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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 10/3/18

Artificial sweeteners have toxic effects on gut microbes - Science Daily, 10/1/18 - "The collaborative study indicated relative toxicity of six artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k) and 10 sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners. The bacteria found in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to concentrations of only one mg./ml. of the artificial sweeteners"

Mediterranean diet prevents a leading cause of blindness, study suggests - Science Daily, 10/1/18 - "people who adhered to a Mediterranean diet cut their risk of late-stage AMD by 41 percent ... A Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating less meat and more fish, vegetables, fruits, legumes, unrefined grains, and olive oil. Previous research has linked it to a longer lifespan and a reduced incidence of heart disease and cognitive decline ... For this latest study, researchers analyzed food-frequency questionnaires from nearly 5,000 people who participated in two previous investigations -- the Rotterdam Study, which evaluated disease risk in people age 55 and older, and the Alienor Study, which assessed the association between eye diseases and nutritional factors in people aged 73 and older"

Anxious and forgetful after menopause? Low estrogen may be to blame - Science Daily, 10/1/18 - "The research team studied female rats without ovaries to mimic human menopause. They administered standardized tests that measured anxiety and assessed short-term recognition of objects and spatial memory (memory of temporary locations and the relationships between objects in space). The menopausal rats showed higher levels of anxiety and a decrease in recognition memory compared to an age-matched control group. There was no difference in spatial memory between the two groups. These results suggest that normal hormone imbalances contribute to some of the emotional symptoms associated with menopause, such as anxiety, as well as minor memory problems."

Drinking Enough Water Could Be Key to Avoiding UTIs - WebMD, 10/1/18 - "The new trial included 140 younger, premenopausal women in Europe who had all experienced high numbers of recurrent UTIs. Their total daily fluid intake at the start of the study totaled less than six 8-ounce glasses per day ... During the year-long trial, half of the women drank just over six cups more each day of water, in addition to their regular daily fluid intake. Intake remained the same for the other half of women ... The reduction in UTI frequency for those who drank the additional water was significant. While the average number of UTIs during the study period was 3.2 for women who did not increase their water intake, it fell to 1.7 for those women whose intake rose"

Vitamin D supplements may promote weight loss in obese children - Science Daily, 9/27/18 - "Vitamin D supplements may promote weight loss and reduce risk factors for future heart and metabolic disease in overweight and obese children ... These findings indicate that simple vitamin D supplementation may be part of an effective strategy to tackle childhood obesity and reduce the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, in adulthood ... assessed 232 obese children and adolescents over 12 months, with 117 randomly assigned to receive vitamin D supplementation, in accordance with the Endocrine Society's guidelines on treatment and prevention of deficiency ... children given vitamin D supplements had significantly lower body mass index, body fat and improved cholesterol levels after 12 months of supplementation" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Antibiotics destroy 'good bacteria' and worsen oral infection - Science Daily, 9/25/18 - "What we found was that antibiotics can kill short-chain fatty acids produced by body's own good bacteria ... We have good bacteria doing good work every day, why kill them? ... As is the case with many infections, if you leave them alone, they will leave on their own"

Fish-rich diets in pregnancy may boost babies' brain development - Science Daily, 9/20/18 - "Women could enhance the development of their unborn child's eyesight and brain function by regularly eating fatty fish during pregnancy ... Such fatty acids help to shape the nerve cells that are relevant to eyesight and particularly the retina. They are also important in forming the synapses that are vital in the transport of messages between neurons in the nervous system" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Green tea compound helps siRNA slip inside cells - Science Daily, 9/19/18 - "Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have great therapeutic potential because they can dial down the expression of disease-related genes. However, getting siRNAs into cells where they can do their job has been challenging. Being relatively large and negatively charged, siRNAs cannot easily cross the cell membrane, and they are susceptible to degradation by RNA-chomping enzymes ... The team made their nanoparticles by first combining EGCG and siRNA, which self-assembled into a negatively charged core. Then, the researchers coated this core with a shell consisting of a small, positively charged polymer. These nanoparticles efficiently knocked down the expression of several target genes in cultured cells, showing that the particles could cross the cell membrane. Next, the researchers tested the nanoparticles in a mouse model of intestinal injury, using an siRNA that targeted a pro-inflammatory enzyme. The nanoparticles improved symptoms such as weight loss, shortening of the colon and intestinal inflammation. In addition to the gene-silencing effects of the siRNA, EGCG could contribute to the nanoparticles' effectiveness through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the researchers say" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Colon cancer is caused by bacteria and cell stress - Science Daily, 9/18/18 - "it is not cell stress alone that leads to tumour growth, but the combination of stress and microbiota that favours cancer growth ... In certain patients, the protein ATF6 could serve as a diagnostic marker for an increased risk of colon cancer and could indicate the start of therapy at an early stage ... a microbial therapy is conceivable, when we know more about the composition of the bacterial flora. What now became clear, however: Chronic inflammation has no effect on cancer development in the colon" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Abstracts for this week:

Building strength, endurance, and mobility using an astaxanthin formulation with functional training in elderly - J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2018 Sep 26 - "Building both strength and endurance has been a challenge in exercise training in the elderly, but dietary supplements hold promise as agents for improving muscle adaptation. Here, we test a formulation of natural products (AX: astaxanthin, 12 mg and tocotrienol, 10 mg and zinc, 6 mg) with both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in combination with exercise ... Forty-two subjects were fed AX or placebo for 4 months and trained 3 months (3×/week for 40-60 min) with increasing intervals of incline walking. Strength was measured as maximal voluntary force (MVC) in ankle dorsiflexion exercise, and tibialis anterior muscle size (cross-sectional area, CSA) was determined from magnetic resonance imaging ... Greater endurance (exercise time in incline walking, >50%) and distance in 6 min walk (>8%) accompanied training in both treatments. Increases in MVC by 14.4% (±6.2%, mean ± SEM, P < 0.02, paired t-test), CSA by 2.7% (±1.0%, P < 0.01), and specific force by 11.6% (MVC/CSA, ±6.0%, P = 0.05) were found with AX treatment, but no change was evident in these properties with placebo treatment (MVC, 2.9% ± 5.6%; CSA, 0.6% ± 1.2%; MVC/CSA, 2.4 ± 5.7%; P > 0.6 for all)" - [Nutra USA] - See astaxanthin at Amazon.com.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid Isomers Trans-10, Cis-12 and Cis-9, Trans-11 Prevent Collagen-Induced Arthritis in a Direct Comparison - Lipids. 2018 Sep 27 - "DBA/1 mice were fed a semipurified diet containing 6% corn oil (CO), 5.5% CO and 0.5% CLAt10c12, or 5.5% CO and 0.5% CLAc9t11 (n = 27 per diet) starting three weeks before CA primary immunization. Effects on disease incidence and severity, anticollagen antibodies, plasma and paw cytokines, and hepatic fatty acids were measured. Arthritis incidence was reduced by a minimum of 34% in mice fed either CLA isomer compared to those fed CO diet (p = 0.06). In mice that did develop arthritis (n = 9-12 mice per treatment), CLAt10c12 reduced arthritic severity to a greater extent than CLAc9t11 and CO (p = 0.03). CLA isomer treatment attenuated the increased hepatic arachidonic acid (ARA; 20:4n-6) observed with arthritis at one-week postonset (p = 0.03), while no differences in anticollagen antibodies or cytokines were observed between dietary treatments" - See conjugated linoleic acid at Amazon.com.

Effects of Vitamin D3 supplementation on epigenetic aging in overweight and obese African Americans with suboptimal vitamin D status: a randomized clinical trial - J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2018 Sep 25 - "After the adjustment of multi-covariates, vitamin D3 supplementation of 4000 IU/day was associated with 1.85 years decrease in Horvath epigenetic aging compared with placebo (p-value=0.046), and 2000 IU/day was associated with 1.90 years decrease in Hannum epigenetic aging (p-value=0.044). Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were significantly associated with decreased Horvath ∆Age only (p-values = 0.002), regardless of treatments" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

  • Is Horvath’s Clock the Smoking Gun of Biological Aging? - Elysium Health, 6/28/18 - "Horvath’s clock proved a very clear relationship between this methylation — both gained and lost — and the chronological age of humans, or as Horvath puts it, “the number on your passport.” He also believes it bears some relationship to biological age, the very definition of which is so hotly debated among biologists that Horvath compares its vagueness to “the concept of, ‘What is god?’” Understand what drives biological aging, and you’ll understand the mechanisms that cause aging ... The answer to that ultimate question is not found by the Horvath clock. But his technology has taken such a major leap forward in proving the connection between DNA methylation and aging that an entire horde of researchers are following close behind. Because while the data continues to bear out the truth that Horvath’s clock can correctly identify the age of an individual as well as when they’ll die, he’s still hunting for the reason why it works"

Vitamin D deficiency: an unrecognized cause of flank pain - J Bone Miner Metab. 2018 Sep;36(5):605-608 - "Loin pain is frequently not associated with any urinary abnormality. Musculoskeletal abnormalities are not uncommon as alternative cause of flank pain. Osteomalacia of the ribs was infrequently encountered as the cause of flank pain ... In this study, we looked for vitamin D deficiency in patients with flank pain associated with tenderness over the tips of the lowermost ribs. Out of 783 patients presenting with unilateral or bilateral flank pain to a single center over a period of 3 years, 316 did not have a definite urologic cause (group B). One hundred and eighty-seven of these patients had distinct tenderness over the costal margin (group B1) that could not be explained by history and radiology. All patients of group B were tested for serum levels of 25(OH) vitamin D. Very low serum levels of 25(OH) vitamin D was detected in all cases of group B1 and in only in only 26.4% of the remaining cases of group B (group B2). Relief of flank pain was noticed within 2 months in 55.1% of vitamin D deficient cases" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Western Dietary Pattern, But not Mediterranean Dietary Pattern, Increases the Risk of Prostate Cancer - Nutr Cancer. 2018 Sep 20:1-9 - "Two major dietary patterns were identified: Western dietary (WD) pattern and Mediterranean dietary (MD) pattern. After adjusting for potential confounders, men who had higher scores for WD pattern (above the median) were more likely to have prostate cancer (OR = 5.15; 95% CI (1.44-18.47); P = 0.01) compared with men who had lower scores. A nonsignificant inverse association was found for MD pattern (OR = 0.62"

Effects of Turmeric and Curcumin Dietary Supplementation on Human Gut Microbiota: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study - J Evid Based Integr Med. 2018 Jan-Dec;23:2515690X18790725 - "Turmeric tablets with extract of piperine (Bioperine) (n = 6), curcumin with Bioperine tablets (n = 5), or placebo tablets (n = 3) were provided to healthy human subjects and subsequent changes in the gut microbiota were determined by 16S rDNA sequencing ... All participants' microbiota displayed significant variation over time and individualized response to treatment. Among the responsive participants, both turmeric and curcumin altered the gut microbiota in a highly similar manner, suggesting that curcumin may drive the majority of observed changes observed in turmeric-treated subjects" - [Nitra USA] - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.

Effect of Chlorogenic Acids on Cognitive Function: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial - Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1337 - "The CGA group showed significant increase in the Cognitrax domain scores for motor speed, psychomotor speed, and executive function compared with the placebo group, as well as an improvement in the shifting attention test scores. In blood analysis, the CGA group showed increased levels of apolipoprotein A1 and transthyretin, both of which are putative biomarkers for early-stage cognitive decline" - [Nutra USA] - See chlorogenic acid at Amazon.com.

Effects of a 6-month multi-strain probiotics supplementation in endotoxemic, inflammatory and cardiometabolic status of T2DM patients: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - Clin Nutr. 2018 Aug 17 - "Multi-strain probiotics supplementation for 6 months caused a significant decrease in circulating levels of endotoxin by almost 70% over 6 months, as well as glucose (38%), insulin (38%), HOMA-IR (64%), triglycerides (48%), total cholesterol (19%), total/HDL-cholesterol ratio (19%), TNF-α (67%), IL-6 (77%), CRP (53%), resistin (53%), and a significant increase in adiponectin (72%) as compared with baseline. Only HOMA-IR had a clinically significant reduction (-3.4, 64.2%) in the probiotics group as compared to placebo group at all time points" - [Nutra USA] - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

I tried this and was surprised how well it worked: How To Keep Bananas Fresh - YouTube.com.  Here's what you'll need.  The 17.3 cup 'FreshWorks' might be a little small for large bananas.  Notice that the refills have a 4.8 star rating which you rarely see:

Health Focus (Alzheimer's Disease):