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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 10/9/13.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Healthy Eating and Risk for Pancreatic Cancer - Medscape, 10/4/13 - "We calculated the HEI-2005 score for 537 218 men and women in the National Institutes of Health–American Association of Retired Persons Diet and Health Study using responses to food frequency questionnaires returned in 1995 and 1996 ... We identified 2383 incident, exocrine pancreatic cancer cases (median = 10.5 years follow-up). Comparing participants who met the most dietary guidelines (Q5) with those who met the fewest guidelines (Q1), we observed a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer (HR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.74 to 0.97). Among men there was an interaction by body mass index (P interaction = .03), with a hazard ratio of 0.72 (95% CI = 0.59 to 0.88) comparing Q5 vs Q1 in overweight/obese men (body mass index ≥25kg/m2) but no association among normal weight men"

Too Many Antibiotics Still Prescribed for Sore Throats, Bronchitis: Studies - WebMD, 10/3/13 - "Antibiotics only work against bacterial infections, and yet they are prescribed at a rate of 60 percent for sore throats and 73 percent for bronchitis, conditions that are typically caused by viruses ... There's plenty of blame to go around ... It's a lot easier to write a prescription than to have a five-minute conversation about why antibiotics aren't necessary ... The vast majority of sore throats, and virtually all of bronchitis [cases], get better on its own ... This leads to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and when we do that we don't have the antibiotics when we need them because the body has developed resistance ... There is concern about antibiotic overuse causing super bugs and things we are not going to be able to treat down the line ... I think what's missing from the conversation is the fact that we are prescribing and people are taking a medicine that has nearly a zero chance of helping them and a very real chance of hurting them"

High-Dose Statins Reduce Gum Inflammation in Heart Disease Patients - Science Daily, 10/2/13 - "Periodontitis and atherosclerosis are both primarily driven by inflammation. These inflammatory conditions tend to co-exist within individuals and their biologies may be intertwined ... patients with heart disease or a high heart disease risk were assigned to take either an 80 mg statin or a 10 mg statin daily for 12 weeks ... The 59 patients included in the final analysis showed a significant reduction in gum inflammation after as few as four weeks of treatment with the high-dose statin. Interestingly, the improvement in gum inflammation tracked closely with improvement in atherosclerotic disease" - [Abstract]

Red Wine Chemical, Resveratrol, Remains Effective Against Cancer After the Body Converts It - Science Daily, 10/2/13 - "it had previously been thought that levels of the extracted chemical drop too quickly to make it usable in clinical trials ... Enzymes within cells are then able to break it down into resveratrol again -- meaning that levels of resveratrol in the cells are higher than was previously thought ... The study also showed that resveratrol generated from resveratrol sulfate is able to slow the growth of cancer cells by causing them to digest their own internal constituents and stopping them from dividing ... There is a lot of strong evidence from laboratory models that resveratrol can do a whole host of beneficial things -- from protecting against a variety of cancers and heart disease to extending lifespan" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

High blood sugar levels linked to increased wound complications after surgery - Science Daily, 10/2/13 - "The risk of serious wound complications is more than three times higher for patients who have high blood glucose before and after surgery, and in those with poor long-term diabetes control ... For example, wound dehiscence occurred in about 44 percent of patients who had high glucose levels before surgery, compared to 19 percent of those without preoperative hyperglycemia ... Patients with wide swings in blood glucose levels -- variation of more than 200 points -- were about four times more likely to undergo repeat surgery" - See my insulin and aging page.

Statin May Prevent Dementia, Memory Loss With Longer Use, Don't Pose Short-Term Cognition Problems - Science Daily, 10/1/13 - "statins do not affect short-term memory or cognition. In contrast, they say that when the drugs are taken for more than one year, the risk of dementia is reduced by 29 percent ... We looked at high-quality, randomized controlled trials and prospective studies that included more than 23,000 men and women with no prior history of cognitive problems. The participants in those studies were followed for up to 25 years ... Vascular dementia is caused by blockages in small blood vessels in the brain that prevent blood flow to certain areas. Medications such as statins that reduce plaque and inflammation in coronary arteries may also be having the same effect on blood vessels in the brain"

Blood-pressure drug may help improve cancer treatment - Science Daily, 10/1/13 - "the angiotensin inhibitor losartan improved the delivery of chemotherapy drugs and oxygen throughout tumors by increasing blood flow in mouse models of breast and pancreatic cancer ... Unlike anti-angiogenesis drugs, which improve tumor blood flow by repairing the abnormal structure of tumor blood vessels, angiotensin inhibitors open up those vessels by releasing physical forces that are applied to tumor blood vessels when the gel-like matrix surrounding them expands with tumor growth ... In models of breast and pancreatic cancer, treatment with losartan alone had little effect on tumor growth, but combining losartan with standard chemotherapy drugs delayed the growth of tumors and extended survival" - Note:  Telmisartan is in the same class of drugs.

My Dishwasher Is Trying to Kill Me: Extreme Conditions Suit Pathogenic Fungus - Science Daily, 10/1/13 - "The article focuses on the occurrence of potentially pathogenic fungal flora located in dishwashers, over a sample of private homes from 101 cities on 6 continents. 62% of the dishwashers contained fungi on the rubber band in door, 56% of which accommodated the polyextremotolerant black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis. Both Exophiala species showed remarkable tolerance to heat, high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and to both acid and alkaline water ... Exophiala dermatitidis is rarely isolated from nature, but is frequently encountered as an agent of human disease, both in compromised and healthy people. It is also known to be involved in pulmonary colonization of patients with cystic fibrosis, and also occasionally causes fatal infections in healthy humans"

Zinc discovery may shed light on Parkinson's, Alzheimer's - Science Daily, 9/30/13 - "If low zinc supply has the same effect on human cells as on yeast, zinc deficiency might contribute to human diseases that are associated with a build-up of "junked" proteins, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's" - See zinc 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):

Lipid-Lowering Drugs Associated With Slower Motor Decline in the Elderly Adults - J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Oct 4 - "We investigated the relationship between lipid-lowering drugs (LLDs) use and decline in walking speed (WS) in older adults ... 4,009 community-dwelling men and women, aged ≥65 years at baseline, are drawn from the Dijon (France) center of the Three-City study ... WS decline was 25% slower in LLDs users ... Fast WS declined less in those on LLDs, suggesting that the effect of LLDs, statins in particular, extend beyond that on cardiovascular disease in the elderly persons"

Statins and Cognition: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Short- and Long-term Cognitive Effects - Mayo Clin Proc. 2013 Sep 27 - "A systematic search was performed of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register from their inception to April 25, 2013 ... Long-term cognition studies included 23,443 patients with a mean exposure duration of 3 to 24.9 years. Three studies found no association between statin use and incident dementia, and 5 found a favorable effect. Pooled results revealed a 29% reduction in incident dementia in statin-treated patients"

Telmisartan Reduces Mortality and Left Ventricular Hypertrophy With Sympathoinhibition in Rats with Hypertension and Heart Failure - Am J Hypertens. 2013 Oct 5 - "telmisartan (TLM) ... reactive oxygen species (ROS) ... rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) ... stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSPs) ... candesartan cilexetil (CAN) ... Compared with the control group, TLM improved survival to a greater extent than CAN. At 4 weeks after treatment, ROS in the RVLM and uNE were significantly lower in the TLM-treated group than in the CAN-treated group, despite the similar depressor effects. At 8 weeks after the treatments, LVH and LVEDP were attenuated in the TLM-treated group compared with the CAN-treated group" - See my telmisartan as a first line treatment page.

Belief beyond the evidence: using the proposed effect of breakfast on obesity to show 2 practices that distort scientific evidence - Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep 4 - "research lacking probative value (RLPV) and biased research reporting (BRR) ... proposed effect of breakfast on obesity (PEBO) ... The belief in the PEBO exceeds the strength of scientific evidence. The scientific record is distorted by RLPV and BRR. RLPV is a suboptimal use of collective scientific resources" - Note:  So maybe eating breakfast doesn't help you lose weight.

Higher magnesium intake reduces risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism, and progression from prediabetes to diabetes in middle-aged Americans - Diabetes Care. 2013 Oct 2 - "In 2,582 community-dwelling participants 26-81 yrs old at baseline, magnesium intake and risk of incident "metabolic impairment," defined as impaired fasting glucose (≥5.6-<7.0 mmol/L), impaired glucose tolerance (2-hr postload glucose ≥7.8-<11.1 mmol/L), IR, or hyperinsulinemia (≥90th percentile of HOMA-IR or fasting insulin, respectively), was estimated among those with normal baseline status, and risk of incident diabetes was estimated among those with baseline metabolic impairment ... compared to those with the lowest magnesium intake, those with the highest intake had 37% lower risk of incident metabolic impairment (P trend=0.02), while in those with baseline metabolic impairment, higher intake was associated with 32% lower risk of incident diabetes (P trend=0.05). In the combined population, the risk in those with the highest intake was 53% (P trend=0.0004) of those with the lowest intake" - See Jarrow Formulas, MagMind, 90 Veggie Caps.

The effect of fermented red ginseng on depression is mediated by lipids - Nutr Neurosci. 2013 Oct 1 - "The cortico-limbic hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis has emerged as an important area for the cause and treatment of depression. The primary aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that hormones, energy sources, and minerals have a causal relationship with depression. The secondary aim was to test whether consumption of fermented red ginseng (FRG) would influence that causal relationship ... One group (49 women) was supplied with FRG capsules, and the other group (44 women) with placebo capsules, for 2 weeks. Both before and after the study, the participants filled out the Beck depression inventory questionnaire, and then blood samples were collected ... cognitive depression (CD) and somatic depression ... the effect of FRG consumption on CD occurred via the energy factor, which is mainly attributable to cholesterol" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.

Protective effect of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: Eicosapentaenoic acid/Docosahexaenoic acid 1:1 ratio on cardiovascular disease risk markers in rats - Lipids Health Dis. 2013 Oct 1;12(1):140 - "Female Wistar rats were fed for 13 weeks with 5 different dietary supplements of oils; 3 derived from fish (EPA/DHA ratios of 1:1, 2:1, 1:2) plus soybean and linseed as controls ... Our results showed that a diet of a 1:1 ratio of EPA/DHA improved many of the oxidative stress parameters (SOD and GPx in erythrocytes), plasma antioxidant capacity (ORAC) and cardiovascular risk factors (glycated haemoglobin) relative to the other diets" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Associations of serum n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids with echocardiographic measures among older adults: the Hoorn Study - Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct 2 - "left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ... the lowest eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid quartiles compared with the highest quartiles were cross-sectionally associated with lower LVEF. Lower eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid concentrations were associated with higher heart rate: 3.7 b.p.m. (1.5, 6.0; P for trend <0.001) and 3.4 b.p.m. (1.2, 5.6; P for trend 0.001), respectively. Multivariate longitudinal analyses showed a significant trend across quartiles for alpha-linolenic acid in relation to LVEF. The lowest linoleic acid quartile was significantly associated with a decreased LVEF of -4.0% compared with the highest quartile" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

  • Understanding Your Ejection Fraction - clevelandclinic.org - "Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is the measurement of how much blood is being pumped out of the left ventricle of the heart (the main pumping chamber) with each contraction"

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

Chemopreventive effect of quercetin, a natural dietary flavonoid on prostate cancer in in vivo model - Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep 3 - "the rats were divided into four groups; Group I: control (propylene glycol-vehicle), Group II: cancer-induced (MNU and Testosterone treated) rats, Group III: cancer-induced + Quercetin (200 mg/kg body wt/orally) and Group IV: Quercetin (200 mg/kg body wt) thrice a week ... Quercetin down regulates the cell survival, proliferative and anti-apoptotic proteins thereby prevents prostate cancer, by acting as a chemopreventive agent in preclinical model" - See quercetin at Amazon.com.

Long-term use of statins reduces the risk of hospitalization for dementia - Atherosclerosis. 2013 Oct;230(2):171-6 - "A population-based, nested case-control study was carried out by including the cohort of 152,729 patients from Lombardy (Italy) aged 40 years or older who were newly treated with statins between 2003 and 2004. Cases were the 1380 patients who experienced hospitalization for dementia disease from initial prescription until 2010 ... Compared with patients who had very short statins coverage (less than 6 months), those on 7-24, 25-48, and >48 months of coverage respectively had risk reductions of 15% (OR: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.74 to 0.98), 28% (OR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.61 to 0.85), and 25% (OR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.61 to 0.94). Simvastatin and atorvastatin were both associated with a reduced risk of dementia, while no similar evidence was observed for fluvastatin and pravastatin"

Dietary and supplemental antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient intakes and pulmonary function - Public Health Nutr. 2013 Sep 27:1-6 - "We investigated the associations of dietary and supplemental intakes of vitamins A, C, E and D, Se and n-3 PUFA with pulmonary function in a population-based study ... The findings support the roles of antioxidant vitamins and n-3 PUFA in the pulmonary health of older persons"

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

  • WD My Cloud review: A better, more secure alternative to cloud storage - PC World, 10/3/13 - "WD’s My Cloud delivers the best of both worlds. It’s a hard drive that connects to my home network, so it’s as secure as I can make it. But I can access it from the Internet—from a PC, smartphone, or tablet—just like a cloud service. And I can create user accounts with passwords to allow family, friends, and colleagues to access specific folders, so we can share information (or media) and collaborate. I can also transfer files between the My Cloud and cloud-storage services, such as Dropbox ... the My Cloud series is replacing the My Book line ... The 2TB model reviewed here goes for $150, and WD offers a 3TB model for $180 and a 4TB model for $250"  -
  • Lightbulb buying guide - CNET Reviews, 10/3/13 - "12-watt LED that puts out 800 lumens of light (lumens are units of brightness for a light source, more on that in just a bit) will add about a buck and a half per year to your power bill if you're using it for 3 hours a day at an energy rate of 11 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Under those same parameters, a 60-watt incandescent bulb that puts out 880 lumens will cost about seven and a half bucks per year ... LEDs are also rated to last for tens of thousands of hours, which can translate to decades of use. Compare that with the year or so you typically get out of an incandescent ... At a price of about $15, that 12-watt LED would pay for itself in 2.5 years, then keep on saving you money for years to come" - See LED light bulbs at Amazon.com.
  • Can MonoPrice's $84 five-speaker/subwoofer system outperform a sound bar? - CNET News, 10/6/13 - "The 8247 totally creams the $250 Vizio S4221 w-C4, or any sound bar, regardless of price on that score". See http://www.monoprice.com/Product/Index?p_id=8247 .  I've been buying cables, connectors, adapters and switches from monoprice for years.

Health Focus (Tinnitus):

Alternative News:

  • Preventing noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus in soldiers - Science Daily, 9/6/12 - "Antioxidants, dietary supplements and high-tech brain imaging are among some of the novel strategies that may help detect, treat and even prevent noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus among American troops ... Noise-induced hearing loss doesn't just impact a person's ability to hear; it can cause balance issues, make it difficult to sleep and communicate, and even raise the risk for heart disease by increasing a person's blood pressure, lipids and blood sugar ... Dr. Seidman will discuss the use of nutraceuticals, such as acetyl-l-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid and resveratrol ... a nutraceutical with a resveratrol-based component may possibly hold the potential to not only prevent, but reverse hearing loss in certain circumstances for soldiers. This research is based on animal models, but will soon be tested with humans" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.
  • Pine bark extract may relieve tinnitus symptoms: Study - Nutra USA, 10/14/10 - "Impaired blood flow to the ear is a common cause for tinnitus, a disturbing and very debilitating condition that can considerably impact overall health and quality of life ... both doses of Pycnogenol improved blood systolic and diastolic blood flow velocities from 14.3 and 4.22 cm/sec in the 100 mg per day group to 21.2 and 8.23 cm/sec, and from 13.2 and 3.2 cm/sec in the 150 mg per day group to 24.3 and 12.5 cm/sec, respectively ... In addition, the researchers used a Subjective Tinnitus Scale (STS) to evaluate the symptoms of tinnitus. Results showed a decrease from an average of 8.8 in the pine bark groups to 5.2 and 3.3 in the low and high dose groups, respectively" - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.
  • Zinc Reduces the Severity of Tinnitus - New Hope Natural Media, 4/17/03 - "The current study examined the prevalence of zinc deficiency and the effect of zinc therapy in people with tinnitus. Forty-one people with tinnitus participated in the study, and more than 31% of them were found to have zinc deficiency. All of the participants were randomly assigned to receive either 50 mg of zinc or placebo daily. At the end of two months, 46% of the people in the zinc group had clinical improvement, defined as a ten-decibel or greater decrease in loudness of tinnitus" - See iHerb zinc products.  Also, see my zinc page for reasons you should not take it without copper.

Other News: