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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 4/17/13.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Excess vitamin E intake not a health concern, study suggests - Science Daily, 4/15/13 - "a new review concludes that biological mechanisms exist to routinely eliminate excess levels of the vitamin, and they make it almost impossible to take a harmful amount ... A much more important issue is that more than 90 percent of people in the U.S. have inadequate levels of vitamin E in their diet ... On the other hand, vitamin E performs many critical roles in optimum health. It protects polyunsaturated fatty acids from oxidizing, may help protect other essential lipids, and has been studied for possible value in many degenerative diseases" - Note:  That may be true but everything I've read claims that taking high amounts of only the alpha-tocopherol lowers the other forms which may be as important if not more important. - See Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com.

Vitamin D may reduce risk of uterine fibroids - Science Daily, 4/15/13 - "Women who had sufficient amounts of vitamin D were 32 percent less likely to develop fibroids than women with insufficient vitamin D ... Those with more than 20 nanograms per milliliter of 25-hydroxy D were categorized as sufficient, though some experts think even higher levels may be required for good health" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Soy-based compound may reduce tumor cell proliferation in colorectal cancer - Science Daily, 4/11/13 - "The development of colorectal cancer (CRC) is largely driven by cellular signaling in the Wnt pathway, a network of proteins critical to cellular growth ... the research team treated colon cancer cell lines with genistein and found that it inhibited cell growth and blocked Wnt signaling hyperactivity ... Genistein is a natural product with low toxicity and few side effects and our research shows that it may be beneficial in treating colorectal cancer" - See genistein at Amazon.com.

L-carnitine significantly improves patient outcomes following heart attack, study suggests - Science Daily, 4/12/13 - "This systematic review of the 13 controlled trials in 3,629 patients, involving 250 deaths, 220 cases of new heart failure, and 38 recurrent heart attacks, found that L-carnitine was associated with: ... Significant 27% reduction in all-cause mortality (number needed to treat 38) ... Highly significant 65% reduction in ventricular arrhythmias (number needed to treat 4) ... Significant 40% reduction in the development of angina (number needed to treat 3) ... Reduction in infarct size ... These findings may seem to contradict those reported in a study published earlier this month in Nature Medicine by Robert A. Koeth and others (link below), which demonstrated that metabolism by intestinal microbiota of dietary L-carnitine produced trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and accelerated atherosclerosis in mice" - Note:  I read that Koeth study and wasn't buying it.  When one study contradicts all other studies you have to question whether it's valid.  See l-carnitine at Amazon.com and acetyl l-carnitine products at Amazon.com.

Cannabis Use Linked to More Severe Schizophrenia - Medscape, 4/10/13 - "Cannabis use not only increases the risk for schizophrenia but new research suggests it is associated with more severe schizophrenic psychosis ... "Those who had schizophrenia after cannabis use had many more hospital days...more than a third [38%] of those who had cannabis use had more than 2 years in total in hospital stay" compared with 21% of nonusers, said Dr. Allebeck. The median number of hospital days was 547 for cannabis users and 184 for nonusers ... After controlling for socioeconomic factors, personality disorders, IQ, and other factors associated with cannabis use, "there was more than 3-fold increased risk of such long hospital days among cannabis users," ... The number of readmissions is also about 3-fold increased of those with many readmissions after the first admission for schizophrenia"

New evidence that egg white protein may help high blood pressure - Science Daily, 4/9/13 - "We have evidence from the laboratory that a substance in egg white –– it’s a peptide, one of the building blocks of proteins –– reduces blood pressure about as much as a low dose of Captopril, a high-blood-pressure drug ... Yu and colleagues, who are with Clemson University, used a peptide called RVPSL ... They set out to further document RVPSL’s effects, using laboratory rats that develop high blood pressure and are stand-ins for humans in such early research on hypertension ... RVPSL did not have apparent toxic effects and lowered blood pressure by amounts comparable to low doses of Captopril"

Can Selenium Lower Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer? - WebMD, 4/9/13 - "But that study looked at men with normal selenium levels when they entered the trial, and it did not focus on a specific type of prostate cancer. This latest study looked only at men who were deficient in selenium and tracked only cases of advanced prostate cancer, which is linked with a poor prognosis ... Among a group of almost 60,000 men aged 55 to 69 at the beginning of the study, the researchers found that men with the highest selenium levels, as measured in toenail clippings, had more than a 60 percent reduced risk for advanced prostate cancer" - See se-methylselenocysteine at Amazon.com which seems to be the recommended form from what I've read over the years.

Could Coffee Bean Extract Help Control Blood Sugar? - WebMD, 4/9/13 - "Vinson's study analyzed 30 men and women of normal weight who did not have diabetes. They took supplements containing between 100 milligrams (mg) and 400 mg of the green coffee extract in a capsule with water, followed by glucose tolerance tests at several points afterward ... All doses of the extract appeared to lower participants' blood sugar levels, Vinson said, but a dose of 400 mg was associated with a 24 percent drop 30 minutes after taking the extract and a 31 percent drop 120 minutes later ... Vinson said he believes the sugar-lowering effects of green coffee extract are due to its concentration of chlorogenic acids -- antioxidants found in apples, cherries, plums and other fruits and vegetables. High temperatures used to roast coffee beans typically break down chlorogenic acids, he said, so coffee beverages contain less of them than extracts found in supplements" - [Science Daily] - See Green coffee bean extract  products at iHerb however a better choice for chlorogenic acids might be Garden of Life, Radical Fruits Antioxidant Complex 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):

Hip bone loss is attenuated with 1000 IU but not 400 IU daily vitamin D3: a 1 year double-blind RCT in postmenopausal women - J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Apr 13 - "Caucasian women aged 60-70 y (n = 305) were randomized to one of two doses of vitamin D or placebo ... Mean BMD loss at the hip was significantly less for the 1000 IU vitamin D group (0.05 +/- 1.46%), compared to the 400 IU vitamin D or placebo groups (0.57 +/- 1.33% and 0.60 +/- 1.67%, respectively) (p < 0.05). Mean(+/- SD) baseline 25(OH)D was 33.8 +/- 14.6 nmol/L; comparative 25(OH)D change for the placebo, 400 IU and 1000 IU vitamin D groups was: -4.1 +/- 11.5 nmol/L, +31. 6 +/- 19.8 nmol/L and +42.6 +/- 18.9 nmol/L respectively" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Dietary patterns and the risk of hip fractures in elderly Chinese: A matched case-control study - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Apr 12 - "Face-to-face interviews were conducted to assess dietary intake using a 79-item food frequency questionnaire ... We identified four dietary patterns: healthy, prudent, traditional, and high fat. Dose-dependent lower risks of hip fracture were observed in relation to higher scores in the healthy dietary pattern related to high fruit and vegetable intake, and in the prudent pattern typified by a higher intake of nuts, mushrooms, algae, and seafood but lower in grains, whereas the same were associated with lower scores in the high fat dietary pattern (all P trend <0.05). The adjusted ORs (95% CIs) for hip fractures, comparing the extreme tertiles of the three patterns, were 0.42 (0.24-0.73) for healthy, 0.51 (0.28-0.90) for prudent, and 2.25 (1.38-3.69) for high fat"

Association between physical activity and mortality in colorectal cancer: A Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies - Int J Cancer. 2013 Apr 12 - "conducted a meta-analysis of prospective studies ... The analyses showed that patients who participated in any amount of PA before diagnosis had a RR of 0.75 (95% CI: 0.65-0.87, p<0.001) for colorectal cancer-specific mortality, compared with patients who did not participate in any PA. Those who participated in high PA before diagnosis (vs. low PA) had a RR of 0.70 (95% CI: 0.56-0.87, p=0.002). Similarly, patients who participated in any PA after diagnosis had a RR of 0.74 (95% CI: 0.58-0.95, p=0.02) for colorectal cancer-specific mortality, compared with patients who did not participate in any PA. Those who participated in high PA after diagnosis (vs. low PA) had a RR of 0.65 (95% CI: 0.47-0.92, p=0.01). Similar inverse associations of pre-diagnosis PA or post-diagnosis PA were found for all-cause mortality"

Zinc as a nutritional approach to bone loss prevention in an ovariectomized rat model - Menopause. 2013 Apr 8 - "Forty-eight female Wistar rats were assigned to four groups: control, zinc, ovariectomy (OVX), and OVX + zinc ... Reduction in zinc and copper levels was observed in the bone tissues and serum of the OVX group. Zinc administration restored these levels to normal. Electron microscopic studies revealed a looser structure and resorbed areas in ovariectomized rat cortical bone. Zinc administration restored bone tissue morphology ... These findings suggest that changes in cortical bone attributed to estrogen deficiency are arrested by zinc supplementation, which can be a sustainable approach to improving bone health" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com.

Relationship of dietary monounsaturated fatty acids to blood pressure: the international study of macro/micronutrients and blood pressure - J Hypertens. 2013 Apr 6 - "Dietary monounsaturated fatty acid intake, especially oleic acid from vegetable sources, may contribute to prevention and control of adverse blood pressure levels in general populations"

LA - Linoleic Acid ALA or LNA - Alpha linolenic acid 18:3 (n-3) Oleic acid
GLA - Gamma linolenic acid EPA - Eicosapentaenoic acid
DGLA - Dihomo gamma-linolenic Acid DHA - Docosahexaenoic acid  
AA - Arachidonic Acid DPA (omega 3) - Docosapentaenoic acid
DTA - Docosatetraenoic acid    
DPA -  (omega 6) Docosapentaenoic

Approximate percent fatty acid composition - Refs: A, B

  Saturated Fat Omega-6 Omega-3 ** Omega-9
Canola oil 8% 20% 10% 62%
Sunola oil 10% 6% 0% 84%
Safflower oil 9% 77% 0% 14%
Sunflower oil 11% 63% trace 26%
Olive oil 14% 10% trace 76%
Corn oil 14% 52% 2% 32%
Soyabean oil 15% 54% 8% 23%
Peanut oil 19% 34% 2% 45%
Cottonseed oil 27% 55% 0% 18%
Palm oil 51% 10% trace 39%
Coconut oil 91% 2% 0% 7%
Tallow oil 50% 2% 1% 47%
Butterfat 64% 2% 1% 33%

** The omega-3 in vegetable oils is in the form of alpha linolenic acid (no EPA, DHA or DPA).  See "General Information" below for why alpha linolenic acid might not be as effective.

Silibinin inhibits tumor growth through down-regulation of ERK and Akt in vitro and in vivo in human ovarian cancer cells - J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Apr 9 - "These results indicate that silibinin reduces tumor growth through inhibition of ERK and Akt in human ovarian cancer cells. These data suggest that silibinin may serve as a potential therapeutic agent for human ovarian cancers" - See silymarin at Amazon.com.

Predicted Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Renal Cell Cancer - J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Apr 8 - "prospectively evaluated the association between predicted plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and RCC risk among 72 051 women and 46 380 men in the period from 1986 to 2008 ... The multivariable hazard ratios between extreme quintiles of predicted 25(OH)D score were 0.50 (95% CI = 0.32 to 0.80) in women, 0.59 (95% CI = 0.37 to 0.94) in men, and 0.54 (95% CI = 0.39 to 0.75; P trend < .001) in the pooled cohorts. An increment of 10ng/mL in predicted 25(OH)D score was associated with a 44% lower incidence of RCC (pooled HR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.42 to 0.74) ... Higher predicted plasma 25(OH)D levels were associated with a statistically significantly lower risk of RCC in men and women" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Alcohol Consumption Before and After Breast Cancer Diagnosis: Associations With Survival From Breast Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, and Other Causes - J Clin Oncol. 2013 Apr 8 - "assessed pre- and postdiagnostic alcohol intake in a cohort of 22,890 women with incident invasive breast cancer who were residents of Wisconsin, Massachusetts, or New Hampshire and diagnosed from 1985 to 2006 at ages 20 to 79 years ... median follow-up of 11.3 years ... Overall alcohol consumption before diagnosis was not associated with disease-specific survival, but we found a suggestion favoring moderate consumption. There was no evidence for an association with postdiagnosis alcohol intake and breast cancer survival. This study, however, does provide support for a benefit of limited alcohol intake for cardiovascular and overall survival in women with breast cancer" - Note:  That contradicts several other studies.  Go to my alcohol page and search "breast cancer".  Here are the three more recent ones:

  • Even a drink a day boosts cancer death risk, alcohol study finds - nbcnews.com, 2/14/13 - "consuming just 1.5 drinks a day -- or less -- was associated with up to 35 percent of those cancer deaths, suggesting that any alcohol use carries some risk ... Breast cancer accounted for most alcohol-related cancer deaths in women, about 15 percent of all breast cancer deaths ... studies that show benefits from moderate alcohol use are potentially flawed because they compare non-drinkers and drinkers, who may be healthy -- or not -- for other reasons than alcohol use. Non-drinkers may abstain because of existing health problems, for instance, while moderate drinkers might have other factors, such as education, wealth and lifestyle choices that boost their health independent of alcohol. Besides, there’s never been a “gold standard” study that addresses the issue"
  • Why drinking alcohol is linked to breast cancer - Science Daily, 4/23/12 - "ethanol-treated human mammary cells had an increase in free radical production, oxidative stress and the activation of cellular mechanisms that cause cells to increase their proliferation rate ... So if you are a woman who naturally expresses higher levels of CYP2E1 and you consume alcohol, you would be at a greater risk for developing breast cancer than a woman who expresses lower amounts of CYP2E1"
  • Low levels of alcohol consumption associated with small increased risk of breast cancer, study finds - Science Daily, 11/1/11 - "Analyses of data indicated that a low level of alcohol consumption (5.0 to 9.9 grams per day, equivalent to 3-6 glasses of wine per week) was modestly but statistically significantly associated with a 15 percent increased risk of breast cancer. In addition, women who consumed at least 30 grams of alcohol daily on average (at least 2 drinks per day) had a 51 percent increased risk of breast cancer compared with women who never consumed alcohol"

Insulin sensitizers and Serum Testosterone in men - Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2013 Apr 9 - "The effect of insulin resistance on the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis is sexually dimorphic1 . In women, it is associated with increased androgen production2 and, in men, usually with hypogonadism3 . Treatment with insulin sensitizers like metformin and pioglitazone in women lead to a decrease in serum total testosterone, while in men with T2DM, metformin therapy has been shown to decrease serum total testosterone4 . However, no data are available regarding the effect of pioglitazone on androgen profile in men"

Intakes of heme iron and zinc and colorectal cancer incidence: a meta-analysis of prospective studies - Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Apr 9 - "Eight studies on heme iron intake and six studies on zinc intake met the inclusion criteria. The summary RR of CRC for the highest versus the lowest intake was 1.14 (95 % CI = 1.04-1.24) for heme iron and 0.83 (95 % CI = 0.72-0.94) for zinc, respectively ... This meta-analysis suggests a significant positive dose-response association of heme iron intake and a significant inverse dose-response association of zinc intake with risk of CRC"

Periodontal disease and mouthwash use are risk factors for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma - Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Apr 9 - "We measured history of oral hygiene and dental care on 513 HNSCC cases and 567 controls from a population-based study of HNSCC ... Periodontal disease was associated with a slightly elevated risk of HNSCC (OR = 1.09, 95 % CI: 1.02, 1.16). Using any type of mouthwash at least once per day was associated with increased risk compared to never using mouthwash (OR = 1.11, 95 % CI: 1.02, 1.20). HNSCC was associated with frequent use of non-alcoholic mouthwash compared to using any kind of mouthwash rarely or never (OR = 1.24, 95 % CI: 1.05, 1.47)"

Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses - BMJ. 2013 Apr 3;346:f1378 - "22 randomised controlled trials (including 1606 participants) reporting blood pressure, blood lipids, catecholamine concentrations, and renal function and 11 cohort studies (127 038 participants) reporting all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, stroke, or coronary heart disease in adults were included in the meta-analyses. Increased potassium intake reduced systolic blood pressure by 3.49 (95% confidence interval 1.82 to 5.15) mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.96 (0.86 to 3.06) mm Hg in adults, an effect seen in people with hypertension but not in those without hypertension. Systolic blood pressure was reduced by 7.16 (1.91 to 12.41) mm Hg when the higher potassium intake was 90-120 mmol/day, without any dose response ... An inverse statistically significant association was seen between potassium intake and risk of incident stroke (risk ratio 0.76, 0.66 to 0.89). Associations between potassium intake and incident cardiovascular disease (risk ratio 0.88, 0.70 to 1.11) or coronary heart disease (0.96, 0.78 to 1.19) were not statistically significant" - See potassium citrate at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Health Focus (Creatinine):

Alternative News:

  • Pine bark extract may benefit blood pressure-related kidney health - Nutra USA, 3/5/10 - "55 hypertensive patients to participate in the randomized, controlled study. Subjects were assigned to receive Ramipril [an ACE inhibitor] (10 mg per day), and 29 of these people were randomly selected to also receive Pycnogenol (150 mg per day) ... After six months in the Ramipril-only group the albumin levels decreased by 26 per cent to 64 mg per 24-hour period, while additional Pycnogenol produced levels that averaged 39 mg per 24-hour period, equivalent to a 57 per cent decrease ... Statistically significant decreases in patients’ blood pressure were also observed, with systolic and diastolic blood pressures dropping by more than 30 and 8 per cent, respectively in the Ramipril-only group, and by a further 3 to 6 per cent in the combination group ... Diastolic and systolic blood flow improved by 8 and 12 per cent, in the combination group" - [Abstract] - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.
  • Kidney flow and function in hypertension: protective effects of pycnogenol in hypertensive participants--a controlled study - J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Mar;15(1):41-6 - "evaluated the effects of Pycnogenol as an adjunct to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitor ramipril treatment of hypertensive patients presenting with early signs of renal function problems. One group of 26 patients was medicated with 10 mg ramipril per day only; a second group of 29 patients took Pycnogenol in addition to the ACE inhibitor over a period of 6 months ... Urinary albumin decreased from 87 +/- 23 to 64 +/- 16 mg/d with ramipril only. Additional Pycnogenol lowered albumin significantly better from 91 +/- 25 to 39 +/- 13 mg/day (P < .05). In both groups, serum creatinine was lowered; however, only in the combination treatment group did the effect reached statistical significance. In both groups, CRP levels decreased from 2.1 to 1.8 with ramipril and from 2.2 to 1.1 with the ramipril-Pycnogenol combination; the latter reached statistical significance. Kidney cortical flow velocity was investigated by Doppler color duplex ultrasonography. Both systolic and diastolic flow velocities increased significantly after 6 months medication with ramipril. The addition of Pycnogenol to the regimen statistically significantly further enhanced kidney cortical flow velocities, by 8% for diastolic flow and 12% for systolic flow, relative to values found for the group taking ramipril only" - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 may boost kidney health in diabetics: Study - Nutra USA, 2/3/10 - "Our results showed a significant decrease in serum creatinine level after fish-oil supplement in Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Fish-oil supplement has neutral effects on vascular and metabolic function but improves renal function in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus - Diabet Med. 2010 Jan;27(1):54-60 - "serum creatinine was lower (-4.5 mumol/l, P = 0.01) in fish-oil-treated patients as compared with control subjects" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Other News:

  • Protein in the urine: A warning sign for cognitive decline - Science Daily, 11/21/10 - "low amounts of albumin in the urine, at levels not traditionally considered clinically significant, strongly predict faster cognitive decline in older women ... participants with a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio of >5 mcg/mg at the start of the study experienced cognitive decline at a rate 2 to 7 times faster in all cognitive measures than that attributed to aging alone over an average 6 years of follow-up"
  • Serum Creatinine and Prostate Cancer Risk in a Prospective Study - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Sep 15 - "Cases had significantly higher prediagnostic serum creatinine concentrations compared with controls (medians of 1.13 versus 1.10 mg/dL, respectively; P = 0.004). Serum creatinine was associated with a significantly greater risk of prostate cancer (multivariate odds ratio, 2.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.33-3.75 for highest versus lowest quartile), with a significant trend (P trend = 0.0008)"