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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 5/1/19

As Sense of Smell Fades, Does Death Come Closer? - WebMD. 4/29/19 - "Participants took a brief smell identification test as part of a battery of health examinations. They then were tracked for about 17 years, to see what illnesses might affect them ... We found that compared to people with a good sense of smell, those with a poor sense of smell had about a 48% higher risk for death at year 10 and a 30% higher risk at year 13"

Treatment With Metformin Is Associated With a Prolonged Survival in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma - Medscape, 4/29/19 - "Treatment with metformin was associated with an improved survival in patients with T2DM and HCC. This effect was most pronounced in patients at potentially curative tumour stages"

Fitness Linked to Lower Ventricular Arrhythmia Risk Later - Medscape, 4/26/19 - "That better aerobic fitness apparently protects against potentially fatal arrhythmias in the future, and that it can be easily assessed clinically during an exercise test, supports respiratory gas exchange measurement of CRF as a routine part of patient assessments"

The Germiest Place in Your Bathroom Isn’t Your Toilet - Time, 4/25/19 - "It’s actually the toothbrush holder"

Could a popular food ingredient raise the risk for diabetes and obesity? - Science Daily, 4/24/19 - "For this study, the researchers focused on propionate, a naturally occurring short-chain fatty acid that helps prevents mold from forming on foods. They first administered this short chain fatty acid to mice and found that it rapidly activated the sympathetic nervous system, which led to a surge in hormones, including glucagon, norepinephrine, and a newly discovered gluconeogenic hormone called fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4). This in turn led the mice to produce more glucose from their liver cells, leading to hyperglycemia -- a defining trait of diabetes. Moreover, the researchers found that chronic treatment of mice with a dose of propionate that was equivalent to the amount typically consumed by humans led to significant weight gain in the mice, as well as insulin resistance ... people who consumed the meal containing propionate had significant increases in norepinephrine as well as increases in glucagon and FABP4 soon after eating the meal. The findings indicate that propionate may act as a "metabolic disruptor" that potentially increases the risk for diabetes and obesity in humans. The researchers noted that while propionate is generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these new findings warrant further investigation into propionate and potential alternatives that could be used in food preparation"

Mediterranean diet deters overeating, study finds - Science Daily, 4/23/19 - "nonhuman primates on a Mediterranean diet chose not to eat all the food available to them and maintained a normal weight ... By comparison, the animals on a Western diet ate far more than they needed and gained weight ... The Wake Forest School of Medicine study was a 38-month (equivalent to about 9 years for humans) prevention trial. The diets were formulated to closely reflect human diets with protein and fat derived largely from animal sources in the Western diet and primarily from plant sources in the Mediterranean diet. However, the two diets contained comparable proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrates ... the group on the Mediterranean diet actually ate fewer calories, had lower body weight and had less body fat than those on the Western diet ... The Mediterranean diet also protected against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, known as NAFLD"

Researchers see health effects across generations from popular weed killer - Science Daily, 4/23/19 - "But writing in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers say they saw "dramatic increases" in several pathologies affecting the second and third generations. The second generation had "significant increases" in testis, ovary and mammary gland diseases, as well as obesity. In third-generation males, the researchers saw a 30 percent increase in prostate disease -- three times that of a control population. The third generation of females had a 40 percent increase in kidney disease, or four times that of the controls ... More than one-third of the second-generation mothers had unsuccessful pregnancies, with most of those affected dying. Two out of five males and females in the third generation were obese ... Skinner and his colleagues call this phenomenon "generational toxicology" and they've seen it over the years in fungicides, pesticides, jet fuel, the plastics compound bisphenol A, the insect repellant DEET and the herbicide atrazine. At work are epigenetic changes that turn genes on and off, often because of environmental influences" - Note: Glyphosate is the one in Round-Up.  A lot of people on NextDoor.com ask for recommendations to kill ants.  Nearly everyone recommends a specific exterminator.  I worry about things like Parkinson's and recommend Terro which is made with Borax.  The ants take it back to the nest and it kills the queen ant.  I get the large outdoor size and put it around the inside and outside of the house every spring.

  • Letter of Recommendation: Terro Liquid Ant Bait - NYT, 12/31/15 - "But one thing seems to: Terro Liquid Ant Bait. This is not your usual trap — those black plastic ant yurts no self-respecting ant would ever enter. Terro comes in a plastic rectangle with two compartments, which together make up a minimalist slaughterhouse. One side is filled with a syrupy liquid, a sugar solution with borax. The other forms a small ramp leading into the solution"
  • Getting to the Bottom of Borax: Is it Safe or Not? - crunchybetty.com, 1/8/19 - "Not one single natural ingredient has me quite as verklempt as borax"

How Much Physical Activity Offsets the Bad From Prolonged Sitting? - Medscape, 4/23/19 - "the excess all-cause and CV mortality risks caused by regular, prolonged sitting — 6 or more hours a day — were seen primarily in people who achieved less than 150 minutes per week of physical activity ... The excess risks were substantially countered in those who maintained the lower guidelines-recommended range of physical activity for improving survival, 150 to 200 minutes per week. And they were all but erased for those achieving the higher recommended physical activity range, at least 300 minutes per week"

Skipping Breakfast a Bad Move for Your Heart? - WebMD, 4/23/19 - "Compared to people who always ate breakfast, those who say they never did had a 87% higher odds of dying from heart-related causes ... The odds for stroke, in particular, were especially elevated if people said they always skipped breakfast. These individuals had more than three times the odds of fatal stroke, compared to people who said they always ate in the a.m."

Metformin May Stop Weight Regain After Initial Loss - Medscape, 4/22/19 - "However, the newly reported data show that patients in the metformin group had greater long-term weight loss maintenance success ... During years 6 to 15 (after the intensive lifestyle counseling was completed and weight stabilized), weight loss relative to baseline was 6.2% (95% CI, 5.2% to 7.2%) in the metformin group, 3.7% (95% CI, 3.1% to 4.4%) in the intensive lifestyle group, and 2.8% (95% CI, 1.3% to 4.4%) in the placebo group — and 56%, 43%, and 42% of patients in these respective groups had kept off at least 5% of their initial weight." - [Science Daily]

There’s a persistent myth that you shouldn’t drink water while eating. You can disregard it - Washington Post, 4/22/19 - "The idea that water would dilute the digestive juices in the stomach is untrue for several reasons. First, water is absorbed in the stomach, and fairly quickly — typically within about 20 minutes. This means any possible dilution would be transient. But “even if you had a stomach full of water, it would not interfere with digestion of the food,” said Deborah D. Proctor, governing board member of the American Gastroenterological Association. Water wouldn’t hamper enzyme activity, she said, because “enzymes adhere to food particles regardless of the presence of water.” ... Nor would water affect the stomach’s acidity, Freuman said. While anything you consume — food or drink — will momentarily make the stomach slightly less acidic, it responds by producing as much acid as it needs to digest that meal. That’s what it is designed to do. “It’s not like you start off with a certain amount of acid and that is it. If you need more, your body will make it,” she said."

Anti-tumor activity of curcumin on stomach cancer - Science Daily, 4/22/19 - "In addition to curcumin, other compounds found to play a key role in modulating histone activity were cholecalciferol, resveratrol (present mainly in grape seeds and red wine), quercetin (abundant in apples, broccoli and onions), garcinol (isolated from the bark of the kokum tree, Garcinia indica), and sodium butyrate (produced by gut bacteria via fermentation of dietary fiber) ... "These compounds can favor the activation or repression of genes involved in the development of stomach cancer by promoting or inhibiting histone acetylation," Calcagno said ... Curcumin, for example, influences histone modifications primarily by inhibiting HATs and HDACs to suppress cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death). Garcinol, whose chemical structure resembles that of curcumin, inhibits HATs and helps prevent stomach cancer by neutralizing free radicals" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.

Is Ghee Healthy? Here's What the Science Says - Time, 4/22/19 - "But the thinking on fat has shifted. Far from promoting obesity, many forms of dietary fat—foods like olive oil and avocado—are now considered hunger-satisfying additions to a healthy diet. While experts still disagree about saturated fat, some no longer consider it to be an obvious health risk ... “The more research I’ve done, the more total saturated fat seems relatively neutral—neither good or bad for your heart,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and professor of nutrition at Tufts University. “Dairy fat, for example, doesn’t seem to be linked to heart disease or diabetes, and even seems to be protective against diabetes,” he adds ... This viewpoint is in line with some recent studies tying the consumption of some saturated-fat-rich foods to health benefits. Also, a 2016 review on butter found “relatively small or neutral” links between its consumption and heart disease or diabetes."

Acetaminophen May Blunt Empathy - Medscape, 4/17/19 - "They found that relative to placebo, acetaminophen reduced personal pleasure and empathetic feelings (personal pleasure: F [1110] = 12.38; P < .001; η p 2 = 0.101; empathetic feelings: F[1110] = 11.67; P < .001 η p 2 = 0.096) ... In contrast, relative to placebo, acetaminophen did not significantly reduce perceived positivity or perceived pleasure (perceived positivity: F [1110] = 2.44; P= .121; η p 2 = 0.022; perceived pleasure: F[1,110] = 2.74; P = .101; η p 2 = 0.024)"

Low scam awareness in old age may be an early sign of impending cognitive decline and dementia - Science Daily, 4/15/19 - "Older adults frequently are targeted by con-artists and are highly vulnerable to scams and fraud, particularly those that are financial in nature. However, little is known about whether scam awareness predicts transitions from normality to mild cognitive impairment and dementia ... low scam awareness was a harbinger of adverse cognitive outcomes. Low scam awareness was also associated with Alzheimer disease pathology in the brain. According to the researchers, these findings suggest that low scam awareness is an early sign of impending mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Further, they conclude that evaluation of behaviors such as scam awareness may help to identify individuals at risk for dementia before cognitive symptoms manifest." - Previous study:

  • Why older adults become fraud victims more often - Science Daily, 12/3/12 - "an important clue may lie in a particular region of the brain that influences the ability to discern who is honest and who is trying to deceive us ... Older people, more than younger adults, may fail to interpret an untrustworthy face as potentially dishonest ... a brain region called the anterior insula, which is linked to disgust and is important for discerning untrustworthy faces, is less active in older adults" - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203163430.htm

Abstracts from this week:

Randomized study of the effects of cocoa-rich chocolate on the ventricle-arterial coupling and vascular function of young, healthy adults - Nutrition. 2019 Feb 27;63-64:175-183 - "Half of the participants ingested a 20-g dose of lower cocoa chocolate (LCC; ~55%; 12.6 +/- 1.4 mg equivalent of epicatechin/g) and the others ingested a daily dose of 20 g of higher cocoa chocolate (HCC; ~90%; 18.2 +/- 2.6 mg equivalent of epicatechin/g) ... A statistically significant improvement was depicted over the brachial and central systolic and pulse pressures in the HCC group, and a trend for improvement in the reflected waves component (Aix) and the FMS was also observed in the HCC, but not in the LCC group ... regular consumption of HCC has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system in young, healthy adults, improving vascular function by reducing central brachial artery pressures and promoting vascular relaxation, and thus enhancing the matching of the arterial system with the left ventricle" - See Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Squares, Midnight Reverie, 4.12 oz., 86% Cacao (Pack of 4) at Amazon.com.

Intake of alpha-linolenic acid is not consistently associated with a lower risk of peripheral artery disease: results from a Danish cohort study - Br J Nutr. 2019 Apr 22:1-19 - "Intake of the plant-derived omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) has been associated with anti-atherosclerotic properties ... In multivariable analyses, we found no statistically significant association between intake of ALA and the rate of PAD (P = 0.339). Also, no statistically significant associations were observed in analyses including additional adjustment for co-morbidities and in sex-specific analyses. In supplemental analyses with additional adjustment for potential dietary risk factors, we found a weak inverse association to PAD with ALA intake above the median, but the association was not statistically significant (P = 0.314). In conclusion, dietary intake of ALA was not consistently associated with decreased risk of PAD"

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) alters body fat and lean mass through sex-dependent metabolic mechanisms in Drosophila melanogaster - Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Apr 22:1-11 - "EGCG treatments increased lean mass and locomotor activity, and downregulated transcription levels of brummer (bmm), adipokinetic hormone (akh), and Drosophila insulin-like peptide 2 (dilp2), and upregulated spargel (srl) in males. In addition, EGCG decreased sugar levels in both females and males. In conclusion, EGCG promotes lean phenotype in D. melanogaster via sex-specific metabolic regulations" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

The effects of TeaCrine® and caffeine on endurance and cognitive performance during a simulated match in high-level soccer players - J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2019 Apr 18;16(1):20 - "time-to-exhaustion (TTE) ... The 27-38% improvements in TTE reflect increased performance capacity that may have important implications for overtime scenarios. These findings suggest TeaCrine® favorably impacts endurance and the combination with caffeine provides greater benefits on cognitive function than either supplement independently" - {Nutra USA] - See TeaCrine® at Amazon.com.

Acute study of dose-dependent effects of (-)-epicatechin on vascular function in healthy male volunteers: A randomized controlled trial - Clin Nutr. 2019 Apr 9 - "Our data add further evidence that (-)-epicatechin is a causal vasoactive molecule within flavanol-containing foods/beverages. In addition, we show for the first time that intake levels as low as 0.5 mg/kg BW are capable of inducing acute improvements in vascular function (FMD) in healthy volunteers" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

The Effects of Choline and Magnesium Co-Supplementation on Metabolic Parameters, Inflammation, and Endothelial Dysfunction in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial - J Am Coll Nutr. 2019 Apr 23:1-8 - "When adjusted for potential confounders, inflammation and endothelial factors (IL-6 and VCAM-1) decreased significantly in the choline-magnesium group as compared to other groups (p < 0.05). Compared to baseline values there were no significant differences in all anthropometric measurements and metabolic factors among four groups" - See citicholine at Amazon.com and Magtein at Amazon.com.

Association between depression and the risk of developing ventricular arrhythmias: A meta-analysis - Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Apr 16 - "Overall, participants with depression, as compared to those who had no depression, experienced a significantly increased risk of developing ventricular arrhythmia (combined HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.02 - 1.73; p = 0.037). In a subgroup analysis, a statistically-significant relation between depression and risk of ventricular arrhythmia was observed in coronary heart disease (CHD) patients and in studies with adjustment for confounding factors, with pooled HR at a 95% CI of 1.78 (1.31 - 2.42) and 1.52 (1.11 - 2.08), respectively"

A Selective Role of Dietary Anthocyanins and Flavan-3-ols in Reducing the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Review of Recent Evidence - Nutrients. 2019 Apr 13;11(4) - "Diet plays a critical role in reducing T2DM risk. Therapeutic dietary approaches routinely recommend diets high in plant foods (i.e., vegetables, fruits, whole-grains). In addition to essential micronutrients and fiber, plant-based diets contain a wide-variety of polyphenols, specifically flavonoid compounds. Evidence suggests that flavonoids may confer specific benefits for T2DM risk reduction through pathways influencing glucose absorption and insulin sensitivity and/or secretion ... Collectively, the research indicates that certain flavonoids, explicitly anthocyanins and flavan-3-ols and foods rich in these compounds, may have an important role in dietary algorithms aimed to address diabetes risk factors and the development of T2DM" - See grape seed extract at Amazon.com.

The Impact of OMEGA-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation on Insulin Resistance and Content of Adipocytokines and Biologically Active Lipids in Adipose Tissue of High-Fat Diet Fed Rats - Nutrients. 2019 Apr 12;11(4) - "It has been established that OMEGA-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may improve lipid and glucose homeostasis and prevent the "low-grade" state of inflammation in animals ... The aim of the study was to examine the effect of fish oil supplementation on adipocytokines expression and ceramide (Cer) and diacylglycerols (DAG) content in visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue of high-fat fed animals. The experiments were carried out on Wistar rats divided into three groups: standard diet-control (SD), high-fat diet (HFD), and high-fat diet + fish oil (HFD+FO) ... There was an increase of adiponectin concentration and expression in HFD+FO as compared to HFD group. OMEGA-3 fatty acids supplementation improved insulin sensitivity and decreased content of Cer and DAG in both fat depots. Our results also demonstrate that PUFAs may prevent the development of insulin resistance in response to high-fat feeding and may regulate the expression and secretion of adipocytokines in this animal model" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Effect of annatto-extracted tocotrienols and green tea polyphenols on glucose homeostasis and skeletal muscle metabolism in obese male mice - J Nutr Biochem. 2019 Feb 10;67:36-43 - "This study evaluated the effects of tocotrienols (TT) and green tea polyphenols (GTP) individually or in combination on glucose homeostasis and skeletal muscle metabolism in obese mice with insulin resistance and elevation of blood glucose ... Both GTP and TT improved area under curve of insulin intolerance; while GTP increased serum insulin levels in obese mice, probably due to the addition of sweetener in drinking water. An interaction (TT×GTP) was observed in glucose tolerance test, total pancreas insulin concentration, and citrate synthase activity of soleus in mice ... Both TT and GTP individually increased soleus muscle weight of mice; while only GTP increased gastrocnemius muscle weight of mice. The TT+GTP group had the greatest gastrocnemius muscle cross sectional area than other groups" - [Nutra USA] - See vitamin E products at Amazon.com and green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Supplementation of eicosapentaenoic acid-rich fish oil attenuates muscle stiffness after eccentric contractions of human elbow flexors - J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2019 Apr 15;16(1):19 - "eccentric contractions (ECCs) ... They consumed either EPA 600 mg and DHA 260 mg per day or placebo supplement for 8 weeks prior to exercise ... maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) ... range of motion (ROM) ... MVC torque and ROM were significantly higher in the EPA group than in the PL group after ECCs (p < 0.05). Muscle soreness, upper arm circumference, and muscle echo intensity were significantly higher in the PL group than in the EPA group after ECCs (p < 0.05). In addition, muscle stiffness at 150° was significantly higher in the PL group than in the EPA group immediately after ECCs" - [Nutra USA] - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Green coffee ameliorates components of diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats - j func foods Jun 2019 - "Metabolic syndrome, especially obesity, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We hypothesised that green coffee will attenuate metabolic, cardiovascular and liver parameters in high-carbohydrate high-fat diet-fed rats. Male Wistar rats (8–9 weeks old) were divided into 6 groups and fed for 16 weeks with either corn starch diet (C), C with either 5% green or decaffeinated green coffee in food for the last 8 weeks, high-carbohydrate high-fat diet (H) or H with either 5% green or decaffeinated green coffee in food for the last 8 weeks. Green coffee contained chlorogenic acids, trigonelline, caffeine and diterpenoids; decaffeinated green coffee contained these compounds but no caffeine. Green coffee attenuated body weight, systolic blood pressure, inflammation in the heart and liver and diastolic stiffness without improving glucose sensitivity or plasma lipids. We suggest that chlorogenic acids, trigonelline and diterpenoids in green coffee attenuate diet-induced abnormalities in heart and liver." - [Nutra USA] - See green coffee bean extract at Amazon.com.

YouTube videos but I can't vouch for their accuracy:

Micronutrients for the Prevention of Age-Related Diseases and Brain Dysfunction - BioBalance Wellness Institute, 43:16

Can Niacinamide and Metformin Reverse Aging? Update February 2019 - Edward Omron, MD, MPH - 20:50

Health Focus (HDL Cholesterol):