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Recent Longevity News for the two weeks ending 11/15/17

Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to first update of guidelines in 14 years - Washington Post, 11/13/17 - "The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other groups redefined high blood pressure as a reading of 130 over 80, down from 140 over 90. The change, the first in 14 years, means that 46 percent of U.S. adults, many of them under the age of 45, now will be considered hypertensive. Under the previous guideline, 32 percent of U.S. adults had high blood pressure ... The fact is lower is better ... Even what we considered mild hypertension before is a deadly disease."

A Pill to make Exercise Obsolete - The New Yorker, 11/6/17 - "Iron Julius still takes 516, although lately he has noticed a decrease in the drug’s quality. “I’m a volunteer firefighter so stamina at times is very important,” he explained. “If you research, many police and firefighters are on some form of performance-enhancing substance as the jobs are sometimes physically demanding.” Iron Julius told me that around a third of the people he sees at the gym are using 516, without any side effects that he’s heard about. When I asked whether he would recommend it, his response was, “Hell yeah man, try it. It don’t mess with hormones and it increases performance.” ... So I ordered some. A few weeks later, a twenty-milligram bottle of 516 arrived, taped into a sealed Tyvek envelope. It was about the size of the complimentary shampoo you get in hotels and contained a cloudy white liquid with a faint smell of nail-polish remover. A label instructed me to “see accompanying information”—there wasn’t any—for dosage instructions. Below that were two contradictory phrases: “Rx only” and “Not for human consumption. ... ”I called Tim Willson, the drug’s designer, to ask whether he would take it. “No,” he said, without hesitation. I contacted the other researchers and found that none of them had ever taken an exercise pill, in any form. I put the bottle to one side of my desk while I pondered not only the advisability of ingesting a likely carcinogen but also the fact that I actually enjoy exercise and get plenty of it. Since then, the bottle has sat on my desk, undisturbed. During the past month, its contents appear to have developed a faint, yellowish tinge." - Note:  It can't be that great if it's been around for 10 years and it's still not widely known.  I see where ebay has it for $33.

Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to first update of guidelines in 14 years - Washington Post, 11/13/17 - "The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other groups redefined high blood pressure as a reading of 130 over 80, down from 140 over 90. The change, the first in 14 years, means that 46 percent of U.S. adults, many of them under the age of 45, now will be considered hypertensive. Under the previous guideline, 32 percent of U.S. adults had high blood pressure ... “The fact is lower is better,” Frieden said, “Even what we considered mild hypertension before is a deadly disease.”"

Even Light Drinking May Raise Your Cancer Risk - WebMD, 11/7/17 - "Alcohol is directly responsible for 5 to 6 percent of new cancers and cancer deaths worldwide, according to the statement. The paper cites evidence tying light, moderate or heavy drinking to higher risk of common malignancies such as breast, colon, esophagus, and head and neck cancers"

Coffee May Increase Life Expectancy in Liver Disease - Medscape, 11/7/17 - "The growing volume of data on coffee indicates its ability to reduce the development of fibrosis, especially in patients with fatty liver. So as these studies accumulate, is it time to recommend two or more cups of coffee daily for persons with NAFLD? Must it be caffeinated? Is the evidence for decaffeinated coffee strong enough to say that either is acceptable? These data and those supporting the reduction of all-cause mortality with coffee intake indicate that it may be time to recommend coffee as part of a healthy diet. So, drink up"

Hormone replacement therapy may be beneficial for women's memory - Science Daily, 11/2/17 - "The researchers found that women taking estrogen-only therapy had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and performed better on tests of "working memory" following exposure to stress compared to women taking a placebo"

Inflammation in Midlife Tied to Brain Shrinkage Later in Life - NYT, 11/1/17 - "the greater the number of elevated inflammatory markers earlier in life, the smaller the volume of several parts of the brain, including those associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Higher levels of inflammation were also associated with poorer performance on the memory test ... It’s important early in life that we prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease or hypertension that cause systemic inflammation"

Too Few Women Treated for Vulvovaginal Atrophy, Dyspareunia - Medscape, 10/31/17 - "What we know clinically is that when sex is good, it has about 20% added value, but when sex is bad, it is hugely, inordinately powerful, draining a relationship 50% to 70% ... Bad sex does way more to subvert an otherwise good relationship than good sex can support an average one. Across the board, it's something we should treat"

Heartburn Drugs Tied to Stomach Cancer Risk - NYT, 11/31/17 - "Compared with those who used H2 blockers, those who took P.P.I.s had more than twice the risk for cancer, and the risk increased over time. The study, published in Gut, controlled for smoking, alcohol use, obesity, statin use, hypertension and many other factors ... Even after the eradication of H. pylori, the risk of cancer persists with P.P.Is"

Pilot Study Eases Fears Over Testosterone in Advanced Prostate Cancer - Medscape, 10/30/17 - "All experienced improvements in vitality, strength, sexual desire, and function, and none had a "precipitous progression or unexpected complication ... What we did not see is maybe what's most important, and that was no vertebral collapse, spinal compression, or acute death. On the contrary, these men expressed gratitude for the opportunity to live a more satisfying and full life. They thanked us for our willingness to offer them a treatment that every other doctor said was going to kill them ... After 47 months' median follow-up, no evidence of increased recurrence or progression risk was observed"

The many reasons you need iron in your diet - Washington Post, 10/17/17 - "Iron equals energy. Iron’s main job is to help carry oxygen from the lungs to every cell in the body. When you do not get enough oxygen to your cells, you are left feeling exhausted and weak — sound familiar, boys? Low iron is the most common nutrient deficiency in the United States. Even if my guys are not actually iron deficient, giving their cells a little more oxygen certainly cannot hurt ... Kids and adults who drink caffeine may be depleting their bodies of iron. Caffeine inhibits iron absorption, making it hard for the essential mineral to get to our cells to work its magic. Digestive distress can also inhibit the absorption of iron. Excess exercise can damage red blood cells, the cells that carry the oxygen throughout our bodies, so the body may need even more iron when exercising to the extreme. Boys, I am quite sure your twice-a-day football practices in August and September heat qualified as extreme" - See iron supplements at Amazon.com.

Should you use protein powders? It’s complicated - Washington Post, 10/3/17 - "Building muscle takes planning. Ideally you eat every three hours, and the timing is particularly important right after a workout,” Havrila says. This is where the appeal of powders comes in ... Athletes can’t fit in a home-cooked, sit-down meal five or six times a day ... But still, the need to spread the protein intake evenly throughout the day can be an argument for a morning protein shake (15 to 20 grams of protein to start the day). A cup of coffee and a toast is about 3 to 5 grams of protein" - See protein powders at Amazon.com.

Abstracts from this week:

Dietary Magnesium May Be Protective for Aging of Bone and Skeletal Muscle in Middle and Younger Older Age Men and Women: Cross-Sectional Findings from the UK Biobank Cohort - Nutrients. 2017 Oct 30;9(11) - "Our study suggests that dietary magnesium may play a role in musculoskeletal health and has relevance for population prevention strategies for sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures" - [Nutra USA] - See Magtein at Amazon.com.

Low bone mineral density in middle-aged women: a red flag for sarcopenia - Menopause. 2017 Nov 6 - "A BMD T-score below -1.5 suggests low muscle mass in middle-aged women, which is a central element in the diagnosis of sarcopenia. Early diagnosis provides the opportunity to introduce preventive and therapeutic options"

Continuous astaxanthin intake reduces oxidative stress and reverses age-related morphological changes of residual skin surface components in middle-aged volunteers - Nutrition Research, 10 Oct 17 - "All described RSSC changes correspond to a shift towards characteristics of skin associated with a younger age. The results confirm our hypothesis by demonstrating that continuous astaxanthin consumption produces a strong antioxidant effect resulting in facial skin rejuvenation which is especially pronounced in obese subjects" - [Nutra USA] - See BioAstin at Amazon.com.

Oral Supplementation of Glutamine Attenuates the Progression of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in C57BL/6J Mice - J Nutr. 2017 Nov;147(11):2041-2049 - "Universally accepted therapeutic strategies for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are still lacking. Studies suggest a preventive effect of oral Gln supplementation on the development of NASH ... The liver histology scores significantly increased from 8 to 13 wk (+31%) in WSD-fed mice and were significantly higher than in controls (P ≤ 0.05 for both time comparisons), whereas scores did not differ between C diet-fed and WSD + Gln-fed mice after 13 wk of feeding" - [Nutra USA] - See l-glutamine at Amazon.com.

A preliminary examination of gut microbiota, sleep, and cognitive flexibility in healthy older adults - Sleep Med. 2017 Oct;38:104-107 - "Better sleep quality was associated with better Stroop performance and higher proportions of the gut microbial phyla Verrucomicrobia and Lentisphaerae. Stroop Word and Color-Word performance correlated with higher proportions of Verrucomicrobia and Lentisphaerae. Partial correlations suggested that the relationship between Lentisphaerae and Stroop Color-Word performance was better accounted for by sleep quality; sleep quality remained a significant predictor of Color-Word performance, independent of the Lentisphaerae proportion, while the relationship between Lentisphaerae and Stroop performance was non-significant. Verrucomicrobia and sleep quality were not associated with Stroop Word performance independent of one another" - [Nutra USA]

Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms - Am J Ther. 2017 Mar 27 - "The 8 completers with insomnia increased sleep time by 84 minutes on polysomnography (P = 0.0182) and sleep efficiency increased on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index ... Cherry juice increased sleep time and sleep efficiency. Cherry juice procyanidin B-2 inhibited IDO, increased tryptophan availability, reduced inflammation, and may be partially responsible for improvement in insomnia" - [Nutra USA] - See cherry juice extract at Amazon.com.

Health Focus (Insulin and Aging):