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Recent Longevity News for the two weeks ending 2/25/15

I held off a week for lack of news.  One problem was that there were no abstracts.  NIH was having a problem with their system and it was generating duplicates into their RSS feeds.  I think they shut it down the fix it.  I started getting a few abstracts again this morning after about a ten day lull.

Acute use of cannabinoids depresses motor neuron activity - Science Daily, 2/23/15 - "cannabinoids hinder the transmission of information between neurons." A consequence of this fact is, for example, that muscular weakness is produced as "the motor neuron, that is the one that gives the order to the muscle to contract, sees its activity reduced which, as a consequence, would weaken the strength of the muscle contraction," as doctor Moreno points out. All of this could lead to problems speaking, breathing and even swallowing food"

More Support for Causal Link Between Marijuana and Stroke - Medscape, 2/20/15 - "81% of cases exhibited a temporal relationship with cannabis use and the index event; the patient sustained a stroke within 24 hours of using cannabis ... In 70%, the evaluation was sufficiently comprehensive to exclude other sources for stroke"

New Diet Proposals: Eat Your Veggies, Have Some Coffee - NBC News, 2/19/15 - "Previously, the dietary guidelines for Americans recommended that cholesterol intake be limited to no more than 300 mg a day ... The new report is dropping that recommendation ... Available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol ... Cholesterol itself is not found in very many foods -- mostly egg yolks, liver, and crustaceans such as shrimp and crab ... Many foods can and do raise cholesterol and they should be limited. They include saturated fat, including the fat found in meat and dairy products as well as palm oil"

Licorice extract protects the skin from UV-induced stress - Science Daily, 2/18/15 - "the antioxidant active Licochalcone A, which is the main component of the root extract of the plant Glycyrrhiza inflata (Chinese Licorice), is able to protect the skin from subsequent UV irradiation damage from within by strengthening the skin's own defense systems. Thus plant extracts with the described profile are able to provide a protective shield from sun exposure supporting and going beyond the action of sunscreens regarding sun protection" - Note:  I'd be more worried about it increasing cortisol though.

Childhood Vitamin D Levels Linked to Later Atherosclerosis - Medscape, 2/18/15 - "low 25-hydroxy (25-OH) vitamin-D levels in childhood are associated with increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) almost 30 years later, particularly in females" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

'Skunk-like cannabis' increases risk of psychosis, study suggests - BBC News, 2/16/15 - "Scientists found the risk of psychosis was five times higher for those who use it every day compared with non-users ... Psychosis refers to delusions or hallucinations that can be present in certain psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder ... the availability of skunk-like cannabis was becoming more widespread ... In London, it's very difficult to find anything else ... Someone suffering from psychosis would often be "extremely paranoid and become very suspicious" about the people around them" - [Time Magazine]

Psychosocial Outcomes After Tadalafil or Sildenafil for ED: Conclusions - Medscape, 2/16/15 - "Patients initiating ED treatment with tadalafil OaD or tadalafil PRN reported greater improvement in Sexual Self-Confidence and Spontaneity (PAIRS) compared with patients starting with sildenafil PRN. Patients on sildenafil or tadalafil PRN treatment showed larger improvements in the IIEF sexual intercourse satisfaction domain, possibly due to a higher number of intercourse attempts. There were no significant treatment differences regarding improvement of IIEF-EF, orgasmic function, overall satisfaction domains, SEAR or EDITS in all three treatment groups. When initiating ED treatment, the different treatment options should be offered for participative decision-making, to optimize psychological benefit and treatment satisfaction for each patient"

Smoking Linked to Damage in the Brain, Researchers Find - WebMD, 2/13/15 - "Brain scans revealed that current and former smokers had a thinner cortex than those who never smoked. The cortex is where important thought processes such as memory, language and perception occur ... The researchers also found that stopping smoking leads to partial restoration of the cortex's thickness, but the process is slow and incomplete. Heavy ex-smokers who hadn't smoked for more than 25 years still had a thinner cortex than nonsmokers"

Marijuana use is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness in adolescents - Science Daily, 3/23/25 - "43 percent of children with urine drug screens positive for marijuana actually had test results consistent with narcolepsy or abnormal REM sleep patterns" - Note:  It's just one more item to add to the long list of problems such as male breasts and other hormonal problems, DNA damage that's passed on to the unborn child, lower IQ and other brain damage, increased schizophrenia, increased depression, lack of motivation, increased anxiety, increase bipolar disorder, etc.  As far as medical use for pain, I'm seen more promising studies for cherry juice.

Low Vitamin D in Childhood Linked to Later Heart Risks - NYTimes.com, 2/10/15 - "A vitamin D level of between 30 to 50 is generally considered adequate. Children in the lowest one-quarter for vitamin D levels, about 15 nanograms per milliliter, were nearly twice as likely to have thickening of the carotid artery as those in the other three quarters" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Significant link between cannabis use and onset of mania symptoms - Science Daily, 2/10/15 - "Mania can also make people feel angry and aggressive with extreme symptoms including becoming delusional or hearing voices ... cannabis use significantly worsened mania symptoms in people who had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder ... Cannabis is the most prevalent drug used by the under-18s and during this critical period of development services should be especially aware of and responsive to the problems that cannabis use can cause for adolescent populations"

Abstracts from this week:

Lutein supplementation leads to decreased soluble complement membrane attack complex sC5b-9 plasma levels - Acta Ophthalmol. 2015 Mar;93(2):141-5 - "All subjects were randomly assigned to receive a 10 mg daily dose of lutein or a placebo for a time period of 1 year ... Lutein supplementation inhibits the systemic activation of the complement system, which provides further functional evidence for the reported beneficial effects of this carotenoid in the management of AMD" - [Nutra USA] - See lutein at Amazon.com.  I'm still sticking with mixed carotenoids.  See Jarrow Formulas, CarotenALL at Amazon.com or Garden of Life, Radical Fruits Antioxidant Complex at Amazon.com.

Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women: double-blind randomised clinical trial - Thromb Haemost. 2015 Feb 19 - "Healthy postmenopausal women (n=244) received either placebo (n=124) or MK-7 (n=120) for three years ... In conclusion, long-term use of MK-7 supplements improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women, especially in women having a high arterial stiffness" - [Nutra USA] - See MK-7 at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

TCP RLR301050ND LED BR30 - 65 Watt Equivalent (8.5W) Daylight (5000K) Flood Light Bulb - For 8.5 watts/65 watt equivalent, this LED bulb puts out a lot of light (at least for recessed fixtures). I think it's a combo of a good color rendering index (which can make bulbs appear brighter than they are), the fact that it extends to the end of the recessed fixture, the fact that it's projected downward (half the light is not going to the sides and being wasted) and it's got a high (daylight) Kelvin. Seems like it's twice as bright as the 23 watt/100 watt equivalent CFL next to it

Pioneer SP-EFS73 review - CNET, 2/13/15 - "The Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73-LR is, hands down, the very best-sounding bookshelf/surround speaker we've heard in its price class" - See Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73 Dolby Atmos-enabled Andrew Jones Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) at Amazon.com.

Health Focus (Iron):