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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 7/28/10.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Relationships improve your odds of survival by 50 percent, research finds - Science Daily, 7/27/10 - "social connections -- friends, family, neighbors or colleagues -- improve our odds of survival by 50 percent. Here is how low social interaction compares to more well-known risk factors: ... Equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day ... Equivalent to being an alcoholic ... More harmful than not exercising ... Twice as harmful as obesity ... Relationships provide a level of protection across all ages"

Excessive intake of omega 6 and deficiencies in omega 3 induce obesity down the generations - Science Daily, 7/26/10 - "Chronic excess of linoleic acid (omega 6), coupled with a deficiency in alpha-linoleic acid (omega 3), can increase obesity down the generations ... In the past forty years, there has been a steady rise in obesity over the generations in Western societies. During the same period, the diet in industrialized countries has seen a quantitative increase in the calories ingested (lipids account for 35 to 40% of food intake), high levels of linoleic acid (omega 6) and low levels of alpha-linoleic acid (omega 3). Indeed, the amount of omega 6 consumed during the past forty years has rocketed (+250%) while that of omega 3 has fallen by 40%, thus destabilizing the omega 6/omega 3 ratio when compared with the recommended intakes. While the French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) recommends an omega 6/omega 3 ratio of 5/1, actual consumption is 15 omega 6 for 1 omega 3. In the USA, this ratio can even reach 40 omega 6 for 1 omega 3 ... researchers exposed four generations of mice to a Western-style diet, characterized by these same omega 6/omega 3 ratios. As a result, they saw a gradual increase in fat mass over several generations"

Preventing heart problems while keeping a cool head: Cause of flushing effect arising from cholesterol treatment with nicotinic acid - Science Daily, 7/26/10 - "The opposite approach, which involves increasing the concentration of "good" HDL cholesterol using nicotinic acid, has proven unpopular among patients up to now. The reason for this is that treatment with nicotinic acid has an unpleasant but harmless side-effect: the drug makes patients turn quite red in the face ... the higher an individual's level of HDL cholesterol, the lower his or her risk of contracting these diseases. For this reason, the strategy of increasing HDL plasma concentration through medication has become more prevalent of late. The drug on which most hopes are pinned here is nicotinic acid ... The flushing phenomenon can be prevented by inhibiting prostaglandin formation or blocking the prostaglandin receptors in the skin, while the desired effects of the nicotinic acid on lipid metabolism remain unaffected" - See niacin at Amazon.com.

More time spent sitting linked to higher risk of death; Risk found to be independent of physical activity level - Science Daily, 7/22/10 - "more leisure time spent sitting was associated with higher risk of mortality, particularly in women. Women who reported more than six hours per day of sitting were 37 percent more likely to die during the time period studied than those who sat fewer than 3 hours a day. Men who sat more than 6 hours a day were 18 percent more likely to die than those who sat fewer than 3 hours per day. The association remained virtually unchanged after adjusting for physical activity level. Associations were stronger for cardiovascular disease mortality than for cancer mortality"

Vitamins needed to help celiacs stave off bone disease, researchers find - Science Daily, 7/22/10 - "Children with celiac disease need to include certain must-have vitamins in their diets to stave off weak bones and osteoporosis ... A study of 43 children and teens from three to 18 years of age diagnosed with celiac disease showed that they also tended to have low bone density, likely due to poor intake and absorption of vitamins and minerals. That means they should be getting more of bone-boosting vitamins such as K and D in their diets"

Cutting fat and calories can lower cancer risk in dogs and people - Science Daily, 7/22/10 - "As many as 1 out of 3 cancer deaths in both humans and dogs could be prevented by reducing Omega-6 fatty acids and cutting calories ... Omega-6, such as corn oil, vegetable oil and grain-fed red meat. Too much Omega-6 fatty acid can lead to inflammation, which creates an environment conducive to cancer in dogs and people ... obesity in both dogs and humans limits the production of adiponectin, a hormone that has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth. He recommended reducing calories, particularly those from sugar, which has the additional danger of not only causing obesity, but also feeding cancer cells and encouraging their growth ... the ideal blend of fiber for dog food is about 75 to 80 percent insoluble and 20 to 25 percent soluble. In addition, adding quality prebiotics to pet foods can enhance their gut health"

First human trial backs GS diabetes benefits - Nutra USA, 7/22/10 - "Their findings recorded an average reduction in fasting blood glucose from 162 +/- 23 to 119 +/- 17 mg/dL. After eating, blood glucose levels were found to have reduced from 291 +/-10 to 236 +/-30 mg/dL" - See gymnema sylvestre at Amazon.com.

Nutrient blend improves function of aging brain: rat study - Nutra USA, 7/21/10 - "NT-020 is a combination of blueberry, green tea extract, carnosine and vitamin D3 ... The NT-020 group demonstrated increased adult neural stem cell proliferation in the two main stem cell niches in the brains and improvement in learning and memory" - Note: The following is from last week's newsletter which didn't explain what NT-020 was.  I feel that many of those proprietary blends most likely designed by their accountant are a con game to charge three times as much.

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):

Effect of a high-calcium energy-reduced diet on abdominal obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors in obese Brazilian subjects - Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Jul;64(8):1076-83 - "(i) a low-calcium diet (LCD; < 500 mg/day) or (ii) a HCD [1200-1300 mg/day ... 16 weeks of energy restriction, a significant reduction was observed in all anthropometric parameters, metabolic variables (except for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and blood pressure levels in both the groups. Insulin was significantly reduced only in the HCD group. Subjects on the HCD compared with those on the LCD exhibited a greater reduction in waist circumference (p = 0.002), waist-to-hip ratio (p = 0.0001), diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.04) and mean blood pressure (p = 0.03). Conclusions: Our study suggests that increased calcium intake may enhance the beneficial effects of energy restriction on abdominal obesity and blood pressure"

Metformin and placebo therapy both improve weight management and fasting insulin in obese insulin resistant adolescents: a prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized study - Eur J Endocrinol. 2010 Jul 16 - "insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and the metabolic syndrome (MtS) ... The insulin sensitivity index, however, only improved in the metformin group. High fasting insulin is correlated with a subsequent BMI increase irrespective of medication. MtS remained unchanged"

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Supplement Focus (Ginseng):

News & Research:


  • Effects of Korean Red Ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Mayer) and Its Isolated Ginsenosides and Polysaccharides on Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Individuals - Am J Hypertens. 2010 Feb 4 - "Although preliminary, this study is the first to demonstrate that KRG may improve arterial stiffness as measured by AI"
  • A new herbal combination, Etana, for enhancing erectile function: an efficacy and safety study in animals - Int J Impot Res. 2009 Jun 4 - "a new herbal combination called Etana that is composed of five herbal extracts including Panax quinquelotius (Ginseng), Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali), Epimedium grandiflorum (Horny goat weed), Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola) and flower pollen extracts. Most of the above-mentioned extracts have a long historical and traditional use for erectile dysfunction (ED) ... penile erection index (PEI) ... At a 7.5 mg kg(-1) single dose, the percentage of responding rats was 53+/-7 with a PEI of 337+/-72 compared with 17+/-6 with a PEI of 30+/-10 for control animals. This PEI was significantly (P<0.001) higher than each single component and than the sum of any two herbal components of Etana. When compared with sildenafil citrate, Etana induced more pronounced PEI than 0.36 mg kg(-1), but similar to 0.71 mg kg(-1) of sildenafil. Furthermore, full acute and sub-acute toxicity studies showed no toxic effects of Etana. In conclusion, this study describes a new and safe combination of herbal components that enhance erectile function in male rats"
  • Effect of ginsam, a vinegar extract from Panax ginseng, on body weight and glucose homeostasis in an obese insulin-resistant rat model - Metabolism. 2009 Jan;58(1):8-15 - "We evaluated the antihyperglycemic and antiobesity effects of ginsam, a component of Panax ginseng produced by vinegar extraction, which is enriched in the ginsenoside Rg3 ... Insulin-resistant rats treated with ginsam had lower fasting and postprandial glucose concentrations compared with vehicle-treated rats. Importantly, overall glucose excursion during the intraperitoneal 2-hour glucose tolerance test decreased by 21.5% (P < .01) in the treated rats, indicating improved glucose tolerance. Plasma insulin concentration was significantly lower in ginsam-treated rats. These changes may be related to increased glucose transporter 4 expression in skeletal muscle. Interestingly, when the data from both ginsam-treated groups were combined, body weight was 60% lower in the ginsam-treated rats than in the controls (P < .01). Liver weight and serum alanine aminotransferase concentrations were also lower in the ginsam-treated rats. These effects were associated with increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma expression and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase phosphorylation in liver and muscle. Our data suggest that ginsam has distinct beneficial effects on glucose metabolism and body weight control in an obese animal model of insulin resistance by changing the expression of genes involved in glucose and fatty acid metabolism" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.
  • Panax Ginseng Enhances Cognitive Performance in Alzheimer Disease - Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2008 Jun 17 - "ginseng group was treated with Panax ginseng powder (4.5 g/d) for 12 weeks ... After ginseng treatment, the cognitive subscale of ADAS and the MMSE score began to show improvements and continued up to 12 weeks (P=0.029 and P=0.009 vs. baseline, respectively). After discontinuing ginseng, the improved ADAS and MMSE scores declined to the levels of the control group. These results suggest that Panax ginseng is clinically effective in the cognitive performance of AD patients" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.
  • Combined effects of swim training and ginseng supplementation on exercise performance time, ROS, lymphocyte proliferation, and DNA damage following exhaustive exercise stress - Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 Jul;77(4):289-96 - "These findings suggest that the combined effect of swim training and ginseng supplementation sustain lymphocyte function in the presence of reduced ROS production and DNA damage following acute exercise stress"
  • Botanical and dietary supplements for mood and anxiety in menopausal women - Menopause. 2006 Dec 28 - "The one randomized, controlled trial of ginseng in postmenopausal women reported improvements in mood and anxiety"

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