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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 1/9/19

Essential nutrient may help fight Alzheimer's across generations - Science Daily, 1/8/19 - "The study focuses on mice bred to display AD-like symptoms. Results showed that when these mice are given high choline in their diet, their offspring show improvements in spatial memory, compared with those receiving a normal choline regimen in the womb ... Remarkably, the beneficial effects of choline supplementation appear to be transgenerational, not only protecting mice receiving choline supplementation during gestation and lactation, but also the subsequent offspring of these mice ... While this second generation received no direct choline supplementation, they nevertheless reaped the benefits of treatment, likely due to inherited modifications in their genes ... First, choline reduces levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can act as a potent neurotoxin, contributing to the hallmarks of AD: neurodegeneration and the formation of amyloid plaques ... Secondly, choline supplementation reduces the activation of microglia -- cells responsible for clearing away debris in the brain. While their housekeeping functions are essential to brain health, activated microglia can get out of control, as they typically do during AD. Over-activation of microglia causes brain inflammation and can eventually lead to neuronal death" - See choline at Amazon.com.

Diet Soda Linked to Risk for Diabetic Blindness - WebMD, 1/8/19 - "The study did not find the same results among those who drank regular, sugar-sweetened soft drinks ... Those who drank more than four 12-ounce servings of diet soda a week were 2.5 times more likely to have the disease"

Cancer Deaths Have Fallen Drastically Over the Last 25 Years. But These Types Are On the Rise - Time, 1/8/19 - "But while cancer mortality rates are shrinking, diagnoses aren’t dropping across the board. Incidence of breast cancer, the most common type of cancer overall, is increasingly modestly, perhaps in part because it is associated with common risk factors like obesity and alcohol use. Liver cancer is also killing a rising number of Americans — including young people — in large part because of widespread alcohol abuse. Melanoma and cancers of the thyroid, pancreas and uterus are also getting more common, the report says."

Is Marijuana as Safe as We Think? - newyorker.com, 1/14/19 - "Berenson thinks that we are far too sanguine about this link. He wonders how large the risk is, and what might be behind it. In one of the most fascinating sections of “Tell Your Children,” he sits down with Erik Messamore, a psychiatrist who specializes in neuropharmacology and in the treatment of schizophrenia. Messamore reports that, following the recent rise in marijuana use in the U.S. (it has almost doubled in the past two decades, not necessarily as the result of legal reforms), he has begun to see a new kind of patient: older, and not from the marginalized communities that his patients usually come from. These are otherwise stable middle-class professionals. Berenson writes, “A surprising number of them seemed to have used only cannabis and no other drugs before their breaks. The disease they’d developed looked like schizophrenia, but it had developed later—and their prognosis seemed to be worse. Their delusions and paranoia hardly responded to antipsychotics.”

Messamore theorizes that THC may interfere with the brain’s anti-inflammatory mechanisms, resulting in damage to nerve cells and blood vessels. Is this the reason, Berenson wonders, for the rising incidence of schizophrenia in the developed world, where cannabis use has also increased? In the northern parts of Finland, incidence of the disease has nearly doubled since 1993. In Denmark, cases have risen twenty-five per cent since 2000. In the United States, hospital emergency rooms have seen a fifty-per-cent increase in schizophrenia admissions since 2006. If you include cases where schizophrenia was a secondary diagnosis, annual admissions in the past decade have increased from 1.26 million to 2.1 million.incidence of schizophrenia in the developed world, where cannabis use has also increased? ...

Berenson looks, too, at the early results from the state of Washington, which, in 2014, became the first U.S. jurisdiction to legalize recreational marijuana. Between 2013 and 2017, the state’s murder and aggravated-assault rates rose forty per cent—twice the national homicide increase and four times the national aggravated-assault increase ...

The cannabis industry would have us believe that its product, like coffee, belongs at the other end of the continuum. “Flow Kana partners with independent multi-generational farmers who cultivate under full sun, sustainably, and in small batches,” the promotional literature for one California cannabis brand reads. “Using only organic methods, these stewards of the land have spent their lives balancing a unique and harmonious relationship between the farm, the genetics and the terroir.” But cannabis is not coffee."

What Advocates of Legalizing Pot Don't Want You to Know - NYT, 1/4/19 - "This huge shift in public attitudes comes even though most Americans do not use the drug ... Instead, the change has been largely driven by decadeslong lobbying by marijuana legalization advocates and for-profit cannabis companies ... Those groups have shrewdly recast marijuana as a medicine rather than an intoxicant. Some have even claimed that marijuana can help slow the opioid epidemic, though studies show that people who use cannabis are more likely to start using opioids later ... Meanwhile, legalization advocates have squelched discussion of the serious mental health risks of marijuana and THC, the chemical responsible for the drug’s psychoactive effects. As I have seen firsthand in writing a book about cannabis, anyone who raises those concerns may be mocked as a modern-day believer in “Reefer Madness,” the notorious 1936 movie that portrays young people descending into insanity and violence after smoking marijuana ... With large studies in peer-reviewed journals showing that marijuana increases the risk of psychosis and schizophrenia, the scientific literature around the drug is far more negative than it was 20 years ago ... Worse — because marijuana can cause paranoia and psychosis, and those conditions are closely linked to violence ... the first four states to legalize — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — have seen sharp increases in murders and aggravated assaults since 2014" - Note:  I've been pointing out for years how people are falling for the propaganda being put out by the pot lobbyists and I've taken a lot of hits for it.

Metabolic syndrome patients need more vitamin C to break cycle of antioxidant depletion - Science Daily, 1/2/19 - "A higher intake of vitamin C is crucial for metabolic syndrome patients trying to halt a potentially deadly cycle of antioxidant disruption and health-related problems ... That's important news for the estimated 35 percent of the U.S. adult population that suffers from the syndrome ... A patient is considered to have metabolic syndrome if he or she has at least three of the following conditions: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of "good" cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides ... Findings published in Redox Biology suggest the type of eating that leads to metabolic syndrome can prompt imbalances in the gut microbiome, with impaired gut function contributing to toxins in the bloodstream, resulting in vitamin C depletion, which subsequently impairs the trafficking of vitamin E ... Vitamin C actually protects vitamin E, so when you have lipid peroxidation, vitamin E is used up and vitamin C can regenerate it ... If you don't have the vitamin C, the vitamin E gets lost and then you lose both of those antioxidants and end up in this vicious cycle of depleting your antioxidant protection ... The white blood cells are scrubbing with bleach and that destroys vitamin C ... The body is destroying its own protection because it got tricked by the gut dysbiosis into thinking there was a bacterial invasion" - See vitamin C products at Amazon.com and vitamin E products at Amazon.com.

Secrets of the Pros: Sore Throat Soothers - WebMD. 1/3/19 - "When Tergliafera stepped into the recording booth to voice Ultron Sigma, he found a bottle of Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa, or more simply Pei Pa Koa throat syrup. “The director explained that the actor who voiced the Hulk had been in the booth before me and used this syrup before any of his loud roars,” he recalls. They dubbed the syrup “Hulk Juice,” and Tergliafera gives it all the credit for getting him through 3- to 4-hour yelling sessions ... The active ingredient in the Chinese syrup is slippery elm bark, a common homeopathic remedy for sore throat ... Hulk Juice is based in a honey syrup and contains ginger and other herbs. One of those herbs, loquat, is also a common ingredient in herbal throat syrups, lozenges, and drops" - See Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa at Amazon.com.

Food Insecurity Linked to Binge Eating Disorder, Obesity - Medscape, 1/2/19 - "Compared with healthy weight individuals, participants with low food security were 2.5 times more likely to have BED ... For participants with low food security, the OR of being obese was 1.56 ... Psychologists should also ask patients about food insecurity"

Increased risk of harm from cannabis across Europe - Science Daily, 12/31/18 - "When present in cannabis, CBD may offset some of the harmful effects of THC such as paranoia and memory impairment. ... Cannabis containing higher levels of THC and / or lower levels of CBD has been linked to greater long-term harms such as the development of cannabis dependence, and an increased risk of psychotic illness ... CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer, without limiting the positive effects users seek. What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in THC and either stable or decreasing levels of CBD, potentially making cannabis more harmful"

Diet Soda Linked to Increased Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy - Medscape, 12/31/18 - "In our clinical sample of people with diabetes, consuming more than four cans, or 1.5 liters, of diet soft drinks per week was associated with a twofold increased risk of having proliferative diabetic retinopathy ... Interestingly, the study did not find a correlation between consumption of regular, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and increased risk for diabetic retinopathy"

Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol: Is 160 the New 190? - Medscape, 12/28/18 - "Marked elevation in LDL-C is generally defined as ≥190 mg/dL (mean LDL-C level in US adults is 113 mg/dL[2]). The risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) is accelerated by 10 to 20 years in men and 20 to 30 years in women with LDL-C levels ≥190 mg/dL.[3] Although the risk of CHD events has been described as 22-fold higher among those with familial hypercholesterolemia–defining mutations (because of a lifetime exposure to elevated LDL-C levels), the future risk of CHD remains 6-fold higher in those with LDL-C ≥190 mg/dL and no familial hypercholesterolemia–related mutations.[4] Statin therapy significantly lowers the risk of ASCVD events in these patients.[5] It is important to note that although the prevalence of heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia may be 1 in 250, the prevalence of LDL-C ≥190 mg/dL may be as high as 5% to 7% in the general population" - Note: One of the main supplements to reduce cholesterol is red yeast rice. Among red year rice supplements, consumerlab.com recommends HPF Cholestene Red Yeast Rice partly because it contained twice the active ingredient as second place.

Abstracts from this week:

Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Combined with Calf-Strengthening Exercises Enhances Function and Reduces Pain in Achilles Tendinopathy Patients - Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 76 - "We conclude that oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides may accelerate the clinical benefits of a well-structured calf-strengthening and return-to-running program in Achilles tendinopathy patients" - [Nutra USA] - See collagen supplements at Amazon.com.

Body Composition Changes in Weight Loss: Strategies and Supplementation for Maintaining Lean Body Mass, a Brief Review (.pdf) - Nutrients. 2018 Dec 3;10(12) - "There are a few dietary supplements that appear to help preserve LBM during weight loss or to reduce the loss of LBM as compared to diet alone. One such dietary supplement that appears to have this “LBM sparing” effect is chromium picolinate. For the reasons shared in this paper, it seems logical to include CrP as part of any reduced calorie (diet) plan as a means of keeping metabolically active LBM. Weight loss without CrP may be at the cost of LBM, thus, this adjunctive strategy appears worthy of further research and applied practice. A comprehensive approach, integrating evidence-guided macronutrient and calorie intake, resistance exercise, and chromium picolinate may be the most effective approach to preserving or increasing lean body mass while maximizing body fat mass reductions." - [Nutra USA] - See chromium picolinate at Amazon.com.

Antiproliferative Effect of Trifolium Pratens L. Extract in Human Breast Cancer Cells - Nutr Cancer. 2018 Dec 29:1-13 - "Trifolium pratense L. has been suggested for cancer treatment in traditional medicine. The effect of T. pratense extract on breast cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) was investigated here ... T. pratense as a dietary supplement can be beneficial for some patients with breast cancer who receive conventional chemotherapy" - See Trifolium pratense at Amazon.com.

Beneficial Effects of Vitamin D Treatment in an Obese Mouse Model of Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis - Nutrients. 2019 Jan 3;11(1) - "Serum vitamin D levels negatively correlate with obesity and associated disorders such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, the mechanisms linking low vitamin D (VD) status to disease progression are not completely understood ... Interestingly, preventive and to a lesser extent also interventional VD treatment resulted in improvements of liver histology. This included a significant decrease of steatosis, a trend towards lower non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) activity score and a slight non-significant decrease of fibrosis in the preventive treatment group. In line with these changes, preventive VD treatment reduced the hepatic expression of lipogenic, inflammatory and pro-fibrotic genes. Notably, these beneficial effects occurred in conjunction with a reduction of intestinal inflammation. Together, our observations suggest that timely initiation of VD supplementation (preventive vs. interventional) is a critical determinant of treatment outcome in NASH. In the applied animal model, the improvements of liver histology occurred in conjunction with reduced inflammation in the gut, suggesting a potential relevance of vitamin D as a therapeutic agent acting on the gut⁻liver axis" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Does high-dose vitamin D supplementation impact insulin resistance and risk of development of diabetes in patients with pre-diabetes? A double-blind randomized clinical trial - Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2018 Dec 21 - "The rate of progression toward diabetes was significantly lower in the intervention group (28% vs. 3%; P value = 0.002) ... In patients with pre-diabetes and hypovitaminosis D, high dose vitamin D improves insulin sensitivity and decreases risk of progression toward diabetes" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Two and Four Weeks of β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementations Reduce Muscle Damage Following Eccentric Contractions - J Am Coll Nutr. 2018 Dec 27:1-7 - "This study investigated the effect of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation for either 2 or 4 weeks on the muscle damage after elbow flexors after eccentric contractions (ECCs) ... We concluded that more than 2 weeks of HMB supplementation has a positive role for untrained subjects to prevent the muscle damage after ECCs." - See HMB at Amazon.com.

Curcumin intervention for cognitive function in different types of people: A systematic review and meta-analysis - Phytother Res. 2018 Dec 21 - "For older adults who received curcumin, scores on measures of cognitive function (SMD = 0.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.05, 0.62]; p = 0.02), occurrence of adverse events (odds ratio [OR] = 5.59, 95% CI [0.96, 36.80]; p = 0.05), and measures of depression (SMD = -0.29, 95% CI [0.64, 0.05]; p = 0.09) indicated significant memory improvement" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.

Effect of Fermented Spirulina maxima Extract on Cognitive-Enhancing Activities in Mice with Scopolamine-Induced Dementia - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Nov 26 - "it can be concluded that the fermented extract exerts memory-improving effects in the hippocampus of scopolamine-treated mice through an initial increase in ERK signaling and a sequential induction of the expression of p-CREB and BDNF, and these effects are related to the antioxidant activities of β-carotene and other components" - See spirulina at Amazon.com.

Protective Effects of Alpha-Lipoic Acid on Glutamate-Induced Cytotoxicity in C6 Glioma Cells - Biol Pharm Bull. 2019;42(1):94-102 - "Glutamate-mediated cytotoxicity has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurological diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and stroke. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), a naturally occurring thiol antioxidant, on glutamate-induced cytotoxicity in cultured C6 astroglial cells. Exposure to high-dose glutamate (10 mM) caused oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction through the elevation of reactive oxygen species, depletion of glutathione, and loss of the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm). Pretreatment with ALA (200 µM), however, significantly inhibited the glutamate-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. ALA pretreatment dose-dependently suppressed glutamate-induced apoptotic events including altered nuclear morphology and activation of caspase-3 ... These results suggest that ALA can effectively suppress oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and ER stress in astroglial cells" - See alpha lipoic acid products at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

I was research shampoo and conditioner for the new guest bathroom I'm installing.  This stuff got 4.8 stars with 48 reviews and a Fakespot grade of 'A': https://amzn.to/2SD8DAw . The shampoo got 4.7 stars with 273 reviews: https://amzn.to/2BW1iVX . The highest stars seem to go to the tea tree ones. Here's another brand with tea tree: https://amzn.to/2BRDp1I . It seems like anything with oil would look too greasy though but maybe I'll try it. They claim it grows hair.

Health Focus (Mediterranean Diet):