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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 2/3/16

BPA-free plastic alternatives may not be safe as you think - CNN, 2/1/16- "The most common replacement is BPS (Bisphenol S) ... In a 2013 study, Texas researchers found that as little as one part per trillion of BPS could interfere with the normal functioning of a cell, in some cases leading to cell death. Another study of zebrafish, out of Canada, found BPA accelerated neural cell growth by 180% for fish exposed to extremely low levels; it was even worse for BPS -- neural growth exploded 240%. As adults, the fish exposed to both chemicals showed significant signs of hyperactivity ... This is a classic case of 'regrettable substitution' in which the replacement chemical is as toxic as the chemical it was replacing" - [Science Daily]

Could Cocoa Flavanols Improve Heart Health? - Medscape, 1/28/16 - "There are now several small-scale randomized clinical trials demonstrating that the cocoa flavanols in amounts ranging between 400 and 900 mg/day may favorably affect several mechanisms and pathways that are related to cardiovascular disease prevention. And this includes effects on improving flow-mediated vasodilatation, lowering blood pressure, improving glucose tolerance, decreasing inflammation, and even slowing cognitive decline and age-related memory loss ... While waiting for the results of this trial, which may take another 4 years, it's important to understand that chocolate and cocoa flavanols are not synonymous and that chocolate actually provides highly variable amounts of the cocoa flavanols; it will depend on the harvesting and processing of the cocoa. And there are many forms of chocolate that are high in sugar, saturated fat, and calories and provide minimal—if any—cocoa flavanols" - See Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Squares, Midnight Reverie, 4.12 oz., 86% Cacao (Pack of 4) at Amazon.com.

Abstracts from this week:

B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy-A Review - Nutrients. 2016 Jan 27;8(2) - "human epidemiological and controlled trial investigations, and the resultant scientific commentary, have focused almost exclusively on the small sub-set of vitamins (B₉/B12/B₆) that are the most prominent (but not the exclusive) B-vitamins involved in homocysteine metabolism. Scant regard has been paid to the other B vitamins. This review describes the closely inter-related functions of the eight B-vitamins and marshals evidence suggesting that adequate levels of all members of this group of micronutrients are essential for optimal physiological and neurological functioning. Furthermore, evidence from human research clearly shows both that a significant proportion of the populations of developed countries suffer from deficiencies or insufficiencies in one or more of this group of vitamins, and that, in the absence of an optimal diet, administration of the entire B-vitamin group, rather than a small sub-set, at doses greatly in excess of the current governmental recommendations, would be a rational approach for preserving brain health"

Sulforaphane exerts its anti-inflammatory effect against amyloid-β peptide via STAT-1 dephosphorylation and activation of Nrf2/HO-1 cascade in human THP-1 macrophages - Neurobiol Aging. 2016 Feb;38:1-10 - "Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide, accounting for most cases of dementia in elderly individuals, and effective therapies are still lacking. This study was designed to investigate the anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane against Aβ1-42 monomers in human THP-1 microglia-like cells. The results showed that sulforaphane preferentially inhibited cathepsin B- and caspase-1-dependent NLRP3 inflammasome activation induced by mostly Aβ1-42 monomers, an effect that potently reduced excessive secretion of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) ... These findings suggest that the phytochemical sulforaphane has a potential application in AD therapeutics" - See sulforaphane at Amazon.com.

Pharmacodynamic Effects of Low-Dose Pioglitazone in Patients with the Metabolic Syndrome without Diabetes Mellitus - Pharmacotherapy. 2016 Jan 29 - "Patients were randomly assigned to receive oral pioglitazone 7.5 mg daily or matching placebo for 8 weeks ... high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin ... Pioglitazone was associated with a significant increase in plasma HMW adiponectin level from baseline to week 8 compared with placebo (+47% vs -10%, p<0.001). Insulin sensitivity increased significantly from baseline to week 8 in the pioglitazone group (+88%, p=0.02) but not in the placebo group (+15%, p=0.14)" - Note:  I've been taking pioglitazone for years for anti-aging.

Mechanisms by which Cocoa Flavanols Improve Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders - J Nut Bio 2015 Dec 008 - "Flavanols may antagonize digestive enzymes and glucose transporters, causing a reduction in glucose excursion, which helps patients with metabolic disorders maintain glucose homeostasis. Unabsorbed flavanols, and ones that undergo enterohepatic recycling, will proceed to the colon where they can exert prebiotic effects on the gut microbiota. Interactions with the gut microbiota may improve gut barrier function, resulting in attenuated endotoxin absorption. Cocoa may also positively influence insulin signaling, possibly by relieving insulin-signaling pathways from oxidative stress and inflammation and/or via a heightened incretin response" - [Nutra USA] - See Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Squares, Midnight Reverie, 4.12 oz., 86% Cacao (Pack of 4) at Amazon.com.

Passiflora incarnata L. Improves Spatial Memory, Reduces Stress, and Affects Neurotransmission in Rats - Phytother Res. 2016 Jan 27 - "Passiflora incarnata L. has been used as a medicinal plant in South America and Europe since the 16th century. Previous pharmacological studies focused mainly on the plant's sedative, anxiolytic, and anticonvulsant effects on the central nervous system and its supporting role in the treatment of addiction ... We observed reduced anxiety and dose-dependent improvement of memory in rats given passionflower compared to the control group" - See passion flower at Amazon.com.

SIRT3-AMPK Activation by Nitrite and Metformin Improves Hyperglycemia and Normalizes Pulmonary Hypertension Associated with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (PH-HFpEF) - Circulation. 2016 Jan 26 - "These studies validate a rodent model of metabolic syndrome and PH-HFpEF, suggesting a potential role of nitrite and metformin as a preventative treatment for this disease" - See metformin at IAS.

Effects of G.H.3. On mental symptoms and health-related quality of life among older adults: results of a three-month follow-Up study in Shanghai, China - Nutr J. 2016 Jan 26;15(1):9 - "After the 12-week intervention, the scores of role-physical (RP), bodily pain (BP), general health (GH), vitality (VT), mental health (MH) and health transition (HT), mental composite score (MCS) of the G.H.3. group were higher than the placebo group ... the prevalence rate of clinical anxiety concerns in the G.H.3. group was 2.1 %, which was significantly lower than the placebo group, 22.0 % ... Preliminarily use of G.H.3. shows positive effects in supporting mental health and improving general health and well-being while promoting the recovery of cognitive function among older adults. Most of SF-36 domains including PF, RP, BP, GH, VT, RE, MH, and HT, as well as the overall quality of life in MCS might benefit from taking G.H.3. tablets. Average levels of low moods and anxiety concerns were both reduced and the prevalence rate of clinical anxiety concerns were reduced" - See GH3 at International Anti-aging Systems.

Consumption of Dairy Products and Cognitive Functioning: Findings from the SU.VI.MAX 2 Study - J Nutr Health Aging. 2016;20(2):128-137 - "Total dairy product consumption was not associated with cognitive function. However, milk intake was negatively associated with verbal memory performance: mean difference T3 versus T1= -0.99 (-1.83, -0.15). Among women, consuming more than the recommended amount of dairy was negatively associated with working memory performance: excess versus adequate = -1.52"

Fish Oil Supplementation Increases Event-Related Posterior Cingulate Activation in Older Adults with Subjective Memory Impairment - J Nutr Health Aging. 2016;20(2):161-169 - "cortical blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) ... INTERVENTION: Fish oil (EPA+DHA: 2.4 g/d, n=11) or placebo (corn oil, n=10) for 24 weeks ... Dietary fish oil supplementation increases red blood cell omega-3 content, working memory performance, and BOLD signal in the posterior cingulate cortex during greater working memory load in older adults with subjective memory impairment suggesting enhanced neuronal response to working memory challenge" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.

Docosahexaenoic Acid Ameliorates Fructose-Induced Hepatic Steatosis Involving ER Stress Response in Primary Mouse Hepatocytes - Nutrients. 2016 Jan 20;8(1) - "The present results suggest that DHA protects against high fructose-induced hepatocellular lipid accumulation. The current findings also suggest that alleviating the ER stress response seems to play a role in the prevention of fructose-induced hepatic steatosis by DHA" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Health Focus (Apple Cider Vinegar):