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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 2/24/10.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Bitter melon extract decreased breast cancer cell growth - Science Daily, 2/23/10 - "Bitter melon extract, a common dietary supplement, exerts a significant effect against breast cancer cell growth and may eventually become a chemopreventive agent against this form of cancer ... the mechanism of bitter melon extract significantly decreased proliferation, that is, cell growth and division, and induced death in breast cancer cells" - See bitter melon extracts at iHerb.

Risks from low potassium in heart failure patients with chronic kidney disease - Science Daily, 2/22/10 - "In findings reported in January in Circulation: Heart Failure, a journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers say that even a mild decrease in serum potassium level increased the risk of death in this patient group ... Hypokalemia, or low potassium, is common in heart-failure patients and is associated with poor outcomes, as is chronic kidney disease ... Death occurred in 48 percent of the patients with hypokalemia during the 57-month follow-up period, compared with only 36 percent of patients with normal potassium. The vast majority of subjects, 87 percent, had mild hypokalemia" - See potassium citrate at Amazon.com.

Remember magnesium if you want to remember: Synthetic supplement improves memory and staves off age-related memory loss - Science Daily, 2/22/10 - "magnesium, a key nutrient for the functioning of memory, may be even more critical than previously thought for the neurons of children and healthy brain cells in adults ... In the study, two groups of rats ate normal diets containing a healthy amount of magnesium from natural sources. The first group was given a supplement of MgT, while the control group had only its regular diet. Behavioral tests showed that cognitive functioning improved in the rats in the first group and also demonstrated an increase of synapses in the brain -- connective nerve endings that carry memories in the form of electrical impulses from one part of the brain to the other" - Note: The problem is that the magnesium-L-theronate form isn't available.

Can a Mid-Day Nap Make You Smarter? - WebMD, 2/22/10 - "People in the group which didn't nap had a slight reduction of about 10% in their learning capacity during the day ... ''whereas the people who had a nap in between the first time they tried to learn relative to the second time they tried to learn actually improved their ability to learn by 10% ... The total time the participants slept during the 90-minute window didn't matter much in their later performance, Walker found. But the greater the amount of stage 2 non-REM sleep, a lighter form of non-dreaming sleep, the better their performance"

Very high omega-3 intakes linked to big health benefits - Nutra USA, 2/18/10 - "High levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) were associated with lower levels of triglycerides, as well as higher levels of HDL cholesterol ... Raised levels of the fatty acids were also associated with decreased levels of markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), which is produced in the liver and is a known marker for inflammation. Increased levels of CRP are a good predictor for the onset of both type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease" - [Abstract] - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at iHerb.

Green Tea Good for the Eyes? - WebMD, 2/18/10 - "the compounds responsible for many of the health benefits of green tea are capable of penetrating the tissues of the eyes and have antioxidant activity there ... catechins are among a number of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, thought to help protect the delicate tissues of the eye from glaucoma and other eye diseases. But until now it wasn't known if the catechins in green tea were capable of being absorbed into the tissues of the eye ... The results showed that different parts of the eye absorbed varying amounts of catechins. The area with the highest concentration of catechins was the retina, which is the light-sensing tissue that lines the back of the eye" - [Science Daily] - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

For some reason, Science Daily and WebMD didn't pick this up.  Medscape did but now I can't find the article.  Here's a video.  Basically a 30 year study of aspirin on breast cancer shows that it gives a 60% less risk of spreading and a 71% less risk of death plus it lowers risk of ovarian and colon cancer:

YouTube - 2/17/10 Aspirin for breast cancer survival - 2/17/10 - 2:38

Germiest Places in Your Home - ABC News, 2/18/10 (video)

Statins May Be Linked to Diabetes Risk - WebMD, 2/17/10 - "use of statins increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 9%. This risk was found primarily among older people; there was no additional diabetes risk among statin users 60 and under"

Ibuprofen May Reduce Risk of Parkinson's - WebMD, 2/17/10 - "the pain reliever was the only one in the popular class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) studied that had any effect on risk of Parkinson's disease ... users of ibuprofen were nearly 40% less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who didn't take ibuprofen"

Bilberry extract shows anti-diabetes benefits: Mouse study - Nutra USA, 2/17/10 - "At the end of the study, the results showed that consumption of the bilberry extract was associated with lower blood glucose levels and increased insulin sensitivity. This was linked to an activation of a protein which stimulates lipid breakdown in liver and muscle and modulates insulin secretion by the pancreas called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)" - [Abstract]

Abstracts from this week's Doctor's Guide Nutrition/Dietetics plus abstracts from my RSS feeds (Click here for the journals, the PubMed ones at the top):

Coffee consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in men and women with normal glucose tolerance: The Strong Heart Study - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Feb 17 - "Compared to those who did not drink coffee, participants who drank 12 or more cups of coffee daily had 67% less risk of developing diabetes during the follow-up (hazard ratio: 0.33, 95% confidence interval: 0.13, 0.81)"

ApoB/apoA-I ratio is better than LDL-C in detecting cardiovascular risk - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Feb 18 - "An unfavourable apoB/apoA-I (>/=0.9 for males and >/=0.8 for females) was present in 13.9% of 108 patients with LDL-C <100mg/dL: compared to subjects with lower apoB/apoA-I (<0.9 for males and <0.8 for females), they had more elements of MetS and their lipid profile strongly correlated with high CV risk. Out of 314 patients with lower apoB/apoA-I, 40.12% had LDL-C >/=130mg/dL: these retained a more favourable lipid profile than corresponding subjects with elevated apoB/apoA-I ratio. Finally, we found a significant correlation between LDL-C and apoB/apoA-I ratio (r=0.48, p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: In NGT with LDL-C <100mg/dL, a higher apoB/apoA-I exhibited an atherogenic lipid profile, indicating that LDL-C alone is insufficient to define CV risk. Independent from LDL-level, when apoB/apoA-I is lower, the lipid profile is, in fact, less atherogenic. This study demonstrates that apoB/apoA-I is at least complementary to LDL-C in identifying the "effective" CV risk profile of asymptomatic NGT subjects"

High dose of ascorbic acid induces cell death in mesothelioma cells - Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Feb 18 - "High dose of ascorbic acid induced cell death of all mesothelioma cell lines in a dose-dependent manner ... These data suggest that ascorbic acid may have benefits for patients with mesothelioma"

Low serum testosterone levels are associated with increased risk of mortality in a population-based cohort of men aged 20-79 - Eur Heart J. 2010 Feb 17 - "Men with low serum testosterone levels had a significantly higher mortality from all causes than men with higher serum testosterone levels (HR 2.24; 95% CI 1.41-3.57). After adjusting for waist circumference, smoking habits, high-risk alcohol use, physical activity, renal insufficiency, and levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, low serum testosterone levels continued to be associated with increased mortality (HR 2.32; 95% CI 1.38-3.89). In cause-specific analyses, low serum testosterone levels predicted increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) (HR 2.56; 95% CI 1.15-6.52) and cancer (HR 3.46; 95% CI 1.68-6.68), but not from respiratory diseases or other causes"

Influence of coffee and caffeine consumption on atrial fibrillation in hypertensive patients - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Feb 16 - "Coffee and caffeine consumption influence spontaneous conversion of atrial fibrillation. Normotensive non-habitual coffee consumers are more likely to convert arrhythmia within 48h from the onset of symptoms. Hypertensive patients showed a U-shaped relationship between coffee consumption and spontaneous conversion of AF, moderate coffee consumers were less likely to show spontaneous conversion of arrhythmia. Patients with left ventricular hypertrophy showed a reduced rate of spontaneous conversion of arrhythmia"

Total polyphenol excretion and blood pressure in subjects at high cardiovascular risk - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Feb 16 - "Participants in the highest quartile of urinary TPE had a reduced prevalence of hypertension compared to those in the lowest quartile (Odds Ratio=0.64; 95% confidence interval 0.45 to 0.92; P=0.015). Systolic and diastolic BP were inversely associated with urinary TPE after adjustment for potential confounders ... Polyphenol intake, assessed via TPE in urine, was negatively associated with BP levels and prevalence of hypertension in an elderly Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. Participants with the highest intake of polyphenol-rich foods showed the lowest BP measurements"

Vitamin D Status and Its Relation to Muscle Mass and Muscle Fat in Young Women - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Feb 17 - "Percent muscle fat was significantly lower in women with normal serum 25OHD concentrations than in women with insufficient levels and deficient levels (3.15 +/- 1.4 vs. 3.90 +/- 1.9; P = 0.038). Conclusions: We found that vitamin D insufficiency is associated with increased fat infiltration in muscle in healthy young women" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Associations of very high intakes of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids with biomarkers of chronic disease risk among Yup'ik Eskimos - Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jan 20 - "Means (5th-95th percentiles) for RBC EPA and DHA were 2.8% (0.5-5.9%) and 6.8% (3.3-9.0%), respectively. Associations of EPA and DHA were inverse and linear for triglycerides (beta +/- SE = -0.10 +/- 0.01 and -0.05 +/- 0.01, respectively) and positive and linear for HDL cholesterol (beta +/- SE = 2.0 +/- 0.5 and 0.9 +/- 0.6, respectively) and apolipoprotein A-I (beta +/- SE = 2.6 +/- 0.8 and 1.7 +/- 0.8, respectively). Positive linear associations of DHA with LDL and total cholesterol (beta +/- SE = 7.5 +/- 1.4 and 6.80 +/- 1.57, respectively) were observed; for EPA, these associations were nonlinear and restricted to concentrations approximately <5% of total fatty acids. Associations of EPA and DHA with C-reactive protein were inverse and nonlinear: for EPA, the association appeared stronger at concentrations approximately >3% of total fatty acids; for DHA, it was observed only at concentrations approximately >7% of total fatty acids. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing EPA and DHA intakes to amounts well above those consumed by the general US population may have strong beneficial effects on chronic disease risk" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at iHerb.

Aspirin Intake and Survival After Breast Cancer - J Clin Oncol. 2010 Feb 16 - "Aspirin use was associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer death. The adjusted relative risks (RRs) for 1, 2 to 5, and 6 to 7 days of aspirin use per week compared with no use were 1.07 (95% CI, 0.70 to 1.63), 0.29 (95% CI, 0.16 to 0.52), and 0.36 (95% CI, 0.24 to 0.54), respectively (test for linear trend, P < .001). This association did not differ appreciably by stage, menopausal status, body mass index, or estrogen receptor status. Results were similar for distant recurrence. The adjusted RRs were 0.91 (95% CI, 0.62 to 1.33), 0.40 (95% CI, 0.24 to 0.65), and 0.57 (95% CI, 0.39 to 0.82; test for trend, P = .03) for 1, 2 to 5, and 6 to 7 days of aspirin use, respectively. CONCLUSION: Among women living at least 1 year after a breast cancer diagnosis, aspirin use was associated with a decreased risk of distant recurrence and breast cancer death"

Dietary Anthocyanin-Rich Bilberry Extract Ameliorates Hyperglycemia and Insulin Sensitivity via Activation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in Diabetic Mice - J Nutr. 2010 Jan 20 - "We found that dietary BBE ameliorates hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Dietary BBE significantly reduced the blood glucose concentration and enhanced insulin sensitivity. AMPK was activated in white adipose tissue (WAT), skeletal muscle, and the liver of diabetic mice fed BBE. This activation was accompanied by upregulation of glucose transporter 4 in WAT and skeletal muscle and suppression of glucose production and lipid content in the liver. At the same time, acetyl-CoA carboxylase was inactivated and PPARalpha, acyl-CoA oxidase, and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1A were upregulated in the liver. These changes resulted in improved hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. These findings provide a biochemical basis for the use of bilberry fruits and have important implications for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes via activation of AMPK"

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