the second study presented at the 2019 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, the Intermountain researchers looked at 894 patients undergoing coronary angiography (a test that shows how blood flows through the arteries in the heart) ... patients who higher rates of omega-3 metabolites had lower risk of those follow up adverse effects regardless of whether they had severe disease or not on their initial angiogram" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Sacubitril/Valsartan Benefits Extend to HF With Mildly Reduced EF - Medscape, 11/17/19 - "Further analyses of the PARADIGM and PARAGON heart failure trials of sacubitril/valsartan (Entresto, Novartis) appear to show that the benefits of the drug combination established in patients with low ejection fraction (EF) appear to extend to patients with mildly reduced EF, and to a higher EF range in women than men ... When the results were examined according to baseline EF, women showed a benefit of sacubitril/valsartan across the range of EFs up to about 65%. But in men, the benefit was attenuated at around 55%"

First Approval for Osilodrostat for Cushing Syndrome, in EU - Medscape, 11/15/19 - "Osilodrostat is an oral cortisol synthesis inhibitor that specifically works to control or normalize elevated cortisol levels by inhibiting 11β-hydroxylase, an enzyme responsible for the final step of cortisol biosynthesis in the adrenal gland ... Its mechanism of action is similar to that of metyrapone, an older Cushing's drug, but osilodrostat has a longer plasma half-life and is more potent against 11β-hydroxylase"

New Shingles Vaccine: What You Need to Know - Medscape, 11/15/19 - "Shingrix was more than 97% effective at preventing shingles in people 50 and older ... By contrast, Zostavax cuts the risk of shingles by only 51% ... Due to higher-than-expected demand, Shingrix has been in short supply ... If Shingrix isn't available at your pharmacy, ask your doctor about getting the older Zostavax vaccine in the meantime. Just wait at least 8 weeks after getting Zostavax to have the Shingrix vaccine ... Shingrix costs $280 for both shots. Under the Affordable Care Act, all Health Insurance Marketplace plans and most private health insurance plans will cover Shingrix with no deductibles or copayments -- as long as you get the vaccine from an in-network provider ... GSK says the average out-of-pocket cost for people on Medicare Part D is about $50 per dose"

FDA Panel Recommends High-Dose EPA for CV Event Reduction - Medscape, 11/14/19 - "The new indication discussed at the advisory committee meeting is based on the REDUCE-IT trial, which showed a 25% relative risk reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events with icosapent ethyl vs placebo in patients with triglycerides over 135 mg/dL and who had cardiovascular disease (70% of the study population), or who were high-risk primary prevention patients with diabetes and one additional risk factor (30% of the study population) ... While the study showed an overall significant 25% reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events in the whole study population, the benefit was greater in those patients with established cardiovascular disease (35% relative risk reduction). The high-risk primary prevention population showed a nonsignificant relative risk reduction of 16%" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Lithium can reverse radiation damage after brain tumor treatment - Science Daily, 11/13/19 - "the memory capacity and learning capability of mice improve if lithium treatment is given after the irradiation of the brain. Mice that were irradiated early in life and then given lithium from adolescence until young adulthood performed just as well as mice who had not been given radiation ... From this, we conclude that lithium, given along the lines of this model, can help to heal the damage caused by radiotherapy, even long after it was caused ... We're only just beginning to understand lithium's effects on the brain's ability to repair itself" - See lithium supplements at Amazon.com.

Curiosity, Skepticism Over New Algae-Derived Chinese Alzheimer's Drug - Medscape, 11/14/19 - "Oligomannate is a drug manufactured from an oligosaccharide extracted from marine algae and is the first novel drug approved for AD globally since 2003 ... The drug works on the gut microbiome. It reportedly reconditions dysbiosis of gut microbiota, inhibits the abnormal increase of intestinal flora metabolites, and modulates peripheral and central inflammation, thereby reducing amyloid protein deposition and tau hyperphosphorylation to improve cognitive function" - See oligosaccharide at Amazon.com.

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, problematic use increased among adults and teens - Science Daily, 11/13/19 - "After examining usage following the enactment of marijuana legalization in 2012 to 2015, the researchers found that: Problematic use among adolescents aged 12 to 17 was 25 percent higher ... Among adults aged 26 or older, past-month marijuana use after legalization was 26 percent higher than in non-recreational states. Past-month frequent use rose by 23 percent, and past-year problematic use increased by 37 percent ... Cannabis use disorder in adolescence is associated with long-term adverse health, economic and social consequences"

Marijuana Use Linked to Stroke, Arrhythmia in Young People - Medscape, 11/12/19 - "Compared with nonusers, recent marijuana users showed an 82% higher risk of stroke, with an adjusted odds ratio of 1.82 (95% confidence interval, 1.08 - 3.10). This further increased to an odds ratio of 2.45 (95% CI, 1.31 - 4.60) with frequent recent use of marijuana defined as more than 10 days per month ... When controlled for hypertension and cholesterol, stroke odds were three times higher with recent marijuana use, odds ratio 3.11 (95% CI, 1.23 - 7.79), and four times higher, odds ratio 4.10 (95% CI, 1.22 - 13.69), with frequent recent use ... On potential mechanisms behind the observations, he noted that recent studies have reported that heavy and chronic marijuana use can lead to multifocal intracerebral vasospasm, multifocal intracranial stenosis, cardiac embolization, systemic hypotension, altered vasomotor function, other cerebrovascular dysfunctions, and procoagulant effects on platelets — all of which could increase the stroke risk ... In a separate study, younger individuals diagnosed with cannabis use disorder had a 50% greater risk of being hospitalized for an arrhythmia compared with non-users ... cannabis use disorder is independently associated with a 47% to 52% increased likelihood of arrhythmia hospitalization in the younger population"

Abstracts from this week:

Synergistic immuno-modulatory activity in human macrophages of a medicinal mushroom formulation consisting of Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake - PLoS One. 2019 Nov 7 - "A response additivity graph and curve-shift analysis illustrated that indeed the mushroom formula exhibited an immuno-stimulatory synergistic effect on the expression of the majority of cytokines evaluated in both LPS stimulated and non-stimulated human macrophages, with IL-10 having an antagonistic response" - [Nutra USA] - See Reishi at Amazon.com, Shiitake mushroom supplements at Amazon.com and Maitake at Amazon.com.

Cell-free extracts of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii display antiproliferative and antioxidant activities against HT-29 cell line - Nutr Cancer. 2019 Nov 11:1-10 - "cell viability was significantly reduced to 42.2 ± 0.01% and 19.40 ± 0.01% by 5 and 8 mg ml-1 of L. acidophilus and L. delbrueckii extracts, respectively. Apoptosis induction was shown with both bacterial extracts. Caspase-9 and caspase-3 overexpression as well as Bax/Bcl-2 ratio increase revealed the ability of both probiotics to induce intrinsic pathway-dependent apoptosis. The extrinsic pathway was also activated by L. acidophilus. At the concentration of 198 µg ml-1, L. acidophilus and L. delbrueckii had a DPPH scavenging activity of 59.37 ± 3.97% and 71.19 ± 3.64%, respectively. Taken together, these findings provide evidence for antiproliferative, proapoptotic, and antioxidant effects driven by these probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains" - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Effect of advanced glycation end-products (AGE) lowering drug ALT-711 on biochemical, vascular, and bone parameters in a rat model of CKD-MBD - J Bone Miner Res. 2019 Nov 19 - "In summary, treatment of CKD-MBD with an AGE breaker ALT-711, decreased FGF23, reduced aorta calcification, and reduced total bone AGE without improvement of bone mechanics. These results suggest little effect of ALT-711 on collagen, but potential cellular effects. The data also highlights the need to better measure specific types of AGE proteins at the tissue level in order to fully elucidate the impact of AGEs on CKD-MBD" - Note: Alt-711 was all the rage in the ‘90’s. I tried to buy some from a chemical company and they said I was crazy. I found a way to make it on the internet, but I don’t trust myself.

The Vitamin E Derivative Gamma Tocotrienol Promotes Anti-Tumor Effects in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cell Lines - Nutrients. 2019 Nov 17 - "In this study we evaluated the anti-cancerous effects of γ-tocotrienol, on AML cell lines in vitro. For this purpose, AML cell lines incubated with γ-tocotrienol were examined for their viability, cell cycle status, apoptotic cell death, DNA fragmentation, production of reactive oxygen species and expression of proapoptotic proteins. Our results showed that γ-tocotrienol exhibits time and dose-dependent anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic and antioxidant effects on U937 and KG-1 cell lines, through the upregulation of proteins involved in the intrinsic apoptotic pathway." - See Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com.

Vitamin D Ameliorates Fat Accumulation with AMPK/SIRT1 Activity in C2C12 Skeletal Muscle Cells - Nutrients. 2019 Nov 17 -  "Excessive fat accumulation has been considered as a major contributing factor for muscle mitochondrial dysfunction and its associated metabolic complications ... The supplementation of 1,25(OH)2D significantly enhanced PA-decreased mtDNA levels as well as mRNA levels involved in mitochondrial biogenesis such as nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF1), peroxisome proliferative activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) in C2C12 myotubes. Additionally, 1,25(OH)2D significantly increased ATP levels and gene expression related to mitochondrial function such as carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα), very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD), long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCAD), medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD), uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2), and UCP3 and the vitamin D pathway including 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 24-hydroxylase (CYP24) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-hydroxylase (CYP27) in PA-treated C2C12 myotubes. In addition to significant increment of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) mRNA expression, increased activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and SIRT1 was found in 1,25(OH)2D-treated C2C12 muscle cells. Thus, we suggest that the observed protective effect of vitamin D on muscle fat accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction in a positive manner via modulating AMPK/SIRT1 activation" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Sub-Chronic Consumption of Dark Chocolate Enhances Cognitive Function and Releases Nerve Growth Factors: A Parallel-Group Randomized Trial - Nutrients. 2019 Nov 16 - "Eighteen healthy young subjects (both sexes; 20-31 years old) were randomly divided into two groups: a DC intake group (n = 10) and a cacao-free white chocolate (WC) intake group (n = 8). The subjects then consumed chocolate daily for 30 days. Blood samples were taken to measure plasma levels of theobromine (a methylxanthine most often present in DC), nerve growth factor (NGF), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and to analyze hemodynamic parameters. Cognitive function was assessed using a modified Stroop color word test and digital cancellation test. Prefrontal cerebral blood flow was measured during the tests. DC consumption increased the NGF and theobromine levels in plasma, enhancing cognitive function performance in both tests. Interestingly, the DC-mediated enhancement of cognitive function was observed three weeks after the end of chocolate intake. WC consumption did not affect NGF and theobromine levels or cognitive performance. These results suggest that DC consumption has beneficial effects on human health by enhancing cognitive function." - See Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Squares, Midnight Reverie, 4.12 oz., 86% Cacao (Pack of 6) at Amazon.com.

Effect of Bang® Pre-Workout Master Blaster® combined with four weeks of resistance training on lean body mass, maximal strength, mircoRNA expression, and serum IGF-1 in men: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2019 Nov 19 - "A greater increase in total body mass (3.19 kg, 95% CI, 1.98 kg, 4.40 kg vs. 0.44 kg, 95% CI, - 0.50 kg, 1.39 kg) and lean body mass (3.15 kg, 95% CI, 1.80 kg, 4.49 kg vs. 0.89 kg, 95% CI, - 0.14 kg, 1.93 kg) was observed for the BMB group compared with PLA (p <  0.01). A significant increase over time was observed for miR-23a (p = 0.02) and miR-23b (p = 0.05) expression. A greater increase in squat 1-RM was observed for the BMB group (23.86 kg, 95% CI, 16.75 kg, 30.97 kg) compared with the PLA group (14.20 kg, 95% CI, 7.04 kg, 21.37 kg, p = 0.04) ... BMB supplementation combined with resistance exercise training for 4 weeks resulted in superior adaptations in maximal strength and LBM compared with resistance training with a placebo" - See Vpx Bang Pre-Workout Master Blaster, Power Punch at Amazon.com.

Recent advances in the anti-aging effects of phytoestrogens on collagen, water content, and oxidative stress - Phytother Res. 2019 Nov 20 - "Skin undergoes degenerative changes as it ages, which include the loss of elasticity, reductions in the epidermal thickness and collagen content, elastic fiber degeneration, and increased wrinkling and dryness. Skin aging can be significantly delayed by the administration of estrogen. Estrogen deficiency following menopause results in atrophic skin changes and the acceleration of skin aging. Estrogen administration has positive effects on human skin by delaying or preventing skin aging manifestations, but the use of estrogen replacement is a risk factor for breast and uterine cancer. Phytoestrogens are a large family of plant-derived molecules possessing various degrees of estrogen-like activity; they exhibit agonist or antagonist estrogenic properties depending on the tissue. These molecules could be ideal candidates to combat skin aging and other detrimental effects of hypoestrogenism" - See phytoestrogens at Amazon.com.

Prevention of Vascular Inflammation by Pterostilbene via Trimethylamine-N-Oxide Reduction and Mechanism of Microbiota Regulation - Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019 Oct - "It appears that pterostilbene can alter host physiology and create an intestinal microenvironment favorable for certain gut microbiota. Gut microbiota analysis reveals that pterostilbene increases the abundance of Bacteroides. Further, pterostilbene decreases mRNA levels of vascular inflammatory markers tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), and E-selectin)" - [Nutra USA] - See pterostilbene at Amazon.com.

A Plasma Phospholipid Omega-3 Fatty Acid Index > 4% Prevents Cognitive Decline in Cognitively Healthy Subjects With Coronary Artery Disease - Circulation. 2019;140:A10723 - "High dose EPA and DHA prevented cognitive decline in cognitively healthy CAD subjects with younger subjects, nondiabetic subjects and those achieving an omega-3 fatty acid index ≥4% having greatest benefit. These findings are especially important for CAD patients as CAD is a risk factor for dementia" - [Nutra USA] - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com

Health Focus (C-reactive protein):