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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 5/30/18

Lower Vitamin D levels Linked to More Belly Fat - Science Daily, 5/21/18 - "It remains unclear, however, whether low vitamin D causes people to store abdominal fat or whether excess belly fat somehow triggers vitamin D levels to drop" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

High protein diet associated with small increased heart failure risk in middle-aged men - AHA, 5/29/18 - "Researchers studied 2,441 men, age 42 to 60, at the study’s start and followed them for an average 22 years. Overall, researchers found 334 cases of heart failure were diagnosed during the study and 70 percent of the protein consumed was from animal sources and 27.7 percent from plant sources. Higher intake of protein from most dietary sources, was associated with slightly higher risk. Only proteins from fish and eggs were not associated with heart failure risk in this study, researchers said."

Testosterone and All-cause Mortality in Older Men - Medscape, 5/28/18 - "Among men with MetS, a decrease in one standard deviation of testosterone was associated with higher mortality risk [HR 1.78 (95% CI 1.13 to 2.78) and HR 1.83 (95% CI 1.17 to 2.86) for total and bioavailable testosterone, respectively]. By contrast, there was no association of testosterone with mortality risk among men without MetS"

Time spent sitting at a screen matters less if you are fit and strong - Science Daily, 5/24/18 - "the amount of leisure time spent watching a television or computer screen had almost double the impact on the risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer in people with low grip strength or low fitness levels than on participants who had the highest levels of fitness and grip strength. Increasing strength and fitness may offset the adverse health consequences of spending a large proportion of leisure time sitting down and watching a screen"

Legalizing marijuana is fine. But don’t ignore the science on its dangers - Washington Post, 5/25/18 - "And amid the flood induced by regular marijuana use, the brain dampens its intrinsic machinery to compensate for excessive stimulation. Chronic exposure ultimately impairs our ability to imbue value or importance to experiences that truly warrant it.

In adults, such neuro-adjustment may hamper or derail a successful and otherwise fulfilling life, though these capacities will probably recover with abstinence. But the consequences of this desensitization are more profound, perhaps even permanent, for adolescent brains. Adolescence is a critical period of development, when brain cells are primed to undergo significant organizational changes: Some neural connections are proliferating and strengthening, while others are pared away ...

It’s not surprising, then, that heavy-smoking teens show evidence of reduced activity in brain circuits critical for flagging newsworthy experiences, are 60 percent less likely to graduate from high school, and are at substantially increased risk for heroin addiction and alcoholism. They show alterations in cortical structures associated with impulsivity and negative moods; they’re seven times more likely to attempt suicide ...

Now, as a scientist, I’m unimpressed with many of the widely used arguments for the legalization of marijuana. “It’s natural!” So is arsenic. “It’s beneficial!” The best-documented medicinal effects of marijuana are achieved without the chemical compound that gets users high. “It’s not addictive!” This is false, because the brain adapts to marijuana as it does to all abused drugs, and these neural adjustments lead to tolerance, dependence and craving — the hallmarks of addiction."

  • Note:  Marijuana is a touchy issue with me. I had an old girlfriend who was stabbed 15 times by her son (the video alternates from the July '17 to the current court video).  She died from the wounds.  The son was 30 years old and lived with her.  He never had a meaningful job.   I blame the marijuana for his laziness and what led him to harder drugs.  I'm sure there are many similar stories.  It has ruined a lot of lives.  It upsets me that some think their personal possible slight gains based on weak or non-existent evidence are more important.  Placebos work 35% of the time.  There's something to the stereotype of the 40 years-old pot head living in their parents basement.  It seems like everyone that touts the benefits to pot have never even tried cannabidiol (CBD) alone. CBD doesn’t give you the high. That makes me question their true motives.

To manage weight, it may matter when protein supplements are consumed - Science Daily, 5/23/18 - "while protein supplementation effectively increased lean mass for all groups, consuming protein supplements with meals helped maintain their body weight while decreasing their fat mass. In contrast, consuming protein supplements between meals promoted weight gain ... The timing likely makes a difference because a person may tend to adjust their calories at a meal time to include the protein supplement." - Note: They may be right about the reason or it might just be going back to basics like in the book “Diet for a Small Planet” which claims that you have to get all eight of the essential amino acids in the right proportions at the same time.

Stop Using OTC Benzocaine Teething Products, FDA Says - Medscape, 5/23/18 - "Symptoms include pale, gray- or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; headache; lightheadedness; and rapid heart rate ... Health care professionals should warn patients of the possibility of methemoglobinemia and advise them of the signs and symptoms when recommending or prescribing local anesthetic products ... Some of the more common brand names are Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, Orajel and Topex. Prescription local anesthetics include articaine, bupivacaine, chloroprocaine, lidocaine, mepivacaine, prilocaine, ropivacaine, and tetracaine."

Mom-to-Be's Pot Use Tied to Changes in Baby's Size - WebMD, 5/22/18 - "A lot of women who are smoking cigarettes are smoking in combination with marijuana. Women who smoked both cigarettes and marijuana had significantly lower birth outcomes, particularly lower birth weight compared to those exposed to just tobacco" - Note:  If pot is as healthy as some users claim then why is it affecting the size of the offspring?

Vitamin Cocktail for Sepsis Getting Wider Test - WebMD, 5/21/18 - "Paul Marik, MD, reported in 2017 that he gave a mix of vitamin C, vitamin B1, and a steroid to nearly four dozen patients who had sepsis in his Norfolk intensive care unit. In the 7 months before he started using the treatment, 19 of 47 sepsis patients died. Of the 47 who got the treatment, all but four survived" - Note:  There was evidence 10 years ago to support vitamin C for sepsis:

There’s some science behind claims that gymnema can curb sugar cravings - Washington Post, 5/21/18 - "I don’t think gymnema is going to solve our more deep-seated issues around sugar. But it might be helpful in temporarily riding out food cravings — which are known to come on strong at first but fade after a little time. Regardless of whether you try it, consider adopting long-term changes toward making such cravings a thing of the past" - See gymnema sylvestre at Amazon.com.

Daily egg consumption may reduce cardiovascular disease - Science Daily, 5/21/18 - "In particular, daily egg consumers (up to one egg/day) had a 26% lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke -- the type of stroke with a higher prevalence rate in China than in high-income countries -- a 28% lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke death and an 18% lower risk of CVD death"

Compound in citrus oil could reduce dry mouth in head, neck cancer patients - Science Daily, 5/21/18 - "The compound, called d-limonene, protected cells that produce saliva in mice exposed to radiation therapy -- without diminishing the tumor-fighting effects of the radiation. The researchers, led by graduate student Julie Saiki, also showed that d-limonene taken orally is transported to the salivary gland in humans" - See d-limonene at Amazon.com.

Flavonoids may slow lung function decline due to aging - Science Daily, 5/21/18 - "The study found individuals in the highest, compared to the lowest, quartile of anthocyanin intake had: a slower rate of annual decline in FEV1 than those in the lowest quartile: -9.8 milliliters per year (mL/yr) vs. -18.9 mL/yr ... a slower rate of annual decline in FVC than those in the lowest quartile: -9.8 mL/yr vs. -22.2 mL/yr ... a slower rate of annual decline in FEV1/FVC: -0.02/yr" - See blueberry extract at Amazon.com.

For older adults, a better diet may prevent brain shrinkage - Science Daily, 5/16/18 -"Researchers found after adjusting for age, sex, education, smoking and physical activity that a higher diet score was linked to larger total brain volume, when taking into account head size differences. Those who consumed a better diet had an average of two milliliters more total brain volume than those who did not. To compare, having a brain volume that is 3.6 milliliters smaller is equivalent to one year of aging."

Biotin supplements caused misleading test results, almost led to unnecessary procedure - Science Daily, 5/18/18 - "The patient in the case report took a 5000 mcg dose of biotin daily ... In this patient's case, "The negative clinical impact included weeks of psychological distress concerning the possibilities of hypercortisolemia or a testosterone-producing tumor. Most significantly, these abnormal test results nearly resulted in an unnecessary invasive procedure for a complex patient with a hypercoagulable state," the case report says. Hypercortisolemia is a condition involving a prolonged excess of cortisol -- a steroid hormone -- in blood"

Young people are choosing marijuana before cigarettes and alcohol - Science Daily, 5/17/18 - "The researchers found that 8 per cent of participants reported in 2014 that marijuana was the first drug they ever used. This percentage had almost doubled from 4.8 per cent in 2004. According to Fairman, this could be related to a concurrent decline in those who start smoking cigarettes first, which dropped from about 21 per cent in 2004 to 9 per cent in 2014" - Note:  It's just one more consequence of legalized pot plus that's the age bracket where marijuana does the most permanent damage.

  • Viewing more medical marijuana ads linked to higher pot use among adolescents - Science Daily, 3/17/18 - "The proportion of adolescents who reported viewing medical marijuana advertising increased sharply over the course of the study. In 2010, 25 percent of the participants reported seeing at least one medical marijuana advertisement during the previous three months -- the exposure rate grew to 70 percent by 2017 ... Adolescents who reported greater exposure to medical marijuana advertising were more likely to report having used marijuana over the previous 30 days, and were more likely to report that they expected to use marijuana during the next six months. Viewing more medical marijuana advertising also was associated with having more-positive views about the drug, such as agreeing that marijuana relaxes a person and helps a person get away from their problems."
  • Cannabis: It matters how young you start - Science Daily, 5/18/18 - "What a difference a year or two can make: If you started smoking marijuana at the start of your teens, your risk of having a drug abuse problem by age 28 is 68 per cent, but if you started smoking between 15 and 17 your risk drops to 44 per cent"

How the gut influences neurologic disease - Science Daily, 5/16/18 - "They found that compounds resulting from the breakdown of tryptophan can cross the blood-brain barrier, activating an anti-inflammatory pathway that limits neurodegeneration. The researchers also studied human multiple sclerosis brain samples, finding evidence of the same pathway and players ... Activation of this same pathway has recently been linked to Alzheimer's disease and glioblastoma. The Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, of which Quintana is a part, brings experts together to accelerate treatment for these diseases, as well as multiple sclerosis Parkinson's disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) ... Quintana and his colleagues plan to further study the connections to neurologic diseases, and are also optimizing small molecules as well as probiotics to identify additional elements that participate in the pathway and new therapies." - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

High Vitamin D Not Harmful, Whites Most Susceptible to Low Levels - Medscape, 5/15/18 - "Whereas the potential health risks of low 25(OH)D levels, including greater cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory deaths, have been well documented, concerns about health effects at the opposite end of the spectrum — high vitamin D levels — have been raised more recently, including in a study that described a "reverse J-shaped" association of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality with 25(OH)D values greater than 50 to 60 ng/mL (J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012;97:2644-2652) ... Nevertheless, he concluded that, considering the research to date overall, the study "confirms that you can definitely have higher levels of vitamin D in the range recommended by the Endocrine Society Practice Guidelines, which recommend a preferred range of 40 to 60 ng/mL, and even suggest that levels up to 100 ng/mL are perfectly safe."" - See vitamin D conversion (ng/nl vs. nmol/l).  100 ng/mL equals 249.6 nmol/l.  See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

A high-fiber diet protects mice against the flu virus - Science Daily, 5/15/18 - "A high-fiber diet blunts harmful, excessive immune responses in the lungs while boosting antiviral immunity by activating T cells. These dual benefits were mediated by changes in the composition of gut bacteria, leading to an increase in the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) through the microbial fermentation of dietary fiber ... Taken together with past studies, the new findings suggest that the modern Western diet consisting of food high in sugar and fat and low in fiber could increase susceptibility to inflammatory diseases while decreasing protection against infections"

Abstracts from this week:

Dietary Compound Proanthocyanidins from Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.) leaves inhibit angiogenesis and regulate cell cycle of cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cells via targeting Akt pathway - J Funct Foods. 2018 Jan;40:573-581 - "Chinese bayberry leaves proanthocyanidin (BLPs) ... Overall, these results indicated that BLPs could be a valuable resource of natural compounds for cancer treatment" - See proanthocyanidins at Amazon.com.

Relation between hypertension and erectile dysfunction: a meta-analysisof cross-section studies - Int J Impot Res. 2018 May 22 - "We found that risk of ED was increased with hypertension (summary OR = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.58-2.14, p < 0.000001). Adjusting for obesity, unfavorable lipid levels, alcohol abuse, physical activity, cigarette smoking, educational level and other lifestyle factors, hypertension was also associated with increased risk of ED (summary OR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.35-1.86, p < 0.00001). The results of this meta-analysis support that hypertension is associated with an increased risk of ED"

Serum Vitamin D Status and Breast Cancer Risk by Receptor Status: A Systematic Review - Nutr Cancer. 2018 May 21:1-17 - "Our results suggest that low vitamin D status may particularly increase the risk of TNBC, although more research is needed to determine if this association is causative. Women should be routinely screened for 25(OH)D deficiency" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Eicosahexanoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA) in Muscle Damage and Function - Nutrients. 2018 Apr 29;10(5) - "It is widely known that omega-3 fatty acids are effective for improving cardiac function, depression, cognitive function, and blood as well as lowering blood pressure. In the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and exercise performance, previous studies have been predicted improved endurance performance, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses, and effectivity against delayed-onset muscle soreness. However, the optimal dose, duration, and timing remain unclear. This review focuses on the effects of omega-3 fatty acid on muscle damage and function as evaluated by human and animal studies and summarizes its effects on muscle and nerve damage, and muscle mass and strength" - [Nutra USA] - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com and docosahexaenoic acid at Amazon.com.

Inulin Improves Postprandial Hypertriglyceridemia by Modulating Gene Expression in the Small Intestine - Nutrients. 2018 Apr 25;10(5) - "Inulin supplementation in western diet-fed mice decreases postprandial serum triglycerides concentration, decreases the mRNA expression levels of Cd36 (fatty acid receptor involved in lipid uptake and sensing) and apolipoprotein C3 (Apoc3, inhibitor of lipoprotein lipase) in the jejunum and increases fecal lipid excretion. In conclusion, inulin improves postprandial hypertriglyceridemia by targeting intestinal lipid metabolism. This work confirms the interest of using inulin supplementation in the management of dyslipidemia linked to obesity and cardiometabolic risk" - [Nutra USA] - See inulin at Amazon.com.

Garlic extract favorably modifies markers of endothelial function in obese patients -randomized double blind placebo-controlled nutritional intervention - Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jun;102:792-797 - "At the end of study SI (p = 0.01), hsCRP (p < 0.001, PAI-1 (p < 0.001), LDL cholesterol (p < 0.001), and TAS (p < 0.01) were reduced in the GE-supplemented group, but not in the placebo group" - [Nutra USA] - See aged garlic at Amazon.com.

Echinacea purpurea Protects Against Restraint Stress-Induced Immunosuppression in BALB/c Mice - J Med Food. 2018 Mar;21(3):261-268 - "Echinacea significantly normalized the restraint stress-induced reduction in splenocyte proliferation and splenic natural killer (NK) cell activity (P < .05). Echinacea treatment significantly increased the percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in the blood (P < .05). In addition, Echinacea restored serum cytokine levels, including interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and interleukin-17 (IL-17), as well as the mRNA expressions of these cytokines in spleen (P < .05). Our findings suggest that Echinacea might have beneficial effects on restraint stress-induced immunosuppression by increasing splenocyte proliferation and NK cell activity, while modulating T lymphocyte subsets and cytokine levels in the blood" - [Nutra USA] - See echinacea suoolements at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

For people who want to eliminate their cable bill, I’m getting about 25 free channels with the ClearStream 4MAX TV Antenna . The free AntennaPoint app or TVFool.com will tell you the direction to point the antenna.  For DVR, add HDHomeRun and get Plex Pass (plex.tv).  Note:  A server CPU is probably to slow for Plex and HDHomeRun but a PC will work as a server for Plex.  You can put Plex on both your server and PC at the same time.  You just need to select which one from the menu at the top.  I put the HDHomeRun on my PC Plex and everything else on my server.  I bought the lifetime subscription.  He’s a screenshot with HDHomeRun:

For combining two antennas, see: https://youtu.be/PJaffNvOjho .  You'll need a cable slitter.  I put an amplifier on the weak antenna only and it solved many of my problem.  Putting the amp on both just added to the problems.

For my bedroom TV, I had an old Tivo that was obsolete (I have Roku and Hulu) and dusted it off on connected the antenna to it.  I record all the news and late night comedy.  When ever I get bored I watch the latest version.  See cable slitters and amplifiers at Amaxon.

Here's the TVFool.com report for my house: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d9038e61f51ae7c . As you can see, I'm in a bad area for reception.  The green shade means a set top antenna, the yellow means an attic antenna and the red means a rooftop antenna.  I was able to get the weak red 144 degree channels with a good amplifier.  AirTV has a signal strength bar which was very useful in refining the antenna direction.  It showed the best strength on the weak antenna when it was pointed up about 20 degrees.  That 144 degree heading goes uphill through several homes then there's a mountain in the way.

On Plex you can upload your movies by ripping the DVD's to your hard drive using AnyDVD then converting the DVD to .mp4 using Nero Recode (part of the Nero Suite).  Also with Plex you can import your music, pictures and videos.

To steam the over-the-air (OTA) antenna on Roku:

Sling TV’s AirTV Exits Beta - CordCutterNews.com, 3/23/18 - See AirTV – Cut the cord. Watch local TV anywhere at Amazon.com

AirTV aims to make antenna TV easier, more mobile for $120 - CNET, 5/23/18 - "You can choose either the official AirTV app, which just interfaces with the device itself, or the Sling TV app. It works even if you don't have a Sling TV subscription -- which start at $20 per month -- but Sling subscribers can get Sling's standard channel offerings integrated alongside antenna channels."

I was able to stream OTA antenna channels to the five TV's (two simultaneously) in my house without any additional wiring with AirTV through Roku.

Health Focus (Gallstones):