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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 12/25/19

Tackling Inflammation to Fight Age-Related Ailments - NYT, 12/23/19 - "Specialists in the biology of aging have identified a rarely recognized yet universal condition that is a major contributor to a wide range of common health-robbing ailments, from heart disease, diabetes and cancer to arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. That condition is chronic inflammation, a kind of low-grade irritant that can undermine the well-being of virtually every bodily system ... recent studies have identified measures potentially available to everyone that can minimize the potency of chronic inflammation and stymie — and possibly even reverse — its progression. The measures will come as no surprise to people familiar with the healthful advice that has been offered in this column for many years: Adopt a wholesome diet (details to follow), get regular exercise, avoid or reduce excess weight, get adequate quality sleep, minimize stress and don’t smoke ... As people age, their immune responses become less well regulated, resulting in elevated blood levels of inflammatory substances like C-reactive protein and chemokines, and allowing inflammatory agents like interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-alpha) to persist in body tissues ... The drug metformin, commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes, is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect and will be tested for its ability to delay the development of age-related diseases in a forthcoming trial called TAME, the acronym for Targeting Aging with Metformin ... Another consequence of aging is the accumulation of so-called senescent cells, normal cells that stop dividing, contribute to tissue aging and secrete substances like cytokines that induce inflammation. Elimination of senescent cells can counter chronic inflammation, said Steven N. Austad, director of aging studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A combination of two drugs, dasatinib and quercetin, was shown in a Mayo Clinic study in obese mice to remove senescent cells and permit cell growth to resume in the brain ... Dr. Hu recommends frequent consumption of foods known to have an anti-inflammatory effect. They include green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and collards; fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines; fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples, grapes, oranges and cherries; nuts like almonds and walnuts; and olive oil. The recommended plant foods contain natural antioxidants and polyphenols, and the fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, all of which counter inflammation ... get regular dental cleanings to control periodontal disease, which can be a source of chronic inflammation ... be judicious in the use of antibiotics, antacids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that can disrupt the normally healthy population of microorganisms in the gut and result in “a leaky gut that lets bacteria into circulation and is very pro-inflammatory" - See quercetin at Amazon.com and omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Vitamin D Needs Calcium to Help Lower - Medscape, 12/23/19 - "Once regarded as a potent silver bullet for preventing fractures, vitamin D appears to need calcium to exert a preventive effect. Neither intermittent nor daily consumption of standard doses of vitamin D alone was associated with a reduced fracture risk, a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies in elderly individuals reports. Daily supplementation with both vitamin D and calcium, however, appeared more promising, correlating to a 16% reduced risk of hip fracture"

5 Liver-Saving Strategies for the New Year - Medscape, 12/23/19 - "Cut way down on calories, strategically ... Exercise your way to a healthier liver ... Celebrate dry January (or sober September) ... Adopt a Mediterranean diet ... Recognize the risk of a liver detox"

Scientists discover medicinal cannabis substitute for treating Parkinson's disease - Science Daily, 12/19/19 - "Our study suggests that a derivative of HU-308, either alone or in combination with amantadine, may be a more effective treatment for dyskinesias and a much better option than using an unproven potentially harmful substance like cannabis ... By reducing inflammation in the brain -- such as with HU-308 -- these immune cells can support normal neural function again, rather than inhibiting it ... First, our study shows HU-308 is equally affective so a drug like HU-308 will be useful for those people who can't take amantadine. Second, for those who can tolerate amantadine, taking the combination may have even greater benefits than taking either drug alone. That means we may end up with a much more powerful treatment than currently available by ultimately prescribing both"

Lifetime Estrogen Exposure and Cognition in Late Life - Medscape, 12/20/19 - "hormone therapy (HT) ... Endogenous estrogen exposure (EEE) ... EEE was positively associated with cognitive status (β = 0.03, P = 0.054). In addition, longer duration of HT use was positively associated with cognitive status (β = 0.02, P = 0.046) and interacted with age; older women had greater benefit compared with younger women. The timing of HT initiation was significantly associated with 3MS (β = 0.55, P = 0.048), with higher scores for women who initiated HT within 5 years of menopause compared with those initiating HT 6-or-more years later"

Possible link between cannabis use and structural changes to heart - Science Daily, 12/20/19 - "Analysing MRI images from the UK Biobank population study, the team identified an association between regular cannabis use and an enlarged left ventricle -- the heart's main pumping chamber -- together with early signs of impairment of heart function ... The analysis also found that people who had used cannabis regularly but given up had similar heart size and function to those who had rarely or never taken the drug" - And who pays for the disability costs and the $250/month Entresto for the ones on Medicaid?  The taxpayers, i.e., me.  Then there's the costs passed on the manufactures who hire these people which effect the price of goods I buy.  See my blurb below.  I'm just tired of hearing that it doesn't affect me.

Blue light may not be as disruptive to our sleep patterns as originally thought - Science Daily, 12/16/19 - "There is lots of interest in altering the impact of light on the clock by adjusting the brightness signals detected by melanopsin but current approaches usually do this by changing the ratio of short and long wavelength light; this provides a small difference in brightness at the expense of perceptible changes in colour ... We argue that this is not the best approach, since the changes in colour may oppose any benefits obtained from reducing the brightness signals detected by melanopsin ... Our findings suggest that using dim, cooler, lights in the evening and bright warmer lights in the day may be more beneficial"

People With Depression Turning to Pot for Relief - WebMD, 12/17/19 - "But in their misery, many might be turning to a risky solution that's likely to make their condition even worse -- marijuana ... People with depression are twice as likely to be using pot as those who aren't depressed ... With increasing legalization in the U.S., previous studies have shown that perception of risk associated with use is declining overall ... The results of this study show that this decline is even more rapid among this vulnerable population ... We have no evidence whatsoever that marijuana helps in these psychiatric disorders but, nevertheless, people believe it ... Symptoms of depression that might be heightened by marijuana include lack of motivation, listlessness and isolation as well as a lack of pleasure and interest in things people used to enjoy ... People who are depressed may be more likely to take risks ... They will go out on a limb hoping this agent may help them ... it might be that instead of turning to marijuana to relieve depression, cannabis use actually causes depression among typically healthy people"

Vaping Damages Your Lungs, But Is Still Safer Than Smoking, a Long-Term Study Suggests - Time, 12/16/19 - "A new paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine presents the findings of what’s thought to be the first longitudinal analysis of the association between vaping and lung disease. Researchers tracked e-cigarette users for three years, and found that they had a 1.3-times higher risk of developing respiratory disease than people who did not use any tobacco product. Meanwhile, cigarette smokers had a 2.5-times higher risk, and those who both smoked and vaped had a 3.3-times higher risk."

Oral Arginine Emerges as Potential Adjuvant for Vaso-Occlusive Crisis Management - Medscape, 12/11/19 - "Oral arginine supplementation significantly increased plasma arginine levels and improved acute pain-related outcomes in Nigerian children with sickle cell disease ... Low plasma arginine levels are associated with acute pain requiring hospitalization in Nigerian children with sickle cell disease, and have also been shown in a prior study in the United States to predict pediatric vaso-occlusion ... Despite similar baseline Numerical Pain Scale (PS) scores (8.7 and 8.4 on a 0–10 scale), day 5 pain scores were 1.2 vs. 2.0, and the mean daily rate of decline was 1.5 vs. 1.1 cm/day ... By day 5, 54% of patients on arginine were already home, as compared with just 24% in the placebo arm" - See L-arginine products at Amazon.com.

An Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study to Evaluate the Efficacy of Daily Low Dose Tadalafil on Depression in Patients With Erectile Dysfunction - Medscape, 12/11/19 - "Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9 ... Analyses of the mean changes in the PHQ-9 scores revealed that the depressive symptoms of the subjects were significantly improved after administration of eight weeks of tadalafil ... Serum levels of BDNF were higher after tadalafil treatment compared to before treatment; however, this difference was not statistically significant"

I was bad (I missed the yellow light by a fraction of a second) and had to take a traffic school online course. This was in it (it's a cut and paste, snipping tool picture). It says that the reaction time for marijuana users is nearly twice as bad as for alcohol (21% vs. 12% deterioration). Common sense would tell you that that's got to increase accidents. Add that to a long list of reasons the non-marijuana people pay the price for marijuana. Someday when I have a lot of time, I'm going to list them. Things like pot increase schizophrenia, many homeless people got there via schizophrenia. Therefore, if I were trying to prove a geometry theorem you could say that pot increases homelessness and taxes. Taxpayers pay for housing the homeless. Who's paying for the $600/month schizophrenia meds for those on Medicaid? I'm on Proposition 60 yet I still $500/month in California property taxes. My neighbors pay two to three times that.

As far as the pot tax making up for that, common sense tells you that's not true. One study showed that for every dollar taken in from tax, it costs the society four dollars. Back in the 80's they used to say that cigarette smoking costs added $700 to the price of cars. That was figuring the tax from tobacco also. Adjusted for inflation, it would be at least three times that by now but people finally realized that smoking was bad and cut down so it's probably back to $700. I also don't like the smell of my neighbors' marijuana smoke any more than I like the smell of their cigarette smoke. Plus, I probably have more war stories about nearly getting killed by 'under the influence' crazy drivers on the freeways of California than I do as a helicopter pilot for a year and a half in Vietnam.  It sure seems like there's a huge increase in crazy drivers going the wrong way on the freeway lately.  Who pays the lifetime disability and Medicaid for those severely injured in accidents?  The son of a lady I dated for nine years killed his mother.  He was a pot user.  Either I hold the world record for the coincidence of knowing people on marijuana whose lives turned south or it's not good.  Too many people haven't been around long enough to see the long term problems.  Ask me what I really think.

Abstracts from this week:

Dietary Choline Supplementation Attenuates High-Fat-Diet-Induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Mice - J Nutr. 2019 Dec 18 - "cohort fed an HFD (60% kcal fat) or an HFD with supplemental choline (60% kcal fat, 1.2% choline; HFD+C) for 30 wk ... HFD+C mice exhibited a 50-90% increase in both circulating choline and betaine concentrations in the fed state (P <= 0.05). Choline supplementation resulted in a 55% decrease in total tumor numbers, a 67% decrease in tumor surface area, and a 50% decrease in hepatic steatosis after 30 wk of diet (P <= 0.05). Choline supplementation increased the abundance of mitochondria and the relative expression of β-oxidation genes by 21% and ~75-100%, respectively, in the liver. HFD+C attenuated circulating myeloid-derived suppressor cells at 15 wk of feeding (P <= 0.05)" - See citicholine at Amazon.com.

Association of Strawberries and Anthocyanidin Intake with Alzheimer's Dementia Risk - Nutrients. 2019 Dec 14;11(12) - "A total of 245 participants developed Alzheimer's dementia over the mean follow-up of 6.7 (+-3.6) years. Higher strawberry intake was associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's dementia (HR = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.60-0.96). In separate adjusted models, highest vs. lowest quartile intakes of Vitamin C (HR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.45, 0.92), Pelargonidin (0.63, 95% CI: 0.43, 0.92), total anthocyanidins (0.69, 95% CI: 0.48, 0.99), and total flavonoids (0.67, 95% CI: 0.46, 0.98) were each associated with lower Alzheimer's dementia risk" - See fisetin at Amazon.com.

High-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) improves attention and vigilance in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and low endogenous EPA levels - Transl Psychiatry. 2019 Nov 20;9(1):303 - "EPA treatment improves cognitive symptoms in ADHD youth, especially if they have a low baseline endogenous EPA level, while youth with high EPA levels may be negatively affected by this treatment" - [Nutra USA] - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus Granules Dose-Dependently Balance Intestinal Microbiome Disorders and Ameliorate Chronic Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury - J Med Food. 2019 Nov 20 - "Previously, we have demonstrated that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) can prevent alcoholic liver injury ... We found LGG granules dose-dependently protected against chronic alcoholic liver disease. When alcohol was consumed for 8 weeks with LGG treatment during the last 2 weeks, we demonstrated that the dose dependence of LGG granules can improve alcohol-induced liver injury through decreasing the levels of lipopolysaccharide and tumor necrosis factor-α in serum and prevent liver steatosis by suppressing triglyceride, free fatty acid, and malondialdehyde production in liver. Alcohol feeding caused a decline in the number of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, with a proportional increase in the number of Clostridium perfringens in ileum, and expansion of the Gram-negative bacteria Proteobacteria, Campylobacterales, and Helicobacter in cecum. However, LGG granule treatment restored the content of these microorganisms. In conclusion, LGG granule supplementation can improve the intestinal microbiota, reduce the number of gram-negative bacteria, and ameliorate alcoholic liver injury" - [Nutra USA] - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Health Focus (Homocysteine):