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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 3/28/07.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Herbal extract promising in heart failure: study - Reuters, 3/27/07 - "An extract from the leaves of the crataegus, or hawthorn tree, appeared to be safe and extended the lives of some patients with congestive heart failure who were already receiving other medicinal treatment by an average of four months ... patients who received the extract had a 20 percent reduction in cardiac-related deaths, which translated into four months of added survival time, during the first 18 months of the study" - See Hawthorn products at iHerb.

Statins Protect Against Prostate Cancer - Doctor's Guide, 3/27/07 - "Overall, prostate cancer incidence was significantly lower for statin users than non-users (4.0% vs 8.0%, respectively). A significant dose-response relationship was seen for the total cumulative quantity of statin users and incidence of prostate cancer"

Viable probiotics might help the critically ill - Reuters, 3/27/07 - "At the end of the 7-day study, patients in the viable probiotic group had significantly greater increases in concentrations of immunoglobulin A and immunoglobulin G, which protect the body against invading bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, than those who received non-viable probiotic bacteria or placebo"

Grape seed extract may help prevent skin cancer - Reuters, 3/26/07 - "Some of the mice they fed a standard diet supplemented with grape seed proanthocyanidins, or GSPs, while control mice were fed a standard diet without this supplement ... Mice supplemented with GSPs had up to 65 fewer tumors than control mice did. Moreover, the tumors seen in GSP-supplemented mice were up to 78 percent smaller than those seen in the control mice" - See grape seed products at iHerb.

Age-Specific PSA Cut-Offs Avoid Unnecessary Prostate Biopsies in Older Men - Medscape, 3/27/07 - "When the data was grouped according to 4 specific age categories, mean PSA levels for the control men increased significantly with increased age category: for men younger than 50 years, it was 1.2 ng/mL; 50 to 59 years, 1.8 ng/mL; 60 to 69 years, 3.1 ng/mL; and 70 years or older, 8.9 ng/mL"

Aspirin benefits older women, but talk to doctor first - CNN, 3/26/07 - "In this long-running study of nurses who were middle-aged and older, women who took aspirin had a 25 percent lower risk of death compared with those who never took it. Aspirin-takers had a 38 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 12 percent lower risk of death from cancer"

Blueberries tackle bowel cancer - BBC News, 3/26/07 - "The key ingredient, pterostilbene, is a natural antioxidant and mops up highly reactive molecules called free radicals that can trigger cancer growth ... Rats given a cancer-causing agent but then fed pterostilbene had far fewer pre-cancers in their bowels than other rats ... The blueberry compound also reduced inflammation and the rate of cell division in the bowel"

Crestor Halts Artery Thickening - WebMD, 3/26/07 - "in people on Crestor, the thickness of the artery wall dropped by 0.0014 millimeters a year. In contrast, it thickened by about 0.013 millimeters per year in those on placebo"

Study: Chocolate improves blood vessel function - CNN, 3/24/07 - "45 people were given 8 ounces (227 grams) of cocoa without sugar, cocoa with sugar or a placebo each day ... An upper arm artery's ability to relax and expand to accommodate increased blood flow -- known as flow mediated dilation, or FMD -- was measured using high-frequency ultrasound ... FMD improved significantly in both cocoa groups -- by 2.4 percent among those who had it without sugar and 1.5 percent among those who had it with sugar. It dropped 0.8 percent in the placebo group"

Omega-3 fatty acids linked to denser bones in men - Reuters, 3/22/07 - "Higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), were linked to greater bone mineral density in the body and the spine at age 22. Higher levels of omega-3s were also tied to greater accumulation of spinal bone mineral density between age 16 and age 22" - See Mega Twin EPA at iHerb or DHA products at iHerb.

Blood sugar 'boosts cancer risk' - BBC, 3/21/07 - "women in the top 25% range of blood sugar readings after fasting had a 26% higher chance of developing cancer than those in the bottom quarter ... it is possible to reduce your blood sugar levels by eating a healthy balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and maintaining a healthy weight ... 40% of cancer cases can be prevented by this type of healthy lifestyle"

Can't hide from sky-high sodium, calories at Chinese restaurants - USA Today, 3/21/07 - "A plate of General Tso's chicken, for example, is loaded with about 40% more sodium and more than half the calories an average adult needs for an entire day ... The battered, fried chicken dish with vegetables has 1,300 calories, 3,200 milligrams of sodium and 11 grams of saturated fat"

Healthy coffee lovers, drink up! - CNN, 3/21/07 - "healthy women who drank upwards of six cups of coffee per day were no more likely than abstainers to develop high blood pressure over the next decade ... On the other hand, women who drank coffee occasionally or in moderation -- reporting anywhere from zero to three cups a day -- had a higher risk of developing high blood pressure than the heavy coffee drinkers or the abstainers ... For men, the risk of high blood pressure did not significantly increase or decrease, regardless of how much coffee they drank each day"

Fruit May Sway Colon Cancer Risk - WebMD, 3/20/07 - "The group that had the lowest risk of having an adenoma was the group that ate a lot of fruit and avoided meat, basically"

Plant Estrogen May Cut Breast Cancer - WebMD, 3/20/07 - "A diet rich in estrogen-like compounds found in flaxseed, tea, and many plants may help curb breast cancer after menopause ... Women with the highest lignan intake were 17% less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer during the study than those with the lowest intake"

High-Fat Diet Linked to Breast Cancer - WebMD, 3/20/07 - "Compared with women whose diets averaged 20% of calories from fat, women who derived roughly 40% of their calories from fat sources had a 15% increased risk for developing breast cancer"

Abstracts from this week's Doctor's Guide Nutrition/Dietetics:

Hypovitaminosis D in female patients with chronic low back pain - Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Mar 22 - "Chronic low back pain (LBP) is an extremely common problem in practice ... Patients with LBP had significantly lower 25 OHD levels (p < 0.05) and significantly higher PTH (p < 0.05) and ALP (p < 0.001) than controls" - See Vitamin D products at iHerb.

Moderate alcohol consumption in older adults is associated with better cognition and well-being than abstinence - Age Ageing. 2007 Mar 12 - "in middle-aged and older men and women, moderate levels of alcohol consumption are associated with better cognitive health than abstinence"

The relationship between daily calcium intake and bone mineral density in men with prostate cancer - BJU Int. 2007 Apr;99(4):812-816 - "To analyse the relationship between daily calcium intake (DCI) and bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with prostate cancer ... androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) ... a low DCI was an independent risk factor for osteoporosis in men with prostate cancer ... Urologists should recommend a DCI of >1000 mg in patients with prostate cancer, especially in those under ADT"

Safety considerations with niacin therapy - Am J Cardiol. 2007 Mar 19;99(6A):S22-31 - "Overall, the perception of niacin side effects is often greater than the reality. As a result, a valuable medication for cardiovascular risk is underused" - See niacin at Amazon.com.

Flavonoids and laryngeal cancer risk in Italy - Ann Oncol. 2007 Mar 19 - "Significant inverse relations were found for the highest versus the lowest quintile of intake for flavan-3-ols (OR = 0.64), flavanones (OR = 0.60), flavonols (OR = 0.32) and total flavonoids (OR = 0.60)"

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