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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 3/11/15:

Note:  I'm still not getting any significant abstracts in my RSS feeds.   This has happened several times in the past but not for this long.  Then when they start again I get thousands per day for several weeks.  In the meantime I've gone to every two weeks on the newsletter.

New class of drugs dramatically increases healthy lifespan, mouse study suggests - Science Daily, 3/9/15 - "like cancer cells, senescent cells have increased expression of "pro-survival networks" that help them resist apoptosis or programmed cell death. This finding provided key criteria to search for potential drug candidates ... Using these criteria, the team homed in on two available compounds -- the cancer drug dasatinib (sold under the trade name Sprycel®) and quercetin, a natural compound sold as a supplement that acts as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory ... The two compounds had different strong points. Dasatinib eliminated senescent human fat cell progenitors, while quercetin was more effective against senescent human endothelial cells and mouse bone marrow stem cells. A combination of the two was most effective overall ... In animal models, the compounds improved cardiovascular function and exercise endurance, reduced osteoporosis and frailty, and extended healthspan" - See quercetin at Amazon.com.

Letrozole is a promising new treatment of male infertility - Science Daily, 3/7/14 - "Some recently published studies have suggested that in men with obesity-related low testosterone, a low dose of letrozole can normalize testosterone levels ... Doctors think obesity can cause infertility in men because excess fat results in too much estrogen. The body's aromatase enzyme, which is more prevalent in fat, converts androgens (male hormones, such as testosterone) into estrogen. Letrozole inhibits this action of aromatase ... The men received a 2.5-milligram letrozole pill every week" - Note: I've been taking a quarter tablet every other day for years but it's becoming harder and harder to find it without a prescription even among overseas pharmacies.  Click here for one place but I've been using the Fempro brand.

Onion extract may improve high blood sugar and cholesterol - Science Daily, 3/6/15 - "Two doses of onion extract, 400 and 600 mg/kg/day, strongly reduced fasting blood sugar levels in diabetic rats by 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively, compared with "baseline" levels at the start of the study before the rodents received onion extract" - Note:  That's a huge amount.  70 kilograms is about 150 pounds.  So 70 * 600 = 42,000.  In any case, see onion extract at Amazon.com.

Gut microbial mix relates to stages of blood sugar control - Science Daily, 3/5/15 - "men whose blood sugar control stayed normal over the year had more gut bacteria that are considered beneficial for metabolic health, whereas those who stayed prediabetic had fewer beneficial bacteria and more harmful bacteria ... she said it is possible that changing one's gut bacteria could prevent diabetes" - See  probiotic products at Amazon.com and prebiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Oxytocin nasal spray causes men to eat fewer calories - Science Daily, 3/5/15 - "On average, the men ate 122 fewer calories and 9 grams less fat at the meal after they received oxytocin nasal spray compared with placebo ... Oxytocin also reportedly increased the use of body fat as a fuel for energy. There were no serious side effects and no difference in side effects between oxytocin and placebo ... Because oxytocin has sex-specific effects, it needs to be studied in women" - See Oxy Pro (Oxytocin) Nasal Spray at International Anti-aging Systems.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Stem Further Damage After Heart Attack - WebMD, 3/4/15 - "374 heart attack survivors who received standard treatment and took either a 4-gram prescription-only dose of omega-3 fatty acids each day or a placebo ... patients taking the omega-3 capsules had lower levels of inflammation and were 39 percent less likely to show deterioration of heart function. There was also less thickening or scarring of the areas of the heart that were not directly damaged during the heart attack"  - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.

Oxytocin may enhance social function in psychiatric disorders - Science Daily, 3/4/15 - "a simple injection of the melanocortin drug quickly induced a pair bond in male and female prairie voles without mating, and that bond lasted long after the drug wore away. The researchers also showed the same drug activated oxytocin cells so the cells released oxytocin directly into the brain's reward centers responsible for generating bonds ... Young believes this new found ability to induce an enduring bond in voles means the drug can also enhance attention to and learning from social information in people who have social disorders ... Imagine a drug that could induce the social attention and motivation a mother feels when nursing her infant or the bond between new lovers. This is exactly what we have shown in our latest oxytocin-related research and the chemical's viability to be a therapeutic target for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia" - See Oxy Pro (Oxytocin) Nasal Spray at International Anti-aging Systems.

Love Coffee? Your Heart May, Too - WebMD, 3/3/15 - "drinking three to five cups a day was associated with less calcium build-up in the arteries ... Coffee contains more than 1,000 chemicals, including antioxidants that may be contributing to the health benefits"

Marijuana: The allergen you never knew existed - Science Daily, 3/3/15 - "Included in the article is information on case reports regarding episodes of allergic reactions, hypersensitivity and even anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to cannabis in its various forms. Among other things, cannabis pollen or cannabis smoke exposure has resulted in symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) conjunctivitis and asthma. Allergic asthma triggered by seasonal and occupational exposure to cannabis has also been reported" - Note:  It seems like every week another negative study comes out on marijuana.

Lycopene may ward off kidney cancer in older women - Science Daily, 3/2/15 - "after analyzing data from 96,196 women nationwide and in Detroit who enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative from 1993 to 1998 and were followed through July 2013 ... Compared with women who reported a lower intake of lycopene, those who ingested more had a 39 percent lower risk. No other micronutrient was significantly associated with the same risk" - See Jarrow Lyco-Sorb (contains Lyco-O-Mato) at Amazon.com.

Licorice manufacturers encouraged to state daily limit of consumption - Science Daily, 3/2/15 - "The boy also complained of a bad headache and had high blood pressure ... he had been eating at least 20 licorice sweets each day for the past four months. This resulted in the consumption of 2.88 mg/kg of glycyrrhizic acid (one of the active ingredients of licorice), well above the World Health Organization's recommended maximum of 2 mg/kg"

  • Glycyrrhizic acid in liquorice--evaluation of health hazard - Food Chem Toxicol. 1993 Apr;31(4):303-12 - "Glycyrrhizic acid is hydrolysed in the intestine to the pharmacologically active compound glycyrrhetic acid, which inhibits the enzyme 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (in the direction of cortisol to cortisone) as well as some other enzymes involved in the metabolism of corticosteroids. Inhibition of 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase leads to increased cortisol levels in the kidneys and in other mineralocorticoid-selective tissues"

5% Minoxidil: Treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss - Medscape, 2/26/15 - "Recent Phase III clinical trials demonstrated the efficacy of once daily 5% minoxidil foam for treatment of FPHL, where a significant change from baseline in the target area hair count was observed compared to placebo" - See Rogaine at Amazon.com.

Plant chemicals may prevent liver damage caused by fat accumulated during menopause - Science Daily, 2/25/15 - "The plant compounds used by the UGA researchers--resveratrol, found in grapes; genistein, found in soybeans; and quercetin, found in apple peels and onions--have all been shown in previous studies to be fat-busters, causing fat cells to burst and release their contents ... it's nearly impossible to get enough of any of these compounds through food or supplements to gain any benefit. However, she said, together they have a synergistic effect that "cuts the doses you need." ... While the treatment did not cause the animals ingesting the compounds to lose weight overall, the researchers saw that visceral fat layers were decreased" - Note: Visceral fat (abdominal fat) is what most primarily want to reduce. - See ReserveAge Resveratrol Vegetarian Capsules, 500 Mg, 60-Count at Amazon.com.

Experts criticize 'inaccurate' view that B Vitamins have no role in Alzheimer's disease prevention - Science Daily, 2/25/15 - "the analysis of previous clinical trial data published last year cast no doubt whatsoever on the potential of folic acid and vitamin B-12 to prevent dementia, and that the lead author's comments were 'unjustified and misleading' ... taking B vitamins lowers blood levels of a molecule (homocysteine), which in high concentrations acts as a potent risk factor for dementia"

Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D may control brain serotonin, affecting behavior and psychiatric disorders - Science Daily, 2/25/15 - "Serotonin affects a wide-range of cognitive functions and behaviors including mood, decision-making, social behavior, impulsive behavior, and even plays a role in social decision-making by keeping in check aggressive social responses or impulsive behavior ... Many clinical disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression share as a unifying attribute low brain serotonin ... This publication suggests that optimizing intakes of vitamin D, EPA, and DHA would optimize brain serotonin concentrations and function, possibly preventing and ameliorating some of the symptoms associated with these disorders without side effects" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com, Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com and vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Abstracts from this week:

Effects of α-lipoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in overweight and obese women during weight loss - Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Feb;23(2):313-21 - "This is a short-term double-blind placebo-controlled study with parallel design that lasted 10 weeks. Of the randomized participants, 97 women received the allocated treatment [Control, EPA (1.3 g/d), α-lipoic acid (0.3 g/d), and EPA + α-lipoic acid (1.3 g/d + 0.3 g/d)], and 77 volunteers completed the study. All groups followed an energy-restricted diet of 30% less than total energy expenditure ... Body weight loss was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in those groups supplemented with α-lipoic acid. EPA supplementation significantly attenuated (P < 0.001) the decrease in leptin levels that occurs during weight loss" - [Nutra USA] - Note:  The difference in weight loss was 1.3 kg (2.9 pounds) over ten weeks.  See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com and alpha lipoic acid products at Amazon.com.

Health Focus (Weight Management).