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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 4/11/12.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Aspirin reduces cancer risk: Is it time to include it in cancer prevention guidelines? - Science Daily, 4/9/12 - "In six primary prevention trials of daily low-dose aspirin, randomization to aspirin treatment was associated with an approximately 20% reduction in overall cancer incidence between 3 and 5 years after initiation of the intervention (metaodds ratio [OR] = 0.81; 95% CI 0.67-0.98) and a 30% reduction during follow up more than 5 years after randomization (meta-OR = 0.70; 95% CI 0.56-0.88). Cancer mortality was also reduced during study follow up that happened more than 5 years after the start of aspirin use (meta-OR = 0.63; 95% CI 0.49-0.82) in analyses that included 34 trials of daily aspirin at various doses. Surprisingly, the size of the observed benefit did not increase with daily doses of aspirin above 75-100 mg"

Soy Supplements Can Cool Hot Flashes - WebMD, 4/9/12 - "look at 19 published studies ... What this study shows is that ingesting soy isoflavones will help you ... Soy supplements with higher amounts of the isoflavone called genistein were more than twice as good at reducing hot flash frequency than those with low amounts" - See genistein at Amazon.com.

Evidence for a Protective Effect of Polyphenols-containing Foods on Cardiovascular Health - Medscape, 4/5/12 - "There is supportive clinical evidence for the beneficial effects of some flavonoids-rich foods or supplements on multiple endpoints of cardiovascular risk, the more convincing being reduction in BP and improvement in endothelial function ... In addition to their identified beneficial impact on BP and endothelial function, flavonoid-rich dietary sources might also favourably modulate arterial stiffness" - See Jarrow Formulas OPCs + 95 at Amazon.com.

Eating flavonoids protects men against Parkinson's disease, study finds - Science Daily, 4/4/12 - "This latest study is the first study in humans to show that flavonoids can protect neurons against diseases of the brain such as Parkinson's ... male participants who ate the most flavonoids were shown to be 40 per cent less likely to develop the disease than those who ate the least. No similar link was found for total flavonoid intake in women ... a sub-class of flavonoids called anthocyanins may have neuroprotective effects ... In this study the main protective effect was from higher intake of anthocyanins, which are present in berries and other fruits and vegetables including aubergines, blackcurrants and blackberries. Those who consumed the most anthocyanins had a 24 per cent reduction in risk of developing Parkinson's disease and strawberries and blueberries were the top two sources in the US diet" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com.

How Does the New Sleeping Pill, Intermezzo, Fare? - ABC News, 4/4/12 - This is a video.

Potential method to control obesity: Red wine, fruit compound could help block fat cell formation - Science Daily, 4/4/12 - "A compound found in red wine, grapes and other fruits, and similar in structure to resveratrol, is able to block cellular processes that allow fat cells to develop, opening a door to a potential method to control obesity ... the compound piceatannol blocks an immature fat cell's ability to develop and grow ... piceatannol binds to insulin receptors of immature fat cells in the first stage of adipogenesis, blocking insulin's ability to control cell cycles and activate genes that carry out further stages of fat cell formation. Piceatannol essentially blocks the pathways necessary for immature fat cells to mature and grow" - See Jarrow Formulas OPCs + 95 at Amazon.com.

The healing power of mushrooms - Fox News, 4/4/12 - "Shiitake ... The mushroom contains a polysaccharide called lentinan, and another known as Beta 1.3 glucan, both of which appear to possess powerful anti-viral and anti-tumor powers ... Shiitake also enhances immunity by boosting the production of T cells, macrophages, phagocytes, natural killer cells and other white blood cells. It even helps to fight flu, due to the presence of a polysaccharide known as KS-2. Further clinical studies show that Shiitake even protects against the damaging effects of radiation and chemotherapy ... consumption of shiitake leads to a drop in serum cholesterol of between 7 and 12 percent. Russian and U.S. studies show that shiitake inhibits platelet aggregation in the blood, thereby reducing the buildup of arterial plaque - which is the cause of hardened arteries. This mushroom also inhibits the formation of arterial lesions, and lowers high blood pressure ... Reishi mushrooms fight tumors, presumably due to the presence of the polysaccharide Beta 1.3, which occurs in shiitake. Reishi also increases immune-protective T cells and macrophages ... Reishi protects the liver from damage by chemical toxins such as carbon tetrachloride ... Maitake ..."

Early-life exposure to BPA affects adult learning, animal study suggests - Science Daily, 4/4/12 - "What was amazing is that exposure only happened at the embryonic stage ... but somehow the wiring in the brain had been permanently altered by it. It's an example of why children are not just little adults when it comes to gauging the effects of contaminants ... Results of this study, however, suggest that lower concentrations may be more potent during early-life exposures. This study tested three different small amounts considered environmentally relevant ... The compound, which mimics the hormone estrogen, was added to the aquatic environment of fish embryos in their first two days of life. Then they were returned to clean water for the ensuing 10 months while they grew into middle-age adulthood"

Eating cruciferous vegetables may improve breast cancer survival - Science Daily, 4/3/12 - "a prospective study of 4,886 Chinese breast cancer survivors who were diagnosed with stage 1 to stage 4 breast cancer from 2002 to 2006 ... Women who were in the highest quartiles of intake of vegetables per day had a 62 percent reduced risk of total mortality, 62 percent reduced risk of breast cancer mortality, and 35 percent reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence ... cruciferous vegetable consumption habits differ between China and the United States and suggested this fact be considered when generalizing these results to U.S. breast cancer survivors ... Commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables in China include turnips, Chinese cabbage/bok choy and greens, while broccoli and Brussels sprouts are the more commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables in the United States and other Western countries ... Cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates and indoles which appear to have a protective effect against some types of cancer" - See cruciferous supplements 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):

Improvements in Skeletal Muscle Strength and Cardiac Function Induced by Resveratrol Contribute to Enhanced Exercise Performance in Rats - J Physiol. 2012 Apr 2 - "Exercise training (ET) improves endurance capacity by increasing both skeletal muscle mitochondrial number and function, as well as contributing to favourable cardiac remodelling. Interestingly, some of the benefits of regular exercise can also be mimicked by the naturally occurring polyphenol, resveratrol (RESV). However, it is not known whether RESV enhances physiologic adaptations to ET. To investigate this, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to a control chow diet or a chow diet that contained RESV (4g/kg of diet) and subsequently subjected to a program of progressive treadmill running for 12-weeks. ET-induced improvements in exercise tolerance were enhanced by 21% (p<0.001) by the addition of RESV to the diet ... Overall, our findings provide evidence that the capacity for fatty acid oxidation is augmented by the addition of RESV to the diet during ET, and that this contributes to the improved physical performance of rats following ET" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

"Metabolic syndrome" in the brain: Deficiency in omega-3-fatty acid exacerbates dysfunctions in insulin receptor signaling and cognition - J Physiol. 2012 Apr 2 - "high-dietary fructose consumption leads to increase in insulin resistance index, insulin and triglyceride levels, which characterize MetS. Rats fed on an n-3 deficient diet showed memory deficits in Barnes Maze, which were further exacerbated by fructose intake. In turn, n-3 deficient diet and fructose interventions disrupted insulin receptor signaling in hippocampus as evidenced by a decrease in phosphorylation of insulin receptor and its downstream effector Akt. We found that high fructose consumption with n-3 deficient diet disrupts membrane homeostasis as evidenced by an increase in the ratio of n-6/n-3 fatty acids and levels of 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), a marker of lipid peroxidation. Disturbances in brain energy metabolism due to n-3 deficiency and fructose treatments were evidenced by a significant decrease in AMPK phosphorylation and its upstream modulator LKB1 as well as a decrease in Sir2 levels. The decrease in phosphorylation of CREB, synapsin I and synaptophysin (SYP) levels by n-3 deficiency and fructose shows the impact of metabolic dysfunction on synaptic plasticity. All parameters of metabolic dysfunction related to the fructose treatment were ameliorated by the presence of dietary n-3 fatty acid. Results showed that dietary n-3 fatty acid deficiency elevates the vulnerability to metabolic dysfunction and impaired cognitive functions by modulating insulin receptor signaling and synaptic plasticity" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Antithrombin Effect of Polyphenol-Rich Extracts from Black Chokeberry and Grape Seeds - Phytother Res. 2012 Apr 4 - "Thrombin plays a central role in thromboembolic diseases, which are the major cause of mortality ... Thrombin was incubated with polyphenol-rich extracts from berries of Aronia melanocarpa or seeds of Vitis vinifera (0.5, 5, 50 µg/mL) and with polyphenols ((+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, procyanidin B1, cyanidin, cyanidin 3-glucoside, quercetin). The in vitro experiments showed that both extracts in all used concentrations inhibited proteolytic activity of thrombin observed as inhibition of thrombin-induced fibrinogen polymerization, stabilized fibrin formation, and platelet aggregation. Moreover, thrombin amidolytic activity was inhibited by polyphenols belonging to the flavonoid class. Results presented in this study indicate that polyphenol-rich extracts from berries of A. melanocarpa and seeds of V. vinifera may become promising dietary supplements in the prevention of thrombotic states" - See Jarrow Formulas, OPCs + 95, 100 mg, 100 Capsules.

Serum testosterone levels in diabetic men with and without erectile dysfunction - Andrologia. 2012 Apr 4 - "TT was lower in diabetic men with ED as compared to those with normal erectile function (EF), 392.4 +/- 314.9 versus 524.3 +/- 140.2 ng dl(-1) , respectively ... Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of TT in men without associated co-morbidities showed that EF was compromised at TT = 403.5 ng dl(-1) or less. Sensitivity of 63.3% and a specificity of 94.0% were detected. At this level, ED was found in 33/38 (86.8%) men with TT 403.5 ng dl(-1) , whereas ED was observed in 57/147 (38.8%) men with TT ≥ 403.5 ng dl(-1) (P < 0.0001). We propose a cut-off value of 403.5 ng dl(-1) of TT blood levels as an indicator for initiation of testosterone replacement therapy in diabetic men with ED. Further prospective controlled trials are recommended"

Effects of pistachios on body weight in Chinese subjects with metabolic syndrome - Nutr J. 2012 Apr 3;11(1):20 - "randomized to consume either the recommended daily serving of 42 g pistachios (RSG), a higher daily serving of 70 g pistachio (HSG) or no pistachios (DCG) for 12 weeks ... glucose values 2 h after a 75 gm glucose challenge were significantly lower at week 12 compared with baseline values in the HSG group (1.13 +/- 2.58 mmol/L, p = 0.02), and a similar trend was noted in the RSG group (0.77 +/-2.07 mmol/L, p = 0.06), while no significant change was seen in the DCG group (0.15 +/- 2.27 mmol/L, p = 0.530). At the end of study, serum triglyceride levels were significantly lower compared with baseline in the RSG group (0.38 +/- 0.79 mmol/L, p = 0.018), but no significant changes were observed in the HSG or DCG groups ... Despite concerns that pistachio nut consumption may promote weight gain, the daily ingestion of either 42 g or 70 g of pistachios for 12 weeks did not lead to weight gain or an increase in waist-to-hip ratio in Chinese subjects with metabolic syndrome. In addition, pistachio consumption may improve the risk factor associated with the metabolic syndrome"

Concord grape juice supplementation and neurocognitive function in human aging - J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Apr 2 - "older adult subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment consumed Concord grape juice or placebo for 16-weeks and were administered assessments of memory function and brain activation pre- and post-intervention. Participants who consumed grape juice showed reduced semantic interference on memory tasks. We also observed relatively greater activation in anterior and posterior regions of the right hemisphere with functional magnetic resonance imaging in the grape juice treated subjects. These findings provide further evidence that Concord grape juice can enhance neurocognitive function in older adults with mild memory decline" - See grape seed extract at Amazon.com.

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