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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 12/1/10.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Ketoconazole May Help in Resistant Prostate Cancer - Medscape, 11/30/10 - "Based on prostate-specific antigen levels, two patients (5%) had a complete response, six (16%) had partial responses and 13 (35%) had stable disease" - Note: Ketoconazole is used off-label to reduce cortisol.  I don't know if there is a connection.  It's bad for your liver thought.  Try the silymarin for the liver damage.

Molecular 'switch' contributes to cellular aging process: Discovery suggests new treatments for metabolic diseases - Science Daily, 11/30/10 - "in older animals SMRT acts like a "switch," turning off the protective cellular activities of proteins known as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). PPARs help regulate genes that promote fat burning to maintain lipid (blood fat) balance and reduce oxidative stress. The researchers were able to reduce the negative effects of oxidative stress by giving antioxidants or drugs known to turn the protective activities of PPARs back on ... PPAR drugs have been used to increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood lipid levels ... we believe SMRT is one of the key players that causes age-dependent decline in mitochondrial function by blocking PPAR activity, and we've found a way to boost the body's ability to better handle metabolic and oxidative stress" - Note: There are several PARR receptor activators such as the blood pressure drug telmisartan and the diabetes medication Actos (some doctors have criticized me for years for taking it for anti-aging).  I've started a webpage on PPARs.  When I get a chance I'll search my site and put the articles on it.

Low vitamin-D levels found in northern California residents with metabolic syndrome - Science Daily, 11/30/10 - "compared with healthy controls, blood levels of vitamin D are significantly reduced in patients in the Sacramento area with metabolic syndrome ... In spite of our great sun exposure in Northern California, 30 percent of patients with metabolic syndrome have vitamin-D deficiency, and even many subjects in the control group had inadequate levels ... These factors indicate disturbances in the body's metabolism, conferring at least a five-fold increased risk of developing diabetes and doubling the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke ... it is possible that people with metabolic syndrome have higher than average needs for vitamin D" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Light exercise may prevent osteoarthritis, study suggests - Science Daily, 11/29/10 - "participating in a high-impact activity, such as running, more than one hour per day at least three times a week appears associated with more degenerated cartilage and potentially a higher risk for development of osteoarthritis ... On the other hand, engaging in light exercise and refraining from frequent knee-bending activities may protect against the onset of the disease"

Aging Ills Reversed in Mice - WSJ.com, 11/28/10 - "This appears to be the first time that some age-related problems in animals have actually been reversed ... These mice were equivalent to 80-year-old humans and were about to pass away ... After the experiment, "they were the physiological equivalent of young adults." ... As people age, low levels of telomerase are linked to the erosion of telomeres ... The researchers had devised an estrogen-based drug that would switch on the animals' dormant telomerase gene, known as TERT ... A month later, the treated mice showed surprising signs of rejuvenation. Overall, their telomeres had lengthened and the levels of telomerase had increased" - [U.S. News]

More than 600,000 killed by secondhand smoke - MSNBC, 11/25/10 - "Secondhand smoke kills more than 600,000 people worldwide every year" - [USA Today] - Note:  You could have one heck of a war for that many people.  Vietnam was 57,000 U.S. over 10 years.  Maybe Code Pink should change their priorities and scream in the ears of every smoker they see.  First hand smoke is probably  30 times that (18 million?).

Cannabis compounds found to trigger unique immune cells which promote cancer growth - Science Daily, 11/24/10 - "research, published in the European Journal of Immunology, reveals why cannabis users are more susceptible to certain types of cancers and infections ... cannabinoids can trigger a massive number of MDSCs through activation of cannabinoid receptors. This research reveals, for the first time, that marijuana cannabinoids may suppress the immune system by activating these unique cells"

Radiation risk from flying trumps body scanners - MSNBC, 11/24/10 - "what's often overlooked is that flying itself dwarfs the radiation doses delivered by the new body scanners ... You'd get as much radiation in a whole-body scanner as you'd get in two minutes at 30,000 feet ... And with that designation, they should be educated and monitored appropriately, much like doctors who routinely deliver X-rays and cancer treatments ... As our sun enters a new phase of activity in its 11-year-or-so cycle, the risks of flying may be rising"

Diabetes drug could work against Alzheimer's, animal study suggests - Science Daily, 11/24/10 - "the diabetes drug metformin counteracts alterations of the cell structure protein Tau in mice nerve cells. These alterations are a main cause of the Alzheimer's disease ... If we can confirm that metformin shows also an effect in humans, it is certainly a good candidate for an effective therapy on Alzheimer's diseases" - Note:  Metformin is one that I take for anti-aging.  See metformin at IAS.

Chronic high cholesterol diet produces brain damage - Science Daily, 11/24/10 - "chronic high fat cholesterol diet in rats exhibited pathologies similar to Alzheimer's disease ... A third hypothesis suggests that chronic long-lasting mild cerebrovascular damage, including inflammatory processes and oxidative stress, may cause Alzheimer's disease ... chronic hypercholesterolemia [in rats] caused memory impairment, cholinergic dysfunction, inflammation, enhanced cortical beta-amyloid and tau and induced microbleedings, all indications, which resemble an Alzheimer's disease-like pathology"

Polyphenol-rich choc may ease chronic fatigue symptoms: Study - Nutra USA, 11/23/10 - "either the high or low chocolate, followed by two weeks of washout and cross over on to the other intervention. The study used chocolate provided by Nestlé PTC York, UK ... Results showed a significant improvement in Chalder Fatigue Scale scores following the high polyphenol chocolate intervention, whereas a deterioration was observed in the low-polyphenol chocolate intervention" 

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):

Effects of whole grains on coronary heart disease risk - Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2010 Nov;12(6):368-76 - "Whole grains high in viscous fiber (oats, barley) decrease serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and blood pressure and improve glucose and insulin responses. Grains high in insoluble fiber (wheat) moderately lower glucose and blood pressure but also have a prebiotic effect. Obesity is inversely related to whole grain intake, but intervention studies with whole grains have not produced weight loss. Visceral fat, however, may be affected favorably" - See brown rice pasta at Amazon.com.

Role of vitamin D in arterial hypertension - Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2010 Nov;8(11):1599-608 - "Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent and may contribute to arterial hypertension. The antihypertensive effects of vitamin D include suppression of renin and parathyroid hormone levels and renoprotective, anti-inflammatory and vasculoprotective properties. Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, which are used to classify the vitamin D status, are an independent risk factor for incident arterial hypertension. Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials showed that vitamin D supplementation reduces systolic blood pressure by 2-6 mmHg ... vitamin D might be useful for the treatment of arterial hypertension as well as other chronic diseases. Therefore, we recommend that testing for and treating vitamin D deficiency in patients with arterial hypertension should be seriously considered" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Effect of a low glycaemic index diet on blood glucose in women with gestational hyperglycaemia - Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Nov 19 - "Diet GI on control (58, 95% CI: 56,60) was significantly higher than on low-GI (49, 95% CI: 47,51; p=0.001). Glycaemic control improved on both diets, but more postprandial glucose values were within target on low-GI (58.4% of n=1891) than control (48.7% of n=1834; p<0.001). SMBG post-breakfast was directly related to pre-pregnancy BMI in the control, but not the low-GI group (BMI*diet interaction; p=0.021). Participants accepted the study foods and were willing to consume them post-intervention ... A low-GI diet was feasible and acceptable in this sample and facilitated control of postprandial glucose. A larger study is needed to determine the effect of a low-GI diet on maternal and infant outcomes"

Vitamin D, neurocognitive functioning and immunocompetence - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Nov 23 - "The skeletal muscle and brain have a vitamin D receptor and the central nervous system has a capacity to activate vitamin D. Low vitamin D status has been linked to poor performance in neurocognitive testing in elderly. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with muscle weakness, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and a lower motor neuron-induced muscle atrophy ... Correcting vitamin D deficiency and preventing vitamin D deficiency in children and adults should be a high priority for healthcare professionals to reduce risk for a wide variety of neurological disorders. Children and adults should take at least 400 international unit IU and 2000 IU vitamin D/day, respectively, to prevent vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Nov 22 - "Telomere length shortens with age. Progressive shortening of telomeres leads to senescence, apoptosis, or oncogenic transformation of somatic cells, affecting the health and lifespan of an individual. Shorter telomeres have been associated with increased incidence of diseases and poor survival. The rate of telomere shortening can be either increased or decreased by specific lifestyle factors. Better choice of diet and activities has great potential to reduce the rate of telomere shortening or at least prevent excessive telomere attrition, leading to delayed onset of age-associated diseases and increased lifespan"

Metformin inhibits HMGB1 release in LPS-treated RAW 264.7 cells and increases survival rate of endotoxaemic mice - Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Nov 22 - "lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated animals and cells ... metformin significantly attenuates the pro-inflammatory response induced by LPS both in vivo and in vitro. Metformin improved survival in a mouse model of lethal endotoxaemia by inhibiting HMGB1 release. AMPK activation was implicated as one of the mechanisms contributing to this inhibition of HMGB1 secretion"

Metformin Use and Mortality Among Patients With Diabetes and Atherothrombosis - Arch Intern Med. 2010 Nov 22;170(21):1892-1899 - "The mortality rates were 6.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2%-7.4%) with metformin and 9.8% 8.4%-11.2%) without metformin; the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 0.76 (0.65-0.89; P < .001). Association with lower mortality was consistent among subgroups, noticeably in patients with a history of congestive heart failure (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54-0.90; P = .006), patients older than 65 years (0.77; 0.62-0.95; P = .02), and patients with an estimated creatinine clearance of 30 to 60 mL/min/1.73 m(2) (0.64; 95% CI, 0.48-0.86; P = .003) (to convert creatinine clearance to mL/s/m(2), multiply by 0.0167)" - See metformin at IAS.

Uric acid level and allopurinol use as risk markers of mortality and morbidity in systolic heart failure - Am Heart J. 2010 Nov;160(5):928-33 - "The allopurinol group and highest uric acid quartile had the highest total mortality (41.7 and 42.4 per 100 person-years, respectively) and combined morbidity/mortality (45.6 and 51.0 per 100 person-years, respectively). Allopurinol use and highest uric acid quartile were independently associated with mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.65, 95% CI 1.22-2.23, P = .001 and HR 1.35, 95% CI 1.07-1.72, P = .01, respectively) and combined morbidity/mortality (uric acid quartile 4 vs 1: HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.06-1.66, P = .02; allopurinol use: HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.11-1.99, P = .008) ... Elevated uric acid level was independently associated with mortality in patients with severe systolic HF, even when accounting for allopurinol use"

Effects of aerobic and resistance training on hemoglobin A1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial - JAMA. 2010 Nov 24;304(20):2253-62 - "The mean changes in HbA(1c) were not statistically significant in either the resistance training (-0.16%; 95% CI, -0.46% to 0.15%; P = .32) or the aerobic (-0.24%; 95% CI, -0.55% to 0.07%; P = .14) groups compared with the control group. Only the combination exercise group improved maximum oxygen consumption (mean, 1.0 mL/kg per min; 95% CI, 0.5-1.5, P < .05) compared with the control group. All exercise groups reduced waist circumference from -1.9 to -2.8 cm compared with the control group. The resistance training group lost a mean of -1.4 kg fat mass (95% CI, -2.0 to -0.7 kg; P < .05) and combination training group lost a mean of -1.7 (-2.3 to -1.1 kg; P < .05) compared with the control group ... Among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, a combination of aerobic and resistance training compared with the nonexercise control group improved HbA(1c) levels. This was not achieved by aerobic or resistance training alone"

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Health Focus (Creatinine):

Alternative News:

  • Pine bark extract may benefit blood pressure-related kidney health - Nutra USA, 3/5/10 - "55 hypertensive patients to participate in the randomized, controlled study. Subjects were assigned to receive Ramipril [an ACE inhibitor] (10 mg per day), and 29 of these people were randomly selected to also receive Pycnogenol (150 mg per day) ... After six months in the Ramipril-only group the albumin levels decreased by 26 per cent to 64 mg per 24-hour period, while additional Pycnogenol produced levels that averaged 39 mg per 24-hour period, equivalent to a 57 per cent decrease ... Statistically significant decreases in patients’ blood pressure were also observed, with systolic and diastolic blood pressures dropping by more than 30 and 8 per cent, respectively in the Ramipril-only group, and by a further 3 to 6 per cent in the combination group ... Diastolic and systolic blood flow improved by 8 and 12 per cent, in the combination group" - [Abstract] - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.
  • Kidney flow and function in hypertension: protective effects of pycnogenol in hypertensive participants--a controlled study - J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Mar;15(1):41-6 - "evaluated the effects of Pycnogenol as an adjunct to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitor ramipril treatment of hypertensive patients presenting with early signs of renal function problems. One group of 26 patients was medicated with 10 mg ramipril per day only; a second group of 29 patients took Pycnogenol in addition to the ACE inhibitor over a period of 6 months ... Urinary albumin decreased from 87 +/- 23 to 64 +/- 16 mg/d with ramipril only. Additional Pycnogenol lowered albumin significantly better from 91 +/- 25 to 39 +/- 13 mg/day (P < .05). In both groups, serum creatinine was lowered; however, only in the combination treatment group did the effect reached statistical significance. In both groups, CRP levels decreased from 2.1 to 1.8 with ramipril and from 2.2 to 1.1 with the ramipril-Pycnogenol combination; the latter reached statistical significance. Kidney cortical flow velocity was investigated by Doppler color duplex ultrasonography. Both systolic and diastolic flow velocities increased significantly after 6 months medication with ramipril. The addition of Pycnogenol to the regimen statistically significantly further enhanced kidney cortical flow velocities, by 8% for diastolic flow and 12% for systolic flow, relative to values found for the group taking ramipril only" - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 may boost kidney health in diabetics: Study - Nutra USA, 2/3/10 - "Our results showed a significant decrease in serum creatinine level after fish-oil supplement in Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Fish-oil supplement has neutral effects on vascular and metabolic function but improves renal function in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus - Diabet Med. 2010 Jan;27(1):54-60 - "serum creatinine was lower (-4.5 mumol/l, P = 0.01) in fish-oil-treated patients as compared with control subjects" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Other News:

  • Protein in the urine: A warning sign for cognitive decline - Science Daily, 11/21/10 - "low amounts of albumin in the urine, at levels not traditionally considered clinically significant, strongly predict faster cognitive decline in older women ... participants with a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio of >5 mcg/mg at the start of the study experienced cognitive decline at a rate 2 to 7 times faster in all cognitive measures than that attributed to aging alone over an average 6 years of follow-up"
  • Serum Creatinine and Prostate Cancer Risk in a Prospective Study - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Sep 15 - "Cases had significantly higher prediagnostic serum creatinine concentrations compared with controls (medians of 1.13 versus 1.10 mg/dL, respectively; P = 0.004). Serum creatinine was associated with a significantly greater risk of prostate cancer (multivariate odds ratio, 2.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.33-3.75 for highest versus lowest quartile), with a significant trend (P trend = 0.0008)"

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