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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 10/17/18

Researchers have discovered how to slow aging - Science Daily, 10/2/18 - "They now have shown that treatment of aged mice with the natural product Fisetin, found in many fruits and vegetables, also has significant positive effects on health and lifespan ... Robbins and fellow researchers found a natural product, called Fisetin, reduces the level of these damaged cells in the body. They found this by treating mice towards the end of life with this compound and see improvement in health and lifespan ... These results suggest that we can extend the period of health, termed healthspan, even towards the end of life" - See fisetin at Amazon.com.

Probiotics, Fecal Transplant Promising in Ulcerative Colitis - Medscape, 10/15/18 - "the researchers reviewed 16 relevant randomized controlled trials that used markedly different protocols ... Overall, probiotics were effective for clinical remission and clinical response in ulcerative colitis. And when we divided it to see which probiotic actually was effective, FMT was number one and VSL#3 was number two" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Eczema drug restores hair growth in patient with longstanding alopecia - Science Daily, 10/10/18 - "After seven months of dupilumab treatment, the patient had grown a significant amount of the pigmented hair that typically grows on the scalp. Because of a change in her insurance coverage, she had to discontinue dupilumab for a two-month period, during which she noticed shedding of the recently regrown hair. But after she could resume treatment in April 2018, the hair growth resumed and has continued." - Note:  Just like with ruxolitinib, the cost is out of most people's reach.  Dupilumab runs about $3000 per month.  That's cheap compared to ruxolitinib at $12,000.

  • Drug restores hair growth in patients with alopecia areata - Science Daily, 9/22/16 - "Seventy-five percent of patients with an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss had significant hair regrowth after treatment with ruxolitinib"
  • Autoimmune Drugs May Treat a Form of Baldness - nbcnews.com, 8/17/14 - "The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to treat myelofibrosis. It’s called ruxolitinib, or Jakafi. The team tested Jakafi, taken as a pill, in several patients. In three of them, hair grew almost completely back within five months, and the autimmune response was stopped"

Study Finds Cannabis Is Worse For Teens' Brains Than Alcohol - Newsy, 10/10/18 - Video

Have an irregular heartbeat? You may have an increased risk of dementia - Science Daily, 10/10/18 - "those who had atrial fibrillation had a faster rate of decline in thinking and memory skills than those without the condition and were 40 percent more likely to develop dementia ... Assuming that there was a cause-and-effect relationship between using blood thinners and the reduced risk of dementia, we estimated that about 54 percent of the dementia cases would have been hypothetically prevented if all of the people with atrial fibrillation had been taking blood thinners"

Low copper levels linked to fatter fat cells - Science Daily, 10/11/18 - "low levels of cellular copper appear to make fat cells fatter by altering how cells process their main metabolic fuels, such as fat and sugar ... The discovery, they say, adds to evidence that copper homeostasis could one day be a therapeutic target for metabolic disorders, including obesity ... Copper is essential to human biology and helps to facilitate many processes, from the formation of pigments in hair and eye color to new blood vessels. The mineral is also important to cognition. Copper imbalances have been associated with several neurological disorders, and altered copper levels were linked to depression and changes in sleep pattern"

What’s the best laundry detergent? We asked 5 experts - Washington Post, 10/10/18 - "Once you’ve chosen a detergent, use less than you think you need, says ­Alexa Hotz, senior editor for Remodelista in Brooklyn: Too much detergent “will leave a film on your clothes and on the inside of your washing machine.” ... use caution with the dryer, which can wear down fabrics. “Invest in a foldable drying rack or two, and it will make laundry easy-breezy,” ... Hotz, of Remodelista, starts with what she does not want in her laundry detergent: sulfates, synthetic fragrance or fragrance of any kind"

Vitamin K2 Steps Into the Spotlight for Bone and Heart Health - Medscape, 10/10/18 - "For example, meat products typically include the MK-4 variants, whereas the traditional Japanese vegetarian dish natto ,made from fermented soybeans, contains MK-7, which provides the highest known vitamin K activity ... Supplemental K2 has been associated with significant reductions (approximately 25%-80%) in fracture risk when used alone or combined with vitamin D and calcium,[7,8] as well as with maintenance of bone density in osteoporotic patients.[9,10] K1 supplementation has shown comparatively less benefit for such outcomes ... K2 activates matrix Gla protein (MGP), which keeps calcium deposits from forming on vessel walls. Research has shown that adequate K2 intake generally frees calcium up for its more beneficial roles, whereas K2 deficiencies will lead to a buildup of calcifications ... Studies comparing relatively lower doses of MK-7 supplementation with placebo in early menopausal[14] and postmenopausal women[15] produced conflicting results, with the former experiencing no differences in bone loss at 1 year but the latter seeing less age-related decline in bone content and density at the femoral neck and lumbar spine at 3 years ... Certain varieties of K2 supplements, such as MK-7, have also been shown to interfere with anticoagulation therapy, whereas others like MK-4 carry no risk for hypercoagulation even at relatively high doses" - See vitamin K at Amazon.com.

Root extract of Chinese medicinal plant makes worms live longer - Science Daily, 10/9/18 - "The primary component of the root extract is a substance that has a similar structure to resveratrol. "This substance is found in grapes, for example, and is known to activate a special class of enzymes called sirtuins. These have long been considered the most important substances for controlling the body's ageing process,""

DHEA Improves Sexual Function in Some Premenopausal Women - Medscape, 10/10/18 - "Androgen supplementation with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) significantly improves sexual function in premenopausal, infertile women with poor sexual function ... assessed 50 premenopausal women who were older (average age, 41 years) and seeking treatment for infertility ... oral DHEA 75 mg once daily ... In the study cohort, mean FSFI score increased by 7%, with scores for desire, arousal, and lubrication increasing by 17%, 12%, and 8%, respectively. There were no changes in scores on the orgasm, satisfaction, or pain domains ... However, women whose FSFI scores were in the lowest quartile at baseline saw the greatest benefit, with an average increase of 34% ... And improvement was seen in all domains of sexual functioning for these women. Increases were 40% for desire, 46% for arousal, 33% for lubrication, 54% for orgasm, 24% for satisfaction, and 25% for pain" - See DHEA at Amazon.com.

Seed oils are best for LDL cholesterol - Science Daily, 10/10/18 - "The best alternatives are oils from seeds. "Sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, safflower oil and flaxseed oil performed best," said Schwingshackl. "Some people from Mediterranean countries probably are not so happy with this result, because they would prefer to see olive oil at the top. But this is not the case." ... There are a few important caveats to the research. For starters, it measured only blood lipids. "This is not a hard clinical outcome," said Schwingshackl. "LDL is a causal risk factor for coronary heart disease, but it's not coronary heart disease." However, he said, it might be difficult to conduct a study comparing those clinical outcomes -- for starters, someone would need to find study participants willing to eat just one type of fat for years at a time ... Meta-analyses run the risk of misleading by combining several pieces of low-confidence data into a falsely confident-sounding ranking. In this case, for example, there was not enough evidence to choose a "winner" confidently among the seed oils. What's more, the oils best at lowering LDL were not the most beneficial for triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. However, with the appropriate caveats in mind, Schwingshackl is optimistic about the potential for network meta-analysis to help researchers synthesize disparate clinical studies in the future." - Note:  I wouldn't read too much into that.  Those oils are mostly omega-6 and some argue that the average American has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 20 to 1 when it should be more like 3 to 1.

Ideal protein to help seniors rebuild lost muscle - Science Daily, 10/10/18 - "Researchers found that protein did not stop lean muscle loss caused by inactivity, however, whey supplements helped to rebuild muscle once the participants activities resumed ... whey versus collagen protein ... Whey is considered a high-quality or complete protein, meaning it is rich in all essential amino acids and is higher in leucine, one of the essential amino acids the body cannot make itself and therefore, must derive from food ... Collagen peptides, by comparison, are much lower in their leucine content, lack or are low in essential amino acids ... While protein was ineffective in mitigating muscle loss, say researchers, when participants returned to normal, muscle-building activity, the whey group recovered more skeletal muscle" - See whey protein at Amazon.com and leucine products at Amazon.com.

Nutrients may reduce blood glucose levels - Science Daily, 10/10/18 - "scientists gave alanine by mouth to mice and found that levels of AMPK rose in the animals. Moreover, if mice ate alanine before they received a dose of glucose, their resulting blood glucose levels were significantly lower. And while glucose metabolism often behaves quite differently in lean mice than in obese mice, this mechanism was seen in both groups of mice ... All these data together suggest that amino acids, and specifically alanine, may be a unique potential way to modify glucose metabolism" - See alanine at Amazon.com.

Club drug GHB associated with brain and cognitive changes - Science Daily, 10/9/18 - "regular use of the party drug GHB, and especially unconsciousness following GHB use, is associated with brain changes including negative effects on long-term memory, working memory, IQ, and higher levels of stress and anxiety"

Is Sacubitril/Valsartan (Also) an Antiarrhythmic Drug? - Medscape, 10/8/18 - "No randomized ICD trials have been performed yet in patients receiving sacubitril/valsartan, but it is reasonable to assume that, as new therapies improve overall survival and reduce sudden death, the additional survival benefit provided by an ICD will become narrower. In this new era of HF management, we may need to reassess the role of ICDs in primary prevention for patients with HF in the context of angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor therapy added to β-blockers and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, especially if evidence continues to suggest antiarrhythmic effects of sacubitril/valsartan"

Periodontal disease bacteria may kick-start Alzheimer's - Science Daily, 10/4/18 - "The researchers found that the mice chronically exposed to the bacteria had significantly higher amounts of accumulated amyloid beta -- a senile plaque found in the brain tissue of Alzheimer's patients. The study group also had more brain inflammation and fewer intact neurons due to degeneration ... These findings were further supported by amyloid beta protein analysis, and RNA analysis that showed greater expression of genes associated with inflammation and degeneration in the study group. DNA from the periodontal bacteria was also found in the brain tissue of mice in the study group, and a bacterial protein was observed inside their neurons."

In Blowout, Amarin's Fish-Oil-Derived Drug Dramatically Cuts Heart Risk In Study - Forbes, 10/4/18 - "But the results from the 8,179-patient study, reported in a press release with few details, seem to leave little doubt that the effect of the drug was substantial in people who had high triglycerides (median triglyceride levels in the study were 219 mg/dL, 50% more than normal) and had either had previous cardiovascular problems, such as a heart attack or stroke, or had diabetes and another risk factor for heart disease ... Patients who received four grams of Vascepa had a 25% lower risk of a cardiovascular problem, defined as a heart attack, a stroke, a heart procedure to open a clogged artery, or chest pain requiring a hospitalization, compared to those who received a placebo. (Half the patients received Vascepa, and half a placebo made of mineral oil.) ... There are several reasons that Vascepa might have outperformed studies of traditional fish oil, which have had mostly negative results in large clinical trials. Vascepa used a much larger dose"

Teen cannabis use is not without risk to cognitive development - Science Daily, 10/3/18 - "beyond the role of cognition in vulnerability to substance use, the concurrent and lasting effects of adolescent cannabis use can be observed on important cognitive functions and appear to be more pronounced than those observed for alcohol ... Our study is unique in that it followed a large sample of high school students from 7th to 10th grade using cognitive and substance-use measures ... The study found that vulnerability to cannabis and alcohol use in adolescence was associated with generally lower performance on all cognitive domains ... However, further increases in cannabis use, but not alcohol consumption, showed additional concurrent and lagged effects on cognitive functions, such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control ... Of particular concern was the finding that cannabis use was associated with lasting effects on a measure of inhibitory control, which is a risk factor for other addictive behaviours, and might explain why early onset cannabis use is a risk factor for other addictions ... Some of these effects are even more pronounced when consumption begins earlier in adolescence."

A grape constituent protects against cancer - Science Daily, 10/3/18 - "This 26 week long study contained four groups of mice. The first one, the control, received neither carcinogen nor resveratrol treatment. The second received only the carcinogen, the third received both the carcinogen and the treatment, and the fourth received only the treatment. "We observed a 45% decrease in tumor load per mouse in the treated mice. They developed fewer tumors and of smaller size than untreated mice," says Muriel Cuendet. When comparing the two groups that were not exposed to carcinogen, 63% of the mice treated did not develop cancer, compared to only 12.5% of the untreated mice. "Resveratrol could therefore play a preventive role against lung cancer," she continues" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

Irreversible damage to color vision linked to popular erectile dysfunction drug - Science Daily, 10/1/18 - "color vision problems caused by retinal damage on a cellular level can result from a high dose of sildenafil citrate, the popular erectile-dysfunction medication sold under the brand name Viagra. The results demonstrate that excessive use of the drug could lead to long-term vision problems, including possible irreversible damage"

Abstracts from this week:

Nitrate-Rich Fruit and Vegetable Supplement Reduces Blood Pressure in Normotensive Healthy Young Males without Significantly Altering Flow-Mediated Vasodilation: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Controlled Trial - J Nutr Metab. 2018 Sep 16;2018 - "Vegetable liquid supplement (FVS ... prune juice, PRU ... In contrast to PRU, FVS significantly increased plasma nitrates and nitrites (+67%, p < 0.001) and decreased diastolic blood pressure (-9%, p=0.029) after two weeks" - [Nutra USA] - See Aged Beet Root Capsules - Beet Pills for High Blood Pressure and Stamina - Organic Beet Root Powder - Nitric Oxide Supplement - Nitrate No Sugar - 30 Capsules - Beet Root Supplement at Amazon.com.  It has a 4.8 star rating with a Fakespoke grade of 'A'.

The Effects of Probiotic Formulation Pretreatment (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) on a Lipopolysaccharide Rat Model - J Am Coll Nutr. 2018 Oct 11:1-9 - "The role of gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), via the gut-brain axis has recently been demonstrated; hence, modification of the intestinal microbiota composition by probiotic biotherapy could be a therapeutic target for these conditions ... These results suggest that the management of gut microbiota with this probiotic formulation could be a promising intervention to improve neuroinflammation-associated disorders such as AD" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.

Antioxidant Properties of Ferulic Acid and Its Possible Application - Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2018;31(6):332-336 - "Ferulic acid has low toxicity and possesses many physiological functions (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial activity, anticancer, and antidiabetic effect). It has been widely used in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics industry. Ferulic acid is a free radical scavenger, but also an inhibitor of enzymes that catalyze free radical generation and an enhancer of scavenger enzyme activity. Ferulic acid has a protective role for the main skin structures: keratinocytes, fibroblasts, collagen, elastin. It inhibits melanogenesis, enhances angiogenesis, and accelerates wound healing. It is widely applied in skin care formulations as a photoprotective agent, delayer of skin photoaging processes, and brightening component. Nonetheless, its use is limited by its tendency to be rapidly oxidized" - See ferulic acid at Amazon.com.

Population-based studies of relationships between dietary acidity load, insulin resistance and incident diabetes in Danes - Nutr J. 2018 Oct 6;17(1):91 - "It has been suggested that the acidity of the diet may be related to increased risk of type 2 diabetes. To investigate this hypothesis, we tested if the acidity of the diet, measured as the Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) score, was associated with incident diabetes and diabetes-related intermediary traits ... A high dietary acidity load is associated with a higher risk of diabetes among middle-aged Danes. Although adjustment for BMI attenuated the effect sizes the association remained significant. The increased risk of diabetes may be related to our finding that a high dietary acidity load associates with impaired insulin sensitivity"

Effect of Low Dose Docosahexaenoic Acid-Rich Fish Oil on Plasma Lipids and Lipoproteins in Pre-Menopausal Women: A Dose–Response Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial - Nutrients 2018, 10(10) - "A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted, in which 53 healthy pre-menopausal women with mildly elevated plasma TG levels consumed 0, 0.35, 0.7, or 1 g/day n-3 LCPUFA as HiDHA™ tuna oil or placebo (Sunola oil) capsules for 8 weeks. Supplementation with 1 g/day n-3 LCPUFA, but not lower doses, reduced plasma TG by 23% in pre-menopausal women" - [Nutra USA] - See docosahexaenoic acid at Amazon.com.

Tocotrienol-Rich Vitamin E from Palm Oil (Tocovid) and Its Effects in Diabetes and Diabetic Nephropathy: A Pilot Phase II Clinical Trial - Nutrients. 2018 Sep 17 - "Tocotrienol-rich vitamin E from palm oil (Tocovid) has been shown to ameliorate diabetes through its superior antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, and anti-inflammatory properties in diabetic rats ... Nε-Carboxymethyllysine (Nε-CML) ... The intervention group (n = 22) received Tocovid 200 mg twice a day while the control group (n = 23) received placebo twice a day for 8 weeks. Changes in Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), blood pressure, serum biomarkers and renal parameters such as UACR, serum creatinine, and estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) were compared between the two groups. It was found that serum Nε-CML significantly correlated to the severity of microalbuminuria. For every 1 ng/mL increase in serum Nε-CML, the odds of diabetic nephropathy increased by 1.476 times. Tocovid, compared to placebo, significantly reduced serum creatinine but not eGFR, UACR, HbA1c, blood pressure, and serum biomarkers. In conclusion, serum Nε-CML is a potential biomarker for diabetic nephropathy. Treatment with Tocovid significantly reduced serum creatinine; therefore Tocovid may be a useful addition to the current treatment for diabetic nephropathy" - [Nutra USA] - See Tocovid at Amazon.com.

Prevention of recurrent venous thrombosis and post-thrombotic syndrome - Minerva Cardioangiol. 2018 Jun;66(3):238-245 - "This retrospective registry study evaluated different managements on the development of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) and recurrent deep venous thrombosis (R-DVT) ... Comparable groups used the mild-antithrombotic agent Pycnogenol® (200 mg/day), ticlopidine (250 mg/day) or sulodexide (500 ULS/day) ... The combined R-DVT+PT syndrome was observed in 14.9% of subjects using SM and in 12.9% of subjects using aspirin (P<0.05 vs. SM), in 3.6% of subjects managed with Pycnogenol® (<0.05% vs. aspirin and all other managements) ... Pycnogenol® is the most effective and safe for R-DVT and particularly PTS" - [Nutra USA] - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Stock up for the flu season.  That Amazon 32 ounce pack of four is about the same prices as the Purell 8 ounce pack of four (four times as much for the same price):

I bought one of these to test the RO system I talked about in my September 5th newsletter. The input reads 353 and the output reads 15. So (353-15)/353 = 96% of the solids being filtered out. I put the alkaline cartridge back in and ordered an extra faucet so that I have both the alkaline or non-alkaline option because in the  past some in my household got sick from alkaline water. With the alkaline cartridge, which has the minerals, the reading is 21. See the customer review video.  His input was 622 and output was 189 with a cheaper RO system.  He claims it should be below 25.

Health Focus (Atherosclerosis):