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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 11/2/16

Does the Flu Provide Better Immunity Than a Flu Shot? - NYT, 10/28/16 - "When a flu virus enters your body, the immune system fights the infection by producing a robust antibody response that can spring into action if the same strain of the virus returns. That protection can in some cases last a lifetime. “The evidence we have is that people who were infected back in the ‘30s still have immunity to those viruses,” says Dr. Alicia Fry, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... Studies also show that even when the antibody response wanes, immunity from a natural infection tends to last longer than that from a vaccine ... For perspective, a 2008 study published in Nature found that survivors of the 1918 Spanish flu got lifelong immunity to that flu virus and, as it turned out, protection against the pandemic H1N1 flu in 2009"

Natural compound reduces signs of aging in healthy mice - Science Daily, 10/27/16 - "With age, the body loses its capacity to make a key element of energy production called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) ... Past research also has shown that NAD is not effective when given directly to mice so the researchers sought an indirect method to boost its levels. To do so, they only had to look one step earlier in the NAD supply chain to a compound called NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) ... NMN can be given safely to mice and is found naturally in a number of foods, including broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, edamame and avocado. The new study shows that when NMN is dissolved in drinking water and given to mice, it appears in the bloodstream in less than three minutes. Importantly, the researchers also found that NMN in the blood is quickly converted to NAD in multiple tissues ... The researchers found a variety of beneficial effects of NMN supplementation, including in skeletal muscle, liver function, bone density, eye function, insulin sensitivity, immune function, body weight and physical activity levels" - See NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) at Amazon.com.

Additional benefit of omega-3 fatty acids for the clearance of metabolites from the brain - Science Daily, 10/26/16 - "omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, could improve the function of the glymphatic system, which facilitates the clearance of waste from the brain, and promote the clearance of metabolites including amyloid-β peptides, a primary culprit in Alzheimer's disease ... This study should not turn attention away from the roles of these substances in maintaining vascular health, but neither should they restrict our view. The brain is an extremely vascularized organ, while we might also bear in mind that omega-3 fatty acids may impact neurons, glia, and astrocytes themselves" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.

Early supplementation may help offset early-life stress on the adult brain - Science Daily, 10/26/16 - "Specifically, using mice, scientists focused on essential micronutrients, including methionine, vitamins B6and B12, and folic acid, none of which are made by the body and need to be ingested through diet. They found that early-life stress reduces the levels of these nutrients in mouse pups, but supplementation prevented the reduction of methionine levels and even prevented some of the lasting negative effects of early-life stress on later learning and memory in adult offspring ... Here we see strikingly beneficial cognitive effects of a sound postnatal diet. The nutrients tested were familiar ones, but the results speak for themselves"

Mulberry extract activates brown fat, shows promise as obesity treatment - Science Daily, 10/26/16 - "a natural compound in mulberries, called "rutin," can activate the BAT in our bodies to increase metabolism and facilitate weight loss ... Rutin treatment significantly reduced adiposity, increased energy expenditure, and improved glucose homeostasis in both the genetically obese mice and the mice with diet-induced obesity. Specifically, the researchers found that rutin directly binds to and stabilizes SIRT1 (NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1), leading to hypoacetylation of PGC1α protein, which stimulates Tfam transactivation and eventually augments mitochondrial number and UCP1 activity in BAT" - See rutin at Amazon.com.

Why You Need to Stop Eating Egg Whites - Time, 10/25/16 - "But there’s good reason not to fear the yolks. Scientific research has vindicated dietary cholesterol, finding that eating cholesterol has no real impact on cholesterol metabolism. That is, eating foods high in cholesterol does not mean you’ll develop high cholesterol. Some evidence suggests that eggs might even be beneficial for cholesterol by raising levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that’s linked to a lower risk of heart disease ... Egg yolks contain a vibrant mix of saturated and unsaturated fat—another nutrient that, when it comes from a healthy whole food source, is unfairly slandered. Yolks have a good helping of vitamin E, one of the nutrients Americans eat too little of. But the real case for egg yolks can be made by their abundance of carotenoids, nutrients in plants and animal fats that give things like egg yolks (and even autumn leaves) their yellow color. Egg yolks are rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which help eye health and protect against inflammation ... Carotenoids need to be eaten with fat in order for the body to more fully absorb them, and a whole egg is the total package. Eat them, and you’ll get more of these nutrients—not just from the eggs, but from the stuff you eat it with, too"

Sleep loss tied to changes of the gut microbiota in humans - Science Daily, 10/25/16 - "Changes in the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota have been associated with diseases such as obesity and type-2 diabetes in humans. These diseases have also been linked with chronic sleep loss ... we did however observe microbiota changes that parallel some of the microbiota changes observed when for instance obese subjects have been compared with normal-weight subjects in other studies, such as an increased ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes. Longer and larger clinical sleep interventions will be needed to investigate to what extent alterations of the gut microbiota may mediate negative health consequences attributed to sleep loss, such as weight gain and insulin resistance" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Symptoms Persist Despite Normalized TSH With Levothyroxine - Medscape, 10/25/16 - "Despite having normal blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), many patients treated for hypothyroidism with levothyroxine (L-T4) continue to have symptoms, including fatigue as well as a higher body mass index (BMI) and a greater likelihood of antidepressant and beta-blocker use, compared with healthy controls ... for the first time, we have documentation that supports the patients' complaints, demonstrating that…[this] was not only in their minds, as some have suggested ... those in the L-T4–treatment group had approximately 10% to 15% higher total and free thyroxine (T4) levels and about 5% to 10% lower serum and total triiodothyronine (T3) levels compared with the healthy controls ... And the serum T3:T4 ratios in the L-T4–treated group were approximately 15% to 20% lower than in the healthy matched controls ... Also, compared with the healthy controls, those in the L-T4 group had major differences in seven of 21 objective parameters, including BMI (P < .001), total cholesterol (P < .01), HDL cholesterol (P = .02). and LDL cholesterol (P = .03); and in use of beta-blockers (P < .0001), statins, and antidepressants ... those taking L-T4 weighed approximately 10 pounds more than healthy controls of the same height, despite consuming fewer calories ... "Endocrinologists have accepted and propagated the notion that blood T3 levels are 'normal' in hypothyroid patients treated with levothyroxine," Dr Bianco noted ... Yet there are "are a handful of relatively recent studies indicating this is not the case," of which "ours is the most recent one, confirming that serum T3 is lower in these patients." - See T3 at IAS.  I take both T-3 and T-4 and attempt to keep my TSH around 2.  Going lower than that may cause loss of body hair.

  • To T3 or Not: Combo Therapy in Hypothyroidism - Medscape, 12/18/14 - "One theory as to why some patients may indeed continue to experience hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and "brain fog" despite achieving normal TSH levels with L-T4 monotherapy was recently proposed with the discovery of common variations in the deiodinase 2 (DIO2) gene ... The latter was found to be associated with reduced ability to convert T4 to T3, potentially leading to a lack of response to monotherapy with T4 ... I suggest Armour to patients because it's economical and it's simple ... One problem with combination therapy [with synthetic T4 and T3] is that people find it to be very hard to take three pills a day, and you only have to take one Armour ... Furthermore, the synthetic T3 is very expensive, so I'm really looking at it from a more practical point of view ... After a minimum of 4 weeks on Armour, 78% expressed a preference for Armour compared with L-T4, with no serious adverse events noted, even with 30 of the subjects aged 65 years or older ... The [different] study involved 70 patients, aged 18 to 65, who were treated for 16 weeks with either desiccated-thyroid extract or L-T4 and then crossed over for the same duration ... Patients treated with desiccated thyroid had an average weight loss of 3 lb, and there was no difference in thyroid-function blood tests between the two groups after treatment ... Regarding the theory that it could be dangerous — where are the case reports of people getting sick? You will not find a single scientific paper stating any real danger from desiccated thyroid, and as far as I'm concerned, the [medical societies] are scaring people away from this" - See thyroid hormones at International Anti-aging Systems (check with your doctor first).

Review: Calcium Supplements Won't Harm the Heart - WebMD, 10/24/16 - "The researchers analyzed 31 studies. Four of them were clinical trials, where older adults (mostly women) were randomly assigned to take calcium, with or without vitamin D ... None of those trials showed that supplement users had higher risks of heart disease, stroke or death than participants given placebo pills ... The new guidelines do specify that people should keep their overall calcium intake -- from food and supplements -- below the "tolerable upper level." That's set at 2,000 to 2,500 mg per day" - Note: I've lost track of how many times this has gone back and forth.  Here's one from just two weeks ago:

  • Calcium supplements might hurt your heart, study finds - Today.com, 10/11/16 - "People who took calcium pills were about 22 percent more likely to develop dangerous buildups called plaque in their arteries than people who did not take them ... But people who also ate a lot of calcium in food seemed to be protected ... It could be that supplements contain calcium salts, or it could be from taking a large dose all at once that the body is unable to process"

Stronger Muscles May Pump Up Your Memory - WebMD, 10/24/16 - "volunteers who did weight training twice a week for six months to at least 80 percent of their maximum strength showed significant improvements in mental function ... The benefits lasted for at least a year after their supervised weight-lifting sessions ended ... The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain ... The key, however, is to make sure you are doing it frequently, at least twice a week, and at a high intensity so that you are maximizing your strength gains. This will give you the maximum benefit for your brain"

Abstracts from this week:

Anti-obese effects of two Lactobacilli and two Bifidobacteria on ICR mice fed on a high fat diet - Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016 Nov 11;480(2):222-227 - "high fat diet (HFD) ... The beneficial effects of the probiotic bacteria are suggested to be strain dependent. In this study, two candidate lactobacteria strains, Lactobacillus casei IBS041, Lactobacillus acidophilus AD031 and two bifidobacteria strains, Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 and Bifidobacterium longum BORI, were individually administered to HFD-fed mice for 8 weeks. B. longum BORI significantly suppressed mouse weight gain without affecting food intake. L. acidophilus and B. bifidum BGN4 significantly decreased triglyceride levels in mouse liver while B. longum BORI significantly lowered total cholesterol levels in liver. L. acidophilus and B. bifidum BGN4 significantly inhibited serum activities of aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase. Diet supplementation with L. acidophilus, B. bifidum BGN4 and B. longum BORI efficiently improved hepatocyte hydropic degeneration and hepatic steatosis. Of the four probiotic candidates, the bifidobacteria B. longum BORI and B. bifidum BGN4, developed in our laboratory, and L. acidophilus AD031showed excellent anti-obesity effects and suppressed lipid deposition in liver" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

The use of probiotic L. fermentum ME-3 containing Reg'Activ Cholesterol supplement for 4 weeks has a positive influence on blood lipoprotein profiles and inflammatory cytokines: an open-label preliminary study - Nutr J. 2016 Oct 28;15(1):93 - "Reg'Activ Cholesterol (RAC) ... Forty-five clinically asymptomatic participants consumed an RAC containing an antioxidative and antiatherogenic probiotic Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 (LFME-3) for 4 weeks ... The reduction of total cholesterol (from 6.5 ± 1.0 to 5.7 ± 0.9 mmol/l, p = 9.90806E-11) was on the account of LDL cholesterol as the HDL cholesterol level rose from 1.60 ± 0.31to 1.67 ± 0.34mml/l, p = 0.01. HbA1c% was reduced from 5.85 ± 0.28 to 5.66 ± 0.25 p = 4.64E-05 and oxLDL decreased from 84 ± 20 to 71 ± 15 U/l" - See Reg'Activ Cholesterol at Amazon.com.

Effect of rutin on diabetic-induced erectile dysfunction: Possible involvement of testicular biomarkers in male rats - Andrologia. 2016 Oct 26 - "Diabetic-induced alterations in male sexual behaviour and sperm count, motility and viability were markedly corrected following 5 weeks of rutin treatment to the diabetic animals. Rutin also attenuated the inhibited serum testosterone and penile cGMP content, while improved diabetic-associated inflammation and testicular lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress. Histopathological evaluation revealed damaged testicular tissues in diabetic rats, which was protected following rutin treatment. In conclusion, treatment with rutin improved sexual functionality and also protects against diabetic-induced testicular damage" - See rutin at Amazon.com.

The impact of protein quality on the promotion of resistance exercise-induced changes in muscle mass - Nutr Metab (Lond). 2016 Sep 29;13:64 - "Protein ingestion and the resultant hyperaminoacidemia provides the building blocks (indispensable amino acids - IAA) for, and also triggers an increase in, muscle protein synthesis (MPS), suppression of muscle protein breakdown (MPB), and net positive protein balance (i.e., MPS > MPB). The key amino acid triggering the rise in MPS is leucine, which stimulates the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex-1, a key signalling protein, and triggers a rise in MPS. As such, ingested proteins with a high leucine content would be advantageous in triggering a rise in MPS. Thus, protein quality (reflected in IAA content and protein digestibility) has an impact on changes in MPS and could ultimately affect skeletal muscle mass. Protein quality has been measured by the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS); however, the digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) has been recommended as a better method for protein quality scoring. Under DIAAS there is the recognition that amino acids are individual nutrients and that protein quality is contingent on IAA content and ileal (as opposed to fecal) digestibility. Differences in protein quality may have important ramifications for exercise-induced changes in muscle mass gains made with resistance exercise as well as muscle remodelling" - [Nutra USA] - See BulkSupplements Pure L-Leucine Powder (1 Kilogram)

Health Focus (Cortisol):