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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 2/24/16

Can Eating Chocolate Improve Your Brain? - WebMD, 2/22/16 - "The researchers used a battery of tests to measure brain performance in people who ate chocolate regularly. They included tests of verbal memory, scanning and tracking, visual-spatial memory [which allows us to find our keys or remember the way home, for example] and organization, and abstract reasoning, including the ability to recall a list of words or remember where an object was placed ... The relationship between chocolate and better performance held up even when researchers took into account things like age, sex, education, cholesterol, blood pressure, and alcohol intake" - See Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Squares, Midnight Reverie, 4.12 oz., 86% Cacao (Pack of 4) at Amazon.com.

Benefits of taking the natural pigment astaxanthin - Science Daily, 2/22/16 - "ASX has a powerful antioxidant effect, and it holds promise as a next-generation natural supplement. ASX is capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier, entering the brain, where it acts directly on nerve cells. ASX is also known to have a neuroprotective effect in neurological animal disease model ... A research group led by University of Tsukuba Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences Professor Hideaki Soya and Professor Randeep Rakwal has investigated the effect on hippocampal function of the naturally-derived pigment ASX, which is believed to have the most powerful antioxidant activity among carotenoids. Their results showed for the first time that giving ASX to mice for four weeks promoted neurogenesis in the hippocampus in a concentration-dependent manner, and elevated the learning and memory capacity of the hippocampus" - See astaxanthin at Amazon.com.

Marijuana Use May Lead to Abuse of Other Substances - NBC News, 2/21/16 - "Based on national surveys three years apart, researchers found that adults who reported using pot in the first survey were two to nine times more likely to have a substance abuse problem by the time of the second survey ... These risks should be considered not only by patients and doctors, but also by policymakers in states where marijuana may be up for legalization for recreational or medical use"

Diabetes Drug May Help Prevent Second Stroke - WebMD, 2/17/16 - "Along with standard treatment after a stroke -- including blood thinners, and blood pressure and cholesterol medication -- the addition of Actos reduced the odds of another stroke by 24 percent compared to a placebo ... No one knows how Actos works to prevent stroke, Kernan said. The best guess is that the drug reduces inflammation, improves insulin resistance, helps manage fats in the body and "favorably affects the function of blood vessels,""

Marijuana smokers 5 times more likely to develop an alcohol problem - Science Daily, 2/17/16 - "The researchers analyzed data from 27,461 adults enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions who first used marijuana at a time when they had no lifetime history of alcohol use disorders. The population was assessed at two time points. Adults who had used marijuana at the first assessment and again over the following three years (23 percent) were five times more likely to develop an alcohol use problem, compared with those who had not used marijuana (5 percent). Adult problem drinkers who did not use cannabis were significantly more likely to be in recovery from alcohol use disorders three years later"

Pot Smokers Susceptible to Other Addictions - WebMD, 2/17/16 - "Two-thirds of marijuana users had some form of substance use disorder three years later compared to less than 20 percent of those who didn't use marijuana in the previous year"

Testosterone Gel Has Modest Benefits for Men, Study Says - N.Y. Times, 2/17/16 - "The study, led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and funded by the National Institutes of Health and AbbVie, the maker of the testosterone gel AndroGel, involved 790 men 65 and older with low testosterone levels for their age ... Men who had said their sexual functioning had been flagging reported moderate increases in their interest in sex and in their performance, although when it came to erections, a drug like Viagra or Cialis would be more effective, the researchers reported. Those who said they felt blue reported a small improvement in mood. But the drug had no discernible effect on vitality or walking speed in men with those complaints"

Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke - Science Daily, 2/16/16 - "This study shows that oral health is important for brain health. People need to take care of their teeth because it is good for their brain and their heart as well as their teeth ... The study and related work in our labs have shown that oral bacteria are involved in several kinds of stroke, including brain hemorrhages and strokes that lead to dementia ... Multiple research studies have shown a close association between the presence of gum disease and heart disease, and a 2013 publication by Jan Potempa, Ph.D., D.Sc., of the UofL School of Dentistry, revealed how the bacterium responsible for gum disease worsens rheumatoid arthritis" - A cut and paste of my recommendation:

Abstracts from this week:

Multivitamins and minerals modulate whole-body energy metabolism and cerebral blood-flow during cognitive task performance: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial - Nutr Metab (Lond). 2016 Feb 11;13:11 - "97 healthy females (25-49 y), who were not selected on the basis of any nutritional parameters, received either placebo or one of two doses of multivitamins/minerals ... These results show that acute supplementation with micronutrients in healthy adults can modulate metabolic parameters and cerebral blood flow during cognitive task performance, and that the metabolic consequences are sustained during chronic supplementation. These findings suggest that both brain function and metabolism are amenable to micronutrient supplementation, even in adults who are assumed to have nutritional status typical of the population" - [Nutra USA] - See Supradyn at Amazon.com(the one used in this study) or Garden of Life, Vitamin Code, 50 & Wiser Men at Amazon.com.

Effects of Multivitamin Supplements on Cognitive Function, Serum Homocysteine Level, and Depression of Korean With Mild Cognitive Impairment in Care Facilities - J Nurs Scholarsh. 2016 Feb 15 - "Forty-eight adults 65 years of age and older with MCI (experimental, n = 24; control, n = 24) who were living in care facilities in Gyeong-gi-do, Korea, were recruited. Multivitamin supplements as experimental treatment consisted of vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid ... Multivitamin supplements increased cognitive function, and decreased serum homocysteine level and depression of Korean older adults with MCI in care facilities" - [Nutra USA]

Low Hemoglobin A1c Increases the Risk of Disability in Community-dwelling Older Non-diabetics Adults - J Nutr Health Aging. 2016;20(3):341-6 - "Lower level of HbA1c was associated with less frequent hypertension and less frequent use of aspirin or statin, and lower values of body mass index, hematocrit, total iron-binding capacity, albumin, and cholesterol level. The participants were categorized into 3 groups according to their HbA1c (group I, < 5.5%; group II, 5.5~5.9%; and group III, 6.0 ~ 6.4%). Although, there was no significant difference in functional status according to baseline HbA1c level, disability was more frequently observed as the HbA1c level decrease (18.3% in group I, 12.5% in group II, and 5.3% in group III, p=0.029) at the 5-year follow-up evaluation ... There was no significant difference in mortality among the groups, however, group I had a 2.071-fold higher risk for the incident disability or mortality over group III after adjusting age, gender, and possible confounder"

Pioglitazone: No Longer a Worry for Bladder Cancer? - Urology. 2016 Feb 15 - "These results were confirmed in a case control analysis, in which pioglitazone use was observed in19.6% of case patients and 17.5% of controls (adjusted odds ratio, 1.18; 95% CI 0.78-1.80). Analysis of the additional 10 cancers found no association for 8 of them. However, pioglitazone use was, in adjusted analyses, associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.02-1.26), as well as an increased risk of pancreatic cancer (HR 1.41; 95% CI, 1.16-1.71). Crude incidences of prostate and pancreatic cancer in pioglitazone users vs nonusers were 453.3 vs 449.3 and 81.1 vs 48.4 per 100 000 person-years, respectively. In this study no association was found between time since initiation, duration or dose of pioglitazone and risk of cancer. Furthermore no statistically significant increased risk of bladder cancer was demonstrated with pioglitazone use"

A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study of spirulina supplementation on indices of mental and physical fatigue in men - Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Feb 17:1-4 - "Spirulina may increase people's ability to resist mental and physical fatigue. This study tested that hypothesis in a randomized, double blinded, placebo controlled study in men. After 1 week, a 3 g/day dose of spirulina produced a small, but statistically significant increase in exercise output (Kcals consumed in 30 min exercise on a cross trainer machine). A mathematical based mental fatigue test showed improved performance 4 h after the first time of supplementation as well as 8 weeks later. Similarly, a subjective survey for a sense of physical and mental fatigue showed improvement within 4 h of the first supplementation as well as 8 weeks later. These results show that spirulina intake can affect fatigue in men" - See spirulina at Amazon.com.

Metformin: an Old Therapy that Deserves a New Indication for the Treatment of Obesity - Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2016 Apr;18(4):16 - "Metformin is not currently used for weight loss or diabetes prevention because it lacks an FDA indication for obesity and/or pre-diabetes treatment. Based on the evidence, metformin has been shown to decrease the incidence of type 2 diabetes, and compares favorably to other weight-loss medications in terms of efficacy as well as safety. Thus, metformin should be considered for a treatment indication in patients with these conditions" - See metformin at The Antiaging Store.

Low vitamin D levels and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, evidence for their independent association in men in East China: a cross-sectional study (Survey on Prevalence in East China for Metabolic Diseases and Risk Factors (SPECT-China)) - Br J Nutr. 2016 Feb 18:1-8 - "In total, 5066 subjects were enrolled, and 2193 (43.3 %) were diagnosed with NAFLD; 84.56 % of the subjects showed vitamin D deficiency. Subjects with high vitamin D levels had a lower prevalence of NAFLD, particularly male subjects. Within the highest quartile of vitamin D levels, the prevalence of NAFLD was 40.8 %, whereas the lowest quartile of vitamin D levels showed a prevalence of 62.2 %, which was unchanged in women across the vitamin D levels. Binary logistic analysis showed that decreased vitamin D levels were associated with an increased risk of NAFLD (OR 1.54; 95 % CI 1.26, 1.88). This study suggests that vitamin D levels are significantly associated with NAFLD and that vitamin D acts as an independent factor for NAFLD prevalence, particularly in males in East China. Vitamin D interventional treatment might be a new target for controlling NAFLD; elucidating the mechanism requires further research" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Hesperidin ameliorates cognitive dysfunction, oxidative stress and apoptosis against aluminium chloride induced rat model of Alzheimer's disease - Nutr Neurosci. 2016 Feb 15 - "In our lab, we have previously reported that hesperidin, a citrus bioflavonoid reversed memory loss caused by aluminium intoxication through attenuating acetylcholine esterase activity and the expression of Amyloid β biosynthesis related markers ... Results of the present study demonstrated that hesperidin could be a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of oxidative stress and apoptosis associated neurodegenerative diseases including AD" - See hesperidin at Amazon.com.

My ad was rejected from Facebook because of this abstract:

Testofen, a specialised Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract reduces age-related symptoms of androgen decrease, increases testosterone levels and improves sexual function in healthy aging males in a double-blind randomised clinical study - Aging Male. 2016 Jan 20:1-9 - "Sexual function improved, including number of morning erections and frequency of sexual activity. Both total serum testosterone and free testosterone increased compared to placebo after 12 weeks of active treatment. Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract is a safe and effective treatment for reducing symptoms of possible androgen deficiency, improves sexual function and increases serum testosterone in healthy middle-aged and older men" - [Nutra USA] - See Trigonella foenum-graecum at Amazon.com.

L-Arginine promotes gut hormone release and reduces food intake in rodents - Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016 Feb 11 - "L-Arg reduced food intake and stimulated gut hormone release in rodents" - See L-arginine products at Amazon.com

Health Focus (Triglycerides):