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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 10/16/19

Potential therapy to treat detrimental effects of marijuana - Science Daily, 10/15/19 - "A University of Maryland School of Medicine study using a preclinical animal model suggests that prenatal exposure to THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, makes the brain's dopamine neurons (an integral component of the reward system) hyperactive and increases sensitivity to the behavioral effects of THC during pre-adolescence. This may contribute to the increased risk of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis later in adolescence that previous research has linked to prenatal cannabis use" - Note:  I tried pregnenolone once.  Felt like I got hit by a Mac truck.  I talked to someone else who had the same problem.  Why not just stay away from pot in the first place.

Frequent Male Pot Use Linked to Early Miscarriages - WebMD, 10/14/19 - "Men who use marijuana at least once a week are twice as likely to see their partner's pregnancy end in miscarriage, compared to those who use no pot ... marijuana could cause DNA damage in sperm ... We would expect that the sperm was healthy enough to fertilize an egg, but any damage to the sperm might result in early pregnancy loss ... There are cannabinoid receptors within both sperm and male testicular tissue, indicating that the chemicals in pot do have some direct effect on male reproductive health" - Plus, with the DNA damaged sperm, the pregnancies that do make it probably aren't giving the offspring a good start on like.  If that DNA damage is to the testicular tissue, seems like the DNA damage would carry over to the sperm and would be a problem for life, even if they stopped.  Too many pot smokers are in denial.  You're not going to get a healthy sperm from a damaged testicle.

More evidence linking common bladder medication to a vision-threatening eye condition - Science Daily, 10/12/19 - "Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) ... about one-quarter of patients with significant exposure to Elmiron showed definite signs of eye damage, and that this medication toxicity could masquerade as other known retinal conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy"

Probiotic pills could bring an end to malnutrition, says billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates - Telegraph, 10/7/19 - "He argues that better scientific understanding of the human microbiome – specifically the microorganisms which inhabit the gut – will enable the development of “smartly engineered” probiotic pills which will help us to retain more of the nutrients in the foods we eat"

Dietary supplement from tomatoes discovered to boost sperm quality - Science Daily, 10/9/19 - "The 12-week trial designed by Dr Williams involved 60 healthy volunteers aged 19 to 30. Half took LactoLycopene supplements and the other half took identical placebo (dummy pills) every day for 12 weeks ... The improvement in morphology -- the size and shape of the sperm, was dramatic. We used a computer system to make these measurements, which takes a lot of the human error out of the results. Also, the person using the computer didn't know who had taken LactoLycopene and who had taken the dummy pills either" - [Abstract] - [Nutra USA] -See lycopene at Amazon.com.

Dog ownership associated with longer life, especially among heart attack and stroke survivors - Science Daily, 10/8/19 - "Prior studies have shown that dog ownership alleviates social isolation, improves physical activity and even lowers blood pressure -- leading researchers to believe dog owners could potentially have better cardiovascular outcomes compared to non-owners ... Compared to people who did not own a dog, researchers found that for dog owners: The risk of death for heart attack patients living alone after hospitalization was 33% lower, and 15% lower for those living with a partner or child ... The risk of death for stroke patients living alone after hospitalization was 27% lower and 12 ... The lower risk of death associated with dog ownership could be explained by an increase in physical activity and the decreased depression and loneliness, both of which have been connected to dog ownership in previous studies."

PROVE-HF Cracks the 'Holy Grail' of Cardiac Remodeling in HFrEF - Medscape, 10/7/19 - 14 minute video on Entresto to improve for low ejection fraction. - "For the group as a whole, by 6 months we saw an average 5.2% increase in the EF, and by 1 year a 9.5% rise in the EF." - Note:  Novartis has a coupon for a free 30 day supply.  Click here.

Australia Just Had a Bad Flu Season. That May Be a Warning for the U.S. - NYT, 10/4/19 - "But the best move is to get the vaccine right now" - Note: On one of my navy deployments, we stopped in Australia and I picked up their flu. It was by far the worst strain of the flu I've ever had. I remember sitting in the officer's mess hall on the ship wearing my flight jacket and sweating yet shivering from thinking I was cold. Get the flu shot. The life you save may be the person you would have transmitted it to or someone else down the line. I've already got an appointment at Scripps for the shot. Costco is another option. You might also want to make a run to Tijuana for Tamiflu (about $16 for the generic) and take it at the very first sign of the flu. There are studies that claim it doesn't shorten the flu that much but I think that in the studies, they didn't start taking it soon enough. It cuts my flu time by about 75% (5 or 6 days when it usually takes three weeks. When I get the flu, it's bad).

Legalized Cannabis in Colorado Emergency Departments - Medscape, 10/4/19 - "Cannabis legalization has led to significant health consequences, particularly to patients in emergency departments and hospitals in Colorado. The most concerning include psychosis, suicide, and other substance abuse. Deleterious effects on the brain include decrements in complex decision-making, which may not be reversible with abstinence. Increases in fatal motor vehicle collisions, adverse effects on cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, inadvertent pediatric exposures, cannabis contaminants exposing users to infectious agents, heavy metals, and pesticides, and hash-oil burn injuries in preparation of drug concentrates have been documented. Cannabis dispensary workers ("budtenders") without medical training are giving medical advice that may be harmful to patients"

Is the Impossible Burger healthier than beef? - CNET, 10/3/19 - "While the macronutrient profiles of real beef and Impossible ground beef are comparable, their levels of processing are not. Because it doesn't occur in nature, plant-based beef is highly processed, comprised of a variety of plant ingredients, colorings, extracts and preservatives to mimic the taste, texture and aroma of real beef ... One version of the Impossible Burger -- the Impossible Whopper at Burger King -- contains 1,240 milligrams of sodium, which is even more than what's in a regular Whopper ... The last couple generations of Americans have spent their lives fearing red meat, only to find out that saturated fat really isn't as bad as we thought" - Here's the article they cite on saturated fat:

  • Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions - British Journal of Sports Medicine, Aug. 2017 - "Despite popular belief among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong. A landmark systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies showed no association between saturated fat consumption and (1) all-cause mortality, (2) coronary heart disease (CHD), (3) CHD mortality, (4) ischaemic stroke or (5) type 2 diabetes in healthy adults.1 Similarly in the secondary prevention of CHD there is no benefit from reduced fat, including saturated fat, on myocardial infarction, cardiovascular or all-cause mortality.2 It is instructive to note that in an angiographic study of postmenopausal women with CHD, greater intake of saturated fat was associated with less progression of atherosclerosis whereas carbohydrate and polyunsaturated fat intake were associated with greater progression" - Note:  I have a slider about every other day (Costco, Kirkland third pound frozen sirloin burgers cooked in an air fryer at 360 degrees for 14 minutes).  He's what it's done to my numbers (taken 9/20/19) and I'm old.  An angiogram in February also came up clean:

Fathers-to-be should avoid alcohol six months before conception - Science Daily, 10/3/19 - "Aspiring parents should both avoid drinking alcohol prior to conception to protect against congenital heart defects"

Canadians told to stop taking aspirin to prevent first heart attack, stroke - Science Daily, 10/2/19 - "Kolber and Fritsch reviewed three large, randomized, placebo-controlled studies published in 2018 that showed the risk of major internal bleeding associated with taking an aspirin a day is higher than any preventative benefits"

First Guideline to Say Colon Cancer Screening Is Not for All - Medscape, 10/2/19 - "For the first time, a guideline recommends that screening for colorectal cancer should not be routinely recommended for all adults aged 50 to 79 years, but instead should be limited to individuals with an elevated level of risk."

Abstracts from this week:

Hypnotic Effects of Lactobacillus fermentum PS150TM on Pentobarbital-Induced Sleep in Mice - Nutrients. 2019 Oct 9;11(10) - "The bidirectional communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system appears to be functionally linked to the intestinal microbiome, namely the microbiome-gut-brain axis (MGBA). Probiotics with health benefits on psychiatric or neurological illnesses are generally called psychobiotics, and some of them may also be able to improve sleep by targeting the MGBA. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a psychobiotic strain, Lactobacillus fermentum PS150TM (PS150TM), on sleep improvement by using a pentobarbital-induced sleep mouse model. Compared with the vehicle control group, the oral administration of PS150TM, but not the other L. fermentum strains, significantly decreased the sleep latency and increased the sleep duration of mice, suggesting strain-specific sleep-improving effects of PS150TM. Moreover, the ingestion of diphenhydramine, an antihistamine used to treat insomnia, as a drug control group, only increased the sleep duration of mice. We also found that the sleep-improving effects of PS150TM are time- and dose-dependent. Furthermore, the oral administration of PS150TM could attenuate a caffeine-induced sleep disturbance in mice, and PS150TM appeared to increase the expression of the gene encoding the adenosine 1 receptor in the hypothalamus of mice, as assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Taken together, our results present a potential application of PS150TM as a dietary supplement for sleep improvement" - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Dietary intake of tryptophan tied emotion-related impulsivity in humans - Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2019 Oct 4:1-8 - "Three Factor Impulsivity Index, TFI ... Correlational analyses indicated that higher tryptophan intake was associated with significantly lower scores on two out of three subscales of the TFI, Pervasive Influence of Feelings scores r = -.502, p < .010, and (lack-of) Follow-Through scores, r = -.407, p < .050. ... Findings provide further evidence that emotion-related impulsivity is correlated to serotonergic indices, even when considering only food habits. It also suggests the need for more research on whether tryptophan supplements might be beneficial for impulsive persons suffering from a psychological disorder" - See tryptophan at Amazon.com.

Treating Uncontrolled Hypertension with Hibiscus sabdariffa When Standard Treatment Is Insufficient: Pilot Intervention J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Oct 10 - "To assess the use of Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS), known as karkade in Jordan ... Of the 38 participants, 29 finished the program, 72% of whom were taking antihypertensive medication due to uncontrolled hypertension and 28% of whom were not. H. sabdariffa was generally well tolerated: 38% of participants reached the target BP at the end of the study and 65% saw their systolic BP decrease by at least 10 mmHg ... H. sabdariffa (karkade) is generally well tolerated and seems to be helpful in treating uncontrolled hypertension, with or without medication" - See Hibiscus sabdariffa at Amazon.com.

Higher Vitamin D Levels Are Associated with Better Attentional Functions: Data from the NorCog Register - J Nutr Health Aging. 2019;23(8):725-731 - "The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate which cognitive domains are mostly affected in persons with vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency, defined as 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l and < 25 nmol/l, respectively ... Mini Mental State Examination, Norwegian Revised Version (MMSE-NR), the Clock Drawing test, the Trail Making Test A and B, the 10-word memory test and the figure copying test from CERAD - immediate and delayed recall, The Controlled Oral Word Association Test -FAS and Boston Naming test. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were assessed by Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire and Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia ... Vitamin D-insufficiency was found in approx. 30 % of the study cohort. After adjustment for relevant covariates, higher serum 25(OH)D levels were associated with higher score on MMSE-NR (p=0.032) and 10-word Memory Test, immediate recall (p=0.038), as well as faster execution of Trail Making Test A and B (p=0.038 and p=0.021, respectively)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Optimal fasting glucose levels with regard to cardiovascular and mortality outcomes in people treated with or without antidiabetic medication - Diabetes Obes Metab. 2019 Oct 10 - "fasting blood glucose (FBG) ... For untreated FBG, the CVD risk and mortality increased linearly from an FBG threshold of 5.6 mmol/L; however, for FBG treated with antidiabetic drugs there were J-shaped associations with the outcome risks. For treated FBG levels of 4.4 to 5.5 mmol/L, 7.8 to 8.8 mmol/L, 8.9 to 9.9 mmol/L and ≥ 10.0 mmol/L, vs 6.1 to 6.9 mmol/L, the hazard ratios for major CVD events were 1.17 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.32), 1.06 (95% CI 0.96-1.18), 1.37 (95% CI 1.22-1.53) and 1.61 (95% CI 1.46-1.78), respectively, and those for all-cause mortality were 1.20 (95% CI 1.11-1.29), 1.05 (95% CI 0.99-1.12), 1.29 (95% CI 1.10-1.50) and 1.69 (95% CI 1.59-1.81), respectively ... These findings indicate that pharmacological therapy achieving FBG levels of <7.8 to 8.9 mmol/L and a non-pharmacological approach to maintaining normal glucose levels help reduce the risk of adverse outcomes, while lowering FBG to normal levels through antidiabetic drugs is not beneficial or may even be harmful" - See the conversion.  7.8 mmol/L is 140 mg/dl.  5.0 mmol/L is 90 mg/dl.  I find it hard to believe that a FBG of 140 is good for you heart.  Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

Resveratrol Inhibits Human Visceral Preadipocyte Proliferation and Differentiation in vitro - Lipids. 2019 Oct 1 - "Visceral obesity is a high-risk factor for diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Resveratrol, a natural polyphenolic compound, has been reported to inhibit preadipocyte differentiation. However, the effect of resveratrol on human visceral preadipocyte (HPA-v) differentiation remains largely unknown ... Resveratrol inhibited HPA-v proliferation and differentiation in a dose-dependent manner, and significantly decreased the mRNA expression levels of PPARG, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (CEBPA), fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), and fatty acid synthase (FAS) (p < 0.05) at 10, 20, and 50 μM. The mRNA and protein levels of LMO3 were significantly reduced by ≥20 μM resveratrol (p < 0.05), and overexpression of LMO3 partially attenuated resveratrol-induced reduction of HPA-v differentiation by enhancing the PPARG transcriptional activity. Together, our study suggested that resveratrol reduced HPA-v proliferation and differentiation, as well as LMO3, which was partially responsible for the reduction of resveratrol-mediated adipocyte differentiation" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

Flavanol-rich lychee fruit extract substantially reduces progressive cognitive and molecular deficits in a triple-transgenic animal model of Alzheimer disease - Nutr Neurosci. 2019 Oct 11:1-15 - "Effective treatment to prevent or arrest the advance of Alzheimer disease (AD) has yet to be discovered. We investigated whether OligonolR, an FDA-approved flavanol-rich extract prepared from lychee fruit and green tea, exerted beneficial effects relevant to AD in a triple transgenic male mouse model of AD (3×Tg-AD). At 9 months of age, untreated 3×Tg-AD mice vs. wild-type (WT) controls displayed cognitive deficits in behavioral assays and, at 12 months, elevated levels of hippocampal amyloid beta-protein (Aβ), amyloid precursor protein (APP), tau phosphorylation, and pro-inflammatory cytokines. 3×Tg-AD mice given Oligonol showed fewer cognitive deficits and attenuated pathological indices at 12 months. Oligonol treatment of 3×Tg-AD mice modulated expression of some critical brain proteins that involve multiple pathways relevant to mitochondrial dysfunction, proteasomal failure, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and synaptic impairment. Together, these results demonstrate that continuous Oligonol treatment attenuates AD-like pathology and cognitive impairment of 3×Tg-AD mice and set the stage for clinical trials of this flavanol-rich plant extract in patients with early AD" - See Oligonol at Amazon.com.

Fluvastatin inhibits HMG-CoA reductase and prevents non-small cell lung carcinogenesis - Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2019 Sep 25 - "Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide ... our findings suggest that fluvastatin might be promising chemopreventive or potential therapeutic drug against NSCLC tumorigenesis, providing hope for rapid clinical translation"

Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Insomnia and Anxiety: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study - Cueus, 28 Sep 19 - "Test product was a capsule containing highest concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract 300 mg, and the placebo was an identical capsule containing starch ... Sleep actigraphy (Respironics Philips) was used for assessment of sleep onset latency (SOL), total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency (SE) and wake after sleep onset (WASO) ... The sleep onset latency was improved in both test and placebo at five and 10 weeks. However, the SOL was significantly shorter (p, 0.019) after 10 weeks with test [29.00 (7.14)] compared to placebo [33.94 (7.65)]. Also, significant improvement in SE scores was observed with Ashwagandha which was 75.63 (2.70) for test at the baseline and increased to 83.48 (2.83) after 10 weeks, whereas for placebo the SE scores changed from 75.14 (3.73) at baseline to 79.68 (3.59) after 10 weeks. Similarly, significant improvement in sleep quality was observed with test compared to placebo (p, 0.002). Significant improvement was observed in all other sleep parameters, i.e., SOL, SE, PSQI and anxiety (HAM-A scores) with Ashwagandha root extract treatment for 10 weeks." - [Nutra USA] - See Ashwagandha at Amazon.com.

  • Sleep onset latency - Wiki - "In sleep science, sleep onset latency (SOL) is the length of time that it takes to accomplish the transition from full wakefulness to sleep"
  • Ashwagandha Dosage: How Much Should You Take per Day? - Healthline - "The medicinal herb appears to help lower levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands in response to stress. More specifically, daily doses of 125 mg to 5 grams for 1–3 months have shown to lower cortisol levels by 11–32% (2, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source) ... Moreover, 500–600 mg of ashwagandha per day for 6–12 weeks may reduce anxiety and lower the likelihood of insomnia in people with stress and anxiety disorders"

The neuroactive potential of the human gut microbiota in quality of life and depression - Nat Microbiol. 2019 Apr;4(4):623-632 - "The relationship between gut microbial metabolism and mental health is one of the most intriguing and controversial topics in microbiome research ... Butyrate-producing Faecalibacterium and Coprococcus bacteria were consistently associated with higher quality of life indicators. Together with Dialister, Coprococcus spp. were also depleted in depression, even after correcting for the confounding effects of antidepressants. Using a module-based analytical framework, we assembled a catalogue of neuroactive potential of sequenced gut prokaryotes. Gut-brain module analysis of faecal metagenomes identified the microbial synthesis potential of the dopamine metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid as correlating positively with mental quality of life and indicated a potential role of microbial γ-aminobutyric acid production in depression. Our results provide population-scale evidence for microbiome links to mental health, while emphasizing confounder importance" - [Full Text] - [Nutra USA] - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

The efficacy and safety of nutrient supplements in the treatment of mental disorders: a meta-review of meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials - World Psychiatry. 2019 Oct;18(3):308-324 - "The strongest evidence was found for PUFAs (particularly as eicosapentaenoic acid) as an adjunctive treatment for depression. More nascent evidence suggested that PUFAs may also be beneficial for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, whereas there was no evidence for schizophrenia. Folate-based supplements were widely researched as adjunctive treatments for depression and schizophrenia, with positive effects from RCTs of high-dose methylfolate in major depressive disorder. There was emergent evidence for N-acetylcysteine as a useful adjunctive treatment in mood disorders and schizophrenia. All nutrient supplements had good safety profiles, with no evidence of serious adverse effects or contraindications with psychiatric medications" - [Full Text] - [Nutra USA] - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com, methylfolate at Amazon.com and n-acetyl cysteine at Amazon.com.

Health Focus (Depression):