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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 5/20/15

Omega-3 fatty acids enhance cognitive flexibility in at-risk older adults - Science Daily, 5/19/15 - "those who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids did better than their peers on tests of cognitive flexibility -- the ability to efficiently switch between tasks -- and had a bigger anterior cingulate cortex, a brain region known to contribute to cognitive flexibility" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.

Smoking marijuana may cause early puberty and stunts growth in boys - Science Daily, 5/18/15 - "Levels of puberty-related hormones such as testosterone and luteinising hormone (LH) were increased in the marijuana smokers. In contrast, growth hormone levels were decreased in this group. It was also found that non-smoking boys were on average 4 kg heavier and 4.6 inches taller by the age of 20 than the marijuana smokers ... marijuana smokers have significantly higher levels of cortisol than non-smokers ... marijuana use may provoke a stress response that stimulates onset of puberty but suppresses growth rate"

Vitamin D Supplementation for Pain - Medscape, 5/19/15 - "Between 50% and 80% of patients in U.S. healthcare facilities are deficient in vitamin D. Although many foods and drinks are fortified with supplementary vitamin D, the amounts are often insufficient for normal serum concentrations. Although research has demonstrated mixed results regarding pain incidence and serum vitamin D concentrations, observational and prospective studies suggest that correction of vitamin D concentrations may decrease pain of multiple origins. Vitamin D supplementation in patients with low serum concentrations may be an easy and safe way to decrease pain occurrences" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Half hour of physical activity 6 days a week linked to 40 percent lower risk of early death - Science Daily, 5/15/15 - "The more time spent doing vigorous exercise the lower the risk seemed to be, falling by between 36% and 49% ... And men who regularly engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity during their leisure time lived five years longer, on average, than those who were classified as sedentary ... Overall, these showed that 30 minutes of physical activity--of light or vigorous intensity--6 days a week was associated with a 40% lower risk of death from any cause"

Omega-3: Intervention for childhood behavioral problems? - Science Daily, 5/15/15 - "One hundred children, aged 8 to 16, would each receive a drink containing a gram of omega-3 once a day for six months, matched with 100 children who received the same drink without the supplement ... what was particularly interesting was what was happening at 12 months. The control group returned to the baseline while the omega-3 group continued to go down. In the end, we saw a 42 percent reduction in scores on externalizing behavior and 62 percent reduction in internalizing behavior" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.

Reducing Belly Fat - NYTimes.com, 5/15/15 - "The good news about fighting visceral fat is that it seems to be uniquely vulnerable to exercise. “Exercise disproportionately targets visceral fat,” says Gary R. Hunter, a professor of human studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Cutting calories should also reduce visceral flab, he said, but the effects are more substantial and lasting with exercise ... sedentary women who began a yearlong program of moderate exercise twice a week lost about 2 percent of their total body fat, he said. But they lost about 10 percent of their visceral fat ... While some studies suggest that endurance training, such as walking or jogging, is more effective than weight training, a comprehensive 2013 review concluded that programs combining aerobic exercise and occasional sessions of weight training were superior to either type of exercise alone at reducing belly fat ... One exercise that will not slim your belly is the situp, despite entrenched beliefs to the contrary"

Testosterone Therapy and Mortality Risk - Medscape, 5/14/15 - "There appears to be no change in mortality risk overall for men utilizing long-term testosterone therapy"

The Great Pot Experiment - Time, 5/14/15 - "So she mated her rats, but only after she had waited a month to make sure the drug was no longer in their system. She raised the offspring, along with another group of rats that shared the same life experiences except for the THC ... The rats with drug-using parents pushed the lever more than twice as much. They wanted the heroin more ... This data tells us we are passing on more things that happen during our lifetimes to our kids and grandkids ... She is also continuing to study the behavior of rats whose only exposure to marijuana’s active ingredients came through the DNA passed on to them from their parents or grandparents. That research suggests that THC may have epigenetic effects, which have been found in other drugs like cocaine and heroin, changing the way genes express themselves in the brains of offspring"

Vitamin D Derivative Reduces Risk for Further Skin Cancer - Medscape, 5/13/15 - "patients who took nicotinamide 500 mg twice daily for 1 year showed a 23% reduction in new diagnoses of nonmelanoma skin cancer, compared with those who took placebo (P = .02). Specifically, new diagnoses of basal cell carcinoma were reduced by 20%, squamous cell carcinoma by 30%, and actinic keratoses by 13%" - [nbcnews.com] - See nicotinamide at Amazon.com.  If you're already taking niacin to increase HDL, you might be covered.  See:

  • What Is the Difference Between Niacin & Niacinamide? - LiveStrong.com - "Your body can convert niacin into niacinamide ... Niacin and niacinamide have identical function when used as vitamins ... their pharmacologic properties differ. For example, high doses of niacin can cause skin flushing. Niacinamide, however, does not have the same vasodialating, or blood-vessel widening, effects, that niacin has, so it does not lead to skin flushing" - Note:  You'll find contradictory information on the Internet but niacinamide will not raise HDL and niacin will.  See niacin at Amazon.com.

Abstracts from this week:

Curcumin inhibits cancer stem cell phenotypes in ex vivo models of colorectal liver metastases, and is clinically safe and tolerable in combination with FOLFOX chemotherapy - Cancer Lett. 2015 May 12 - "Here, we utilised patient-derived colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) to assess whether curcumin may provide added benefit over 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) in cancer stem cell (CSC) models ... Curcumin alone and in combination, significantly reduced spheroid number in CRLM CSC models, and decreased the number of cells with high aldehyde dehydrogenase activity (ALDH(high)/CD133(-)). Addition of curcumin to oxaliplatin/5-FU enhanced anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in a proportion of patient-derived explants, whilst reducing expression of stem cell-associated markers ALDH and CD133" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk of head and neck cancer: A case-control analysis - Int J Cancer. 2015 May 13 - "Aspirin or NSAID use overall did not significantly change the HNC risk. However, patients with six or more prescriptions for ibuprofen were at a statistically significantly reduced risk for HNC (adjusted OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.37-0.94)"

One Egg per Day Improves Inflammation when Compared to an Oatmeal-Based Breakfast without Increasing Other Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Diabetic Patients - Nutrients. 2015 May 11;7(5):3449-63 - "Twenty-nine subjects, 35-65 years with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) values <9% were recruited and randomly allocated to consume isocaloric breakfasts containing either one egg/day or 40 g of oatmeal with 472 mL of lactose-free milk/day for five weeks ... after adjusting for gender, age and body mass index, aspartate amino-transferase (AST) (p < 0.05) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α (p < 0.01), one of our primary endpoints were significantly reduced during the egg period. These results suggest that compared to an oatmeal-based breakfast, eggs do not have any detrimental effects on lipoprotein or glucose metabolism in T2DM. In contrast, eggs reduce AST and TNF-α in this population characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation"

Arterial stiffness in periodontitis patients and controls - J Hum Hypertens. 2015 May 14 - "Increased arterial stiffness (AS) is an important indicator for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACVD) ... Periodontitis patients showed a significantly increased PWV compared with the reference group (8.01±0.20 vs 7.36±0.22 m s-1 respectively; P=0.029) and this remained significant after adjustments for ACVD risk factors (P=0.019). After periodontal therapy, no significant reduction in PWV was seen (8.00±1.8 to 7.82±1.6 m s-1; P=0.13), but systolic blood pressure (SBP) was significantly reduced (119.8±14.6 to 116.9±15.1 mm Hg; P=0.040). It can be concluded that periodontitis is associated with increased AS"

Effect of Sulforaphane in Men with Biochemical Recurrence after Radical Prostatectomy - Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2015 May 12 - "Since the phytochemical sulforaphane (SF) has been studied extensively as an anticancer agent, we performed a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter trial with SF in 78 patients (mean age 69±6 years) with rising PSA levels after radical prostatectomy. Treatment comprised daily oral administration of 60 mg of a stabilized free SF for 6 months (M0 to M6) followed by 2 months without treatment (M6 to M8) ... Mean changes in PSA levels between M6 and M0 were significantly lower in the SF group (+0.099 ± 0.341 ng/ml) compared with placebo (+0.620 ± 1.417 ng/ml; p = 0.0433). PSA doubling time was 86% longer in the SF than in the placebo group (28.9 and 15.5 months, respectively). PSA increases >20% at M6 were significantly greater in the placebo group (71.8%) than in the SF group (44.4%); p=0.0163. Compliance and tolerance were very good. SF effects were prominent within 3 months of intervention (M3 to M6)" - See sulforaphane at Amazon.com.

Rosiglitazone Treatment and Cardiovascular Disease in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial - Diabetes Obes Metab. 2015 May 11 - "Both daily doses of rosiglitazone were associated with lower risk for the primary composite CV outcome (HR 0.63; 95% CI 0.49-0.81 and HR 0.60; 95% CI 0.49-0.75, respectively) after adjusting for demographic and clinical covariates. A reduction of CV death was also observed (HR 0.25, p < 0.001, for both 4 and 8 mg/day rosiglitazone), however the effect on MI was less evident for 8 mg/day and not significant for 4 mg/day" - Note:  Rosiglitazone was the diabetes drug that they claimed several years ago increased cardiovascular disease.   Some studies after that contradicted that finding.  See my rosiglitazone page.

Probiotics as beneficial agents on the management of diabetes mellitus: a systematic review - Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2015 May 11 - "We found that probiotics have beneficial effects on glycemic controls, as all human studies showed significant reductions in at least one of the primary outcome endpoints which were the levels of fasting plasma glucose, postprandial blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, insulin, insulin resistance and onset of diabetes; similarly, all the animal reports, except for two, documented significant changes in these parameters" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Memory and executive functions in persons with type-2 diabetes, a meta-analysis - Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2015 May 10 - "The meta-analysis revealed a detrimental effect of T2DM on cognitive sub domains namely episodic memory and cognitive flexibility. There was a trend for the logical memory, phonemic fluency and processing speed to be affected. The analysis indicates that T2DM is a detrimental factor on certain cognitive sub-domains, rendering the person vulnerable to subsequent dementia" - See my Insulin and aging page.  It's linked to a lot of problems.

Course and Predictors of Cognitive Function in Patients With Prostate Cancer Receiving Androgen-Deprivation Therapy: A Controlled Comparison - J Clin Oncol. 2015 May 11 - "Men treated with ADT were more likely to demonstrate impaired cognitive performance within 6 months after starting ADT relative to matched controls and to continue to do so within 12 months after starting ADT" 

Health Focus (HDL Cholesterol):