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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 2/16/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Good diets fight bad Alzheimer's genes: Diets high in fish oil have a beneficial effect in patients at risk, researcher says - Science Daily, 2/15/11 - "APOE comes in two forms, a "good" APOE gene and a "bad" APOE gene, called APOE4. He has developed animal models to investigate the effects of diet and environment on carriers of APOE4, the presence of which is a known risk factor for Alzheimer's. It appears in 50% of all Alzheimer's patients, and in 15% of the general population which due to APOE4 is the population which is at risk of getting the disease ... The good news? In preliminary results, the researchers are exhilarated to find that a diet high in Omega 3 oils and low in cholesterol appears to significantly reduce the negative effects of the APOE4 gene in mouse models" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Hearing loss associated with development of dementia - Science Daily, 2/14/11 - "follow-up of 11.9 years ... for every 10 decibels of hearing loss, the extra risk increased by 20 percent ... "A number of mechanisms may be theoretically implicated in the observed association between hearing loss and incident dementia," the authors write. Dementia may be overdiagnosed in individuals with hearing loss, or those with cognitive impairment may be overdiagnosed with hearing loss. The two conditions may share an underlying neuropathologic process. "Finally, hearing loss may be causually related to dementia, possibly through exhaustion of cognitive reserve, social isolation, environmental deafferentation [elimination of sensory nerve fibers] or a combination of these pathways.""

Vegans' elevated heart risk requires omega-3s and B12, study suggests - Science Daily, 2/2/11 - "meat eaters are known for having a significantly higher combination of cardiovascular risk factors than vegetarians. Lower-risk vegans, however, may not be immune. Their diets tend to be lacking several key nutrients -- including iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. While a balanced vegetarian diet can provide enough protein, this isn't always the case when it comes to fat and fatty acids. As a result, vegans tend to have elevated blood levels of homocysteine and decreased levels of HDL, the "good" form of cholesterol. Both are risk factors for heart disease" - Note: The article is dated 2/2/11 but showed up on 2/14/11.

Eat fiber, live longer - MSNBC, 2/14/11 - "Most Americans aren't getting enough roughage in their diets. The average American eats only about 15 grams of fiber each day, much less than the current daily recommendation of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, or 14 grams per 1,000 calories. For example, a slice of whole wheat bread contains 2 to 4 grams of fiber ... In the new study, the people who met the guidelines were less likely to die during a nine-year follow-up period ... The men and women who ate the highest amount of fiber were 22 percent less likely to die from any cause compared to those who ate the lowest amount"

Two pesticides -- rotenone and paraquat -- linked to Parkinson's disease, study suggests - Science Daily, 2/14/11 - "People who used either pesticide developed Parkinson's disease approximately 2.5 times more often than non-users"

Eating berries may lower risk of Parkinson's - Science Daily - Science Daily, 2/13/11 - "Flavonoids are found in plants and fruits and are also known collectively as vitamin P and citrin. They can also be found in berry fruits, chocolate, and citrus fruits such as grapefruit ... participants were followed for 20 to 22 years ... the top 20 percent who consumed the most flavonoids were about 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than the bottom 20 percent of male participants who consumed the least amount of flavonoids. In women, there was no relationship between overall flavonoid consumption and developing Parkinson's disease. However, when sub-classes of flavonoids were examined, regular consumption of anthocyanins, which are mainly obtained from berries, were found to be associated with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease in both men and women" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com and bilberry at Amazon.com.

U-Shaped Curve for Sleep Duration and Cardiovascular Disease - Medscape, 2/10/11 - "They list causative mechanisms relating short duration of sleep to adverse health outcomes as including changes in circulating levels of leptin and ghrelin, which in turn would increase appetite, caloric intake, reduce energy expenditure, and facilitate the development of obesity and impaired glycemic control, with increased cardiovascular risk. Increased cortisol secretion and altered growth hormone metabolism have also been implicated. Low-grade inflammation is also activated during short sleep, with possible implications not only for cardiovascular disease but also for other chronic conditions, including cancer ... people reporting consistently sleeping five hours or less per night should be regarded as a higher-risk group for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. And that sleeping nine hours or more per night may represent a useful diagnostic tool for detecting subclinical or undiagnosed comorbidity"

Magnesium sulfate may offer protection from cerebral palsy - Science Daily, 2/10/11 - "The study concluded that Mg treatment significantly reduced evidence of neonatal brain injury associated with maternal LPS. These studies suggest that maternal Mg therapy may be most effective in human preterm deliveries associated with maternal/fetal inflammation"

Common insecticide used in homes associated with delayed mental development of young children - Science Daily, 2/10/11 - "When the EPA phased out the widespread residential use of chlorpyrifos and other organophosphorus (OP) insecticides in 2000-2001 because of risks to child neurodevelopment, these compounds were largely replaced with pyrethroid insecticides ... scientists of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found a significant association between piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a common additive in pyrethroid formulations, measured in personal air collected during the third trimester of pregnancy, and delayed mental development at 36 months ... While the results demonstrate that a significant prenatal exposure to permethrin in personal air and/or plasma was not associated with performance scores for the Bayley Mental Developmental Index or the Psychomotor Developmental Index at 36 months, children who were more highly exposed to PBO in personal air samples (≥4.34 ng/m3) scored 3.9 points lower on the Mental Developmental Index than those with lower exposures ... This drop in IQ points is similar to that observed in response to lead exposure"

Exercise helps overweight children think better, do better in math - Science Daily, 2/10/11 - "Regular exercise improves the ability of overweight, previously inactive children to think, plan and even do math ... MRIs showed those who exercised experienced increased brain activity in the prefrontal cortex -- an area associated with complex thinking, decision making and correct social behavior -- and decreased activity in an area of the brain that sits behind it. The shift forward appears consistent with more rapidly developing cognitive skills ... And the more they exercised, the better the result. Intelligence scores increased an average 3.8 points in those exercising 40 minutes per day after school for three months with a smaller benefit in those exercising 20 minutes daily ... Animal studies have shown that aerobic activity increases growth factors so the brain gets more blood vessels, more neurons and more connections between neurons. Studies in older adults have shown exercise benefits the brain and Davis's study extends the science to children and their ability to learn in school"

Behavioral problems linked to cortisol levels: Study finds intervention needed as soon as behavioral problems appear - Science Daily, 2/9/11 - "Some youngsters with behavioral problems have abnormally high levels of cortisol, while others with identical problems have abnormally low levels ... Cortisol levels were abnormally high around the time problem behaviours began, but abnormally low when they had been present for a long time ... Problem behaviours were classified as either "internalizing" (depression and anxiety) or "externalizing" (aggression, attentional problems) ... Youngsters who developed depression-like symptoms or anxiety problems in adolescence had high levels of cortisol. However, those who developed symptoms earlier had abnormally low cortisol levels. The conclusion? Cortisol levels go up when individuals are first stressed by depression or anxiety, but then decline again if they experience stress for an extended period"

Diet soda may raise odds of vascular events; Salt linked to stroke risk - Science Daily, 2/9/11 - "In findings involving 2,564 people in the large, multi-ethnic Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), scientists said people who drank diet soda every day had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events than those who reported no soda drinking ... In separate research using 2,657 participants also in the Manhattan study, scientists found that high salt intake, independent of the hypertension it causes, was linked to a dramatically increased risk of ischemic strokes (when a blood vessel blockage cuts off blood flow to the brain)"

How omega 3s help to prevent several forms of blindness - Science Daily, 2/9/11 - "The cost of omega-3 supplementation is about $10 a month, versus up to $4,000 a month for anti-VEGF therapy ... In the new study, they document another protective mechanism: a direct effect on blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) that selectively promotes the growth of healthy blood vessels and inhibits the growth of abnormal vessels ... In addition, Smith and colleagues isolated the specific compound from omega-3 fatty acids that has these beneficial effects in mice (a metabolite of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, known as 4-HDHA), and the enzyme that produces it (5-lipoxygenase, or 5-LOX). They showed that COX enzymes are not involved in omega-3 breakdown, suggesting that aspirin and NSAIDs -- taken by millions of Americans -- will not interfere with omega-3 benefits ... Finally, the study demonstrated that 5-LOX acts by activating the PPAR-gamma receptor, the same receptor targeted by "glitazone" drugs such as Avandia, taken by patients with type 2 diabetes to increase their sensitivity to insulin. Since these drugs also increase the risk for heart disease, boosting omega-3 intake through diet or supplements might be a safer way to improve insulin sensitivity in patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Isoflavones May Reduce Insomnia Symptoms in Postmenopausal Women - Medscape, 2/9/11 - "For the isoflavone group vs the placebo group, sleep efficiency measured by polysomnography increased significantly (from 77.9% to 83.9% vs from 77.6% to 81.2%). In addition, frequency of insomnia was reduced more readily in the isoflavone group. At the beginning of the study, 94.7% of women in the placebo group had moderate or intense insomnia compared with 63.2% at the end of the study; whereas in the isoflavone group these percentages were 89.5% and 36.9%, respectively ... Isoflavones were also effective in reducing the number of hot flashes in postmenopausal women with insomnia compared with the placebo group (P = .001). This trend became apparent after 2 months of treatment, but the results became significant only after the fourth month of treatment. The intensity of hot flashes was significantly lower in the isoflavone group than in the placebo group at both evaluation points (months 2 and 4 of treatment; 1.6 vs 5.8 and 0.5 vs 3.8; P < .001)" - See soy isoflavones 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):

Phytosterols supplementation decreases plasma small and dense LDL levels in metabolic syndrome patients on a westernized type diet - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Feb 11 - "After 2 months supplementation with phytosterols, a significant reduction in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, small and dense LDL (sdLDL) levels, as well as, apoB and triglycerides concentrations were observed in the intervention group (P < 0.05) compared to the control group. In addition, phytosterol supplementation lowered serum total cholesterol by 15.9%, LDL-cholesterol by 20.3% and triglyceride levels by 19.1% (P = 0.02, P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively), although the patients kept their habitual westernized type diet. No differences were observed in HDL cholesterol, apoA1, glucose, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen levels and blood pressure" - See phytosterols products at iHerb.

Dietary Whey Protein Lowers the Risk for Metabolic Disease in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet - J Nutr. 2011 Feb 10 - "whey protein isolate (WPI) ... Livers from WPI mice had significantly fewer hepatic lipid droplet numbers and less deposition of nonpolar lipids. Furthermore, WPI improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. We conclude that in mice receiving a HF diet, consumption of WPI results in higher basal metabolic rates and altered metabolism of dietary lipids. Because WPI mice had less hepatosteatosis and insulin resistance, WPI dietary supplements may be effective in slowing the development of fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes" - See whey protein at Amazon.com.

Vitamin D(3) Supplementation for 16 Weeks Improves Flow-Mediated Dilation in Overweight African-American Adults - Am J Hypertens. 2011 Feb 10 - "A growing body of evidence has linked vitamin D deficiency to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D deficiency is also more common in African Americans for whom an increased cardiovascular disease risk exists ... Following 16 weeks of placebo (n = 23; mean age 31 +/- 2 years) or 60,000 IU monthly oral vitamin D(3) (n = 22; mean age 29 +/- 2 years), serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) increased from 38.2 +/- 3.0 to 48.7 +/- 3.2 nmol/l and 34.3 +/- 2.2 to 100.9 +/- 6.6 nmol/l, respectively. No changes in serum parathyroid hormone (PTH), serum calcium, or urine calcium/creatinine were observed following either treatment. Following 16 weeks of treatment, significant improvements in FMD were only observed in the vitamin D group (1.8 +/- 1.3%), whereas the placebo group had no change (-1.3 +/- 0.6%). Similarly, the vitamin D group exhibited an increase in absolute change in diameter (0.005 +/- 0.004 cm) and FMD/shear (0.08 +/- 0.04 %/s(-1), area under the curve (AUC) × 10(3)) following treatment, whereas no change (-0.005 +/- 0.002 cm and -0.02 +/- 0.02 %/s(-1), AUC, respectively) was observed following placebo" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Oral acetyl-L-carnitine therapy reduces fatigue in overt hepatic encephalopathy: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb 10 - "Fatigue is frequently reported in hepatic encephalopathy (HE) and may be related to hyperammonemia. Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) offers neuroprotective benefits and improves mitochondrial energetics and function ... At the end of the study period, the ALC-treated patients in the HE1 group showed significantly better improvement than did the placebo group in mental fatigue score (-1.7 compared with -0.3; P < 0.05), the fatigue severity scale (-6.4 compared with 2.3; P < 0.001), 7-d Physical Activity Recall questionnaire score (17.1 compared with -2.5; P < 0.001), and Short Physical Performance Battery (2.1 compared with 0.2; P < 0.001); the HE2 group showed significantly better improvement in the fatigue severity scale (-8.1 compared with -5.1; P < 0.001) and 6-min walk test (19.9 compared with 2.3; P < 0.05). Significant decreases in NH(4)(+) were observed in both groups (P < 0.001)" - See acetyl l-carnitine products at Amazon.com.

  • Hepatic encephalopathy - NIH - "Hepatic encephalopathy is a worsening of brain function that occurs when the liver is no longer able to remove toxic substances in the blood"

The association between breastfeeding and the cardiovascular system in early childhood - Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb 10 - "carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) ... At 5 y of age, children who had been exclusively breastfed in infancy for 3 to 6 mo had a CIMT that was 21.1 μm greater than that of exclusively formula-fed children (95% CI: 5.0, 37.2 μm; P = 0.01, adjusted for confounders). CIMT was not significantly different between children exclusively breastfed for either <3 or >6 mo and formula-fed children. In addition, no significant differences in carotid stiffness were observed between groups" - Note:  That's hard to interpret.  Increased CIMT is associated with hardening of the arteries so it would imply that breast feeding is a bad thing for CVD.

Effect of soy isoflavones on blood pressure: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Feb 8 - "A total of eleven trials were reviewed. Meta-analysis results showed a mean decrease of 2.5 mm Hg (95% CIs, - 5.35 to 0.34 mm Hg; P = 0.08) for systolic blood pressure and 1.5 mm Hg (95% CIs, - 3.09 to 0.17 mm Hg; P = 0.08) for diastolic blood pressure in the soy isoflavones-treated group compared to placebo. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses indicated that blood pressure status was a significant predictor of heterogeneity for the effect of soy isoflavones on blood pressure. Subgroup analysis of hypertensive subjects revealed that a greater blood pressure reduction was identified in the soy isoflavone-treated group compared to placebo (5 trials; SBP: - 5.94, 95% CIs [- 10.55, - 1.34] mm Hg, P = 0.01; DBP: - 3.35, 95% CIs [- 6.52, - 0.19] mm Hg, P = 0.04). In contrast, treatment with soy isoflavones did not lead to a significant reduction in blood pressure in normotensive subjects (6 trials; SBP: 0.29, 95% CIs [- 2.39, 2.97] mm Hg, P = 0.83; DBP: - 0.43, 95% CIs [- 1.66, 0.81] mm Hg, P = 0.50)" - See soy isoflavones at Amazon.com.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of elevated blood pressure and consumption of dairy foods - J Hum Hypertens. 2011 Feb 10 - "elevated blood pressure (EBP) ... Meta-analysis of consumption of dairy foods and EBP in adults gave a relative risk (RR) of 0.87 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81-0.94). Separation of high- and low-fat dairy foods, however, indicated a significant association with low-fat dairy foods only (RR of 0.84 (95% CI 0.74-0.95)). Additional analyses showed no association between EBP and cheese, although fluid dairy foods were significantly associated with a reduced development in EBP (RR of 0.92 (95% CI 0.87-0.98)). Little heterogeneity was observed among the data presented. This meta-analysis supports the inverse association between low-fat dairy foods and fluid dairy foods and risk of EBP"

Polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and blood pressure in adolescents - J Hum Hypertens. 2011 Feb 10 - "systolic BP was inversely associated with intakes of polyunsaturated (b=-0.436, P<0.01), omega-3 (b=-2.47, P=0.02), omega-6 (b=-0.362, P=0.04) and long chain omega-3 fatty acids (b=-4.37, P=0.04) in boys. Diastolic BP and mean arterial pressure were inversely associated with intakes of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in boys (b=-3.93, P=0.01, b=-4.05, P=0.01, respectively). For specific long-chain omega-3s, significant inverse associations were observed between eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid, such as systolic BP decreasing by 4.7 mm Hg (95% CI -9.3 to -0.1) for a quarter gram increase in EPA, but no significant associations were observed with docosapentaenoic acid. No significant associations were observed in girls, or with the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Our results suggest that gender may moderate relationships between fatty acid intake and BP in adolescence" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, their ratio and hypertension: evidence of associations in male veterans from the Vietnam Experience Study - J Hum Hypertens. 2011 Feb 10 - "Cortisol and the cortisol:DHEAS ratio were positively associated with hypertension (P<0.001), whereas DHEAS was negatively associated; the latter relationship was attenuated to non-significance (P=0.06) in models that adjusted for age, sociodemographics, place of service, health behaviours and BMI. The present analyses provide confirmation of a positive association between cortisol and the cortisol:DHEAS ratio and population hypertension"

Does a replacement or revision of an inflatable penile prosthesis lead to decreased patient satisfaction? - Int J Impot Res. 2011 Feb 10 - "Approximately 58.3% were satisfied with their prosthesis, 75% would have the surgery performed again and 91.7% would still recommend prosthesis surgery. Device malfunction was the primary reason for replacement/removal at our institution. Despite the complications of prosthesis reoperation, the majority of patients were still satisfied with their prosthesis, would have the surgery performed again and would recommend prosthesis surgery to a friend"

High-Normal HbA1c Is a Strong Predictor of Type 2 Diabetes in the General Population - Diabetes Care. 2011 Feb 9 - "We measured HbA(1c) in 919 Caucasian subjects, aged 40-79 years, and recorded new cases of type 2 diabetes in the following 15 years. Diabetes was diagnosed with HbA(1c). RESULTS Subjects were stratified according to baseline HbA(1c) (<5.0, 5.00-5.49 [reference], 5.50-5.99, and 6.00-6.49%). Sex- and age-adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) for type 2 diabetes were 1.11 (0.30-4.41), 1.00, 3.79 (1.79-8.06), and 12.50 (5.51-28.34), respectively. Results did not change after adjusting for several putative confounding factors and were confirmed when models with updated variables were used. CONCLUSIONS HbA(1c) is an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Subjects with high-normal levels of HbA(1c) deserve particular attention because they have a strong risk of developing diabetes" - Here's what last week's said:

Hemoglobin A1c as a Predictor of Incident Diabetes - Diabetes Care. 2011 Feb 2 - "These patients were tracked for 8 years for a subsequent diagnosis of diabetes. RESULTS During an average follow-up of 4.4 years, 3,329 (26.9%) developed diabetes. HbA(1c) ≥5.0% carried a significant risk for developing diabetes during follow-up. When compared with the reference group (HbA(1c) <4.5%), HbA(1c) increments of 0.5% between 5.0 and 6.4% had adjusted odds ratios of 1.70 (5.0-5.4%), 4.87 (5.5-5.9%), and 16.06 (6.0-6.4%) (P < 0.0001). Estimates of hazard ratios similarly showed significant increases for HbA(1c) ≥5.0%. A risk model for incident diabetes within 5 years was developed and validated using HbA(1c), age, BMI, and systolic blood pressure. CONCLUSIONS The incidence of diabetes progressively and significantly increased among patients with an HbA(1c) ≥5.0%, with substantially expanded risk for those with HbA(1c) 6.0-6.4%"

The Association Between Dietary Sodium Intake, ESRD, and All-Cause Mortality In Patients With Type 1 Diabetes - Diabetes Care. 2011 Feb 9 - "Many guidelines recommend reduced consumption of salt in patients with type 1 diabetes, but it is unclear whether dietary sodium intake is associated with mortality and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) ... The median follow-up for survival analyses was 10 years, during which 217 deaths were recorded (7.7%). Urinary sodium excretion was nonlinearly associated with all-cause mortality, such that individuals with the highest daily urinary sodium excretion, as well as the lowest excretion, had reduced survival. This association was independent age, sex, duration of diabetes, the presence and severity of chronic kidney disease (CKD) (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] and log AER), the presence of established cardiovascular disease, and systolic blood pressure. During follow-up 126 patients developed ESRD (4.5%). Urinary sodium excretion was inversely associated with the cumulative incidence of ESRD, such that individuals with the lowest sodium excretion had the highest cumulative incidence of ESRD. CONCLUSIONS In patients with type 1 diabetes, sodium was independently associated all-cause mortality and ESRD. Although we have not demonstrated causality, these findings support the calls for caution before applying salt restriction universally. Clinical trials must be performed in diabetic patients to formally test the utility/risk of sodium restriction in this setting"

Relation of Whole Blood n-3 Fatty Acid Levels to Exercise Parameters in Patients With Stable Coronary Artery Disease (from the Heart and Soul Study) - Am J Cardiol. 2011 Feb 7 - "After multivariable adjustment, n-3 fatty acid levels (DHA + EPA) were strongly associated with heart rate recovery (beta 2.1, p = 0.003), exercise capacity (beta 0.8, p <0.0001), and exercise time (beta 0.9, p <0.0001). Increasing levels of (DHA + EPA) were also associated with decreased risk of impaired heart rate recovery (odds ratio 0.8, p = 0.004) and exercise time (odds ratio 0.7, p = 0.01) and trended toward significance for exercise capacity (odds ratio 0.8, p = 0.07). These associations were not modified by demographics, body mass index, smoking, co-morbid conditions, statin use, or β-blocker use (p for interaction >0.1 for all comparisons). In conclusion, an independent association exists between n-3 fatty acid levels and important exercise parameters in patients with stable coronary artery disease. These findings support the hypothesis that n-3 fatty acids may increase vagal tone and physical conditioning" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

  • vagal tone - encyclopedia.com - "The effect produced on the heart when only the parasympathetic nerve fibres (which are carried in the vagus nerve) are controlling the heart rate. The parasympathetic nerve fibres slow the heart rate from approximately 70 beats per minute to 60 beats per minute"

Adiponectin inhibits osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption via APPL1-mediated suppression of AKT1 - J Biol Chem. 2011 Feb 7 - "adiponectin is important in maintaining the balance of energy metabolism, inflammatory responses and bone formation"

Sleep duration predicts cardiovascular outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies - Eur Heart J. 2011 Feb 7 - "Short duration of sleep was associated with a greater risk of developing or dying of CHD (RR 1.48, 95% CI 1.22-1.80, P < 0.0001), stroke (1.15, 1.00-1.31, P = 0.047), but not total CVD (1.03, 0.93-1.15, P = 0.52) with no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.95, P = 0.30, and P = 0.46, respectively). Long duration of sleep was also associated with a greater risk of CHD (1.38, 1.15-1.66, P = 0.0005), stroke (1.65, 1.45-1.87, P < 0.0001), and total CVD (1.41, 1.19-1.68, P < 0.0001) with no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.92, P = 0.96, and P = 0.79, respectively). Conclusion Both short and long duration of sleep are predictors, or markers, of cardiovascular outcomes"

Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), a Major Component of Green Tea, is a Dual Phosphoinositide-3-kinase/mTOR Inhibitor - Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Feb 4 - "The PI3K signaling pathway is activated in a broad spectrum of human cancers, either directly by genetic mutation or indirectly via activation of receptor tyrosine kinases or inactivation of the PTEN tumor suppressor ... The potency of EGCG against PI3K and mTOR is within physiologically relevant concentrations. In addition, EGCG inhibits cell proliferation and AKT phosphorylation at Ser473 in MDA-MB-231 and A549 cells. Molecular docking studies show that EGCG binds well to the PI3K kinase domain active site, agreeing with the finding that EGCG competes for ATP binding. Our results suggest another important molecular mechanism for the anticancer activities of EGCG" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

  • ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 17 Running Shoe - I did a lot of research.  These are the deluxe version of the number one running shoe on Amazon.  It sounds like they're the ones with the most cushion.
  • U.S. sees Saudi oil reserves as overstated: report - MarketWatch, 2/8/11 - "Based on views from a senior Saudi government oil executive, the cables say Saudi Arabia's reserves may be overstated by nearly 40%"
  • Electric Vehicles and the Natural Resource Cliff - | Alternative Energy Stocks, 2/11 - "There's no doubt about it, oil is a scarce resource – at least until you compare it with metals that are two to five orders of magnitude scarcer. To put oil in its proper perspective, the following table summarizes global production data for several critical natural resources ... There aren't enough metals in the world to make a dent in global oil consumption and using scarce metal resources to make non-recyclable components like batteries and motors for plug-in vehicles can only make the problem worse. It's sabotage masquerading as a solution"

Health Focus (Taurine):

News & Research:


  • Taurine Prevents Hypertension and Increases Exercise Capacity in Rats With Fructose-Induced Hypertension - Am J Hypertens. 2011 Feb 3 - "Five groups of 15 Sprague-Dawley rats were allocated and designated as control, high fructose-fed (fructose), high fructose-fed plus exercise (FE), high fructose-fed plus 2% taurine supplement (FT) and high fructose-fed plus 2% taurine supplement and exercise (FET) groups ... Noninvasive SBP differed significantly (P < 0.001) from week 3, both noninvasive and invasive ABP increased significantly (P < 0.001), and exercise capacity significantly decreased (P < 0.001) in the fructose group compared with the control group. The individual effects of swimming and taurine supplementation were incapable of preventing the development of hypertension and SBP significantly (P < 0.001) increased in the FE and FT groups; exercise capacity in those groups remained similar to control. The combined effects of exercise and taurine alleviated hypertension and significantly increased exercise capacity in the FET group. Insulin resistance increased significantly and plasma nitric oxide (NO) decreased significantly in the F, FE, and FT groups. Both parameters remained similar to control values in the FET group with an increasing antioxidant activity. Conclusion Taurine supplementation in combination with exercise prevents hypertension and increases exercise capacity by possibly antioxidation and maintaining NO concentrations"
  • Preventive Effects of Taurine on Development of Hepatic Steatosis Induced by a High-Fat/Cholesterol Dietary Habit - J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Dec 2 - "Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) is also called hepatic steatosis and has become an emergent liver disease in developed and developing nations ... taurine (Tau) ... Tau shows preventive effects on the development of hepatic steatosis induced by a high-fat/cholesterol dietary habit"
  • Taurine prevents free fatty acid-induced hepatic insulin resistance in association with inhibiting JNK1 activation and improving insulin signaling in vivo - Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Sep 18 - "intralipid plus heparin (IH) ... Taurine co-infusion with IH prevented the rise in 8-isoprostaglandin and MDA, inhibited the activation of JNK1, and improved insulin signaling and insulin resistance in liver. The present study has demonstrated that taurine, as an antioxidant, prevented hepatic oxidative stress and ameliorated hepatic insulin resistance. And this effect may be associated with the inhibition of JNK1 activation and the improvement of insulin signaling. This study suggests the therapeutic value of taurine in protecting from hepatic insulin resistance caused by elevated FFAs"
  • Beneficial Effects of Taurine on Cardiac Abnormality in NZB/W F1 Mice Fed with a High-Cholesterol Diet J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Aug 14 - "Improved cardiac histopathological changes were observed in left ventricle tissues from the cholesterol/taurine group as compared to the control or cholesterol group. Significant reductions of TUNEL-positive cells, Fas death receptor-related components, mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis, cardiac fibrosis, and fibrotic signaling components were detected in the left ventricle tissues from the cholesterol/taurine group as compared to the control or cholesterol group. Additionally, cardiac IGR1R survival signaling components were significantly increased in the left ventricle tissues from the cholesterol/taurine group as compared to the control or cholesterol group. These findings revealed the protective effects of taurine against the cardiac abnormalities in NZB/W F1 mice and may suggest the potential for clinical application of taurine in treatment of CVD in SLE" - See taurine at Amazon.com.
  • Taurine reduces the secretion of apolipoprotein B100 and lipids in HepG2 cells - Lipids Health Dis. 2008 Oct 17;7(1):38 - "Higher concentrations of serum lipids and apolipoprotein B100 (apoB) are major individual risk factors of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease ... The results demonstrated that an addition of taurine to the culture media reduces triacylglycerol (TG)-mass in the cells and the medium. Similarly, cellular cholesterol-mass was decreased. Taurine inhibited the incorporation of [14C] oleate into cellular and medium TG, suggesting the inhibition of TG synthesis. In addition, taurine reduced the synthesis of cellular cholesterol ester and its secretion, suggesting the inhibition of acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase activity. Furthermore, taurine reduced the secretion of apoB, which is a major protein component of very low-density lipoprotein ... This is a first report to demonstrate that taurine inhibits the secretion of apoB from HepG2 cells"

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