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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 9/5/18

Note: It's iHerb's 22 anniversary.  They have a 22% discount until 9/28.  The promo code is 22HERBS.

Coconut oil is 'pure poison,' Harvard professor says in talk on nutrition - USA Today, 8/22/18 - "Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, told USA TODAY last year that "there’s a disconnect between people’s general beliefs and what the data actually show." He recommends instead using oils high in monounsaturated fats (including olive oil and avocado oil) and those high in polyunsaturated fats (such as canola oil) ... The AHA, which advises against the use of coconut oil, recommends eating no more than six percent of saturated fat as part of total daily calories for those who need lower cholesterol. The oil has "no known offsetting favorable effects," the AHA said in an advisory last year, and it could actually increase LDL ("bad") cholesterol, a cause of cardiovascular disease ... Turns out coconut oil has more saturated fats than lard!"

Keep an 'Eye' on Curcumin for Ocular Neuroprotection - Medscape, 8/29/18 - "The real advance of this trial was not in proving the neuroprotective activity of curcumin (which had previously been established), but rather in harnessing its power and translating it to clinical relevance. Before the topical formulation was developed, the oral dosage of curcumin necessary to induce an effect previously was estimated to be up to twenty-four 500-mg tablets daily- an amount that precluded its use clinically owing to adverse effects. This nanocarrier delivery system will make a daily topical application of curcumin a viable option if it is shown to be effective in humans"

Smoking and drinking can damage arteries 'very early in life' - Medical Express, 8/28/18 - "We found that in this large contemporary British cohort, drinking and smoking in adolescence, even at lower levels compared to those reported in adult studies, is associated with arterial stiffening and atherosclerosis progression"

Low carbohydrate diets are unsafe and should be avoided, study suggests - Science Daily, 8/28/18 - "Compared to participants with the highest carbohydrate consumption, those with the lowest intake had a 32% higher risk of all-cause death over an average 6.4-year follow-up. In addition, risks of death from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer were increased by 51%, 50%, and 35%, respectively ... The results were confirmed in a meta-analysis of seven prospective cohort studies with 447,506 participants and an average follow-up 15.6 years, which found 15%, 13%, and 8% increased risks in total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality with low (compared to high) carbohydrate diets"

Association of Serum Magnesium With All-Cause Mortality in Patients With and Without Chronic Kidney Disease in the Dallas Heart Study - Medscape, 8/28/18 - "In a fully adjusted model, every 0.2 mg/dL decrease in SMg was associated with ~20–40% increased hazard for all-cause death in both CKD and non-CKD subgroups. In CKD participants, the lowest SMg tertile was also independently associated with all-cause death (adjusted hazard ratio 2.31; 95% confidence interval 1.23–4.36 versus 1.15; 0.55–2.41; for low versus high tertile, respectively) ... Low SMg levels (1.4–1.9 mg/dL; 0.58–0.78 mM) were independently associated with all-cause death in patients with prevalent CKD in the DHS cohort" - See magnesium supplements at Amazon.com.

Sucralose produces previously unidentified metabolites - Science Daily, 8/27/18 - "Based on previous studies, we know that sucralose can be passed on by nursing mothers in their breastmilk ... And, among other findings, we know that sucralose can reduce the abundance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Our new study shows that sucralose is also creating metabolites whose potential health effects we know little or nothing about"

Aspirin disappoints for avoiding first heart attack, stroke - Medical Express, 8/26/18 - "aspirin did not help prevent first strokes or heart attacks in people at moderate risk for one because they had several health threats such as smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol"

Vitamin D Supplementation, Glycemic Control, and Insulin Resistance in Prediabetics - Medscape, 8/24/18 - "Vitamin D supplementation and improved vitamin D status improved glycemic measures and insulin sensitivity and may be useful as part of a preventive strategy for type 2 diabetes" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

'No Safe Limit': Even One Drink a Day Increases Risks - Medscape, 8/23/18 - "among individuals aged 15 to 49 years, alcohol accounted for around 4% of deaths in women and 12% in men. Tuberculosis and road injuries were the leading causes of death related to alcohol ... For those aged 50 years and older, alcohol was linked to 27% of deaths in women and 19% of deaths in men, with cancer the leading cause of alcohol-related death ... Overall, consuming just one drink a day increased the risk of developing alcohol-related health problems by 0.5% vs abstaining; drinking five drinks a day led to 37% increase in risk" - [Washington Post]

Vitamin D Toxicity: A 16-Year Retrospective Study at an Academic Medical Center - Medscape, 8/23/18 - "A total of 127,932 serum/plasma 25(OH)D measurements were performed on 73,779 unique patients. Of these patients, 780 (1.05%) had results that exceeded 80 ng per mL and 89 patients (0.12%) had results that exceeded 120 ng per mL. Only 4 patients showed symptoms of vitamin D toxicity. Three of these cases involved inadvertent misdosing of liquid formulations"

Natural sugar defends against metabolic syndrome, in mice - Science Daily, 8/23/18 - "a natural sugar called trehalose blocks glucose from the liver and activates a gene that boosts insulin sensitivity, reducing the chance of developing diabetes. Activating the gene also triggers an increase in calories burned, reduces fat accumulation and weight gain, and lessens measures of fats and cholesterol in the blood ... In mice, this gene is turned on as part of what seems to be the normal fasting response. Our data suggest that fasting -- or giving trehalose with a normal diet -- triggers the liver to change the way it processes nutrients, in a beneficial way. And if glucose can be blocked from the liver with a drug, it may be possible to reap the benefits of fasting without strictly limiting food ... Aloxe3 in the liver -- whether activated by fasting or trehalose -- leads the mice not only to make better use of insulin, but to increase calorie burning, raise body temperature, reduce weight gain and fat accumulation -- including fat deposits in the liver -- and lessen measures of fats and cholesterol in the blood. Further, they found that mice fed an obesity-inducing diet and mice that eat freely and are genetically prone to obesity are protected from metabolic disease if given trehalose in their drinking water ... activating Aloxe3 in the mice given trehalose improves insulin sensitivity in a way that is similar to how thiazolidinediones work" - See trehalose at Amazon.com.  I've been putting a scoop of it into my protein mixture every day for a long time.

Largest brain study of 62,454 scans identifies drivers of brain aging - Science Daily, 8/21/18 - "The study found that a number of brain disorders and behaviors predicted accelerated aging, especially schizophrenia, which showed an average of 4 years of premature aging, cannabis abuse (2.8 years of accelerated aging), bipolar disorder (1.6 years accelerated aging), ADHD (1.4 years accelerated aging) and alcohol abuse (0.6 years accelerated aging). Interestingly, the researchers did not observe accelerated aging in depression and aging, which they hypothesize may be due to different types of brain patterns for these disorders"

Fitness Levels in Middle-Age May Predict Survival Decades Later - Medscape, 8/21/18 - "Taking VO2max as a continuous variable, each 1-mL/kg/min increment was associated with a 45-day increase in longevity ... The current findings support well-established observations that the greatest survival gains are achieved with improvements at the lowest levels of physical activity, that is, "simply by moving away from the least-fit end of the CRF distribution,""

Ketamine A 'Lifesaving' Aid for Depression? - WebMD, 8/21/18 - "Among those with treatment-resistant depression, an estimated 50% respond to ketamine ... And people who do respond to ketamine respond quickly. In a review of 10 studies that Sanacora, Zarate, and others wrote last year, ketamine lessened thoughts of suicide within a day, though the effect was temporary. By contrast, commonly prescribed antidepressants generally take several weeks to begin to relieve symptoms -- when they do work ... Of particular concern to parents of the participants: ketamine’s potential for abuse. Even in clinical doses, the drug sometimes produces short-lived psychedelic side effects like euphoria, hallucinations, and out-of-body experiences. Those effects have made it a popular club drug"

HPV vaccine eliminates advanced skin cancer in 97-year-old - Medical Express, 7/24/18 - "We were surprised that all of the patient's tumors regressed," Nichols told HealthDay, "even those that were not directly injected with the HPV vaccine. This has never been reported until now." Many questions remain, of course. More testing is planned to reconfirm the vaccine's effectiveness against squamous cell carcinomas, Nichols said. It's unclear if it will prove similarly effective against other forms of skin cancer. But Nichols believes that the HPV vaccine "could be considered for carefully selected patients who have limited conventional treatment options."

Abstracts from this week:

Ginsenoside Rg1 protects against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by ameliorating lipid peroxidation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and inflammasome activation - Biol Pharm Bull. 2018 Aug 21 - "ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1) ... These results suggested that Rg1 may protect against NAFLD, through regulation of lipid peroxidation, ER stress and inflammasome activation" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.

Reduced vitamin D levels in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy - Diabet Med. 2018 Aug 13 - "We have demonstrated a significant difference in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in well-characterized people with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, while accounting for the main confounding factors. This suggests a possible role for vitamin D in the pathogenesis of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements in Depressed Heart Failure Patients: Results of the OCEAN Trial - JACC Heart Fail. 2018 Aug 7 - "Per-protocol exploratory analyses showed that scores on the social functioning measurement of the 36-item Short Form Health Survey improved notably in the 400/200 EPA/DHA (p = 0.040) and EPA (p = 0.10) groups compared with the placebo group. Spearman correlation analysis indicated that increased omega-3 indices were associated with improved cognitive depressive symptoms" - [Nutra USA] - See Omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

An Oral Combination of Vitamins A, C, E, and Mg++ Improves Auditory Thresholds in Age-Related Hearing Loss - Front Neurosci. 2018 Jul 31;12:527 - "chow enriched in ACEMg ("enhanced diet," ED) ... In the oldest animals, differences in the threshold shift persisted, as well as in the amplitude of the wave II, suggesting a protective effect of ACEMg on auditory function during aging. These findings indicate that oral ACEMg may provide an effective adjuvant therapeutic intervention for the treatment of ARHL, delaying the progression of hearing impairment associated with age" - [Nutra USA]

The Postprandial Effect of Components of the Mediterranean Diet on Endothelial Function - J Am Coll Cardiol 2000;36:1455–60 - "In terms of their postprandial effect on endothelial function, the beneficial components of the Mediterranean and Lyon Diet Heart Study diets appear to be antioxidant-rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, and their derivatives such as vinegar, and omega-3-rich fish and canola oils"

The targeted anti‐oxidant MitoQ causes mitochondrial swelling and depolarization in kidney tissue - Physiol Rep. 2018 Apr; 6(7): e13667 - "In summary, MitoQ causes mitochondrial swelling and depolarization in PT cells by a mechanism unrelated to anti‐oxidant activity, most likely because of increased IMM permeability due to insertion of the alkyl chain"

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

I just bought the UV one to replace my 10 year old system.  I bypassed the alkaline filter because in the past, alkaline water has made some in my household sick. You could use the included ‘T’ to have one line with alkaline and the other without (it got a bracket for a faucet) or to have the alkaline go to the water dispenser on the refrigerator. You could also purchase the 5-stage system and the UV sterilizer separately but you don't save any money doing that.  See this YouTube video for installation: https://youtu.be/EjUg36pYE8o .

iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Residential Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System - WQA Gold Seal Certified, 75 GPD

Health Focus (Homocysteine):