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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 2/2/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Bacteria in the gut may influence brain development - Science Daily, 2/1/11 - "The research team compared behavior and gene expression in two groups of mice -- those raised with normal microorganisms, and those raised in the absence of microorganisms (or germ-free mice). The scientists observed that adult germ-free mice displayed different behavior from mice with normal microbiota, suggesting that gut bacteria may have a significant effect on the development of the brain in mammals"

Want more efficient muscles? Eat your spinach - Science Daily, 2/1/11 - "dietary nitrate feeds into a pathway that produces nitric oxide with the help of friendly bacteria found in our mouths. Nitric oxide has been known for two decades as a physiologically important molecule. It opens up our blood vessels to lower blood pressure, for instance ... Among the more consistent findings from nutritional research are the beneficial effects of a high intake of fruit and vegetables in protection against major disorders such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes ... the underlying mechanism(s) responsible for these effects is still unclear, and trials with single nutrients have generally failed. It is tempting to speculate that boosting of the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway may be one mechanism by which vegetables exert their protective effects"

New probiotic combats inflammatory bowel disease - Science Daily, 1/31/11 - "Northwestern Medicine researchers deleted a gene in the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus and fed the new form to mice with two different models of colitis. After 13 days of treatment, the novel probiotic strain nearly eliminated colon inflammation in the mice and halted progression of their disease by 95 percent ... In the study, the modified Lactobacillus acidophilus entered the gut, which is akin to a battlefield of friendly fire with immune cells attacking the intestine. The Lactobacillus acidophilus acted as the gut's peacekeeping force, calming the overstimulated immune cells ... The probiotic restored intestinal peace by mobilizing messenger immune cells, called dendritic cells. The dendritic cells, in turn, enhanced the production of other functional immune cells, regulatory T-cells that rebalanced intestinal and systemic inflammation" - Note:  There have been studies to support probiotics in IBD in the past.  It makes you wonder if they just want to patent a different form.  Plus could genetically modified bacteria introduce other problems?

Exercise May Slow Age-Related Memory Loss - Science Daily, 1/31/11 - "A new study suggests moderate aerobic exercise may slow or even reverse age-related memory loss in older adults by increasing the size of the hippocampus ... one year of moderate aerobic exercise, like walking, in a group of older adults increased the volume of hippocampus by 2%, which effectively reversed the age-associated shrinkage by one to two years ... Brain scans taken at the start of the study and again one year later showed that the right and left sides of the hippocampus increased by 2.12% and 1.97%, respectively, in the aerobic exercise group ... these regions decreased in volume in the comparison group by 1.40% and 1.43%, respectively"

Young rats given polyphenols show less endothelial function deterioration with aging - Science Daily, 1/31/11 - "The endothelium is the inner lining of our blood vessels and normal functions of endothelial cells include enabling coagulation, platelet adhesion and immune function. Endothelial dysfunction is associated with reduced anticoagulant properties and the inability of arteries and arterioles to dilate fully ... The gradual decrease in endothelial function over time is a key factor in the development of diseases associated with ageing, especially cardiovascular disease (CVD).  Many epidemiologic studies suggest protection against CVD from moderate intake of alcoholic beverages, especially those rich in antioxidants, such as red wine, which is high in polyphenols (RWPs) ... RWPs and apocynin improved the endothelial dysfunction, normalized oxidative stress and the expression of the different proteins. RWPs also improved ageing-related decline in physical exercise. Thus, intake of RWPs protects against ageing-induced endothelial dysfunction and decline in physical performance ... RWPs intake had also a physiological beneficial effect since it improved the physical exercise capacity of old rats" - See grape seed extract at Amazon.com and resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

Specific populations of gut bacteria linked to fatty liver - Science Daily, 1/31/11 - "A new research finding showing a strong relationship between complex microbial ecologies in human intestines and the common but serious medical condition known as fatty liver illustrates this paradox ... Choline deficiency also implicates genetics, since many people lack the genes to efficiently make choline internally ... The implication of the finding is that these groups of bacteria may be influencing the body's ability to properly use the choline available in food ... bioinformatics researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte found a strong correlation between the relative abundances of two specific classes of bacteria and the development of fatty liver ... Those patients with the highest abundance of Gammaproteobacteria at the beginning of the study seemed to have the lowest fatty liver development. The ones with the least developed the most fatty liver ... Erysipeoltrichi showed exactly the opposite association, though this relationship was not quite as strong. So there seemed to be change going on in opposite directions"

Deficiency of dietary omega-3 may explain depressive behaviors - Science Daily, 1/30/11 - "The dietary ratio between omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-3 increased continuously over the course of the 20th century. These fatty acids are "essential" lipids because the body cannot synthesize them from new ... the researchers studied mice fed a life-long diet imbalanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They found that omega-3 deficiency disturbed neuronal communication specifically. The researchers observed that only the cannabinoid receptors, which play a strategic role in neurotransmission, suffer a complete loss of function. This neuronal dysfunction was accompanied by depressive behaviours among the malnourished mice" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Vitamin D deficiency alters lung growth and decreases lung function - Science Daily, 1/28/11 - "The results of this study clearly demonstrate that vitamin D deficiency alters lung growth, resulting in lower lung volume and decrements in lung function"

Sprouts? Supplements? Team them up to boost broccoli's cancer-fighting power - Science Daily, 1/27/11 - "To get broccoli's benefits, though, the enzyme myrosinase has to be present; if it's not there, sulforaphane, broccoli's cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory component, doesn't form ... There was almost a twofold increase in sulforaphane absorption when sprouts and powder were eaten together. It changed the way the subjects metabolized the powder. We saw plasma and urine metabolites much earlier and at much higher levels than when either was eaten alone ... Steaming broccoli for two to four minutes is the perfect way to protect both the enzyme and the vegetable's nutrients"

Green, but Not Black, Tea May Reduce Risk for Coronary Artery Disease - Medscape, 1/27/11 - "The meta-analysis showed no significant association between black tea intake and the risk for CAD (highest vs lowest consumption, summary relative risk [RR], 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82 - 1.04; for an increase of 1 cup/day, summary RR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.94 - 1.02). The summary RR for green tea showed a significant association between the highest intake of green tea and a lower risk for CAD (summary RR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.58 - 0.89). Increased green tea intake by 1 cup per day was associated with a 10% reduction in the risk for the development of CAD (summary RR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82 - 0.99) .... Green tea catechins have been shown to inhibit oxidation, vascular inflammation, atherogenesis, and thrombogenesis and to favorably modulate the plasma lipid profile and vascular reactivity, which suggests a wide spectrum of beneficial effects on CAD. Because of the different degrees of fermentation, the content and composition of catechins vary substantially between green and black tea"

Early antibiotic use can lead to increased risk of childhood asthma, study suggests - Science Daily, 1/27/11 - "When babies are given antibiotics, their risk of developing asthma by age 6 may increase by 50 percent"

Eating poorly can make you blue: Trans-fats increase risk of depression, while olive oil helps avoid risk - Science Daily, 1/26/11 - "the participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fats (fats present in artificial form in industrially-produced pastries and fast food, and naturally present in certain whole milk products) "presented up to a 48% increase in the risk of depression when they were compared to participants who did not consume these fats," ... In addition, the study demonstrated a dose-response relationship, "whereby the more trans-fats were consumed, the greater the harmful effect they produced in the volunteers," ...Furthermore, the team, ... also analyzed the influence of polyunsaturated fats (abundant in fish and vegetable oils) and of olive oil on the occurrence of depression. "In fact, we discovered that this type of healthier fats, together with olive oil, are associated with a lower risk of suffering depression,""

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):

Antioxidant effect of astaxanthin on phospholipid peroxidation in human erythrocytes - Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan 31:1-9 - "Phospholipid hydroperoxides (PLOOH) accumulate abnormally in the erythrocytes of dementia patients, and dietary xanthophylls (polar carotenoids such as astaxanthin) are hypothesised to prevent the accumulation ... After 12 weeks of treatment, erythrocyte astaxanthin concentrations were higher in both the 6 and 12 mg astaxanthin groups than in the placebo group. In contrast, erythrocyte PLOOH concentrations were lower in the astaxanthin groups than in the placebo group. In the plasma, somewhat lower PLOOH levels were found after astaxanthin treatment. These results suggest that astaxanthin supplementation results in improved erythrocyte antioxidant status and decreased PLOOH levels, which may contribute to the prevention of dementia" - See astaxanthin products at iHerb.

Early life exposure to infections and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia - Int J Cancer. 2011 Apr 1;128(7):1632-43 - "exposure to common infections early in life may be protective against childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) ... daycare attendance by the age of 6 months (odds ratio [OR] for each thousand child-hours of exposure = 0.90, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.82-1.00) and birth order (OR for having an older sibling = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.50-0.92) were associated with a reduced risk of ALL among non-Hispanic white children but not Hispanic children, whereas ear infection before age 6 months was protective in both ethnic groups. When the three measures were assessed simultaneously, the influence of daycare attendance (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.73-0.94) and having an older sibling (OR = 0.59, 95% CI: 0.43-0.83) became stronger for non-Hispanic white children. In Hispanic children, a strong reduction in risk associated with ear infections persisted (OR = 0.45, 95% CI: 0.25-0.79). Evidence of a protective role for infection-related exposures early in life is supported by findings in both the non-Hispanic white and Hispanic populations within the NCCLS"

Endometrial cancer associated with various forms of postmenopausal hormone therapy: A case control study - Int J Cancer. 2011 Apr 1;128(7):1644-51 - "evaluates the effect of different modes of estradiol-progestagen therapy (EPT) regimens on the postmenopausal endometrial cancer risk in Finland ... For use of <5 years, the OR for sequential EPT was 0.67 (95% confidence interval 0.52-0.86), for continuous EPT 0.45 (0.27-0.73), and for estradiol plus levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device system (LNG-IUS) 0.39 (0.17-0.88). A decreased risk persisted for the use of continuous EPT and estradiol plus LNG-IUS of up to 10 years. The use of long-cycle EPT showed a tendency toward an elevated risk both for exposure of <5 years (1.40; 0.82-2.38) and for estimated use of >5 years (1.63; 1.12-2.38). For an estimated exposure of >10 years, the risk for endometrial cancer was elevated for both users of long-cycle EPT (2.95; 2.40-3.62) and sequential EPT (1.38; 1.15-1.66). Norethisterone acetate and medroxyprogesterone acetate as parts of EPT did not differ in their endometrial cancer risk. The use of tibolone showed no endometrial risk. The use of sequential and long-cycle EPT is associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer, whereas the use of continuous EPT or estradiol plus LNG-IUS shows a decreased risk"

The effect of conjugated linoleic acid, a natural trans fat from milk and meat, on human blood pressure: results from a randomized crossover feeding study - J Hum Hypertens. 2011 Jan 27 - "Our study suggests that short-term high intakes of cis-9,trans-11 CLA do not affect BP in healthy volunteers"

Associations Between Concentrations of Vitamin D and Concentrations of Insulin, Glucose, and HbA1c Among Adolescents in the United States - Diabetes Care. 2011 Jan 27 - "Adjusted concentrations of insulin were ~24% lower among male subjects with a concentration of vitamin D ≥75 nmol/L than among male subjects with a concentration of vitamin D <50 nmol/L (P = 0.003). Concentrations of vitamin D were inversely associated with concentrations of glucose only among Mexican American male subjects (P = 0.007)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Chemopreventive Effects of Dietary Canola Oil on Colon Cancer Development - Nutr Cancer. 2011 Jan 24:1 - "Dietary canola oil significantly (P < 0.05) decreased colonic tumor incidence and tumor multiplicity as compared to dietary corn oil in rats. Fatty acid analysis showed that corn oil group had higher levels of ω-6 fatty acid levels, whereas the canola oil groups exhibited higher levels of ω-3 fatty acids from the colon and serum samples of rats. For the mechanistic study, COX-2 expression in the colon samples from the canola oil group was significantly lower (P < 0.05) as compared to the corn oil group. Taken together, dietary canola oil may be chemopreventive for colon tumor development in Fischer rats as compared to possibly by increasing ω-3 fatty acid levels and decreasing COX-2 levels"

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