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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 5/27/20

New Oral Testosterone Undecanoate Formulation Restores Normal Testosterone Levels - Medscape, 5/26/20 - "this is a novel oral twice-a-day medication free of hepatic side effects ... Treatment-emergent adverse events deemed related to study drug occurred in 18.7% of patients in the TU group and in 14.5% of the topical testosterone group"

Scientists find evidence of link between diesel exhaust, risk of Parkinson's - Science Daily, 5/21/20 - "Overall, this report shows a plausible mechanism of why air pollution may increase the risk of Parkinson's disease"

The Foods That May Lower Dementia Risk - NYT, 5/20/20 - "Compared with those in the 15th percentile or lower for flavonoid intake, those in the 60th or higher had a 42 to 68 percent lower risk for dementia, depending on the type of flavonoid consumed ... Intake of one type of flavonoid, anthocyanins, abundant in blueberries, strawberries and red wine, had the strongest association with lowered risk. Apples, pears, oranges, bananas and tea also contributed ... the amount consumed by those who benefited the most was not large. Their monthly average was about seven half-cup servings of strawberries or blueberries, eight apples or pears, and 17 cups of tea" - See flavonoids at Amazon.com and flavonoids at iHerb.com.

Maintaining heart health may protect against cognitive decline - Science Daily, 5/18/20 - "Researchers in this study sought to compare Framingham General Cardiovascular Risk Scores (FGCRS), which incorporate demographic information with traditional cardiovascular risk factors to assess future risk, to an individual's long-term decline in global and domain specific cognitive function ... having a higher cardiovascular risk burden was associated with faster decline in episodic memory, working memory and perceptual speed. Researchers also looked at MRI data for a subset of patients and found that higher FGCRS was associated with smaller volumes of hippocampus, cortical gray matter and total brain. Decreases in hippocampal and gray matter are typical markers of Alzheimer's dementia-related neurodegeneration. MRIs also showed a greater volume of white matter hyperintensities, which are white spots on the brain that cause an area to decline in functionality."

More Vitamin D, Lower Risk of Severe COVID-19?  - WebMD, 5/18/20 - "Researchers from the U.K. evaluated the average vitamin D levels and the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as the death rates, across 20 European countries. Countries with low average vitamin D blood levels in the population had higher numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, says study leader Petre Cristian Ilie, MD, PhD, research and innovation director at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation Trust in King's Lynn, U.K. ... At Northwestern University, researchers used modeling to estimate that 17% of those deficient in vitamin D would develop a severe COVID-19 infection, but only about 14% of those with healthy vitamin D levels. They estimated the association between vitamin D and severe COVID-19 based on a potential link between vitamin D deficiency and C-reactive proteins, or CRP, a surrogate marker for severe COVID-19 ... In a small study, Louisiana and Texas researchers evaluated 20 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, finding that 11 of the patients admitted to the ICU were vitamin D deficient, but only four of those not needing the ICU ... Indonesian researchers evaluated 780 documented cases of COVID-19 and found that most patients who died had vitamin D levels below normal ... Irish researchers analyzed European population studies and vitamin D levels, finding countries with high rates of vitamin D deficiency also had higher death rates from COVID-19. Those researchers asked the government to raise the vitamin D recommendations" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com and vitamin D at iHerb.

Time to Switch From TSH to T4 for Assessment of Thyroid Function? - Medscape, 5/18/20 - "It is important to note that the etiologies of these various clinical conditions, including atrial fibrillation, osteoporosis, fractures, and frailty, are multifactorial, and thyroid status is but one of many parameters impacting these conditions ... it is interesting that serum free T4 levels were associated with these and other health conditions in about 50% of the analyses in this study, in contrast to serum TSH that was not as strongly associated"

Vitamin B3 revitalizes energy metabolism in muscle disease - Science Daily, 5/14/20 - "Vitamin B3 forms have recently emerged as potent boosters of energy metabolism in rodents. These vitamins are precursors for NAD+, a molecular switch of metabolism between fasting and growth modes ... niacin treatment efficiently increased blood NAD+ both in patients and healthy subjects. Niacin restored NAD+ in the muscle of the patients to the normal level and improved strength of large muscles and mitochondrial oxidative capacity. Overall metabolism shifted towards that of normal subjects ... The study is a significant leap in the development of targeted therapy options for energy metabolic diseases" - See niacin at Amazon.com.

Gut microbiome influences ALS outcomes - Science Daily, 5/13/20 - "mice with a common ALS genetic mutation, changing the gut microbiome using antibiotics or fecal transplants could prevent or improve disease symptoms ... he findings provide a potential explanation for why only some individuals carrying the mutation develop ALS. They also point to a possible therapeutic approach based on the microbiome ... The gut-brain axis has been implicated in a range of neurological conditions, including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Our results add weight to the importance of this connection" - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

High calcium levels in mitochondria linked to neuronal death in Alzheimer's disease - Science Daily, 5/13/20 - ""High calcium levels in the mitochondria cause oxidative stress, and the death of neurons via apoptosis," says Calvo-Rodriguez. "We propose that by blocking the neuronal mitochondrial calcium uniporter we can prevent cell death and impact disease progression." Their work suggests targeting calcium entry to the mitochondria could be a promising new therapeutic approach in Alzheimer's disease"

Aerobics may be a smart workout for your brain at any age - Science Daily, 5/13/20 - "The study involved 206 adults who prior to starting the six-month exercise intervention worked out no more than four days per week at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes or less, or no more than two days per week a high intensity for 20 minutes or less per day. They had an average age of 66 and no history of heart or memory problems. Participants were given thinking and memory tests at the start of the study, as well as an ultrasound to measure blood flow in the brain. Physical testing was repeated at three months, and thinking and physical testing repeated at the end of the six months ... Participants were enrolled in a supervised aerobic exercise program held three days a week. As they progressed through the program, they increased their workout from an average of 20 minutes a day to an average of at least 40 minutes. In addition, people were asked to work out on their own once a week ... Researchers found that after six months of exercise, participants improved by 5.7% on tests of executive function, which includes mental flexibility and self-correction. Verbal fluency, which tests how quickly you can retrieve information, increased by 2.4% ... This change in verbal fluency is what you'd expect to see in someone five years younger"

Our ability to focus may falter after eating one meal high in saturated fat - Science Daily, 5/12/20 - "The study compared how 51 women performed on a test of their attention after they ate either a meal high in saturated fat or the same meal made with sunflower oil, which is high in unsaturated fat ... Their performance on the test was worse after eating the high-saturated-fat meal than after they ate the meal containing a healthier fat, signaling a link between that fatty food and the brain ... Because both meals were high-fat and potentially problematic, the high-saturated-fat meal's cognitive effect could be even greater if it were compared to a lower-fat meal ... Because both meals were high-fat and potentially problematic, the high-saturated-fat meal's cognitive effect could be even greater if it were compared to a lower-fat meal ... After eating the meal high in saturated fat, all of the participating women were, on average, 11 percent less able to detect target stimuli in the attention assessment. Concentration lapses were also apparent in the women with signs of leaky gut: Their response times were more erratic and they were less able to sustain their attention during the 10-minute test ... Though the study didn't determine what was going on in the brain, Madison said previous research has suggested that food high in saturated fat can drive up inflammation throughout the body, and possibly the brain. Fatty acids also can cross the blood-brain barrier"

Largest Study to Date Links Glucose Control to COVID-19 Outcomes - Medscape, 5/14/20 - "while the presence of type 2 diabetes per se is a risk factor for worse COVID-19 outcomes, better glycemic control among those with pre-existing type 2 diabetes appears to be associated with significant reductions in adverse outcomes and death"

Coffee linked to lower body fat in women - Science Daily, 5/13/20 - "women aged 20-44 who drank two or three cups of coffee per day had the lowest levels of adiposity, 3.4% lower than people who did not consume coffee. Among women aged between 45-69, those who drank four or more cups had an adiposity percentage 4.1% lower ... Overall, the average total body fat percentage was 2.8% lower among women of all ages who drank two or three cups of coffee per day ... In men, the relationship was less significant, although men aged 20-44 who drank two or three cups per day had 1.3% less total fat and 1.8% less trunk fat than those who did not consume coffee"

Vitamin D determines severity in COVID-19 so government advice needs to change, experts urge - Science Daily, 5/13/20 - "A new publication from Dr Eamon Laird and Professor Rose Anne Kenny, School of Medicine, and the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), in collaboration with Professor Jon Rhodes at University of Liverpool, highlights the association between vitamin D levels and mortality from COVID-19 ... The northern latitude countries of Norway, Finland and Sweden, have higher vitamin D levels despite less UVB sunlight exposure, because supplementation and fortification of foods is more common. These Nordic countries have lower COVID-19 infection and death rates. The correlation between low vitamin D levels and death from COVID-19 is statistically significant ... The authors propose that, whereas optimising vitamin D levels will certainly benefit bone and muscle health, the data suggests that it is also likely to reduce serious COVID-19 complications. This may be because vitamin D is important in regulation and suppression of the inflammatory cytokine response, which causes the severe consequences of COVID-19 and 'acute respiratory distress syndrome' associated with ventilation and death" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com and vitamin D at iHerb.

Fruits, Tea May Help Fend Off Alzheimer's Disease - WebMD, 5/13/20 - "The researchers suspect that flavonoids -- substances naturally found in plant foods -- are providing these potential benefits in brain health. One major health benefit associated with flavonoids is reduced inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia" - See flavonoids at Amazon.com and flavonoids at iHerb.com.

Excess coffee consumption a culprit for poor health - Science Daily, 5/13/20 - "too much coffee can increase the risk of osteoarthritis, arthropathy (joint disease) and obesity ... six cups of coffee a day were considered the upper limit of safe consumption ... moderate coffee drinking is mostly safe"

A Half-Tablespoon of Olive Oil a Day May Promote Heart Health - NYT, 3/12/20 - "The scientists used health and diet data on 61,181 women and 31,797 men participating in two health studies beginning in 1990. Over 24 years of follow-up, there were 9,797 cases of cardiovascular disease ... After adjusting for age, ethnicity, alcohol intake, aspirin use, total energy intake and many dietary characteristics, they found that compared with people who used no olive oil, those who consumed at least one-and-a-half teaspoons (a half tablespoon) a day had a 14 percent lower risk for cardiovascular disease, and an 18 percent lower risk for coronary heart disease ... the key here is that people substituted olive oil for unhealthy alternatives like animal fats and margarine. Other plant oils that contain unsaturated fats — safflower, corn and soybean, for example, but not palm or coconut oil, which contain saturated fats — might have the same beneficial effect if substituted for less healthy alternatives"

A combo of fasting plus vitamin C is effective for hard-to-treat cancers, study shows - Science Daily, 5/12/20 - "while fasting remains a challenging option for cancer patients, a safer, more feasible option is a low-calorie, plant-based diet that causes cells to respond as if the body were fasting. Their findings suggest that a low-toxicity treatment of fasting-mimicking diet plus vitamin C has the potential to replace more toxic treatments ... When used alone, fasting-mimicking diet or vitamin C alone reduced cancer cell growth and caused a minor increase in cancer cell death. But when used together, they had a dramatic effect, killing almost all cancerous cells ... Longo and his colleagues detected this strong effect only in cancer cells that had a mutation that is regarded as one of the most challenging targets in cancer research. These mutations in the KRAS gene signal the body is resisting most cancer-fighting treatments, and they reduce a patient's survival rate. KRAS mutations occur in approximately a quarter of all human cancers and are estimated to occur in up to half of all colorectal cancers ... The research team's prior studies showed that fasting and a fasting-mimicking diet slow cancer's progression and make chemotherapy more effective in tumor cells, while protecting normal cells from chemotherapy-associated side effects. The combination enhances the immune system's anti-tumor response in breast cancer and melanoma mouse models ... At least five clinical trials, including one at USC on breast cancer and prostate cancer patients, are now investigating the effects of the fasting-mimicking diets in combination with different cancer-fighting drugs" - See vitamin C products at Amazon.com and vitamin C at iHerb.com.

Abstracts from this week:

Combined Amelioration of Prebiotic Resveratrol and Probiotic Bifidobacteria on Obesity and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease - Nutr Cancer 2020 May 21 - "Supplement of probiotics is considered as a promising strategy for NAFLD and obesity treatment ... We proposed that combination with a prebiotic substrate may improve the effects of probiotics. Thus, in this study, we investigated the separated and combined effects of Bifidobacteria and resveratrol (RSV) against obesity and NAFLD. NAFLD was caused by high-fat diet (HFD) feeding for 8 weeks. HFD-treated mice were orally treated with B. longum (1 × 109 CFU/mouse/day), RSV (100 mg/kg/day), and both of them from the fifth week. HFD feeding caused obesity and NAFLD as indicated by significantly increased body and liver weights, liver steatosis, elevated serum transaminases and lipid profiles, increased inflammation and imbalanced redox status. Based on these physical and biochemical parameters, inflammatory and antioxidant markers, individual administration of B. longum and RSV alleviated obesity and NAFLD, while coadministration of both products further enhanced the efficacy. These data suggested that combined prebiotic RSV and probiotic B. longum would be a potential candidate or adjuvant for the treatment of obesity and NAFLD" - See prebiotic supplements at Amazon.com and prebiotic supplements at iHerb and resveratrol products at Amazon.com and resveratrol at iHerb.

Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) Supplementation on the Progression of Advanced Liver Disease: A Korean Nationwide, Multicenter, Prospective, Observational, Cohort Study - Nutrients 2020 May 15 - "Liver cirrhosis patients with Child-Pugh (CP) scores from 8 to 10 were prospectively recruited from 13 medical centers. Patients supplemented with 12.45 g of daily BCAA granules over 6 months, and patients consuming a regular diet were assigned to the BCAA and control groups, respectively. The effects of BCAA supplementation were evaluated using the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score, CP score, serum albumin, serum bilirubin, incidence of cirrhosis-related events, and event-free survival for 24 months ... A total of 124 patients was analyzed: 63 in the BCAA group and 61 in the control group. The MELD score (p = 0.009) and CP score (p = 0.011) significantly improved in the BCAA group compared to the control group over time. However, the levels of serum albumin and bilirubin in the BCAA group did not improve during the study period. The cumulative event-free survival was significantly improved in the BCAA group compared to the control group (HR = 0.389" - See BCAA products at Amazon.com and iHerb.com.

A Randomized Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial Demonstrating Safety & Efficacy of EnXtra ® in Healthy Adults - J Am Coll Nutr 2020 May 15 - "Study participants were administered EnXtra® with or without caffeine for a period of 12 weeks ... None of the study group showed any significant change in the ECG or haemodynamic parameters as compared to baseline (p > 0.05). Post consumption, alertness and calmness scores were significantly increased in the EnXtra®, and EnXtra® plus caffeine group (p < 0.001) as compared to placebo. Daytime sleep scores decreased in the EnXtra® group however change was not significant. Sleep quality remained undisturbed in all three arms" - Note:  I Googled it and don't see where anyone is selling it.  Their website offers a free sample.  It's at the bottom of the page.  Personally, I'm hooked on Genius Consciousness - Super Nootropic Brain Booster Supplement - Enhance Focus, Boost Concentration & Improve Memory | Mind Enhancement with Alpha GPC & Lions Mane Mushroom for Neuro Energy & IQ.  I do seven miles on my treadmill in the morning then usually do some work on my house or in the yard, then take a power nap.  When I get up, I have a cup of coffee then I put about 4 ounces of orange juice in a small jar and add then Nootropic Brain Booster and shake it and drink it.  Puts you in overdrive for about six hours.

The Role of Lysosome-Associated Membrane Protein 2 in Prostate Cancer Chemopreventive Mechanisms of Sulforaphane - Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2020 May 20 - "Prostate cancer chemoprevention by sulforaphane (SFN), which is a metabolic by-product of glucoraphanin found in broccoli, in preclinical models is associated with induction of both apoptosis and autophagy ... The present study demonstrates a role for lysosome-associated membrane protein 2 (LAMP2) in SFN-mediated autophagy and apoptosis ... the present study reveals that induction of LAMP2 by SFN inhibits its ability to induce apoptotic cell death at least in human prostate cancer cells" - See sulforaphane at Amazon.com.

Long-Term Effects of Early Adolescent Marijuana Use on Attentional and Inhibitory Control - J Stud Alcohol Drugs 2020 Mar;81(2):164-172 - "Findings suggest that marijuana use may adversely affect cognitive development, especially during the sensitive period of early adolescence. Results emphasize the need for further prospective work to investigate relationships between early adolescent marijuana use and the development of executive functioning"

The Oak–Wood Extract Robuvit® Improves Recovery and Oxidative Stress after Hysterectomy: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study - "The supplementation with Robuvit® (300 mg/day) during 4 weeks significantly improved general and mental health, while under placebo some items significantly deteriorated. Oxidative stress and enhancement of MMP–9 activity was significantly reduced by Robuvit® versus placebo. After 8 weeks of intervention, the patients’ condition improved independently of the intervention. Our results suggest that the use of Robuvit® as a natural supplement relieves post-operative symptoms of patients after hysterectomy and reduces oxidative stress" - [Nutra USA] - See Robuvit® at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

I got zoom working with my Canon camera but I was too lazy to shower and shave. If I could only figure out how the autofocus works in video. I need some contacts to try it out. It seems like the wave of the future with everything from online classes (my wife does that), telemedicine (Scripps started doing that), court appearances (see below articles), teleconferencing, school classrooms, graduations, concert performances (see the Sheryl Crow song below), telecommuting, etc.  Here's the setup I have.  I bought the Canon 90D at Costco at a higher price before they sold out.  I threw in the Blue Yeti microphone and headset because some are going that route.  I haven't purchased a background yet but I'm thinking about the one shown:

Update:  The large umbrella type below are too bright and cumbersome.  You can't even see he computer with those bright lights.  I'd go with the smaller dimmable LED ones.  The auto focus problem was corrected when I put the camera setting in the idiot mode (automatic).

 

 

Canon 90D Tutorial Training Overview & Tips Video  YouTube, 2:31

Use Any Canon Camera for Streaming - YouTube - Note:  I had the problem he talks about with no video and the problem was not in the 'task manager' as he discussed.  The problem was the cable.  I tried a different one and the video worked fine.  Seems like every YouTube how-to video has an error in it.  I've been thinking about doing some of my own.

How to use Virtual Backgrounds in Zoom - YouTube, 5:41 - Says to use https://www.pexels.com/ for free picture and video backgrounds.

Improving your Zoom Look - YouTube - Says to use filter lights like shown above.

People using Zoom:

Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do (Quarantine Edition) - YouTube

Lori Loughlin, husband to plead guilty via Zoom to U.S. college admissions scam - Reuters, 5/22/20

Man sentenced to death in Singapore via Zoom - BBC, 5/18/20

Health Focus (Green Tea):