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

Six tips that could make you smarter - CNN, 3/1/16 - "In terms of actually improving cognitive function, further research found that a Mediterranean style diet containing olive oil and nuts -- rich in antioxidants -- might just do the trick. The monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados are also thought to help protect nerve cells in the brain and augment the brain's muscle strength"

HPV Throat Cancer in Men Increasing -- Link to Oral Sex? - Medscape, 2/29/16 - "Men were more likely to report >10 lifetime vaginal sexual partners (51% vs 32%), >1 recent vaginal sexual partners (50% vs 36%), and >1 recent oral sexual partners (28% vs. 22%) ... At baseline, 68 prevalent, type-specific oral HPV infections were detected among 44 (11%) participants (15.4% in men vs 5.6% in women; P = .001) ... The incidence of HPV16 infection was higher among men than women (2.5 vs 0.7 per 1000 person-months; P = .08), as was the incidence of any oncogenic HPV infections (15.5 vs 8.9 per 1000 person-months; P = .04)"

Everyday mindfulness linked to healthy glucose levels - Science Daily, 2/23/16 - "Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), a 15-item questionnaire to assess dispositional mindfulness on a 1 to 7 scale ... people with high MAAS scores of 6 or 7 were 35 percent more likely to have healthy glucose levels under 100 milligrams per deciliter than people with low MAAS scores below 4"

Natural sugar may treat fatty liver disease - Science Daily, 2/23/16 - "a natural sugar called trehalose prevents the sugar fructose -- thought to be a major contributor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease -- from entering the liver and triggers a cellular housekeeping process that cleans up excess fat buildup inside liver cells ... In general, if you feed a mouse a high-sugar diet, it gets a fatty liver ... We found that if you feed a mouse a diet high in fructose plus provide drinking water that contains three percent trehalose, you completely block the development of a fatty liver. Those mice also had lower body weights at the end of the study and lower levels of circulating cholesterol, fatty acids and triglycerides ... Trehalose is a natural sugar found in plants and insects ... We know the mice that received drinking water with three percent trehalose lost weight, and we suspect that weight loss was due to loss of fat, but we can't be certain that's the only effect" - See trehalose at Amazon.com.

Abstracts from this week:

Sulforaphane promotes murine hair growth by accelerating the degradation of dihydrotestosterone - Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016 Feb 25 - "Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes the regression of human hair follicles in the parietal scalp, leading to androgenic alopecia (AGA) ... These results suggest that SFN treatment increases the amount of 3α-HSDs in the liver, accelerates the degradation of blood DHT, and subsequently blocks the suppression of hair growth by DHT" - See sulforaphane at Amazon.com.

Curcumin improves tau-induced neuronal dysfunction of nematodes - Neurobiol Aging. 2016 Mar;39:69-81 - "Tau is a key protein in the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases, which are categorized as tauopathies. Because the extent of tau pathologies is closely linked to that of neuronal loss and the clinical symptoms in Alzheimer's disease, anti-tau therapeutics, if any, could be beneficial to a broad spectrum of tauopathies ... These data indicate that curcumin improves the tau-induced neuronal dysfunction that is independent of insoluble aggregates of tau" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.

The effect of aged garlic extract on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors in uncontrolled hypertensives: the AGE at Heart trial - Integr Blood Press Control. 2016 Jan 27;9:9-21 - "a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial of 12 weeks investigating the effect of daily intake of aged garlic extract (1.2 g containing 1.2 mg S-allylcysteine) or placebo on blood pressure ... Mean blood pressure was significantly reduced by 5.0±2.1 mmHg (P=0.016) systolic, and in responders by 11.5±1.9 mmHg systolic and 6.3±1.1 mmHg diastolic compared to placebo ... Aged garlic extract was highly tolerable with a high safety profile as a stand-alone or adjunctive antihypertensive treatment" - [Nutra USA] - See garlic supplements at Amazon.com.

L-Theanine Improves Immunity by Altering TH2/TH1 Cytokine Balance, Brain Neurotransmitters, and Expression of Phospholipase C in Rat Hearts - Med Sci Monit. 2016 Feb 28;22:662-669 - "Administration of 400 mg/kg BWL-theanine improved immune function of the rats by increasing the splenic weight, altering the Th2/Th1 cytokine balance, decreasing the corticosterone level in the serum, elevating dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine in the brain, and regulating the mRNA expression of PLC isomers in the heart" - See theanine at Amazon.com.

High serum carotenoids are associated with lower risk for developing elevated serum alanine aminotransferase among Japanese subjects: the Mikkabi cohort study - Br J Nutr. 2016 Feb 26:1-8 - "After adjustments for confounders, the hazard ratios for elevated serum ALT in the highest tertiles of basal serum β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin and total provitamin A carotenoids against the lowest tertiles were 0.43 (95 % CI 0.22, 0.81), 0.51 (CI 0.27, 0.94) and 0.52 (CI 0.28, 0.97), respectively. For α-carotene and lycopene, borderline reduced risks were also observed; however, these were not significant. Our results further support the hypothesis that antioxidant carotenoids, especially provitamin A carotenoids, might help prevent earlier pathogenesis of non-alcoholic liver disease in Japanese subjects" - See carotenoids at Amazon.com.

Sulforaphene suppresses growth of colon cancer-derived tumors via induction of glutathione depletion and microtubule depolymerization - Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Feb 26 - "Cruciferous vegetables harbor a number of isothiocyanates that have been recognized for their cancer-related properties. Of these, sulforaphene (a naturally occurring derivative of sulforaphane) has received little attention in studies of colon cancer and its mechanism of action remains to be elucidated ... These findings demonstrate that sulforaphene may contribute to the anti-tumor effects of cruciferous vegetables that contain sulforaphene and other isothiocyanates such as sulforaphane" - See sulforaphane at Amazon.com.

Low Free Testosterone is Associated with Hypogonadal Signs and Symptoms in Men with Normal Total Testosterone - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Feb 24 - "Low cFT, even in the presence of normal TT, is associated with androgen deficiency-related symptoms. Normal cFT, despite low TT, is not associated with cognate symptoms. Therefore cFT levels should be assessed in men with suspected hypogonadal symptoms"

Berberine improves mesenteric artery insulin sensitivity through up-regulating insulin receptor-mediated signaling in diabetic rats - Br J Pharmacol. 2016 Feb 23 - "Berberine improves diabetic vascular insulin sensitivity and mesenteric vasodilation through upregulating insulin receptor-mediated signaling in diabetic rats. These findings suggest potential benefits of berberine in the prevention and adjunctive treatment of diabetic vascular complications" - See berberine at Amazon.com.

The role of taurine in improving neural stem cells proliferation and differentiation - Nutr Neurosci. 2016 Feb 23 - "Taurine plays an important role in brain development, including neuronal proliferation, stem cell proliferation, and differentiation, via several mechanisms. Taurine can be directly used in clinical applications to improve brain development because it has no toxic effects on humans" - See taurine at Amazon.com.

Anti-obesity effects of artificial planting blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) anthocyanin in high-fat diet-treated mice - Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Feb 22:1-8 - "This study aimed to evaluate the anti-obesity effects of artificial planting blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) anthocyanin (BA) in high-fat diet-induced obese male C57BL/6 mice. BA at doses of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg was supplemented in the daily food of obese C57BL/6 mice during an 8-week experiment. Our findings indicate that consumption of BA at high doses reduced body weight by 19.4%, whereas both low and middle doses did not affect the body weight. Furthermore, BA supplementation at high dose could effectively decrease serum glucose, attenuate epididymal adipocytes, improve lipid profiles, and significantly down-regulate expression levels of TNFα, IL-6 PPARγ, and FAS genes" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com.

Docosahexaenoic Acid and Cognition throughout the Lifespan - Nutrients. 2016 Feb 17;8(2) - "Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the predominant omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) found in the brain and can affect neurological function by modulating signal transduction pathways, neurotransmission, neurogenesis, myelination, membrane receptor function, synaptic plasticity, neuroinflammation, membrane integrity and membrane organization ... The consumption of DHA leads to many positive physiological and behavioral effects, including those on cognition. Advanced cognitive function is uniquely human, and the optimal development and aging of cognitive abilities has profound impacts on quality of life, productivity, and advancement of society in general. However, the modern diet typically lacks appreciable amounts of DHA. Therefore, in modern populations, maintaining optimal levels of DHA in the brain throughout the lifespan likely requires obtaining preformed DHA via dietary or supplemental sources. In this review, we examine the role of DHA in optimal cognition during development, adulthood, and aging with a focus on human evidence and putative mechanisms of action" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Oral supplementation with cocoa extract reduces UVB-induced wrinkles in hairless mouse skin - J Invest Dermatol. 2016 Feb 5 - "Cacao beans contain various bioactive phytochemicals that could modify the pathogeneses of certain diseases. Here, we report that oral administration of cacao powder (CP) attenuates UVB-induced skin wrinkling by the regulation of genes involved in dermal matrix production and maintenance ... These results suggest that cacao extract may offer a protective effect against photoaging by inhibiting the breakdown of dermal matrix, which leads to an overall reduction in wrinkle formation" - [Nutra USA] - See Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Squares, Midnight Reverie, 4.12 oz., 86% Cacao (Pack of 4) at Amazon.com.

Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study - Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 201613:6 - "L-Citrulline supplementation significantly increased plasma L-arginine levels and reduced completion time by 1.5 % (p < 0.05) compared with placebo. Moreover, L-citrulline significantly improved subjective feelings of muscle fatigue and concentration immediately after exercise" - [Nutra USA] - See L-citrulline at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Video: How to Cook Your Steaks with a Blowtorch - MRCTV, 3/1/16 - "Using an attachment called a “Searzall,” you can actually hand-sear your steaks instead of instantly charring them with a naked flame ... The “Searzall” spreads the flame in a wider, more even distribution. This allows you to legitimately cook a thin slice of steak all the way through while perfectly searing the outside surface" - See Searzall Torch Attachment, Small, Stainless.

Health Focus (Insulin and Aging):