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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 7/6/16

New study shows chronic fatigue isn’t just in your head. It may have to do with your gut - Washington Post, 6/30/16 - "Cornell University researchers looked at stool and blood samples of 48 people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (or more formally, myalgic encephalomyelitis) and at 39 healthy volunteers ... They found two main differences: Through DNA sequencing, they found the stool samples in the patients with the condition had less diversity in bacteria present in the gut and that there were fewer that were anti-inflammatory. The blood samples were also distinct: There were markers of inflammation which the researchers theorized may be due to a "leaky gut from intestinal problems that allow bacteria to enter the blood." ... it suggests that diet and things like probiotics may be a way to help treat the disease by getting the gut microbiome back in balance" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Be kind to your colon with less-invasive screenings, panel advises - CNN, 6/30/16 - "The biggest change from prior guidelines is the panel's inclusion of two more ways to screen for the disease, including "virtual colonoscopies," like President Barack Obama underwent in 2010. Also called computed tomography (CT) colonography, the test uses special X-ray machines to examine the colon. The panel also added a $650 home test called Cologuard, which checks stool for elevated levels of altered DNA that could indicate cancer"

Canned foods linked to BPA risk in new study - CNN, 6/29/16 - "a study published in the journal Environmental Research on Wednesday not only reveals that consuming canned foods can expose our bodies to BPA, it pinpoints the worst offenders ... canned soups and pasta can expose consumers to higher concentrations of BPA than canned vegetables and fruit -- and although those foods are tied to BPA concentrations, canned beverages, meat and fish are not ... people who consumed one canned food item in the past day had about 24% higher concentrations of BPA in their urine compared with those who had not consumed canned food. The consumption of two or more canned food items resulted in about 54% higher concentrations of BPA ... eating canned soup resulted in a whopping 229% higher concentration of BPA compared with consuming no canned foods. Canned pasta resulted in 70% higher concentrations, and canned vegetables or fruit resulted in 41% higher concentrations ... BPA exposure is associated with many adverse health effects including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, reproductive development issues, amongst others"

Little to no association between butter consumption, chronic disease or total mortality - Science Daily, 6/29/16 - "Butter consumption was only weakly associated with total mortality, not associated with cardiovascular disease, and slightly inversely associated (protective) with diabetes ... Overall, our results suggest that butter should neither be demonized nor considered "back" as a route to good health"

'Inflamm-aging: ' Alcohol makes it even worse - Science Daily, 6/28/16 - "The immune system in the elderly is dysfunctional and infections are more prevalent, more severe, and harder to defeat. Drinking alcohol has a variety of damaging effects on the immune system and organs -- like the gut, liver and lung -- which can be worsened by pre-existing conditions as well as consumption of prescription and over-the-counter medications that aged individuals often take ... We know that even healthy elderly individuals have an elevated basal inflammatory state, known as 'inflamm-aging.' Advanced age alone is a risk factor for a poor prognosis after injury or infection. Adding alcohol to the fragile immune milieu of the aged reduces their ability to fight infections ... alcohol exposure makes macrophages less effective at clearing pathogens and releasing molecules important for recruiting other immune cells to the site of infection, and that this is worsened in the elderly ... Even short-term exposure of macrophages to alcohol reduces their ability to migrate to a site of infection as well as their ability to destroy the pathogen"

Abstracts from this week:

The Impact of Cocoa Flavanols on Cardiovascular Health - Phytother Res. 2016 Jul 1 - "Thirteen SRs were identified and reviewed, and provided strong evidence that dark chocolate did not reduce blood pressure. The evidence was however strong for an association with increased flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) and moderate for an improvement in blood glucose and lipid metabolism. Our analysis showed that cocoa products with around 100 mg epicatechin can reliably increase FMD, and that cocoa flavanol doses of around 900 mg or above may decrease blood pressure in specific individuals and/or if consumed over longer periods. Out of 32 cocoa product samples analyzed, the two food supplements delivered 900 mg of total flavanols and 100 mg epicatechin in doses of 7 g and 20 g and 3 and 8 g, respectively. To achieve these doses with chocolate, around 100 to 500 g (for 900 mg flavanols) and 50 to 200 g (for 100 mg epicatechin) would need to be consumed. Chocolate products marketed for their purported health benefits should therefore declare the amounts of total flavanols and epicatechin" - See Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Squares, Midnight Reverie, 4.12 oz., 86% Cacao (Pack of 4) at Amazon.com.

Association between intake of antioxidants and pancreatic cancer risk: a meta-analysis - Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Jun 30 - "Comparing the highest with lowest categories, higher dietary intakes of selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin were significantly associated with reduced pancreatic cancer risk (for selenium, pooled OR = 0.47, 95%CI 0.26-0.85; for vitamin C, pooled OR = 0.68, 95%CI 0.57-0.80; for vitamin E, pooled OR = 0.70, 95%CI 0.62-0.81; for β-carotene, pooled OR = 0.74, 95%CI 0.56-0.98; for β-cryptoxanthin, pooled OR = 0.70, 95%CI 0.56-0.88). Lycopene intake was marginally associated with pancreatic cancer risk (pooled OR = 0.85, 95%CI 0.73-1.00), while no significant association was observed for α-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin"

Long-term Treatment with Hesperidin Improves Endothelium-dependent Vasodilation in Femoral Artery of Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats: The Involvement of NO-synthase and Kv Channels - Phytother Res. 2016 Jul 1 - "Hesperidin is the most common flavonoid found in citrus fruits and is expected to exert vasodilation action relevant to its health benefits ... The results of our experiment indicate that hesperidin might improve the endothelium-dependent vasodilation during hypertension, possibly through the enhancement of Kv channels function" - See hesperidin at Amazon.com.

People with low serum folate levels have higher risk of colorectal adenoma/advanced colorectal adenoma occurrence and recurrence in China - J Int Med Res. 2016 Jun 29 - "colorectal adenoma (CRA) ... advanced CRA (A-CRA) ... Higher serum folate levels may be protective against CRA and/or A-CRA" - See methylfolate at Amazon.com.

The impact of hypertension on leukocyte telomere length: a systematic review and meta-analysis of human studies - J Hum Hypertens. 2016 Jun 30 - "Meta-analyses from 3097 participants (1415 patients with hypertension and 1682 control subjects) showed a significant standardized mean difference between LTL in hypertensive patients and controls"

Testosterone Treatment and Sexual Function in Older Men with Low Testosterone Levels - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jun 29 - "Compared with placebo, T administration significantly improved 10 of 12 measures of sexual activity. Incremental increases in total and free T and estradiol levels were associated with improvements in sexual activity and desire, but not erectile function. No threshold T level was observed for any outcome, and none of the 27 baseline characteristics predicted responsiveness to T"

SHBG, Sex Steroids and Kyphosis in Older Men: The MrOS Study - J Bone Miner Res. 2016 Jun 29 - "Accentuated kyphosis is associated with adverse health outcomes including falls and fractures. Low bone density is a risk factor for hyperkyphosis, and each vertebral fracture adds roughly 4 degrees to forward spine curvature. Sex steroids, in particular low bioavailable estradiol and high SHBG, are associated with bone loss and high SHBG is associated with vertebral fractures in older men ... After adjustment for age and other confounding variables, no association was found between bioavailable estradiol or testosterone and Cobb angle, either when kyphosis was analyzed as a continuous variable or dichotomized into highest vs. lower three quartiles. In linear regression models adjusted for age and clinic site, there was a significant association between SHBG and kyphosis (parameter estimate = 0.76 per SD increase, p = 0.01). In the fully adjusted model, this association was weakened and of only borderline statistical significance ... High SHBG is associated with bone loss and vertebral fractures. Our results suggest that high SHBG may also be a risk factor for hyperkyphosis"

Vitamin D Status and Risk of Breast Cancer in Iranian Women: A Case-Control Study - J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Jun 22:1-8 - "Women in the fourth quartile of serum 25(OH)D level had 3 times lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to those in the first quartile. In the adjusted model the inverse relationship remained significant (odds ratio [OR] = 0.269; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.122-0.593). In the stratified model by menopausal status the inverse association was only seen in premenopausal women (OR = 0.25; 95% CI, 0.094-0.687). Dietary intake of vitamin D was inversely associated with risk of breast cancer (OR fourth quartile [Q4] vs first quartile [Q1] = 0.39; 95% CI, 0.196-0.784; p = 0.008). After adjusting for the confounding factors, this inverse association remained significant" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Waist-to-Height Gain and Triiodothyronine Concentrations in a Cohort of Socially Vulnerable Short-Stature Women: A Four-Year Follow-Up Study - Ann Nutr Metab. 2016 Jun 28;68(4):298-305 - "Women of short stature presented an increase in waist-to-height ratio, with a simultaneous decrease in total plasma T3. These alterations may lead them to increased risk of comorbidities" - See T3 at International Anti-aging Systems.

Vinpocetine improves scopolamine induced learning and memory dysfunction in C57 BL/6J mice - Biol Pharm Bull. 2016 Jun 21 - "In the open field and Y-maze tests, there were significant differences between the control (CON) group and scopolamine (SCO) group. Vinpocetine (4 mg/kg) administration for consecutive 28 days significantly improved the scopolamine-induced memory dysfunction. In the fear conditioning test, vinpocetine (2 and 4 mg/kg) administration had certain beneficial effect on emotional memory. Our results suggest that vinpocetine could improvement of cognitive function in memory deficient mice and high clinic dosage might be better" - See vinpocetine at Amazon.com.

The Effects of Fortetropin Supplementation on Body Composition, Strength, and Power in Humans and Mechanism of Action in a Rodent Model - J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Jun 22:1-13 - "target of rapamycin (mTOR) ... Fortetropin supplementation increases lean body mass (LBM) and decreases markers of protein breakdown while simultaneously increasing mTOR signaling" - See Fortetropin products at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Withings Body Cardio: A stylish scale for fussy health nuts - Engadget, 7/4/16 - "The Withings Body Cardio scale is emblematic of that, giving you your heart rate, body-fat ratio, bone mass, water mass, the weather (!) and something you never knew you needed called the "pulse wave velocity." Oh, and your weight"

Health Focus (C-reactive protein):