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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 12/15/10.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Fish Oil Lowers Cortisol and Body Fat Levels - Vital Choice, 12/13/10 - "Black tea is shown to rapidly normalize cortisol levels after stress ... Fish oil has also been found to improve body composition in preliminary clinical studies … an outcome attributed to various physiological effects of omega-3s ... In tests performed at the end of the six-week study, members of the fish oil group showed significantly lower cortisol levels" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Smoking behind more than a third of severe rheumatoid arthritis cases - Science Daily, 12/13/10 - "Smoking accounts for more than a third of cases of the most severe and common form of rheumatoid arthritis"

High levels of 'good' cholesterol may be associated with lower risk of Alzheimer's disease - Science Daily, 12/13/10 - "The researchers defined higher levels of HDL cholesterol as 55 milligrams per deciliter or more ... higher levels of HDL cholesterol were associated with a decreased risk of both probable and possible Alzheimer's disease"

Three-quarters of hip fracture patients are vitamin D deficient, Indian study reveals - Science Daily, 12/12/10 - "Of the patients who had suffered hip fractures, 76.7% were shown to be vitamin D deficient as measured by serum 25(OH)D levels of less than 20 ng/ml" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Polyphenols may reduce risk of gout: Study - Nutra USA, 12/13/10 - "Gout is a painful form of arthritis caused by disturbances in uric acid metabolism, when an overload of uric acid leads to the formation of urate crystals in bodily tissues, especially the joints – leading to recurring attacks of joint inflammation ... Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance can lead to increased uric acid re-absorption in the kidneys, which in turn can lead to a rise in serum uric acid concentration ... these results suggest that Oligonol lowers serum uric acid through inhibition of xanthine oxidase, and may be effective for prevention and treatment of hyperuricemia and/or gout" - See oligonol products at iHerb.

Creatine may beef up brain function: Study - Nutra USA, 12/13/10 - "A battery of cognitive tests were performed by the women, both before and after the five days of study, with results showing that memory improved by about 40 percent in the vegetarians consuming the creatine supplements" - [Abstract] - See creatine at Amazon.com.

Pomegranate juice components could stop cancer from spreading - Science Daily, 12/12/10 - "Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have identified components in pomegranate juice that both inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken their attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone ... the researchers identified the following active groups of ingredients in pomegranate juice that had a molecular impact on cell adhesion and migration in metastatic prostate cancer cells: phenylpropanoids, hydrobenzoic acids, flavones and conjugated fatty acids" - See pomegranate at Amazon.com.

Health Buzz: Paper Money Contaminated With BPA - US News and World Report, 12/10/10 - "Since BPA can easily rub off onto fingers and other items, researchers from the Washington Toxics Coalition and the advocacy group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families collected store receipts from 20 states and Washington D.C, and detected "very large quantities" of BPA on more than half ... Even a well-informed consumer can't avoid exposure when contamination is so pervasive and constant" - [Consumer Reports]

Vitamin D Levels Low Even In Breast Cancer Patients Taking Supplements - Medscape, 12/10/10 - "A majority of the women (73%) were taking vitamin D supplements, but even among this group, vitamin D deficiency was found in 25%" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Green tea extract may reduce type-1 diabetes risk: Mouse study - Nutra USA, 12/10/10 - "The risk of developing type-1 diabetes was reduced by about 40 percent in rodents genetically modified to develop diabetes ... An elevation in the levels of anti-inflammatory compounds was also observed in the EGCG animals ... This protective effect is probably due to the preservation of functional b-cell mass. In line with this finding, EGCG also exerts a cytoprotective effect on human pancreatic islets exposed to the inflammatory milieu relevant to type-1 diabetes"

Mercury in Tuna Still a Concern, Consumer Reports Says - Medscape, 12/8/10 - "A woman of childbearing age who ate 2.5 ounces of any of the samples would be over the intake deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)"

Not All Omega-3s Equal When It Comes to Antidepressant Effects - Medscape, 12/8/10 - "In fact, only eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — and not docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — is associated with mood improvement in patients with depression" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.

Whey supplements lower blood pressure: Low-cost protein gets big results in people with elevated blood pressure - Science Daily, 12/8/10 - "Beverages supplemented by whey-based protein can significantly reduce elevated blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease ... daily doses of commonly available whey brought a more than six-point reduction in the average blood pressure of men and women with elevated systolic and diastolic blood pressures ... blood-pressure reductions like those seen by Fluegel can reduce cardiovascular disease and bring a 35 to 40 percent reduction in fatal strokes" - See whey protein at Amazon.com.

Blueberries and other purple fruits to ward off Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's - Science Daily, 12/7/10 - "Eating purple fruits such as blueberries and drinking green tea can help ward off diseases including Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's ... the majority of debilitating illnesses are in part caused by poorly-bound iron which causes the production of dangerous toxins that can react with the components of living systems ... These toxins, called hydroxyl radicals, cause degenerative diseases of many kinds in different parts of the body ... In order to protect the body from these dangerous varieties of poorly-bound iron, it is vital to take on nutrients, known as iron chelators, which can bind the iron tightly" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com and green tea extract at Amazon.com.

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):

Flavanol-rich cocoa ameliorates lipemia-induced endothelial dysfunction - Heart Vessels. 2010 Dec 8 - "Consumption of flavanols improves chronic endothelial dysfunction. We investigated whether it can also improve acute lipemia-induced endothelial dysfunction. In this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover trial, 18 healthy subjects received a fatty meal with cocoa either rich in flavanols (918 mg) or flavanol-poor. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD), triglycerides, and free fatty acids were then determined over 6 h. After the flavanol-poor fat loading, the FMD deteriorated over 4 h. The consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa, in contrast, improved this deterioration in hours 2, 3, and 4 without abolishing it completely. Flavanols did not have any influence on triglycerides or on free fatty acids. Flavanol-rich cocoa can alleviate the lipemia-induced endothelial dysfunction, probably through an improvement in endothelial NO synthase"

The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores - Br J Nutr. 2010 Dec 1:1-6 - "Creatine supplementation influences brain functioning as indicated by imaging studies and the measurement of oxygenated Hb ... Creatine supplementation did not influence measures of verbal fluency and vigilance. However, in vegetarians rather than in those who consume meat, creatine supplementation resulted in better memory. Irrespective of dietary style, the supplementation of creatine decreased the variability in the responses to a choice reaction-time task" - See creatine at Amazon.com.

Lifetime Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Arterial Pulse Wave Velocity in Adulthood: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study - Circulation. 2010 Nov 29 - "Vegetable consumption in childhood was inversely associated with adulthood PWV (β=-0.06, P=0.02), and this association remained significant (β=-0.07, P=0.004) when adjusted for traditional risk factors (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and smoking). Vegetable consumption was also an independent predictor of PWV in adulthood when adjusted for lifestyle or traditional risk factors (β=-0.08, P=0.002 and β=-0.07, P=0.0007, respectively). Persistently high consumption of both fruits and vegetables from childhood to adulthood was associated with lower PWV compared with persistently low consumption (P=0.03 for both). The number of lifestyle risk factors (the lowest quintile for vegetable consumption, fruit consumption, physical activity, and smoking) in childhood was directly associated with PWV in adulthood (P=0.001). This association remained significant when adjusted for the number of lifestyle risk factors in adulthood ... lifetime lifestyle risk factors, with low consumption of fruits and vegetables in particular, are related to arterial stiffness in young adulthood"

Joint effects of dietary vitamin D and sun exposure on breast cancer risk: results from the French E3N cohort - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Dec 2 - "Dietary and supplemental vitamin D intakes were not associated with BC risk; however, in regions with the highest UVRd, postmenopausal women with high dietary or supplemental vitamin D intake had a significantly lower BC risk as compared to women with the lowest vitamin D intake (HR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.54 - 0.85, and HR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.36 - 0.90 respectively)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

The effects of tomato consumption on serum glucose, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein A-I, homocysteine and blood pressure in type 2 diabetic patients - Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Dec 8 - "32 type 2 diabetes patients received 200 g raw tomato daily for 8 weeks ... There were significant decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and also a significant increase in apoA-I at the end of study compared with initial values"

Effects of a growth hormone-releasing hormone antagonist on telomerase activity, oxidative stress, longevity, and aging in mice - Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Dec 6 - "Both deficiency and excess of growth hormone (GH) are associated with increased mortality and morbidity. GH replacement in otherwise healthy subjects leads to complications, whereas individuals with isolated GH deficiency such as Laron dwarfs show increased life span. Here, we determined the effects of treatment with the GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) receptor antagonist MZ-5-156 on aging in SAMP8 mice, a strain that develops with aging cognitive deficits and has a shortened life expectancy. Starting at age 10 mo, mice received daily s.c. injections of 10 μg/mouse of MZ-5-156. Mice treated for 4 mo with MZ-5-156 showed increased telomerase activity, improvement in some measures of oxidative stress in brain, and improved pole balance, but no change in muscle strength. MZ-5-156 improved cognition after 2 mo and 4 mo, but not after 7 mo of treatment (ages 12, 14 mo, and 17 mo, respectively). Mean life expectancy increased by 8 wk with no increase in maximal life span, and tumor incidence decreased from 10 to 1.7%. These results show that treatment with a GHRH antagonist has positive effects on some aspects of aging, including an increase in telomerase activity"

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio is the best surrogate marker for insulin resistance in non-obese Japanese adults - Lipids Health Dis. 2010 Dec 7;9(1):138 - "In non-obese subjects, the best marker of insulin resistance was low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio of 0.74" - Note:  I'm not sure what I missed on that quote.  See http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=183 .  Ideally your LDL should be below 100.  In the average man, HDL cholesterol levels range from 40 to 50 mg/dL.  So assuming an LDL of 100, for LDL/HDL to be equal to .74 your HDL would have to be 135 which is nearly impossible.  The full article is at http://www.lipidworld.com/content/pdf/1476-511x-9-138.pdf and says "The optimal cut-off point to identifying insulin resistance for these markers yielded the following values: TG/HDL-C ratio of ≥1.50 and LDL-C/HDL-C ratio of ≥2.14 in non-obese subjects, and ≥2.20, ≥2.25 in overweight subjects. In non-obese subjects, the positive likelihood ratio was greatest for LDL-C/HDL-C ratio".

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Supplement Focus (Phosphatidylserine):

News & Research:

  • Phosphatidyl Serine products at iHerb
  • Novel Strategy to Restore Brain Cell Function - Life Extension Magazine, 5/06 - "Alzheimer’s patients taking 300 mg of phosphatidylserine daily performed significantly better on standardized memory tests at the end of the 12-week trial period than did the study participants who received placebo. Importantly, those patients who were the least afflicted by dementia demonstrated the greatest benefit from phosphatidylserine therapy. These results suggest that beginning supplementation very early on, or perhaps even before the appearance of symptoms, can help prevent age-related loss of memory and other cognitive impairments"
  • Cortisol, Stress, and Health - Life Extension Magazine, 12/05 - "Supplements to reduce high cortisol levels secondary to stress ... Vitamin C: 1000-3000 mg/day ... Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids):1-4 gm/day ... Phosphatidylserine: 300-800 mg/day ... Rhodiola rosea: 100-200 mg/day, standardized extract ... Ginseng: 100-300 mg/day, standardized extract ... Ginkgo biloba: 100-200 mg/day, standardized extract ... DHEA: 25-50 mg/day (any hormone supplementation should be monitored by your physician)"
  • Cortisol - Keeping a Dangerous Hormone in Check - Life Extension Magazine, 7/04 - "Phosphatidylserine, DHEA, and ginkgo biloba all have been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol produced during stressful events, and these stress fighters can help retard the negative consequences of this hormone"
  • Stress and Cortisol Levels - Vitamin Research News, 2/04 - "I want to reduce cortisol levels in my body ... Phosphatidylserine, 300 mg per day, is a good choice"
  • FDA Allows Health Claimicon - Vitacost News, 3/27/03 - "On February 24, 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed two health claims for a nutrient called phosphatidylserine (PS). The first claim is that PS may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly with a second claim being that PS may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly"
  • Phospholipids: Versatile Nutraceutical Ingredients For Functional Foods - Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals, 12/02 - "Ryser concluded that PS yielded clinically significant benefit to 25 of the 27 children. PS improved attention, concentration, learning, behaviour and academic performance, seemingly extending their level of benefit once they had "plateaued" on fish oil and other nutritional supplements. Those prescribed methylphenidate (Ritalin) or other pharmaceuticals also seemed to derive additional benefit from PS which also benefited the depression and anxiety commonly seen in these children"
  • Using Complementary Treatments - PsychiatricTimes.com, 11/15/02 - "Phosphatidylserine is active at cell membranes, including synaptic membrane zones. Partial improvement of learning and recall capacity was noted in subjects with age-related cognitive decline"
  • Stress, Cortisol and Health - Supplement Watch Newsletter, 10/02 - "several lines of evidence have converged to solidify the concept that stress makes us fat (because of cortisol), thins our bones (because of cortisol), shrinks our brains (because of cortisol), suppresses our immune system (because of cortisol), saps our energy levels (because of cortisol), and kills our sex drive (because of cortisol) ... Take a daily multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement - because calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and B-complex vitamins are needed for a proper stress response ... Chief among the supplements with documented cortisol-controlling effects are Phosphatidylserine, Beta-sitosterol, Magnolia bark, Theanine, Epimedium, Ashwagandha and Passionflower"
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) The Essential Brain Nutrient - Life Extension Magazine, 9/02 - "Among its list of functions, phosphatidylserine stimulates the release of dopamine (a mood regulator that also control physical sensations, and movement), increases the production of acetylcholine (necessary for learning and memory), enhances brain glucose metabolism (the fuel used for brain activity), reduces cortisol levels (a stress hormone), and boosts the activity of nerve growth factor (NGF), which oversees the health of cholinergic neurons"
  • A Supplement to Prevent Alzheimer’s - Dr. Weil, 8/20/02 - "In theory, PS works by strengthening cell membranes thus protecting them and their contents from damage, particularly from the stress hormone cortisol"
  • Choline Precursors Lower Stroke Death and Disability Rates, Meta-analysis Indicates - Doctor's Guide, 2/11/02 - "Choline precursors are a group of molecules that get converted to phospholipids in the brain. Phospholipids perform many functions, including serving as crucial nerve cell membrane components and acting as neurotransmitters. Choline precursors include drugs like lecithin and citicoline ... Death and disability rate was 54.6 (611/1119) percent for patients treated with choline precursors compared to 66.4 (561/844) percent for those on placebo ... choline precursors might improve ischemic brain damage in two ways, by neuroprotection or by enhancement of neurorepair processes"
  • Phosphatidylserine Boosts Brain Function - Nutrition Science News, 3/01 - "Recent animal studies have now compared PS taken from different sources (egg, soy and cow brain), and have found injectable soy PS to be on par with cow brain PS"
  • The Latest from the American College of Sports Medicine - Nutrition Science News, 9/00 - "It is generally accepted that the enzyme creatine kinase is an indicator of cell membrane damage and necrosis of the muscle fibers," says John Seifert, a principal investigator at St. Cloud. "Our work shows that PS supplementation results in significantly lower amounts of creatine kinase (CK) levels 24 hours after exercise. This implies that PS can help minimize muscle fiber damage caused by muscular stress."
  • Enhancing Cognitive Function - Life Extension Magazine, 5/00 - "It has been shown that PS can increase the number of neurotransmitter receptors back to youthful levels."
  • Phosphatidylserine - Dr. Shahelian


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