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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 3/16/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Vitamin D deficiency in cirrhosis - Science Daily, 3/15/11 - "The study showed that vitamin D deficiency is more frequent and severe in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis than in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. Furthermore, it indicated that the degree of liver dysfunction, rather than the aetiology of cirrhosis, dictates the risk of vitamin D deficiency ... This study emphasizes the importance of monitoring vitamin D levels in all patients with cirrhosis" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Potentially pathogenic microbes growing on at least half of all orthodontic retainers, study suggests - Science Daily, 3/15/11 - "Our mouths are full of different types of bacteria, some of which promote oral health. However, the researchers were looking for microbes which are not normally found in the oral cavity. They were particularly interested in two species of microbes; Candida, a type of yeast, and Staphylococcus including MRSA. Dr Pratten and his team found that species of these microorganisms were present on 66.7% and 50% of retainers respectively regardless of the retainer type. These microbes were also present on the interior cheeks and tongue of retainer wearers ... Candida and Staphylococcus rarely cause problems in healthy individuals but are potentially highly problematic in people with a compromised immune system. The bacteria on the retainers live in biofilms, which are communities of bacteria living together covered in a layer of slime. Once these biofilms form they are very difficult to remove and often have high levels of resistance to antimicrobials"

Apnea may be cause for awakening and voiding for those with enlarged prostates - Science Daily, 3/15/11 - "more than half (57.8 percent) of patients with enlarged prostates may in fact have the sleep disorder, and that the awakenings that patients ascribed to their need to urinate at night may be actually caused by their sleep disorders"

Inflammation behind heart valve disease, research suggests - Science Daily, 3/15/11 - "immune cells and a group of inflammatory substances called leukotrienes can be found in calcified heart valves. The most significant inflammation was seen in patients with the narrowest valves on ultrasound examination. The researchers have also shown in cell cultures that leukotrienes stimulate the calcification of heart valve cells ... There are similarities between atherosclerosis (calcification of the arteries) and aortic stenosis. However, lipid-lowering medicines known as statins which are capable of preventing atherosclerosis have proved ineffective in preventing calcification of the aortic valve ... anti-inflammatory medication could be a future treatment for aortic stenosis, and it would mean a lot to these patients, most of whom are elderly, if we could slow the disease to the extent that they do not need surgery" - See the "Alternative News" sections of my Inflammation page and my C-Reactive Protein page for ways to reduce it.

Anemia Underappreciated in Elderly Psychiatric Inpatients - Medscape, 3/14/11 - "Below-normal hemoglobin levels commonly occur in older patients, which has led to the misconception that anemia is a natural consequence of aging. However, recent research has challenged this view, with several studies showing a direct link between anemia and adverse outcomes in older patients. Outcomes may include deterioration in cognition and mood, overall physical function, and quality of life and also an increased risk for death"

Bilinguals see the world in a different way, study suggests - Science Daily, 3/14/11 - "learning a second language gives businesses a unique insight into the people they are trading with, suggesting that EU relations could be dramatically improved if we all took the time to learn a little of each other's language rather than relying on English as the lingua-franca"

Vitamin D insufficiency high among patients with early Parkinson disease - Science Daily, 3/14/11 - "Vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with a variety of clinical disorders and chronic diseases, including impaired balance, decreased muscle strength, mood and cognitive dysfunction, autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes (types 1 and 2), and certain forms of cancer ... Vitamin D insufficiency has been reported to be more common in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) than in healthy control subjects, but it is not clear whether having a chronic disease causing reduced mobility contributes to this relatively high prevalence ... At the baseline visit, most study participants (69.4 percent) had vitamin D insufficiency and more than a quarter (26.1 percent) had vitamin D deficiency" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Omega-3 fatty acid intake linked with reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration in women - Science Daily, 3/14/11 - "Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues collected data on 38,022 women who had not been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. Information on women's eating habits was obtained via questionnaire at the beginning of the study and included information on intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) [Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish], and arachidonic acid and linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acids). During ten years of follow-up, additional questionnaires tracked the women's eye health, with specific focus on diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration ... women who consumed the most DHA compared with women who consumed the lowest amount had a 38 percent lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Similar results were observed for higher intake of EPA and for higher consumption of both types of acid together ... consumption of one or more servings of fish per week, when compared to less than one per month, was associated with a 42 percent lower risk of age-related macular degeneration ... For omega-6 fatty acids, higher intake of linoleic acid but not arachidonic acid was associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration, however this association was non-significant after adjustment for other risk factors and fats" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Newer doesn't mean better when it comes to type 2 diabetes drugs - Science Daily, 3/14/11 - "metformin, an oral drug that was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1995, not only controlled blood sugar, but was also less likely to cause weight gain or raise cholesterol levels ... even though there are all these newer drugs, metformin works just as well and has fewer side effects ... while two drugs worked better than one in those patients whose blood sugar remained poorly controlled on a single medication, there were also side effects associated with adding a second medication"

Giftedness linked to prenatal exposure of higher levels of testosterone - Science Daily, 3/12/11 - "There seems to be some evidence that excessive prenatal exposure to testosterone facilitates increased connections in the brain, especially in the right prefrontal cortex ... That's why we see some intellectually gifted people with distinct personality characteristics that you don't see in the normal population ... Based on their observations, the researchers made the hypothesis that this hormonal "glitch" in the in-utero neurobiological development means that gifted children are born with an affinity for certain areas such as the arts, math or science"

Keys to long life? Not what you might expect - Science Daily, 3/12/11 - ""Don't work too hard, don't stress," doesn't work as advice for good health and long life. Subjects who were the most involved and committed to their jobs did the best. Continually productive men and women lived much longer than their more laid-back comrades ... "One of the findings that really astounds people, including us, is that the Longevity Project participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humor as kids lived shorter lives, on average, than those who were less cheerful and joking. It was the most prudent and persistent individuals who stayed healthiest and lived the longest." ... Part of the explanation lies in health behaviors -- the cheerful, happy-go-lucky kids tended to take more risks with their health across the years, Friedman noted. While an optimistic approach can be helpful in a crisis, "we found that as a general life-orientation, too much of a sense that 'everything will be just fine' can be dangerous because it can lead one to be careless about things that are important to health and long life. Prudence and persistence, however, led to a lot of important benefits for many years"

Tort Reform Bill Would Reduce Deficit by $40 Billion - Medscape, 3/11/11 - "A House bill that caps noneconomic damages in malpractice cases at $250,000 and enacts other reforms to curb frivolous lawsuits against clinicians would reduce the federal deficit by $40 billion from 2011 to 2021, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)"

Quality of Cancer Care Falling With Doc Shortages and Rising Costs - Medscape, 3/11/11 - "The quality of cancer care is under pressure in part because of the rising number of cancer patients in the United States ... But in addition to more patients, there is also a looming shortage of oncologists ... The number of cancer patients is expected to grow by 55% by the year 2020, which will significantly outpace the availability of oncologists (J Clin Oncol. 2008;26:3242-3247). This will lead to an estimated shortage of between 2550 to 4080 oncologists in the United States by 2020"

Physicians Face 29.5% Medicare Pay Cut in 2012 - Medscape, 3/10/11 - "Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians will decrease by 29.5% on January 1, 2012, unless Congress once again acts to postpone what organized medicine likens to doomsday"

Coffee drinking linked to reduced stroke risk in women - Science Daily, 3/10/11 - "Drinking more than a cup of coffee a day was associated with a 22 percent to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared with those who drank less ... The food frequency questionnaire made no distinction between regular and decaffeinated coffee but decaffeinated coffee consumption in the Swedish population is low ... Potential ways that coffee drinking might reduce the risk of stroke include weakening subclinical inflammation, reducing oxidative stress and improving insulin sensitivity"

Message to postmenopausal women: 'Increase yearly dental checkups,' researcher urges - Science Daily, 3/10/11 - "Two annual dental checkups aren't enough ... Twenty-eight postmenopausal women with normal bones were compared with 28 women on bisphosphonate therapies for at least two years or more ... Both groups of women had followed the recommended American Dental Association oral health standards to brush twice daily, floss and have at least two dental checkups a year ... The findings for bone strength and other markers for osteoporosis were similar for both groups. But the researchers found both groups had increased dental plaque levels, which could endanger the jawbone of normal postmenopausal women and reverse any benefits gained in bone mass"

Blood pressure: 100 million Americans may be unnecessarily labeled abnormal - Science Daily, 3/9/11 - "in people aged over 50, those with SBPs above 140, independent of DBP, were significantly more likely to die prematurely. In those aged 50 or less, DBPs above 100 were linked to significant increases in premature death. The authors' analysis offers alternative cut-off points for the definition of 'normal"

AHPA publishes report questioning kava-liver toxicity links - Nutra USA, 3/9/11 - "A veteran kava researcher says liver toxicity cases that have been reported in recent years may be down to isolated quality control issues, rather than inherent toxicity issues with the herb and its extracts ... To minimize hepatotoxic risks due to kava use, efforts have to be undertaken to improve kava quality standards and to establish strict regulations for kava cultivators, farmers, harvesters, manufacturers, and physicians treating patients for anxiety, tension, and restlessness"

Olive leaf extract may help hypertension: Frutarom study - Nutra USA, 3/9/11 - "Olive leaf extract, at the dosage regimen of 500 mg twice daily, was similarly effective in lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressures in subjects with stage-1 hypertension as Captopril, given at its effective dose of 12.5–25 mg twice daily ... after eight weeks of treatment, both treatment groups experienced significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure from baseline. They added that such reductions were not significantly different between groups ... However, they reported that a significant reduction of triglyceride level was observed for the group receiving olive leaf extract, but not in Captopril group ... the anti-hypertensive activity “lies probably in its content of oleuropein acting synergistically with other active substances to exert both ACE inhibitory and calcium channel blocking activities."" - [Abstract] - See olive leaf extract at Amazon.com.

Exercise Reduces Risk for Colon Polyps, Resulting in Less Colon Cancer - Medscape, 3/9/11 - "reanalyzed data collected in 20 clinical trials that reported on physical activity levels (obtained mainly from questionnaires) in individuals who had undergone sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy (both symptomatic and screening). Most studies did not specify the reason for undergoing the procedure ... Together, these trials involved more than 250,000 individuals ... Overall, there was a significant inverse association between physical activity and colon polyps (fixed-effect relative risk [RR], 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83 to 0.91; random-effects RR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.77 to 0.92) ... "Our meta-analysis found the effect was stronger, though not significantly so, for large or advanced adenomas than for the overall effect," they add ... The risk reduction (RR, 0.83) was "largely unchanged" when the analysis was restricted to the 18 studies in which the results for adenomatous polyps were separated from all polyps (i.e., hyperplastic, malignant polyps), they report"

Nutrigenomics shows blood pressure benefits of cocoa - Nutra USA, 3/8/11 - "The magnitude of the hypotensive effects of cocoa is clinically noteworthy; it is in the range that is usually achieved with monotherapy of beta-blockers or antiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors ... recruited 16 volunteers aged between 20 and 45, and asked them to eat 75 grams of dark chocolate with 72 percent cocoa content every day for two weeks" - [Abstract]

Curbing cholesterol could help combat infections, study shows - Science Daily, 3/8/11 - "Cholesterol produced by our cells is needed for viruses and certain bacteria to grow. Limiting our body's production of cholesterol would therefore curb the opportunity for viruses to thrive. Scientists say that it may be possible to use cholesterol lowering drugs that also boost the immune system"

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):

Pioglitazone activates aortic telomerase and prevents stress-induced endothelial apoptosis - Atherosclerosis. 2011 Feb 17 - "Telomeres and associated proteins are regulators of cellular survival, regeneration and aging. PPAR-γ agonists may mediate vascular effects in addition to insulin sensitizing. We therefore examined whether pioglitazone regulates vascular telomere biology ... C57/Bl6 mice were randomized to treatment with pioglitazone (20mg/kg i.p. daily) or vehicle for 4 weeks (n=6-8 per group). Telomere repeat amplification protocols showed a 2-fold increase of aortic telomerase activity in the pioglitazone group. Telomere repeat-binding factor 2 protein and mRNA levels (236%+172% of vehicle) as well as phosphorylation of protein kinase Akt (479% of vehicle) were up-regulated. Western blots demonstrated reduced aortic expression of senescence markers p16, cell-cycle checkpoint kinase 2 and p53. These regulatory mechanisms were independent of acute changes of telomere length. Similar observations were made in mononuclear cells (MNC) from these mice and in cultivated bovine aortic endothelial cells, human MNC and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC). Telomerase activation by pioglitazone in cultivated cells was prevented by Akt inhibitors. To test the functional relevance of the findings, isolated mononuclear cells (MNC) were exposed to H(2)O(2). MNC from pioglitazone-treated mice exhibited reduced apoptosis (AnnexinV-FACS). In vivo, lipopolysaccharide-induced aortic endothelial apoptosis was potently prevented in pioglitazone-treated animals (hairpin oligonucleotide assay). Both, up-regulation of telomere-regulating proteins and prevention of oxidative stress-induced aortic apoptosis, were absent in telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT)-deficient mice ... The findings underscore the important role of telomere-regulating proteins for vascular cell function and survival" - Note:  My doctor says I'm crazy but I've been taking pioglitazone for anti-aging for years.  See pioglitazone at OffshoreRx1.com.

Gamma-tocotrienol induces apoptosis and autophagy in prostate cancer cells by increasing intracellular dihydrosphingosine and dihydroceramide - Int J Cancer. 2011 Mar 11 - "Although cell-based studies have shown that γ-tocotrienol (γTE) exhibits stronger anticancer activities than other forms of vitamin E including γ-tocopherol (γT), the molecular bases underlying γTE-exerted effects remains to be elucidated ... In agreement with these cell-based studies, γTE inhibited LNCaP xenograft growth by 53% (P<0.05), compared with 33% (P = 0.07) by γT, in nude mice. These findings provide a molecular basis of γTE-stimulated cancer-cell death and support the notion that elevation of intracellular dihydroceramide and dihydrosphingosine is likely a novel anticancer mechanism" - See Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate effectively attenuates skeletal muscle atrophy caused by cancer cachexia - Cancer Lett. 2011 Mar 10 - "Cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome notably with skeletal muscle atrophy, costs nearly one-third of all cancer deaths in man. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the principal polyphenolic component in green tea, is a potent preventive against cachexia as well as cancers ... EGCG was demonstrated to be able to retard tumor progression as well as to prevent body weight from loss, because EGCG attenuates skeletal muscle leukocytic infiltration and down-regulates tumor-induced NF-κB and E3-ligases in muscle. In mice, the dosages optimized against cachexia were determined to be 0.2mg/mouse/day for prevention and to be 0.6mg/mouse/day for treatment. Anti-cachexia effects were assessed using the LLC tumor model. Mice with the same body weight were divided into groups, including control, tumor bearing, and tumor-bearing but receiving water or EGCG in both prevention and treatment experiments. RT-PCR was used to assess mRNA expressions of NF-κB, MuRF 1, and MAFbx. The intracellular NF-κB, MuRF 1 and MAFbx were determined and quantified by immunofluorescence and Western blotting, respectively. Our results conclude EGCG regulates the expressions of NF-κB as well as downstream mediators, MuRF 1 and MAFbx, so EGCG may be an appropriate agent to be included in ensemble therapeutics of the tumor-induced muscle atrophy" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Gastric Emptying, Incretin Hormone Secretion, and Postprandial Glycemia in Cystic Fibrosis--Effects of Pancreatic Enzyme Supplementation - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar 9 - "CF patients consumed a radiolabeled mashed potato meal on 2 separate days, together with four capsules of Creon Forte (100,000 IU lipase) or placebo. Healthy subjects consumed the meal once, without pancreatic enzymes. Main Outcome Measures: Gastric emptying was measured using scintigraphy, and blood was sampled frequently for blood glucose and plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), and glucagon concentrations. Results: CF patients had more rapid gastric emptying (P < 0.001), impaired secretion of GLP-1 (P < 0.01) and GIP (P < 0.001), and greater postprandial glycemic excursions (P < 0.001) than healthy subjects. Pancreatic enzyme supplementation normalized gastric emptying and GLP-1 secretion and tended to increase glucagon (P = 0.08), but did not completely restore GIP secretion or normalize postprandial blood glucose. There was an excellent correlation between gastric emptying and blood glucose concentration at 60 min (R = 0.75; P = 0.01). Conclusions: Pancreatic enzyme supplementation plays an important role in incretin secretion, gastric emptying, and postprandial hyperglycemia in CF" - See enzyme formulas at iHerb.

Dietary Supplementation of Grape Skin Extract Improves Glycemia and Inflammation in Diet-Induced Obese Mice Fed a Western High Fat Diet - J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Mar 9 - "Dietary antioxidants may provide a cost-effective strategy to promote health in obesity by targeting oxidative stress and inflammation. We recently found that the antioxidant-rich grape skin extract (GSE) also exerts a novel anti-hyperglycemic activity. This study investigated whether 3-month GSE supplementation can improve oxidative stress, inflammation, and hyperglycemia associated with a Western diet-induced obesity. Young diet-induced obese (DIO) mice were randomly divided to three treatment groups (n = 12): a standard diet (S group), a Western high fat diet (W group), and the Western diet plus GSE (2.4 g GSE/kg diet, WGSE group). By week 12, DIO mice in the WGSE group gained significantly more weight (24.6 g) than the W (20.2 g) and S groups (11.2 g); the high fat diet groups gained 80% more weight than the standard diet group. Eight of 12 mice in the W group, compared to only 1 of 12 mice in the WGSE group, had fasting blood glucose levels above 140 mg/dL. Mice in the WGSE group also had 21% lower fasting blood glucose and 17.1% lower C-reactive protein levels than mice in the W group (P < 0.05). However, the GSE supplementation did not affect oxidative stress in diet-induced obesity as determined by plasma oxygen radical absorbance capacity, glutathione peroxidase, and liver lipid peroxidation. Collectively, the results indicated a beneficial role of GSE supplementation for improving glycemic control and inflammation in diet-induced obesity" - See grape seed extract at Amazon.com.

Epigallocatechin-3 Gallate Inhibits Invasion, Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, and Tumor Growth in Oral Cancer Cells - J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Mar 9 - "Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is critical for the progression, invasion, and metastasis of epithelial tumorgenesis. Here, we provided molecular evidence associated with the antimetastatic effect of green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) in an oral squamous cell culture system by showing a nearly complete inhibition on the invasion (P < 0.001) of squamous cell carcinoma-9 (SCC-9) cells via a reduced expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (P < 0.001) and urokinasetype plasminogen activator (P < 0.001). EGCG exerted an inhibitory effect on cell migration (P < 0.001), motility (P < 0.001), spread, and adhesion (P < 0.001). We performed Western blot to find that EGCG inhibited p-focal adhesion kinase (p-FAK), p-Src, snail-1, and vimentin, indicating the anti-EMT effect of EGCG in oral squamous cell carcinoma. EGCG was also sufficient to inhibit phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-induced cell invasion and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression, as evidenced by its inhibition on the tumor growth of SCC-9 cells in vivo via cancer cell xenografted nude mice mode. These results suggested that EGCG could reduce the invasion and cell growth of tumor cells, and such a characteristic may be of great value in developing a potential cancer therapy" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Reversal of mitochondrial dysfunction by coenzyme Q10 supplement improves endothelial function in patients with ischaemic left ventricular systolic dysfunction: A randomized controlled trial - Atherosclerosis. 2011 Feb 17 - "Coronary artery disease (CAD) is associated with endothelial dysfunction and mitochondrial dysfunction (MD) ... brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in patients with ischaemic LVSD (left ventricular ejection fraction <45%) ... In patients with ischaemic LVSD, 8weeks supplement of CoQ improved mitochondrial function and FMD; and the improvement of FMD correlated with the change in mitochondrial function, suggesting that CoQ improved endothelial function via reversal of mitochondrial dysfunction in patients with ischaemic LVSD" - See ubiquinol products at Amazon.com.

Neurophysiologic and neurobehavioral evidence of beneficial effects of prenatal omega-3 fatty acid intake on memory function at school age - Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar 9 - "The beneficial effects of prenatal and early postnatal intakes of omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on cognitive development during infancy are well recognized. However, few studies have examined the extent to which these benefits continue to be evident in childhood ... Repeated-measures analyses of variance revealed that children with higher cord plasma concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is an important n-3 PUFA, had a shorter FN400 latency and a larger LPC amplitude; and higher plasma DHA concentrations at the time of testing were associated with increased FN400 amplitude. Cord DHA-related effects were observed regardless of seafood-contaminant amounts. Multiple regression analyses also showed positive associations between cord DHA concentrations and performance on neurobehavioral assessments of memory ... To our knowledge, this study provides the first neurophysiologic and neurobehavioral evidence of long-term beneficial effects of n-3 PUFA intake in utero on memory function in school-age children" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Quercetin's Effects on Intestinal Polyp Multiplicity and Macrophage Number in the Apc(Min/+) Mouse - Nutr Cancer. 2011 Mar 1:1 - "Numerous in vitro studies argue for quercetin's chemopreventive potential in colon cancer; however, experimental studies in rodents are limited. Macrophages play a role in tumorigenesis, but the effects of quercetin on macrophage infiltration in colon cancer is unknown. We examined the effects of quercetin on intestinal polyp multiplicity and macrophage number in Apc(Min/+) mice ... These data suggest that quercetin can reduce polyp number and size distribution in the Apc(Min/+) mouse and that these effects may be related to a reduction in macrophage infiltration" - See quercetin at Amazon.com.

A Tomato Lycopene Complex Protects the Kidney From Cisplatin-Induced Injury via Affecting Oxidative Stress as Well as Bax, Bcl-2, and HSPs Expression - Nutr Cancer. 2011 Mar 4:1 - "These results suggest that tomato lycopene complex has protective effects against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and lipid peroxidation in rats" - See Jarrow Lyco-Sorb (contains Lyco-O-Mato) at Amazon.com.

The Effect of Green Tea Extract and EGCG on the Signaling Network in Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Nutr Cancer. 2011 Mar 3:1 - "These results suggested that GTE and EGCG target multiple pathways or global networks in cancer cells, which resulted in collective inhibition of cancer cell growth" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity, reduces oxidative stress and activates the Akt pathway in type 2 diabetic patients - Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar 9:1-7 - "After an initial general examination (including blood chemistry), nineteen patients enrolled in the 4-week-long double-blind study were randomly assigned into two groups: a resveratrol group receiving oral 2 × 5 mg resveratrol and a control group receiving placebo. Before and after the second and fourth weeks of the trial, insulin resistance/sensitivity, creatinine-normalised ortho-tyrosine level in urine samples (as a measure of oxidative stress), incretin levels and phosphorylated protein kinase B (pAkt):protein kinase B (Akt) ratio in platelets were assessed and statistically analysed. After the fourth week, resveratrol significantly decreased insulin resistance (homeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance) and urinary ortho-tyrosine excretion, while it increased the pAkt:Akt ratio in platelets. On the other hand, it had no effect on parameters that relate to β-cell function (i.e. homeostasis model of assessment of β-cell function). The present study shows for the first time that resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity in humans, which might be due to a resveratrol-induced decrease in oxidative stress that leads to a more efficient insulin signalling via the Akt pathway" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

Effects of cocoa extract and dark chocolate on angiotensin-converting enzyme and nitric oxide in human endothelial cells and healthy volunteers--a nutrigenomics perspective - J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2011 Jan;57(1):44-50 - "Evidence suggests that cocoa from the bean of Theobroma cacao L. has beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to investigate if cocoa extract and dark chocolate influence angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and nitric oxide (NO) in human endothelial cells (in vitro) and in healthy volunteers (in vivo) ... ACE activity and NO were measured at baseline and after 30, 60, and 180 minutes in 16 healthy volunteers after a single intake of 75 g of dark chocolate containing 72% cocoa. Significant inhibition of ACE activity (P < 0.01) and significant increase of NO (P < 0.001) were seen in HUVEC. In the study subjects, a significant inhibition of ACE activity (mean 18%) 3 hours after intake of dark chocolate was seen, but no significant change in NO was seen. According to ACE genotype, significant inhibition of ACE activity was seen after 3 hours in individuals with genotype insertion/insertion and deletion/deletion (mean 21% and 28%, respectively). Data suggest that intake of dark chocolate containing high amount of cocoa inhibits ACE activity in vitro and in vivo"

Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension: Comparison with Captopril - Phytomedicine. 2011 Feb 15;18(4):251-8 - "Mean SBP at baseline was 149.3+/-5.58mmHg in Olive group and 148.4+/-5.56mmHg in Captopril group; and mean DBPs were 93.9+/-4.51 and 93.8+/-4.88mmHg, respectively. After 8 weeks of treatment, both groups experienced a significant reduction of SBP as well as DBP from baseline; while such reductions were not significantly different between groups. Means of SBP reduction from baseline to the end of study were -11.5+/-8.5 and -13.7+/-7.6mmHg in Olive and Captopril groups, respectively; and those of DBP were -4.8+/-5.5 and -6.4+/-5.2mmHg, respectively. A significant reduction of triglyceride level was observed in Olive group, but not in Captopril group. In conclusion, Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract, at the dosage regimen of 500mg twice daily, was similarly effective in lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressures in subjects with stage-1 hypertension as Captopril, given at its effective dose of 12.5-25mg twice daily" - See olive leaf extract at Amazon.com.

The effects of branched-chain amino acid granules on the accumulation of tissue triglycerides and uncoupling proteins in diet-induced obese mice - Endocr J. 2011 Mar 1 - "It has been demonstrated the involvement of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) on obesity and related metabolic disorder. We investigated the effects of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) on obesity and on glucose/fat homeostasis in mice fed on a high-fat (45%) diet. BCAA was dissolved in 0.5% methylcellulose and added to the drinking water (BCAA-treated group). A high-fat diet was provided for 6 weeks and BCAA was given for 2 weeks. The BCAA-treated group gained almost 7% less body weight and had less epididymal adipose tissue (WAT) mass than the control group (p<0.05). BCAA supplementation also reduced the hepatic and skeletal muscle triglyceride (TG) concentrations (p<0.05). The hepatic levels of PPAR-alpha and uncoupling protein (UCP) 2, and the level of PPAR-alpha and UCP3 in the skeletal muscle were greater in the BCAA-treated group than in the control mice (p<0.05). These results demonstrate that the liver and muscle TG concentration are less in BCAA-treated group. BCAA affects PPAR-alpha and UCP expression in muscle and liver tissue" - See BCAA products at Amazon.com.

  • Amino acid supplement makes mice live longer - Science Daily, 10/5/10 - "leucine, isoleucine, and valine extend the life span of single-celled yeast ... Animals that were given the extra amino acids over a period of months lived longer, with a median life span of 869 days compared to 774 days for untreated control animals, the researchers report. That's an increase of 12 percent ... The findings in older mice suggest that the supplementary mixture may be specifically beneficial for those who are elderly or ill"

Proline- and acidic amino acid-rich basic leucine zipper proteins modulate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor {alpha} (PPAR{alpha}) activity - Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Mar 7 - "In mammals, many aspects of metabolism are under circadian control. At least in part, this regulation is achieved by core-clock or clock-controlled transcription factors whose abundance and/or activity oscillate during the day. The clock-controlled proline- and acidic amino acid-rich domain basic leucine zipper proteins D-site-binding protein, thyrotroph embryonic factor, and hepatic leukemia factor have previously been shown to participate in the circadian control of xenobiotic detoxification in liver and other peripheral organs. Here we present genetic and biochemical evidence that the three proline- and acidic amino acid-rich basic leucine zipper proteins also play a key role in circadian lipid metabolism by influencing the rhythmic expression and activity of the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα). Our results suggest that, in liver, D-site-binding protein, hepatic leukemia factor, and thyrotroph embryonic factor contribute to the circadian transcription of genes specifying acyl-CoA thioesterases, leading to a cyclic release of fatty acids from thioesters. In turn, the fatty acids act as ligands for PPARα, and the activated PPARα receptor then stimulates the transcription of genes encoding proteins involved in the uptake and/or metabolism of lipids, cholesterol, and glucose metabolism"

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