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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 4/4/18

Dietary supplement shows promise for reversing cardiovascular aging - Science Daily, 3/29/18 - "a new University of Colorado Boulder study published today indicates that when people consume a natural dietary supplement called nicotinomide riboside (NR) daily, it mimics caloric restriction, aka "CR," kick-starting the same key chemical pathways responsible for its health benefit ... Supplementation also tends to improve blood pressure and arterial health ... it is well tolerated and appears to activate some of the same key biological pathways that calorie restriction does ... Half were given a placebo for six weeks, then took a 500 mg twice-daily dose of nicotinamide riboside (NR) chloride (NIAGEN). The other half took NR for the first six weeks, followed by placebo ... The researchers found that 1,000 mg daily of NR boosted levels of another compound called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) by 60 percent. NAD+ is required for activation of enzymes called sirtuins, which are largely credited with the beneficial effects of calorie restriction ... in 13 participants with elevated blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension (120-139/80-89 mmHg), systolic blood pressure was about 10 points lower after supplementation. A drop of that magnitude could translate to a 25 percent reduction in heart attack risk" - See Niagen at Amazon.com.

Stores Urged to Pull Products With Deadly Chemical - WebMD, 3/29/18 - "methylene chloride has been killing workers and do-it-yourselfers for decades ... Wynne’s death was at least the third that has come to light since the EPA proposed banning the chemical. He was using the product Goof Off"

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked to Low T3 Syndrome - Medscape, 3/29/18 - "Some people with the condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have low circulating levels of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) and normal levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) ... This low T3 syndrome might be in line with recent metabolomic studies that point to a hypometabolic state (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016;113:E5472-E5480), and if confirmed, T3 and iodide supplements may be indicated as treatments, say Núñez and colleagues" - See T3 at the Antiaging Store and iodine at Amazon.com.

Preclinical testing suggests some antioxidants may be effective in treating mitochondrial disease - Science Daily, 3/27/18 - "Mitochondrial disease results from malfunctions in mitochondria, the energy-generating "batteries" powering our cells. The disease is highly variable and may affect potentially any organ and body system ... In the current study, two compounds, the drug N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and vitamin E, showed compelling results in mitochondrial disease model animals. The compounds prolonged lifespan in mitochondrial complex I disease worms and protected complex I disease zebrafish from brain damage. NAC also improved survival in the cells obtained from a patient with mitochondrial complex I disease" - See n-acetyl cysteine at Amazon.com and vitamin E products at Amazon.com.

Neuroscientists say daily ibuprofen can prevent Alzheimer's disease - Science Daily, 3/26/18 - "A Vancouver-based research team led by Canada's most cited neuroscientist, Dr. Patrick McGeer, has successfully carried out studies suggesting that, if started early enough, a daily regimen of the non-prescription NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) ibuprofen can prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease" - Note:  Here's a 2009 study with similar results:

  • NSAIDs Prevent Early Sign Of Alzheimer Disease In Mice Science Daily, 11/12/09 - "If taking nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen is to protect you from developing Alzheimer disease then you will have to start taking them at a very early age according to research in a mouse model of the disease"

Collagen supplements show early promise for skin and joints, but don’t stock up yet - Washington Post, 3/26/18 - "As we age, however, our bodies’ collagen production becomes less efficient, and the tissues that depend on it, such as our skin and joints, don’t get repaired the way they used to, which explains, at least in part, why our skin starts to sag and we have more aches and pains as the years tick by ... That’s where the supplements come in. Manufacturers have found a way to apply enzymes to gelatin to create protein chains called collagen hydrolysates. These small collagen chains (peptides) may be absorbed intact by the body to be used directly in the tissues. Predictably, there is a lot of hype and exaggerated claims around these supplements, but there is also a lot of promising, bona fide research pointing to benefits, particularly for more youthful-looking skin and help with joint pain ... A 2017 study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry showed that collagen hydrolysates can be transferred through the bloodstream directly to the skin, which explains the probable pathway for these effects ... Although the science is building, it is relatively new and there is still a lot to learn, particularly in identifying what types of collagen peptides work with different conditions" - See collagen supplements at Amazon.com.

Brain development disorders in children linked to common environmental toxin exposures - Science Daily, 3/24/18 - "examine published evidence of the wide variety and high number of EDCs, from pesticides to chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs, cosmetics, furniture and plastics, that can all interfere with TH. The authors further highlight that complex mixtures of these thyroid-disrupting chemicals are present in all humans, including children and pregnant women ... We have reviewed the documented exposures of pregnant women and children to mixtures of thyroid-hormone-disrupting chemicals and propose that the data sets provide a plausible link to the recent increased incidence of neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders ... These findings indicate that exposures of pregnant women and children to thyroid-disrupting chemicals in the environment pose real risks for child development and health, and underline the need for a more targeted public health intervention strategy"

Another Reason to Avoid Heavy Drinking? Dementia - Medscape, 3/23/18 - "Overall, alcohol-use disorders were associated with a three-times greater risk for all types of dementia ... The researchers concluded that heavy drinking is the strongest modifiable risk factor for dementia"

Antioxidants and amino acids could play role in the treatment of psychosis - Science Daily, 3/22/18 - "certain nutrient supplements, used alongside standard treatment, may improve mental health in young people with psychosis more than standard treatment alone ... 4 grams of Taurine per day reduced psychotic symptoms within just 12 weeks ... Certain antioxidant supplements, such as n-acetyl cysteine and vitamin C, may also be effective -- particularly for patients with high levels of 'oxidative stress' ... Studies on omega-3 supplements showed that although these appear to improve brain health in young people with psychosis, the evidence for actually reducing psychotic symptoms is conflicting" - See taurine at Amazon.com.

Grilling and other high-temperature cooking may raise risk of high blood pressure - Science Daily, 3/21/18 - "Among participants who reported eating at least two servings of red meat, chicken or fish a week, the analysis revealed that the risk of developing high blood pressure was: 17 percent higher in those who grilled, broiled, or roasted beef, chicken or and fish more than 15 times/month, compared with less than 4 times a month ... 15 percent higher in those who prefer their food well done, compared with those who prefer rarer meats ... 17 percent higher in those estimated to have consumed the highest levels of heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) -- chemicals formed when meat protein is charred or exposed to high temperatures -- compared to those with the lowest intake"

Researchers link dietary supplement DHA to higher fat-free body mass in children - Science Daily, 3/21/18 - "DHA is a nutrient found in the highest concentrations in oily fish such as salmon and tuna, foods many Americans don't eat a lot of, so they tend to get low intakes ... Because U.S. intakes are low and because DHA is highly concentrated in the brain where it increases dramatically in the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years of life, I have had a long interest in whether more of this nutrient is needed for optimal health during early development. DHA can be delivered to the fetus by increasing maternal intake during pregnancy and to the breast-fed infant by increasing maternal intake during lactation, which increases DHA in mothers' milk ... Half were randomly assigned to a prenatal DHA supplement of 600 milligrams, and half were given a placebo ... Five years later ... the children whose mothers took the DHA supplement during pregnancy had an average of 1.3 pounds more fat-free mass but the same amount of fat at age 5 compared with the placebo group" - See docosahexaenoic acid at Amazon.com.

Mono-unsaturated fats from plants, not animals may reduce risk of death from heart disease and other causes - Science Daily, 3/21/18 - "Mono-unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature and solidify when refrigerated. Sources of plant-based mono-unsaturated fats include olive and other vegetable oils, avocados and many nuts and seeds. Sources of animal-based mono-unsaturated fats include full-fat dairy products, eggs, poultry, red meats and fish ... Participants with a higher intake of mono-unsaturated fatty acids from plants had a 16 percent lower risk of death from any cause compared to those with lower intakes ... Participants with a higher intake of mono-unsaturated fatty acids from animals had a 21 percent higher risk of death from any cause"

Vitamin D might be key to syndrome affecting half of women aged 50 or plus - Science Daily, 3/20/18 - "Researchers at São Paulo State University's Botucatu Medical School (FMB-UNESP) detected MetS in 57.8% of the women analyzed with vitamin D insufficiency (20-29 nanograms per milliliter of blood) or deficiency (less than 20 ng/ml) and in only 39.8% of participants with sufficient vitamin D (30 ng/ml or more) ... According to the article, the most plausible explanation for the association is that vitamin D influences insulin secretion and sensitivity, which play a major role in MetS ... The vitamin D receptor is expressed in insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells and in peripheral target tissues such as skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Vitamin D deficiency can compromise the capacity of beta cells to convert pro-insulin to insulin" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Chronic fatigue syndrome possibly explained by lower levels of key thyroid hormones - Science Daily, 3/20/18 - "In hypothyroidism, the body tries to encourage thyroid hormone activity by releasing more thyroid-stimulating hormone -- however, this does not happen in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome ... the researchers compared thyroid function and markers of inflammation between 98 CFS patients and 99 healthy controls. Remarkably, the CFS patients had lower serum levels of certain key thyroid hormones such as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), but normal levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone ... Additional analyses indicated that CFS patients had a lower urinary iodine status and low-grade inflammation, which possibly mirrored the symptoms of patients with hypothyroidism. These CFS patients, however, had relatively higher levels of another thyroid hormone called "reverse T3" or rT3. This appeared to be due to a shift in hormone production, where the body preferred to convert T4 to rT3 instead of producing T3. The low T3 levels found in CFS patients coupled with this switchover to rT3 could mean that T3 levels are severely reduced in tissue" - See T3 at the Antiaging Store and iodine at Amazon.com.

High consumption of red and processed meat linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and insulin resistance - Science Daily, 3/20/18 - "The results showed that high consumption of red and processed meat is independently associated with NAFLD and insulin resistance regardless of saturated fat and cholesterol intake and other risk factors such as BMI. In addition, individuals who consumed large quantities of meat cooked using unhealthy methods and those already diagnosed with NAFLD who consumed high HCAs had a higher chance of having insulin resistance"

Why Americans still avoid MSG, even though its ‘health effects’ have been debunked - Washington Post, 3/20/18 - "Unfortunately, when it comes to MSG, there’s a great deal of evidence that consumer fears have been misplaced ... A chemical variant of glutamate -- a substance that occurs naturally in high-umami foods, such as Parmesan cheese, walnuts, soy sauce and tomatoes -- monosodium glutamate has been widely eaten since the early 20th century, when a Japanese scientist first distilled it from seaweed ... As MSG’s defenders have noted, this statistic should help show that the flavoring does not provoke the myriad symptoms that have been attributed to it. Few people claim to suffer what Kwok dubbed “Chinese restaurant syndrome” when they pop open a bag of chips ... On top of that, numerous high-quality studies of MSG have failed to demonstrate significant symptoms, even in people who claim to suffer from MSG reactions. In the 1990s, the FDA commissioned an independent review that found MSG only caused adverse effects in a small minority of “sensitive individuals” who ate large amounts on an empty stomach ... Instead, historians and researchers have blamed the initial symptoms that Kwok and others attributed to MSG on a variety of other sources: excess sodium or alcohol consumed with restaurant meals, a version of the placebo effect, growing skepticism of corporations, and deep-seated, anti-Asian prejudice"

Mediterranean diet is linked to higher muscle mass, bone density after menopause - Science Daily, 3/18/18 - "This way of eating involves a high intake of fruits and vegetables, grains, potatoes, olive oil and seeds; moderately high fish intake; low saturated fat, dairy and red meat consumption; and regular but moderate drinking of red wine. The Mediterranean diet has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and certain other chronic diseases ... A higher Mediterranean diet score (MDS), meaning better adherence to the Mediterranean diet, was significantly associated with higher bone mineral density measured at the lumbar spine and with greater muscle mass"

Consuming low-calorie sweeteners may predispose overweight individuals to diabetes - Science Daily, 3/18/18 - "They analyzed biopsy samples of abdominal fat obtained from 18 subjects who said they consumed low-calorie sweeteners (mainly sucralose and a trace of aspartame, and/or acesulfame potassium) ... in the subjects with obesity or overweight, the researchers noted significant evidence of increased glucose (sugar) transport into cells and overexpression of known fat-producing genes, compared with fat biopsy samples from subjects who did not consume low-calorie sweeteners ... In a new cell culture study, Sen found that sucralose appears to promote oxygen radical accumulation -- a highly reactive particles that can cause disease and inflammation inside cells. These oxygen radicals interfere with cell activity and slow down metabolism, which promotes accumulation of fat in the cell"

High-energy breakfast promotes weight loss - Science Daily, 3/18/18 - "The patients were randomly assigned to consume one of two different weight-loss diets, which contained an equal number of daily calories, for three months. One group (Bdiet) ate three meals: a large breakfast, a medium-sized lunch and a small dinner. The second group (6Mdiet) ate the traditional diet for diabetes and weight loss: six small meals evenly spaced throughout the day, including three snacks ... At three months, while the Bdiet group lost 5 kilograms (11 pounds) the 6Mdiet group gained 1.4 kg (3 lb) ... Fasting glucose levels decreased 54 mg/dl (from 161 to 107) in the Bdiet group but only 23 mg/dl (from 164 to 141) in the 6Mdiet group. Overall mean glucose levels dropped in the first 14 days by 29 mg/dl (from 167 to 138 mg/dl) and 38 mg/dl (from 167 to 129 mg/dl) after three months in the Bdiet group. Overall mean glucose levels dropped only 9 mg/dl (from 171 to 162 mg/dl) in the first 14 days and only 17 mg/dl (from 171 to 154 mg/dl) in the 6Mdiet group"

Exposure to low levels of BPA during pregnancy can lead to altered brain development - Science Daily, 3/18/18 - "The researchers studied three groups of pregnant mice. One group ate food without BPA; a second group at food with high doses of BPA; and a third ate low-dose BPA food. They found an increase in the number of neurons created during early development in mouse pups exposed to high and low doses of BPA during pregnancy, compared with those not exposed to BPA ... This is important because specific neurons are known to be born at a very distinct time points, and if they are born early -- as is the case here -- then presumably these early neurons will migrate to the wrong place and form the wrong connections. These findings start to provide a rationale as to how BPA might affect developing brains"

Abstracts from this week:

Immunomodulatory Effects of Momordica charantia Extract in the Prevention of Oral Cancer - Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2018 Mar 20 - "BME prevents the development of 4-nitronitroquinoline 1-oxide-induced oral dysplasia and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in an immunocompetent mouse model. Importantly, gene ontology and pathway analyses revealed an elevated expression of s100a9, IL23a, IL1β, and PDCD1/PD1 of immune system during oral cancer development, which was significantly suppressed by BME. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential clinical benefits of BME in preventing and delaying the progression of oral dysplasia to SCC" - See bitter melon extract at Amazon.com.

Relation of Testosterone Levels to Mortality in Men With Heart Failure - Am J Cardiol. 2018 Mar 1 - "These patients were divided into quartiles based on their serum levels of total testosterone (TT): first (TT > 631 ng/dl, n = 154), second (462 < TT ≤ 631 ng/dl, n = 155), third (300 < TT ≤ 462 ng/dl, n = 156), and fourth (TT ≤ 300 ng/dl, n = 153) quartiles. In the Kaplan-Meier analysis (mean 1,281 days), all-cause mortality progressively increased throughout from the first to the fourth groups. In the multivariable Cox proportional hazard analysis, TT was found to be an independent predictor of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 0.929, p = 0.042)"

Resveratrol Improves Muscle Atrophy By Modulating Mitochondrial Quality Control In STZ-Induced Diabetic Mice - Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Mar 26:e1700941 - "The results showed that RSV supplementation improved muscle atrophy and muscle function, attenuated the increase in ubiquitin and muscle RING-finger protein-1 (MuRF-1), and simultaneously attenuated LC3-II and cleaved caspase-3 in the skeletal muscle of diabetic mice. Moreover, RSV treatment of diabetic mice resulted in an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis and inhibition of the activation of mitophagy in skeletal muscle. RSV also protected skeletal muscle against excess mitochondrial fusion and fission in the diabetic mice" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Sony's 2018 OLED TV starts at $2,800 - Engadget, 3/25/18 - "That won't be quite such a problem in 2018. Sony has outlined the pricing for this year's A8F sets, which start at $2,800 for a 55-inch model and climb to $3,800 for the 65-inch variant. That's still more expensive than the competition (the LG C8 starts at $2,500), but it's considerably easier to justify if you crave the A8F's screen-as-speaker technology." - After trashing an LG dishwasher and washing machine, I'm gunshy on that brand. Plus I've repaired both the washing machine and dishwasher. They're built like junk.

The best blood pressure monitor for home use - Engadget, 3/23/18 - "The Omron Series 10 with Bluetooth measured the most accurately in our tests, has the most comfortable cuff, and was the only monitor we tested with a backlit display. It offers the best balance of necessary and nice-to-have features that ensure accuracy of measurement and help users track trends in their health." - See Omron 10 Series Wireless Bluetooth Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with Two User Mode (200 Reading Memory) - Compatible with Alexa at Amazon.com.

I just bought one. It saves your results in the cloud, online and a spreadsheet. My first three readings:

Read Aloud extension for Chrome and Firefox

Health Focus (Head & Neck Cancer):