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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 4/18/12.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Metformin can substantially reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease in diabetes, study suggests - Science Daily, 4/16/12 - "metformin seems to be working to protect the brain against neurodegeneration which contributes to Parkinsonismin. This means it may also be considered a relevant therapy for the prevention of dementia as well ... A similar benefit would be expected from exercise and diet because that too is a way of establishing healthy energy regulation not only for the whole body, but for tissues and cells in the brain" - See metformin at The Antiaging Store.

Poor Dental Health Linked to Dementia Onset - Medscape, 4/13/12 - "those who had few teeth and who did not use dentures or who did not visit a dentist regularly had a significantly higher risk for dementia onset than the participants who practiced better dental health practices ... Gum Disease a Likely Culprit ... The participants who had few teeth without dentures had a significantly higher risk of developing dementia than those who had 20 teeth or more (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.85 ... Not having a regular dentist was also a significant risk factor for dementia onset (HR, 1.44 ... One possibility is that periodontal disease...increases concentrations of circulating inflammatory markers [that] may be involved in the pathogenesis of dementia. A second possibility is that poor nutrition, including decreased intake of vitamins, may result from tooth loss and dementia onset"

High levels of phthalates can lead to greater risk for type-2 diabetes - Science Daily, 4/12/12 - "There is a connection between phthalates found in cosmetics and plastics and the risk of developing diabetes among seniors. Even at a modest increase in circulating phthalate levels, the risk of diabetes is doubled ... Most people come into daily contact with phthalates as they are used a softening agents in plastics and as carriers of perfumes in cosmetics and self-care products"

Quality Protein Intake Inversely Related With Abdominal Fat - Medscape, 4/11/12 - "central abdominal fat (CAF) ... The data from this study demonstrates that both quality and distribution of dietary protein throughout the day is important. The quality and distribution of protein are of particular interest to those who are energy restricted, who might benefit from the consumption of a higher quality protein source (e.g. milk, egg, beef), resulting in a higher EAA content per gram of protein. Neither carbohydrate nor dietary fat intake was associated with percent CAF, which confirms previous data, highlighting the importance of protein intake ... a plateauing of muscle contractile protein synthesis following approximately 9-10 g of EAA; meaning dietary intake of EAAs above this threshold does not significantly contribute to the accretion of skeletal muscle" - See my yogurt recipe at the top of my yogurt page.

  • Foods rich in protein, dairy products help dieters preserve muscle and lose belly fat - Science Daily, 8/29/11 - "a higher-protein, lower-carbohydrate energy-restricted diet has a major positive impact on body composition, trimming belly fat and increasing lean muscle, particularly when the proteins come from dairy products ... compared three groups of overweight and obese, but otherwise healthy, premenopausal women. Each consumed either low, medium or high amounts of dairy foods coupled with higher or lower amounts of protein and carbohydrates ... there were identical total weight losses among the groups, but the higher-protein, high-dairy group experienced greater whole-body fat and abdomen fat losses, greater lean mass gains and greater increases in strength ... One hundred per cent of the weight lost in the higher-protein, high-dairy group was fat. And the participants gained muscle mass, which is a major change in body composition ... the lower-protein, low-dairy group lost about a pound and half of muscle whereas the lower-protein, medium dairy group lost almost no muscle. In marked contrast, the higher-protein, high-dairy group actually gained a pound and half of muscle, representing a three-pound difference between the low- and high-dairy groups ... On top of the muscle mass differences, the higher-protein, high-dairy group lost twice as much belly fat than the lower-protein, low-dairy group ... These women also got fitter and stronger"

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):

Cocoa intake and arterial stiffness in subjects with cardiovascular risk factors - Nutr J. 2012 Feb 10;11(1):8 - "Higher pulse wave velocity and greater cardiovascular risk were found in non-cocoa consumers as compared to high consumers (p < 0.05). In a multivariate analysis, these differences disappeared after adjusting for age, gender, the presence of diabetes, systolic blood pressure and antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drug use. All other arterial stiffness measures (central and peripheral augmentation index, ambulatory arterial stiffness index, ankle-brachial index, and carotid intima-media thickness) showed no differences between the different consumption groups"

Dietary Sodium and Risk of Stroke in the Northern Manhattan Study - Stroke. 2012 Apr 12 - "The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to ≤1500 mg/day for ideal cardiovascular health ... Participants were from the Northern Manhattan Study (mean age 69+/- 10 years, 64% women, 21% white, 53% Hispanic, 24% black), a population-based cohort study of stroke incidence. Sodium intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire at baseline and evaluated continuously and categorically: ≤1500 mg/day (12%), 1501 to 2300 mg/day (24%), 2301 to 3999 mg/day (43%), and ≥4000 mg/day (21%). Over a mean follow-up of 10 years ... Participants who consumed ≥4000 mg/day sodium had an increased risk of stroke (hazard ratio, 2.59; 95% CI, 1.27-5.28) versus those who consumed ≤1500 mg/day with a 17% increased risk of stroke for each 500-mg/day increase"

Vitamin D-Related Genetic Variation, Plasma Vitamin D, and Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer: A Prospective Nested Case-Control Study - J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Apr 12 - "The association of vitamin D status with prostate cancer is controversial; no association has been observed for overall incidence, but there is a potential link with lethal disease ... Higher 25(OH)D levels were associated with a 57% reduction in the risk of lethal prostate cancer (highest vs lowest quartile: odds ratio = 0.43, 95% confidence interval = 0.24 to 0.76)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Pickled Food and Risk of Gastric Cancer - A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of English and Chinese Literature - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Apr 12 - "We compared gastric cancer risk in pickled vegetable/food users versus non-users (11 studies) or versus those in the lowest reported category of use (49 studies) ... Among case-control studies, 30 showed significant increased risk and one showed significant decreased risk. Among prospective studies, two showed a significant increased risk but none showed a significant decreased risk. The OR (95% CI) was 1.52 (1.37-1.68) for the overall association, 1.56 (1.39-1.75) for case-control and 1.32 (1.10-1.59) for cohort studies. The OR (95% CI) was 1.89 (1.29-2.77) in Korean, 1.86 (1.61-2.15) in Chinese, and 1.16 (1.04-1.29) in Japanese studies, and 1.14 (0.96-1.35) in studies from other countries. There was high heterogeneity in overall and subgroup analyses. There was little evidence for publication bias"

Prospective observational study of isoflavone and the risk of stroke recurrence: potential clinical implications beyond vascular function -J Nutr Health Aging. 2012;16(4):383-8 - "Stroke recurrence and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) were documented. Brachial flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) was measured using high-resolution ultrasound. Isoflavone intake was estimated using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Results: Median isoflavone intake was 6.9 (range: 2.1 - 14.5) mg/day. Isoflavone intake was independently associated with increased FMD (Pearson R=0.23, p=0.012). At 30 months, there were 10 stroke recurrence and 12 MACE. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that patients with isoflavone intake higher than median value had significantly longer median stroke recurrence-free survival time (19.0 [range: 10.4 - 27.6] mth versus 5.0 [range: 4.1 - 5.9] mth, p=0.021) and MACE-free survival time (19.0 [range: 10.4 - 27.6] mth versus 4.0 [range: 2.4 - 5.6] mth, p=0.013). Using multivariate cox regression, higher isoflavone intake was an independent predictor for lower risk of stroke recurrence (hazards ratio 0.18 [95%CI: 0.03 - 0.95], risk reduction 82%, p=0.043) and MACE (hazards ratio 0.16 [95%CI: 0.03 - 0.84], risk reduction 84%, p=0.030)" - See soy isoflavones at Amazon.com.

Association of metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis risk factors, sex hormones in ED in aboriginal Taiwanese - Int J Impot Res. 2012 Apr 12 - "International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire ... Using age-adjusted multivariate logistic regressive analysis, this study showed that aboriginal males with ED had a significantly higher prevalence of MS (OR=12.02, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 6.33-22.83, P<0.001). Among the MS components, abnormal fasting blood sugar was the most significantly independent factor for ED in aboriginal males (OR=8.94, 95% CI: 4.71-16.97, P<0.001). The presence of MS had a significant correlation with lower IIEF-5 scores, lower sexual desire scores, lower testosterone serum level (P<0.01) and abnormal interleukin-6 (IL-6) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (HsCRP). The results of this study support the idea that MS, low serum testosterone and HsCRP may predict ED in aboriginal Taiwanese males" - See metformin at The Antiaging Store.

Testosterone Treatment and Mortality in Men with Low Testosterone Levels - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Apr 11 - "The mortality in testosterone-treated men was 10.3% compared with 20.7% in untreated men (P<0.0001) with a mortality rate of 3.4 deaths per 100 person-years for testosterone-treated men and 5.7 deaths per 100 person-years in men not treated with testosterone. After multivariable adjustment including age, body mass index, testosterone level, medical morbidity, diabetes, and coronary heart disease, testosterone treatment was associated with decreased risk of death (hazard ratio 0.61"

Low β-carotene concentrations increase the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality among Finnish men with risk factors - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Apr 9 - "During the median 15.9-year follow-up, 122 deaths from CVDs, were identified among the cohort subjects. Low serum concentrations of β-carotene were strongly related to an increased CVD mortality risk after adjustment for confounders. For β-carotene, the hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) for the lowest versus highest quartile was 2.23 (1.26-3.93; P=0.006). However, the strongest risk of CVD mortality was observed among smokers with lowest levels of β-carotene (HR=3.15, 95%, CI: 1.19-8.33; P=0.020). Other carotenoids and the sum of carotenoids were not significantly related to increased risk of CVD mortality" - See Jarrow Formulas, CarotenALL at Amazon.com.

Habitual intake of dietary flavonoids and risk of Parkinson disease - Neurology. 2012 Apr 10;78(15):1138-45 - "We identified 805 participants (438 men and 367 women) who developed PD during 20-22 years of follow-up. In men, after adjusting for multiple confounders, participants in the highest quintile of total flavonoids had a 40% lower PD risk than those in the lowest quintile (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.60; 95% confidence interval 0.43, 0.83; p trend = 0.001). No significant relationship was observed in women (p trend = 0.62) or in pooled analyses (p trend = 0.23). In the pooled analyses for the subclasses, intakes of anthocyanins and a rich dietary source, berries, were significantly associated with a lower PD risk (HR comparing 2 extreme intake quintiles were 0.76 for anthocyanins and 0.77 for berries, respectively; p trend < 0.02 for both)" - See Jarrow Formulas OPCs + 95 at Amazon.com.

Folate intake and incidence of hypertension among American young adults: a 20-y follow-up study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr 4 - "Laboratory studies suggest that folate intake may decrease blood pressure (BP) through increasing nitric oxide synthesis in endothelial cells and/or reducing plasma homocysteine concentrations ... participants in the highest quintile of total folate intake had a significantly lower incidence of hypertension (HR: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.38, 0.62; P-trend < 0.01) than did those in the lowest quintile. The multivariable HRs for the same comparison were 0.33 (95% CI: 0.22, 0.51; P-trend < 0.01) in whites and 0.54 (95% CI: 0.40, 0.75; P-trend < 0.01) in African Americans (P-interaction = 0.047)" - See folic acid products at Amazon.com.

Health Focus (Telomeres):

News and Research:

  • Telomere - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "it has been hypothesized that there is a trade-off between cancerous tumor suppression and tissue repair capacity, in that lengthening telomeres might slow aging and in exchange increase vulnerability to cancer (Weinstein and Ciszek, 2002)"
  • Dolly (sheep) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "A Finn Dorset such as Dolly would have had a life expectancy of around 12 - 15 years, but Dolly only lived to 6 years of age. Some believe the reason for this is because Dolly was actually born genetically 6 years old, the same age as her donor at the time that her genetic data was taken from her"
  • Stress Promotes Cell Aging - About.com - "The telomeres of the women suffering from severe stress (those caring for a chronically ill child) had undergone shortening equivalent to about 10 years of additional aging when compared with those of less-stressed women"
  • Does depression contribute to the aging process? - Science Daily, 2/21/12 - "telomere length was shorter in the depressed patients, which confirmed prior findings. Importantly, they also discovered that shorter telomere length was associated with a low cortisol state in both the depressed and healthy groups ... stress plays an important role in depression, as telomere length was especially shortened in patients exhibiting an overly sensitive HPA axis. This HPA axis response is something which has been linked to chronic stress and with poor ability to cope with stress" - Note:  I'm not sure if that's correct because depressed people usually have high cortisol, not low cortisol.  I read somewhere that PTSD was associated with low cortisol.
  • Key to aging? Key molecular switch for telomere extension by telomerase identified - Science Daily, 11/23/11
  • Anticipation of stressful situations accelerates cellular aging - Science Daily, 2/21/12 - "The researchers assessed cellular age by measuring telomeres, which are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. Short telomeres index older cellular age and are associated with increased risk for a host of chronic diseases of aging, including cancer, heart disease and stroke ... higher levels of anticipated threat in daily life may promote cellular aging in chronically stressed individuals"
  • Depression and chronic stress accelerates aging - Science Daily, 11/9/11 - "The telomere is the outermost part of the chromosome. With increasing age, telomeres shorten, and studies have shown that oxidative stress and inflammation accelerates this shortening. On this basis it has been suggested that telomere length is a measure of biological aging, and telomere length has subsequently been linked to age-related diseases, unhealthy lifestyle, and longevity. The research team shows that shorter telomere length is associated with both recurrent depression and cortisol levels indicative of exposure to chronic stress"
  • Telomere length linked to emphysema risk - Science Daily, 7/15/11 - "in mice that have short telomeres, there was a significant increased risk of developing emphysema after exposure to cigarette smoke" - That's something I guessed before I read the article. Short telomeres seems to leave you more susceptible to most diseases.
  • Chronic stress of cancer causes accelerated telomere shortening - Science Daily, 4/2/11
  • Aging Ills Reversed in Mice - WSJ.com, 11/28/10 - "This appears to be the first time that some age-related problems in animals have actually been reversed ... These mice were equivalent to 80-year-old humans and were about to pass away ... After the experiment, "they were the physiological equivalent of young adults." ... As people age, low levels of telomerase are linked to the erosion of telomeres ... The researchers had devised an estrogen-based drug that would switch on the animals' dormant telomerase gene, known as TERT ... A month later, the treated mice showed surprising signs of rejuvenation. Overall, their telomeres had lengthened and the levels of telomerase had increased" - [U.S. News]
  • Some interesting info on telomeres that someone sent:
  • New 3-D model of RNA 'core domain' of enzyme telomerase may offer clues to cancer, aging - Science Daily, 11/3/10 - "Some people think if we activate telomerase, we can live forever. However, we don't want our cells to be able to divide indefinitely. As they get older and older, they accumulate all kinds of DNA damage and defects; that is why we don't want to have a high level of telomerase activity in most of our cells"
    • Telomere Length Linked to Outcomes in Aplastic Anemia - nih.gov, 9/27/10 - "Aplastic anemia patients with shorter chromosome tips, or telomeres, have a lower survival rate and are much more likely to relapse after treatment than those with longer telomeres ... the blood cells of some patients with severe aplastic anemia disease have extremely short telomeres ... nearly 60% of the patients responded to immunosuppressive therapy. Of those who responded, the patients with the shortest telomeres were most likely to have a later relapse. The scientists found that the rate of relapse dropped as telomere lengths increased ... The group of patients with the shortest telomeres was also at greater risk for a conversion to bone marrow cancer (24%) than the other 3 groups (3% to 13%). Survival rates differed as well. Only 66% of patients with the shortest telomeres survived at least 6 years, compared to an 84% survival rate for the other 3 groups combined"
    • Happy Healthy Long Life: There's No Way Around It: If You Want to Live Longer You've Just Got to Do It! Get Out There & Exercise! - 2/6/08 - "by the time you're 65, well, there's just not that much left. Which is exactly why not too many of us make it past 80, 90 or 100. Not to get you even more depressed about your rapidly shrinking telomeres, but there have been a number of studies that have shown how stress, especially in caregiver's of chronically ill children and spouses of Alzheimer's patients have accelerated telomere shrinking. One study even suggested that you can accelerate your biological age by as much as 17 years if you're exposed to what you perceive as high psychological stress! ... it looks as if it's a safe bet to start lengthening your telomeres now, by EXERCISING!"
  • Telomere length affects colorectal cancer risk - Science Daily, 10/28/10 - "Patients with the longest telomeres -- those patients in the 95th percentile of telomere length -- were 30 percent more likely to develop colorectal cancer than those in the 50th percentile, the results showed. Overall, the individuals with the shortest and the longest telomere lengths were at an increased risk for colorectal cancer"
  • Can a new supplement boost immunity, slow aging? - USA Today, 9/8/10 - "The research, published in the scientific journal Rejuvenation Research, reports on a year-long study on a dietary supplement called Telomerase Activator TA-65, which researchers believe may help reverse the aging process by lengthening telomeres — the caps on the ends of chromosomes that keep DNA intact as cells divide. Shortened telomeres are linked with aging and a lowered immune response"
  • Patton Protocol - tasciences.com - "Version 1: “A La Carte” Options for products and bloodwork ... 1.6 months supply of TA-65, product only: $4,000 ... initial tests cost $2,890 ... If you choose to begin the full Patton Protocol, it consists of 6 month segments. Each segment costs $6,225"
  • Short Telomeres Tied to Cancer Risk - Medscape, 7/9/10 - "short telomere length was associated with a 60% increased risk for subsequent cancer"
  • Telomeres: Size matters when it comes to DNA - Science Daily, 6/9/10 - "Telomere shortening can be reversed in two specific ways: ... a protein termed telomerase can directly add new DNA to the end of telomeres ... The second method is much less understood but most likely involves the copying of information from one telomere to another"
  • Brief exercise reduces impact of stress on cell aging, study shows - Science Daily, 5/27/10 - "A growing body of research suggests that short telomeres are linked to a range of health problems, including coronary heart disease and diabetes, as well as early death ... In the study, 62 post-menopausal women -- many of whom were caring for spouses or parents with dementia ... when participants were divided into groups -- an inactive group, and an active group (i.e., they met federal recommendations for 75 minutes of weekly physical activity) -- only the inactive high stress group had shorter telomeres. The active high stress group did not have shorter telomeres. In other words, stress predicted shorter telomeres in the sedentary group, but not in the active group"
  • Long telomeres can be linked to poorer memory - Science Daily, 4/26/10
  • Excessive alcohol consumption may lead to increased cancer risk - Science Daily, 4/21/10 - "Researchers have detected a link between alcohol consumption, cancer and aging that starts at the cellular level with telomere shortening ... Telomeres are found at the region of DNA sequences at the end of a chromosome, and are important for the genetic stability of cells. As people age, telomere length shortens progressively ... Since telomere shortening is thought to increase cancer risk, the researchers speculated that those with shorter telomeres due to heavy alcohol consumption would have an increased risk of cancer ... telomere length was dramatically shortened in those who consumed heavy amounts of alcohol; telomere length was nearly half as long as telomere length in the non-abusers (0.41 vs. 0.79 relative units)"
  • Cancer, aging: Key interaction that controls telomeres discovered - Science Daily, 2/17/10
  • Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease - JAMA. 2010 Jan 20;303(3):250-7 - "Individuals in the lowest quartile of DHA+EPA experienced the fastest rate of telomere shortening (0.13 telomere-to-single-copy gene ratio [T/S] units over 5 years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.09-0.17), whereas those in the highest quartile experienced the slowest rate of telomere shortening (0.05 T/S units over 5 years; 95% CI, 0.02-0.08; P < .001 for linear trend across quartiles). Levels of DHA+EPA were associated with less telomere shortening before (unadjusted beta coefficient x 10(-3) = 0.06; 95% CI, 0.02-0.10) and after (adjusted beta coefficient x 10(-3) = 0.05; 95% CI, 0.01-0.08) sequential adjustment for established risk factors and potential confounders. Each 1-SD increase in DHA+EPA levels was associated with a 32% reduction in the odds of telomere shortening (adjusted odds ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.47-0.98)" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • High Omega-3 Levels May Slow Aging in Heart Patients - WebMD, 1/19/10 - "Heart disease patients with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids appear to age more slowly than those with the lowest blood levels ... Farzaneh-Far and his colleagues looked at a marker of biological age -- the rate of shortening of telomeres, structures at the end of a chromosome involved in its replication and stability. As the telomeres shorten over time, the eventual result is cell death, scientists believe ... In the new study, the higher the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the patients evaluated, the slower the rate of telomere shortening ... patients with the lowest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids exhibited a rate of telomere shortening 2.6 times faster than patients with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Calorie restriction: Scientists take important step toward 'fountain of youth' - Science Daily, 12/26/09 - "They found that the normal cells lived longer, and many of the precancerous cells died, when given less glucose. Gene activity was also measured under these same conditions. The reduced glucose caused normal cells to have a higher activity of the gene that dictates the level of telomerase, an enzyme that extends their lifespan and lower activity of a gene (p16) that slows their growth. Epigenetic effects (effects not due to gene mutations) were found to be a major cause in changing the activity of these genes as they reacted to decreased glucose levels" - See my Insulin and Aging page.  Insulin controls glucose levels.  Insulin resistance causes high glucose.
  • Look Young to Live Longer? - WebMD, 12/15/09 - "Perceived age, the researchers say, adjusted for chronological age and sex, also correlated with physical and cognitive functioning, as well as length of leukocyte telomeres - chromosome tips on DNA of people's white blood cells ... Shorter telomere length is associated with a “host of diseases related to aging and lifestyle factors and has been shown to be associated with mortality,”"
  • Long-term physical activity has an anti-aging effect at the cellular level - Science Daily, 12/2/09
  • Molecular Proof: Exercise Keeps You Young - WebMD, 12/1/09 - "Compared to people who did not exercise, elite runners in the study had cells that looked much younger under a microscope ... Just as the plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces keep the laces from fraying, telomeres protect the chromosomes that carry genes during cell division ... Each time a cell divides, telomeres get shorter. When telomeres get too short, cells can no longer divide and they die ... Researchers now believe telomere shortening is critical to aging, making people more vulnerable to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer ... That study suggested exercise might trump genes when it comes to keeping people young" - [U.S. News & World Report]
  • Longevity Tied To Genes That Preserve Tips Of Chromosomes - Science Daily, 11/11/09
  • Tea consumers may have younger biological age - Nutra USA, 8/25/09 - "The study’s findings are based on the telomere lengths of 976 Chinese men and 1,030 Chinese women aged over 65. The participants’ dietary habits were evaluated using a food frequency questionnaire ... Overall, only tea consumption was associated with telomere length. The highest intakes, three cups or 750 millilitres per day, was associated with significantly longer telomere lengths, compared to people who drank 70 millilitres per day or less, said the researchers" - [Abstract] - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Multivitamins linked to younger ‘biological age’: Study - Nutra USA, 5/27/09 - "Compared to non-multivitamin users, the researchers noted that that telomeres were on average 5.1 per cent longer for daily multivitamin users ... Whereas the evidence is not sufficient to conclude that these 2 dietary antioxidants mediated the observed relation, the results are consistent with experimental findings that vitamins C and E protect telomeres in vitro" - [Abstract]
  • Shortening Telomeres Linked To Aging In Population Studies, But Original Telomere Length Varies Between Individuals - Science Daily, 2/13/09
  • Clean living 'slows cell ageing' - BBC News, 9/15/08 - "Among 24 men asked to adopt healthy lifestyle changes for a US study in The Lancet Oncology, levels of telomerase increased by 29% on average ... Telomerase repairs and lengthens telomeres, which cap and protect the ends of chromosomes housing DNA ... These consisted of a diet high in fruit and vegetables, supplements of vitamins and fish oils, an exercise regimen and classes in stress management, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises"
  • Sedentary Lifestyles Associated With Accelerated Aging Process - Science Daily, 1/28/08 - "Telomere length decreased with age, with an average loss of 21 nucleotides (structural units) per year. Men and women who were less physically active in their leisure time had shorter leukocyte telomeres than those who were more active. ... "The mean difference in leukocyte telomere length between the most active [who performed an average of 199 minutes of physical activity per week] and least active [16 minutes of physical activity per week] subjects was 200 nucleotides, which means that the most active subjects had telomeres the same length as sedentary individuals up to 10 years younger, on average."" - I'm must be in fat city on this one.  I must have averaged 60 minutes per day since I've been 18 which comes to 420 minutes per week.  Maybe that's the main reason people claim I look young. Plus I've always taken vitamin D which helps with telomere length also. - Ben
  • Live longer with vitamin D, study says - Nutra USA, 11/9/07
  • Vitamin D 'may help slow ageing' - BBC News, 11/8/07 - "those with higher vitamin D levels showed fewer ageing-related changes in their DNA ...women with higher levels of vitamin D were more likely to have longer telomeres in these cells, and vice versa" -  See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Decreased Vitamin D Levels Linked to Shorter Telomeres - Doctor's Guide, 6/5/07 - "Investigators found the difference in TRFL between the highest and lowest tertiles of vitamin D was 92.6 base pairs (P =.006). That result was equivalent to 4.2 years of telomeric aging"
  • Biological Aging Predicts Heart Attack - WebMD, 1/11/07 - "People who age fast -- as measured by DNA shortening -- have a higher heart disease risk. Statin drugs may help ... Pravachol -- one of the "statin" family of cholesterol-lowering drugs -- dramatically lowered the heart disease risk of people with shorter telomeres. But the drug seemed to have little effect on heart disease risk in people with the longest telomeres"
  • Does Telomere Shortening Predict Dementia? A Critical Review - Doctor's Guide, 4/24/06 - "Telomere lengths in both the dementia and non-dementia patients showed no significant decline with age"
  • Tiny Roundworm's Telomeres Help Scientists To Tease Apart Different Types Of Aging - Science Daily, 8/8/05 - "telomeres alone do not dictate aging and lifespan ... For successful aging you have to control both, aging in your dividing cells, which hinges on telomere maintenance, but also aging in your non-dividing cells. We thought that telomeres might play a role in the later but that's clearly not the case ... What is probably playing a role in the other half of aging is the insulin signaling pathway, proper mitochondrial function and dietary restriction"
  • Obesity, Smoking Linked to Faster Aging - WebMD, 6/13/05 - "Telomeres are the tips of the chromosomes, which contain DNA. They gradually shorten over a lifetime ... The difference in telomere length between being lean and being obese corresponds to 8.8 years of aging ... Obesity and smoking are important risk factors for many age-related diseases. Both are states of heightened oxidative stress … and inflammation"
  • Extra Weight May Age You Faster - WebMD, 5/25/05 - "inflammation burns out white blood cells faster, and the effort of replacing them wears down the telomeres"
  • Chronic Stress Makes Cells Age Faster - WebMD, 11/29/04 - "In translating telomere length into years of aging, researchers determined the cells from the highly stressed mothers had aged from nine to 17 additional years compared with the cells from the low-stress mothers"


  • Telomere length and risk of stroke in Chinese - Stroke. 2012 Mar;43(3):658-63 - "As compared with the fourth (longest) quartile, the odd ratios [OR] (and 95% confidence intervals [CI]) for ischemic stroke risk were as follows: third quartile, 1.37 (1.04-1.82); second quartile, 1.53 (1.17-2.02); and first quartile, 2.12 (1.62-2.77) ... Shorter telomere length was associated with ischemic stroke and was a strong predictor of poststroke death"
  • Telomerase, telomere length, and coronary artery calcium in black and white men in the CARDIA study - Atherosclerosis. 2011 Nov 9 - "Telomerase activity in leukocytes was associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaque, and was also a predictor of advancing plaque among persons with short telomeres"
  • Leukocyte telomere length and physical ability among Danish Twins age 70+ - Mech Ageing Dev. 2011 Oct 12 - "Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shortens with age and is potentially a biomarker of human aging. We examined the relation of LTL with physical ability and cognitive function in 548 same-sex twins from the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins ... A random intercept model revealed a positive, significant association between LTL and physical ability. For every unit increase in physical ability score, LTL increased by 0.066kb (p=0.01), equal to approximately three years of age-dependent LTL shortening. A matched case-co-twin design showed that the group consisting of the twins from each pair with the longer LTL also displayed better physical ability (p<0.01). Moreover, the intra-pair difference in LTL was associated with intra-pair difference in physical ability (p<0.01), confirming the association. However, we found no association between cognitive function and LTL. The LTL-physical ability association in the elderly provides further support to the premise that LTL is an index of somatic fitness in the narrow context of human physical health"
  • Lower endothelial progenitor cell number, family history of cardiovascular disease and reduced HDL-cholesterol levels are associated with shorter leukocyte telomere length in healthy young adults - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Aug 6 - "LTL resulted inversely correlated with family history of CVD (t = 2.70; p = 0.009), age (r = -0.238; p = 0.032), waist circumference (r = -0.256; p = 0.02), triglycerides (r = -0.218; p = 0.049), PAI-1 (r = -0.288; p = 0.009) and directly correlated with HDL-cholesterol (r = 0.316; p = 0.004) and EPC number (r = 0.358; p = 0.002). At a multivariate analysis, family history of CVD (p = 0.013), EPC count (p = 0.003), and HDL-cholesterol (p = 0.017) were independently associated with LTL (r = 0.62) ... LTL is independently associated to CV risk factors also in healthy young adults"
  • Telomere length and cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients with left ventricular hypertrophy: the LIFE study - J Hum Hypertens. 2011 Jun 23 - "Short telomeres are associated with aging and age-related diseases ... At baseline, short mean telomere length was associated with coronary artery disease in males (odds ratio (OR) 0.61, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.39-0.95), and transient ischemic attack in females (OR 0.62 95% CI 0.39-0.99). Proportion of short telomeres (shorter than 5 kb) was associated with Framingham risk score (r=0.07, P<0.05), cerebrovascular disease (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.01-1.15) and type 2 diabetes in men (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.02-1.11). During follow-up, proportion of short telomeres was associated with combined cardiovascular mortality, stroke or angina pectoris (hazard ratio 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.07). Telomere length was not associated with smoking, body mass index, pulse pressure or self-reported use of alcohol. Our data suggest that reduced leukocyte telomere length is associated with cardiovascular risk factors and diseases as well as type 2 diabetes, and is a predictor of cardiovascular disease in elderly patients with hypertension and LVH"
  • The Association of Telomere Length and Cancer: A Meta-Analysis - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Apr 5 - "Short telomeres in surrogate tissues (e.g., blood cells) are associated with increased cancer risk in several case-control studies, but findings are inconsistent in prospective studies ... Studies on bladder, esophageal, gastric, head and neck, ovarian, renal, and overall incident cancer found associations between short telomeres and these cancers. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast, lung and colorectal cancer reports were inconsistent. Single studies on endometrial, prostate, and skin cancers were null. In a random effects meta-analysis, short TL was significantly associated with cancer in retrospective studies (pooled OR for the shortest TL quartile compared with the longest: 2.9, 95%CI 1.73 - 4.8, P<0.0001). The pooled OR for prospective studies was 1.16 (95%CI 0.87 - 1.54, P=0.32). All studies combined yielded a pooled OR of 1.96 (95%CI 1.37 - 2.81, P=0.0001) for the association of short TL and cancer.Conclusion and Impact: There is suggestive evidence that short surrogate tissue TL is associated with cancer; the strongest evidence exists for bladder, esophageal, gastric, and renal cancers"
  • 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.
  • Shortened telomeres in individuals with abuse in alcohol consumption - Int J Cancer. 2011 Feb 23 - "Alcohol abuse leads to earlier onset of aging-related diseases, including cancer at multiple sites. Shorter telomere length (TL) in peripheral blood leucocytes (PBLs), a marker of biological aging, has been associated with alcohol-related cancer risks ... To investigated the effect of alcohol abuse on PBL TL and its interaction with alcohol metabolic genotypes, we examined 200 drunk-driving traffic offenders diagnosed as alcohol abusers as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-IV-TR] and enrolled in a probation program, and 257 social drinkers (controls) ... TL was nearly halved in alcohol abusers compared to controls (GMs 0.42 vs. 0.87 relative T/S ratio; P<0.0001) and decreased in relation with increasing drink-units/day (P-trend=0.003). Individuals drinking >4 drink-units/day had substantially shorter TL than those drinking ≤4 drink-units/day (GMs 0.48 vs. 0.61 T/S, P=0.002). Carriers of the common ADH1B*1/*1 (rs1229984) genotype were more likely to be abusers (P=0.008), reported higher drink-units/day (P=0.0003), and exhibited shorter TL (P<0.0001). The rs698 ADH1C and rs671 ALDH2 polymorphisms were not associated with TL. The decrease in PBL-TL modulated by the alcohol metabolic genotype ADH1B*1/*1 may represent a novel mechanism potentially related to alcohol carcinogenesis in alcohol abusers"
  • Effects of a growth hormone-releasing hormone antagonist on telomerase activity, oxidative stress, longevity, and aging in mice - Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Dec 6 - "Both deficiency and excess of growth hormone (GH) are associated with increased mortality and morbidity. GH replacement in otherwise healthy subjects leads to complications, whereas individuals with isolated GH deficiency such as Laron dwarfs show increased life span. Here, we determined the effects of treatment with the GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) receptor antagonist MZ-5-156 on aging in SAMP8 mice, a strain that develops with aging cognitive deficits and has a shortened life expectancy. Starting at age 10 mo, mice received daily s.c. injections of 10 μg/mouse of MZ-5-156. Mice treated for 4 mo with MZ-5-156 showed increased telomerase activity, improvement in some measures of oxidative stress in brain, and improved pole balance, but no change in muscle strength. MZ-5-156 improved cognition after 2 mo and 4 mo, but not after 7 mo of treatment (ages 12, 14 mo, and 17 mo, respectively). Mean life expectancy increased by 8 wk with no increase in maximal life span, and tumor incidence decreased from 10 to 1.7%. These results show that treatment with a GHRH antagonist has positive effects on some aspects of aging, including an increase in telomerase activity"
  • Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Nov 22 - "Telomere length shortens with age. Progressive shortening of telomeres leads to senescence, apoptosis, or oncogenic transformation of somatic cells, affecting the health and lifespan of an individual. Shorter telomeres have been associated with increased incidence of diseases and poor survival. The rate of telomere shortening can be either increased or decreased by specific lifestyle factors. Better choice of diet and activities has great potential to reduce the rate of telomere shortening or at least prevent excessive telomere attrition, leading to delayed onset of age-associated diseases and increased lifespan"
  • Adiposity and Insulin Resistance Correlate with Telomere Length in Middle-aged Arabs: The Influence of Circulating Adiponectin - Eur J Endocrinol. 2010 Aug - "Studies in obesity have implicated adipocytokines in the development of insulin resistance, which in turn may lead to accelerated aging ... HOMA-IR was the most significant predictor for TL in males, explaining 35% of the variance (p = 0.01). In females, adiponectin, accounted for 28% of the variance in TL (p = 0.01). Conclusion: Obesity and insulin resistance are associated with chromosomal TL among adult Arabs. Evidence of causal relations needs further investigation. The positive association of adiponectin to TL has clinical implications as to the possible protective effects of this hormone from accelerated aging" - Note:  HOMA-IR = (glucose x insulin)/405 for glucose in mass units (US units) mg/dL.  See my adiponectin page for ways to increase it.
  • Telomere length and risk of incident cancer and cancer mortality - JAMA. 2010 Jul 7;304(1):69-75 - "Short telomere length at baseline was associated with incident cancer independently of standard cancer risk factors (multivariable hazard ratio [HR] per 1-SD decrease in log(e)-transformed telomere length, 1.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.30-1.98; P < .001). Compared with participants in the longest telomere length group, the multivariable HR for incident cancer was 2.15 (95% CI, 1.12-4.14) in the middle length group and 3.11 (95% CI, 1.65-5.84) in the shortest length group (P < .001). Incidence rates were 5.1 (95% CI, 2.9-8.7) per 1000 person-years in the longest telomere length group, 14.2 (95% CI, 10.0-20.1) per 1000 person-years in the middle length group, and 22.5 (95% CI, 16.9-29.9) per 1000 person-years in the shortest length group. The association equally applied to men and women and emerged as robust under a variety of circumstances. Furthermore, short telomere length was associated with cancer mortality (multivariable HR per 1-SD decrease in log(e)-transformed telomere length, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.58-2.86; P < .001) and individual cancer subtypes with a high fatality rate. CONCLUSION: In this study population, there was a statistically significant inverse relationship between telomere length and both cancer incidence and mortality"
  • Higher circulating levels of igf-1 are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in healthy subjects - Mech Ageing Dev. 2009 Nov 10 - "Both IGF-1 and LTL diminished with age (IGF-1, r=-0.601, P<0.001; LTL, r=-0.706, P<0.001). Age-adjusted LTL was positively associated with IGF-1 level throughout the age range of the cohort (r=0.270, P<0.001). IGF-1 accounted for about 10% of the inter-individual variation in LTL over and above the effect of age. Our findings suggest that both circulating IGF-1 and LTL are indices of healthy aging in humans" - Note: hGH increases igf-1.
  • Chinese tea consumption is associated with longer telomere length in elderly Chinese men - Br J Nutr. 2009 Aug 12:1-7 - "In men, only Chinese tea consumption was significantly associated with TL after adjustment for demographics and lifestyle factors (P = 0.002). Mean difference in TL for those in the highest quartile of Chinese tea consumption (>3 cups/d or >750 ml/d) as compared with those in the lowest quartile of Chinese tea consumption ( </= 0.28 cups/d or </= 70 ml/d) was 0.46 kb, corresponding to approximately a difference of 5 years of life" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Multivitamin use and telomere length in women - Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1857-63 - "After age and other potential confounders were adjusted for, multivitamin use was associated with longer telomeres. Compared with nonusers, the relative telomere length of leukocyte DNA was on average 5.1% longer among daily multivitamin users (P for trend = 0.002). In the analysis of micronutrients, higher intakes of vitamins C and E from foods were each associated with longer telomeres, even after adjustment for multivitamin use. Furthermore, intakes of both nutrients were associated with telomere length among women who did not take multivitamins"
  • Leukocyte telomere length is associated with HDL cholesterol levels: The Bogalusa heart study - Atherosclerosis. 2009 Jan 24 - "Diminished levels of HDL-C are associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis. Shortened leukocyte telomere length (LTL) also entails an increased atherosclerotic risk ... Multivariate regression analyses showed that LTL was positively associated with HDL-C in childhood (regression coefficient (bp per mg/dL) beta=3.1, p=0.024), adulthood (beta=4.4, p=0.058) and AUC from childhood to adulthood ... A slower rate of LTL shortening per year was associated with higher HDL-C AUC in the total sample (p=0.033), adjusting for baseline LTL ... As HDL-C exerts anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and LTL registers the accruing burden of oxidative stress and inflammation, the association between HDL-C and LTL might be explained by the lifelong status of oxidative stress and inflammation" - Note:  Telomere length is associated with longer lifespan.  Niacin increases HDL.  See niacin at Amazon.com.
  • Resveratrol reduces endothelial progenitor cells senescence through augmentation of telomerase activity by Akt-dependent mechanisms - Br J Pharmacol. 2008 Jun 30 - "Resveratrol significantly increased telomerase activity and Akt phosphorylation ... Resveratrol delayed the onset of EPC senescence and this effect was accompanied by activation of telomerase through the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway. The inhibition of EPCs senescence by resveratrol might protect EPCs against dysfunction induced by pathological factors in vivo and improve EPC functional activities in a way that may be important for cell therapy" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.
  • Telomere length and obesity - Acta Paediatr. 2008 Apr 21 - "No difference was found between the TRF lengths of obese and normal children. Obese adults had shorter TRF lengths than adults who were not obese (mean TRF length difference, -884.5; 95% confidence intervals -1727 to -41.8; t= 2.183; df = 17; p < 0.041)"
  • Telomere length in white blood cells, buccal cells and brain tissue and its variation with ageing and Alzheimer's disease - Mech Ageing Dev. 2008 Jan 31 - "We observed a significantly lower telomere length in white blood cells (P<0.0001) and buccal cells (P<0.01) in Alzheimer's patients relative to healthy age-matched controls (31.4% and 32.3%, respectively)"
  • Telomere length may be associated with hypertension - J Hum Hypertens. 2007 Nov 29
  • Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women - Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Nov;86(5):1420-1425 - "Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) ... higher vitamin D concentrations, which are easily modifiable through nutritional supplementation, are associated with longer LTL, which underscores the potentially beneficial effects of this hormone on aging and age-related diseases" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Obesity, cigarette smoking, and telomere length in women - Lancet. 2005 Aug 20-26;366(9486):662-4 - "telomere length decreased steadily with age at a mean rate of 27 bp per year. Telomeres of obese women were 240 bp shorter than those of lean women (p=0.026). A dose-dependent relation with smoking was recorded (p=0.017), and each pack-year smoked was equivalent to an additional 5 bp of telomere length lost (18%) compared with the rate in the overall cohort"
  • Oxidative stress shortens telomeres - Trends Biochem Sci. 2002 Jul;27(7):339-44 - "oxidative stress accelerates telomere loss, whereas antioxidants decelerate it"