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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 4/20/16

Gut bacteria could help prevent cancer - Science Daily, 4/13/16 - "In the UCLA study the bacterium reduced gene damage and significantly reduced inflammation -- a critical goal because inflammation plays a key role in many diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease, arthritis and lupus, and in the aging process ... the mice that were receiving only the beneficial microbiota produced metabolites that are known to prevent cancer. Those mice also had more efficient fat and oxidative metabolism, which the researchers believe might also lower the risk for cancer ... Among the other results, in the mice receiving only the good bacteria, lymphoma formed only half as quickly as it did in the other mice. In addition, mice with the good bacteria lived four times longer and had less DNA damage and inflammation" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Heavy cannabis use associated with reduced dopamine release in brain - Science Daily, 4/14/16 - "Using positron emission tomography (PET) to track a radiolabelled molecule that binds to dopamine receptors in the brain, the scientists measured dopamine release in the striatum and its subregions, as well as in several brain regions outside the striatum, including the thalamus, midbrain, and globus pallidus. The cannabis users in this study stayed in the hospital for a week of abstinence to ensure that the PET scans were not measuring the acute effects of the drug ... Compared with the controls, the cannabis users had significantly lower dopamine release in the striatum, including subregions involved in associative and sensorimotor learning, and in the globus pallidus ... the bottom line is that long-term, heavy cannabis use may impair the dopaminergic system, which could have a variety of negative effects on learning and behavior"

Pioglitazone Use and Risk of Bladder Cancer: Population Based Cohort Study - Medscape, 4/14/16 - "Compared with other antidiabetic drugs, pioglitazone was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer (121.0 v 88.9 per 100 000 person years; hazard ratio 1.63 ... The absence of an association with rosiglitazone suggests that the increased risk is drug specific and not a class effect"

Fast food may expose consumers to harmful chemicals called phthalates - Science Daily, 4/13/16 - "People who ate the most fast food had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 percent higher ... Phthalates belong to a class of industrial chemicals used to make food packaging materials, tubing for dairy products, and other items used in the production of fast food. Other research suggests these chemicals can leach out of plastic food packaging and can contaminate highly processed food ... grain and meat items were the most significant contributors to phthalate exposure ... the grain category contained a wide variety of items including bread, cake, pizza, burritos, rice dishes and noodles"

https://nextdoor.com/amazon/?r=rpmgus (nextdoor.com) - It says: "Refer friends and you'll both get a $25 Amazon Gift Card".  I like it because it keeps me aware of crime in my area.  The fine print is that it has to be a neighborhood that's not already in their system.

Abstracts from this week:

Safety, Tolerance, and Enhanced Efficacy of a Bioavailable Formulation of Curcumin With Fenugreek Dietary Fiber on Occupational Stress: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study - J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2016 Apr 2 - "CurQfen (curcumagalactomannoside [CGM]), a food-grade formulation of natural curcumin with fenugreek dietary fiber that has shown to possess improved blood-brain-barrier permeability and tissue distribution in rats. In this randomized double-blinded and placebo-controlled trial, 60 subjects experiencing occupational stress-related anxiety and fatigue were randomized to receive CGM, standard curcumin, and placebo for 30 days (500 mg twice daily). The study demonstrated the safety, tolerance, and enhanced efficacy of CGM in comparison with unformulated standard curcumin. A significant improvement in the quality of life (P < 0.05) with considerable reduction in stress (P < 0.001), anxiety (P < 0.001), and fatigue (P < 0.001) was observed among CGM-treated subjects as compared with the standard curcumin group, when monitored by SF-36, Perceived Stress Scale with 14 items, and Beck Anxiety Inventory scores. Improvement in the quality of life was further correlated with the significant enhancement in endogenous antioxidant markers (P < 0.01) and reduction in lipid peroxidation (P < 0.001). Further comparison of the free curcuminoids bioavailability after a single-dose (500 mg once per day) and repeated-dose (500 mg twice daily for 30 days) oral administration revealed enhanced absorption and improved pharmacokinetics of CGM upon both single- (30.7-fold) and repeated-dose (39.1-fold) administrations" - [Nutra USA] - See CurQfen at Amazon.com.

Leukocyte telomere length positively correlates with duration of lithium treatment in bipolar disorder patients - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Apr 12 - "Our data support previous findings showing that long-term lithium treatment associates with longer telomeres in BD, though this effect appeared to be independent from clinical response to the treatment. Moreover, we suggested for the first time that lithium increases the expression of telomerase gene in human neural progenitor cells" - See lithium supplements at Amazon.com.

Metformin Has a Positive Therapeutic Effect on Prostate Cancer in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus - Am J Med Sci. 2016 Apr;351(4):416-9 - "Patients with prostate cancer along with DM2 who remained on metformin were compared with controls who were not on metformin matched by age, weight, race and Gleason score cancer staging ... There were significantly fewer deaths (23% versus 10%), fewer recurrences (15% versus 8%), fewer metastases (5% versus 0%) and fewer secondary cancers (17% versus 6%) in the metformin group (P < 0.004). The final PSA value was lower in the metformin-treated group with a result approaching significance" - See metformin at The Antiaging Store.

The effect of ginseng (genus Panax) on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials - J Hum Hypertens. 2016 Apr 14 - "Ginseng appears to have neutral vascular affects; therefore, should not be discouraged for concern of increased BP"

Protection Efficacy of the Extract of Ginkgo biloba against the Learning and Memory Damage of Rats under Repeated High Sustained +Gz Exposure - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:6320586 - "epeated high sustained positive Gz (+Gz) exposures are known for the harmful pathophysiological impact on the brain of rats, which is reflected as the interruption of normal performance of learning and memory. Interestingly, extract of Ginkgo biloba (EGb) has been reported to have neuroprotective effects and cognition-enhancing effects ... Our animal behavioral tests indicated that EGb can release the learning and memory impairment caused by repeated high sustained +Gz. Administration of EGb to rats can diminish some of the harmful physiological effects caused by repeated +Gz exposures. Moreover, EGb administration can increase the biological activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) but reduce the production of malondialdehyde (MDA)" - See Ginkgo biloba at Amazon.com.

Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance and Increases Muscle Mass in Mice - Nutrients 2016, 8(4), 205 - "Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) is a well-known probiotic among the ingested-microorganism probiotic ... few studies have examined the effects of L. plantarum TWK10 (LP10) supplementation on exercise performance, physical fatigue, and gut microbial profile ... LP10 significantly decreased final body weight and increased relative muscle weight (%). LP10 supplementation dose-dependently increased grip strength (p < 0.0001) and endurance swimming time (p < 0.001) and decreased levels of serum lactate (p < 0.0001), ammonia (p < 0.0001), creatine kinase (p = 0.0118), and glucose (p = 0.0151) after acute exercise challenge. The number of type I fibers (slow muscle) in gastrocnemius muscle significantly increased with LP10 treatment. In addition, serum levels of albumin, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and triacylglycerol significantly decreased with LP10 treatment. Long-term supplementation with LP10 may increase muscle mass, enhance energy harvesting, and have health-promotion, performance-improvement, and anti-fatigue effects" - [Nutra USA] -Note:  Lactobacillus plantarum is the top probiotic in the Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra that I take.

Does low-normal serum TSH level adversely impact cognition in elderly adults and might methimazole therapy improve outcomes? - Endocr J. 2016 Apr 6 - "Untreated subjects with lower TSH showed the greatest declines in MMSE scores during follow-up that was not observed in those with serum TSH ≥1.0 μIU/mL" 

Health Focus (Vitamin D):