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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 8/10/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.  Click here for Chinese.

Skip the carrots. Chocolate improves eyesight, too - MSNBC, 8/8/11 - "They took the tests twice, once after eating a dark chocolate bar, and once after eating a white chocolate bar. The difference between the two chocolate bars was the amount of flavanols -- a natural compound in cocoa -- they contained. Of course, the dark chocolate bar contained loads of cocoa flavanols, the white chocolate bar only a trace ... the study participants did perform better on the vision tests and on some of the brain function tests after eating the dark chocolate ... They attribute their findings to cocoa flavanol’s known ability to increase blood flow to the brain, and they speculate that the stuff might also increase blood flow to the retina of the eye"

Maternal DHA may boost baby’s immune system - Nutra USA, 8/4/11 - "mothers taking 400 milligrams of a supplement containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) had babies which overcame colds faster than babies with mothers not taking DHA ... At one month, the DHA group experienced 26%, 15%, and 30% shorter duration of cough, phlegm, and wheezing, respectively, but 22% longer duration of rash" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Phys Ed: How Chocolate Can Help Your Workout - NYTimes.com, 8/3/11 - "chocolate’s potential role in exercise performance had not been studied, or probably even much considered, until scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and other institutions gave middle-aged, sedentary male mice a purified form of cacao’s primary nutritional ingredient, known as epicatechin, and had the mice work out. Epicatechin is a flavonol, a class of molecules that are thought to have widespread effects on the body ... The fittest rodents, however, were those that had combined epicatechin and exercise. They covered about 50 percent more distance than the control animals ... The muscle biopsies offered some explanation for their dominance. The muscles of all of the animals that had been given epicatechin contained new capillaries, as well as biochemical markers indicating that their cells were making new mitochondria. Mitochondria are structures in cells that produce cellular energy. The more functioning mitochondria a muscle contains, the healthier and more fatigue-resistant it is ... Processing destroys epicate ... heavily processed milk chocolate contains almost none of the flavonol, while cacao-rich dark chocolate has far more ... more is not better ... “More could lessen or even undo” any benefits, he said, by overloading the muscles’ receptors or otherwise skewing the body’s response"

Abnormal liver tests associated with increased death rates in people over 75 - Science Daily, 8/2/11 - "The study covered liver tests for abnormal levels of asparate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and bilirubin, with patients being followed up for an average of just over seven years. The elderly patients with the abnormal liver tests were compared with patients with normal liver tests ... Abnormal AST was associated with a sevenfold increased risk of death from liver disease and a 56% increase in cancer risk ... Abnormal ALP was associated with nearly a six-fold increased risk of death from liver disease. It also raised the risk of death from a number of other illnesses: heart disease (34%), cancer (61%) and respiratory disease (58%) ... Patients who had two or more elevated liver tests faced a 54% increased risk of all-cause mortality and the risk of dying from cancer doubled. They were 17 times more likely to die from liver disease than patients with no abnormal liver tests"

Cooked Green Vegetables, Dried Fruit, Legumes, and Brown Rice Associated With Fewer Colon Polyps - Science Daily, 8/2/11 - "Eating legumes at least three times a week and brown rice at least once a week was linked to a reduced risk of colon polyps by 33 percent and 40 percent respectively ... Results also show that consuming cooked green vegetables once a day or more, as compared to less than five times a week, was associated with a 24 percent reduction in the risk of rectal/colon polyps. Consuming dried fruit three times a week or more, versus less than once a week, was associated with a 26 percent reduced risk"

Why muscles weaken with age and points to possible therapy - Science Daily, 8/2/11 - "As we grow older, our skeletal muscles tend to wither and weaken, a phenomenon known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia, which begins to appear at around age 40 and accelerates after 75, is a major cause of disability in the elderly. Exercise can help counter the effects of age-related muscle loss ... Both the aging process and the genetic defect responsible for muscular dystrophy cause an increase in the production of oxygen free radicals, highly reactive and harmful molecules. "Our data suggest that this sets up a vicious cycle, in which the free radicals cause ryanodine receptors to leak calcium into the cell. The calcium poisons mitochondria -- organelles that power the cell -- leading to the release of even more free radicals. This, in turn, causes more calcium leakage. With less calcium available for contraction, the muscles get weaker," ... The study also points to a possible therapy for sarcopenia: an experimental drug called S107 ... "Most investigators in the field of aging have been saying that the way to improve muscle strength is to build muscle mass, using such therapies as testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor-1," says Dr. Marks. "But an increase in muscle mass is not necessarily accompanied by an increase in muscle function"

Can eggs be a healthy breakfast choice? - Science Daily, 8/2/11 - "all eggs are not created equal. Her research indicates that when hens are fed with a diet low in omega-6 fatty acids from a young age -- feed high in wheat, barley, and milo and lower in soy, maize and sunflower, safflower, and maize oils -- they produce eggs that may cause less oxidative damage to human health. That's a major part of what determines the physiological impact of the end product on your table ... There were vast differences in outcome among the treatments. Daily consumption of two industry-standard eggs, high in omega-6, caused a 40 percent increase in LDL oxidizability in participants. After eating two per day of the specially-composed eggs, with both high anti-oxidant and low omega-6 levels, however, LDL oxidation levels were similar to the control group eating only two to four eggs a week"

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):

Prophylactic treatment with telmisartan induces tissue-specific gene modulation favoring normal glucose homeostasis in Cohen-Rosenthal diabetic hypertensive rats - Metabolism. 2011 Aug 4 - "Telmisartan blunted the development of hypertension, insulin resistance, and diabetes in prediabetic Cohen-Rosenthal diabetic hypertensive rats through pleiotropic activity, involving specific gene regulation of target organs" - See at OffshoreRx1.com.

Adiponectin and the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in Hispanics and African Americans: The IRAS Family Study - Diabetes Care. 2011 Aug 4 - "After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, and smoking, adiponectin was significantly inversely associated with diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 0.54 per 1 SD difference [95% CI 0.38-0.76])"

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces acute chemotherapy-induced nausea: a URCC CCOP study of 576 patients - Support Care Cancer. 2011 Aug 5 - "A total of 576 patients were included in final analysis (91% female, mean age = 53). Mixed model analyses demonstrated that all doses of ginger significantly reduced acute nausea severity compared to placebo on Day 1 of chemotherapy (p = 0.003). The largest reduction in nausea intensity occurred with 0.5 g and 1.0 g of ginger (p = 0.017 and p = 0.036, respectively). Anticipatory nausea was a key factor in acute chemotherapy-induced nausea (p < 0.0001) ... Ginger supplementation at a daily dose of 0.5 g-1.0 g significantly aids in reduction of the severity of acute chemotherapy-induced nausea in adult cancer patients" - See ginger products at iHerb.

Plasma total and high molecular weight adiponectin levels and risk of coronary heart disease in women - Atherosclerosis. 2011 Jul 20 - "Adjusted for matching factors, parental history of myocardial infarction, hormone replacement therapy, alcohol consumption, physical activity, body mass index, hypertension, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, the relative risk in the highest versus lowest quintile was 0.50 (95%-CI 0.33-0.75; p trend=0.001) for total adiponectin, 0.53 (95%-CI 0.35-0.80; p trend=0.004) for HMW adiponectin, and 0.63 (95%-CI 0.43-0.93; p trend=0.03) for HMW/total adiponectin ratio. After adjustment for diabetes, HDL-cholesterol, HbA1c, and CRP these associations were attenuated and no longer significant (RRs, 0.84; 95%-CI 0.53-1.33; p trend=0.62; 0.95; 95%-CI 0.60-1.52; p trend=0.98; 0.97; 95%-CI 0.64-1.47; p trend=0.80) ... High levels of total and HMW adiponectin, and HMW/total adiponectin ratio are associated with a lower risk of CHD among women. HMW adiponectin and HMW/total adiponectin ratio are not more closely related to risk than total adiponectin. These associations are largely mediated by parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolism and inflammation, especially HDL-cholesterol levels"

Reduction of circulating superoxide dismutase activity in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria and its modulation by telmisartan therapy - Hypertens Res. 2011 Aug 4 - "Interestingly, the telmisartan treatment not only reduced the circulating levels of two oxidative stress markers, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and nitrotyrosine (NT), but also enhanced serum SOD activity. Notably, a significant correlation was observed between the increase in serum SOD activity and the reduction in albuminuria. We further compared the anti-oxidative effect of telmisartan with that of losartan, another member of the ARB class, by implementing an 8-week interval crossover treatment with these ARBs in another 12 microalbuminuric type 2 diabetic patients. The patients showed higher serum SOD activity, and lower circulating levels of 8-OHdG and NT, during treatment with telmisartan than with losartan. These results suggest that telmisartan has a more potent antioxidative effect through its ability to enhance SOD activity in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria" - See telmisartan at OffshoreRx1.com.

Olive oil intake is inversely related to cancer prevalence: A systematic review and a meta-analysis of 13800 patients and 23340 controls in 19 observational studies - Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Jul 30;10(1):127 - "Dietary fat, both in terms of quantity and quality, has been implicated to cancer development, either positively or negatively. The aim of this work was to evaluate whether olive oil or monounsaturated fat intake was associated with the development of cancer. A systematic search of relevant studies, published in English, between 1990 and March 1, 2011, was performed through a computer-assisted literature tool (i.e., Pubmed). In total 38 studies were initially allocated; of them 19 case-control studies were finally studied (13800 cancer patients and 23340 controls were included). Random effects meta-analysis was applied in order to evaluate the research hypothesis. It was found that compared with the lowest, the highest category of olive oil consumption was associated with lower odds of having any type of cancer (log odds ratio = -0.41, 95%CI -0.53, -0.29, Cohran's Q=47.52, p=0.0002, I-sq=62%); the latter was irrespective of the country of origin (Mediterranean or non-Mediterranean). Moreover, olive oil consumption was associated with lower odds of developing breast cancer (logOR=-0,45 95%CI -0.78 to -0.12), and a cancer of the digestive system (logOR=-0,36 95%CI -0.50 to -0.21), compared with the lowest intake.The strength and consistency of the findings states a hypothesis about the protective role of olive oil intake on cancer risk. However, it is still unclear whether olive oil's monounsaturated fatty acid content or its antioxidant components are responsible for its beneficial effects" - Note:  That last sentence has been my question on many of the olive oil studies.  I still use my olive oil mayonnaise made with the extra light plus I take the olive oil extract capsules.  I'm not going to suffer through the taste of the extra virgin olive oil.  See olive leaf extract at Amazon.com.  See my omega-9 page and my olive leaf page.

Health Focus (Avodart (dutasteride)):

News & Research:

  • See dutasteride at OffshoreRx1.com.
  • Avodart (dutasteride) - rxlist.com - "AVODART (dutasteride) is a synthetic 4-azasteroid compound that is a selective inhibitor of both the type 1 and type 2 isoforms of steroid 5a-reductase (5AR), an intracellular enzyme that converts testosterone to 5a-dihydrotestosterone (DHT)"
  • Popular drugs for common male health problems can affect their sexual health - Science Daily, 3/7/11
  • Drugs for hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia may result in loss of libido, erectile dysfunction in men - Science Daily, 1/11/11 - "5a-reductase inhibitors (5a-RIs), while improving urinary symptoms in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and possible hair loss prevention, produces significant adverse effects in some individuals including loss of libido, erectile dysfunction (ED), ejaculatory dysfunction and potential depression" - Note:  That goes back and forth.  One study claimed that finasteride improved sex after after six months of taking it.  Regarding gynaecomastia, if you're taking low dose letrozole to increase testosterone and to prevent aromatization it many also help prevent gynaecomastia.
  • PSA test better predicts cancer in men taking prostate-shrinking drug - Science Daily, 12/16/10 - "Dutasteride lowers PSA levels by about half within six months. But the researchers found that even a slight rise in PSA levels among men taking the drug was a stronger indicator of prostate cancer, particularly aggressive tumors that require early diagnosis and treatment, than rising PSA levels in men who took a placebo ... dutasteride reduced the risk of a prostate cancer diagnosis by 23 percent. Dutasteride appears to keep tumors small or shrink them to the point that they are less likely to be detected by a biopsy ... Over four years, PSA levels increased in 72 percent of men taking a placebo and only 29 percent of men taking dutasteride, the data show"
  • FDA Approves Dutasteride/Tamsulosin Combo Pill for BPH - Medscape, 6/18/10 - "daily use of the drug combination yielded significantly greater relief of BPH symptoms compared with either 0.5 mg dutasteride or 0.4 mg tamsulosin alone, as measured by point changes on the International Prostate Symptom scale from baseline (mean Δ, −6.2 vs −4.9 and −4.3; P < .001 for both). The difference was observed by month 9 and continued through month 24"
  • The Effect of Short-term Dutasteride Intake in Early-stage Prostate Cancer: Analysis of 148 Patients Who Underwent Three-dimensional Prostate Mapping Biopsy - Urology. 2010 May 14 - "transperineal three-dimensional mapping (TP-3DM) biopsy ... We observed a 24.3% decrease in the proportion of upstaging and/or upgrading of prostate cancer in men who received dutasteride at least 3 months before 3D prostate TP-3DM biopsy. Thus, the effect of dutasteride on prostate cancer may have implications for its potential use as a secondary chemoprevention agent" - See dutasteride at OffshoreRx1.com.
  • Avodart May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk - WebMD, 3/31/10 - "those who took the drug Avodart had a 23% lower risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer over four years of treatment, compared to men who did not take the drug" - See Avodart (dutasteride) at OffshoreRx1.com.
  • Combination therapy more effective for enlarged prostate - Science Daily, 3/2/10 - "On the strengths of both dutasteride and tamsulosin, participants reported fewer symptoms, and we observed a 25 percent reduction in prostate volume ... subjects who received the combination therapy also showed a 50 percent reduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by both cancerous and noncancerous prostate tissue ... Compared with tamsulosin alone, the combination of drugs reduced the incidence of acute urinary retention by 67 percent and reduced the need for BPH-related surgery by 70 percent"
  • Dutasteride Reduces Risk for Biopsy-Detectable Prostate Cancer in Men at Increased Risk - Doctor's Guide, 12/1/09 - "Compared with placebo, active treatment also showed significantly lower risks for (respectively) HG-PIN (5.4% vs 3.5%; RRR, 34%; P = .0053), ASAP (5.1% vs 3.6%; RRR, 28%; P = .0274), AUR (7.1% vs 1.4%; RRR, 80.4%; P < .0001), BPH-related surgery (5.7% vs 1.4%; RRR 75.6%; P < .0001), and UTI (9.6% vs 5.8%; RRR, 40.8%; P < .0001) ... Similarly, there were significant reductions for mean prostate volume (18.7% increase vs 16.9% decrease; P < .0001) and IPSS (+1.14 vs -0.6; P < .0001), and slightly fewer high-grade tumours (Gleason score, 7-10) in the dutasteride group (7.5% vs 7.0%) ... These benefits were accompanied by significantly more frequent dutasteride-related adverse events (12% vs 19%; P < .0001), with dutasteride treatment showing increased frequencies of decreased libido (2.8% vs 5.5%), impotence (7.7% vs 10.9%), ejaculation disorders (0.5% vs 2.4%), and breast disorders (1.9% vs 3.5%)"
  • Diet, Drugs May Stop Prostate Cancer - WebMD, 9/24/07
  • Diet And Medications May Assist Prevention Of Prostate Cancer - Science Daily, 9/24/07 - "dutasteride, has reduced by 50 percent the number of cancerous biopsies among men with benign prostatic hypertrophy ... In one study of selenium, the incidence of prostate cancer was reduced by 49 percent over ten years ... Data already suggests novel uses of statins, commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering agents, and insulin modulating drugs, such as metformin or the glitazones"
  • Treatment Found To Reverse Hair Loss - Science Daily, 6/11/07 - "one of each pair of twins was given 0.5 mg/day of the medication, the other receiving a placebo ... After both 6 and 12-month intervals, hair loss was found to not only have been halted in twins using dutasteride, but hair growth was actively improved"