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 Recent Longevity News for the week ending 8/5/20

Why Are We Still Talking About Hydroxychloroquine? - Medscape, 8/3/20 - "This is getting pretty ridiculous. The number of well-done, evidence-based trials of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 showing minimal-to-no benefit is increasing. There are still studies that show benefit in certain cases, but many of them are small-scale or even anecdotal ... How long is this going to go on? If the evidence supporting its use were to be put through the standard Food and Drug Administration approval panels it wouldn't have a chance ... Yet, because it's become a political football (like masks), science and rational research are tossed out the window. At the end of July we were all treated to videos of Dr. Stella Immanuel claiming the drug is a cure. Dr. Immanuel may have medical credentials, but she also supports beliefs that space aliens and the Illuminati are involved in running governments, and that multiple gynecologic disorders are caused by sexual relations with demons and witches during dreams."

Aerobic exercise could have the final say on fatty livers - Science Daily, 7/29/20 - "fitness may be a more important clinical endpoint for improvement in patients with fatty liver diseases during exercise trials, rather than weight loss"

Another Effect of COVID: Lasting Hearing Problems? - WebMD, 7/31/20 - "120 U.K. patients who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 took part in a phone survey ... When the patients were asked if they had any changes in their hearing, 13% said it was worse. Eight patients said their hearing had deteriorated and eight said they had tinnitus (ringing in the ears)"

Forty percent of dementia cases could be prevented or delayed by targeting 12 risk factors throughout life - Science Daily, 7/30/20 - "Aim to maintain systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or less from the age of 40 ... Encourage use of hearing aids for hearing loss and reduce hearing loss by protecting ears from high noise levels ... Reduce exposure to air pollution and second-hand tobacco smoke ... Prevent head injury (particularly by targeting high-risk occupations) ... Limit alcohol intake to no more than 21 units per week (one unit of alcohol equals 10 ml or 8 g pure alcohol) ... Stop smoking and support others to stop smoking ... Provide all children with primary and secondary education ... Lead an active life into mid-life and possibly later life ... Reduce obesity and the linked condition of diabetes" - [Medscape]

Gum Disease Tied to Alzheimer’s Disease Risk - NYT, 7/29/20 - "Researchers looked at 8,275 men and women whose average age was 63 at the start of the study. Over an average follow-up of more than 18 years, 19 percent of them developed Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia ... After controlling for various characteristics, including age, sex, education, cholesterol, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, smoking and body mass index, they found that compared with people with healthy gums, those who had severe gingivitis with tooth loss had a 22 percent increased relative risk for dementia. Being toothless was associated with a 26 percent increased risk"

Proton Pump and VEGF Inhibitors Among Adds to FDA Watch List - Medscape, 7/30/20 - "Many proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were listed; for some, more than one potential risk were identified. One group of 10 PPIs was associated with potential risk for the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH). Another group of 13 PPIs was associated with potential acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP)."

Flu Vaccine Protective Against Stroke, CV Events? - Medscape, 7/30/20 - "Adults over the age of 50 years had a vaccination rate of 1.8% compared with 15.3% in the general population ... But these older adults who were vaccinated had better outcomes in the year following vaccination, with a 28% lower risk of MI, a 73% lower risk of death, a 47% lower risk of TIA, and a 73% lower risk of all-cause mortality ... Among patients with obesity, 2.4% were vaccinated compared with 9% of those with a healthy weight. And flu vaccination in obese patients was associated with a 41% reduction in MI, a 55% reduction in TIA, and a 76% reduction in all-cause mortality"

Old Vaccines May Stop the Coronavirus, Study Hints. Scientists Are Skeptical - NYT, 7/29/20 - "Now a study suggests that people who have received certain routine vaccines in the recent past — including childhood vaccinations like measles-mumps-rubella and polio, as well as adult flu vaccines — have lower coronavirus infection rates than those not recently vaccinated" - Note:  I suggested that in my 4/1/20 newsletter.  Here's what I wrote:

       "Here’s my pitch for getting the flu shot every year:

  • Does the Flu Provide Better Immunity Than a Flu Shot? - NYT, 10/28/16 - "just over half of patients infected with the 2009 H1N1 flu still had an antibody response after six months, while only about a third of vaccinated subjects did ... a 2008 study published in Nature found that survivors of the 1918 Spanish flu got lifelong immunity to that flu virus and, as it turned out, protection against the pandemic H1N1 flu in 2009"
  • There was a similar virus to covid-19 in 2003.  Click here for the video. I don’t know if the flu shot covered it but people obviously contracted it. I believe that’s why we're seeing some people contract covid-19 and experience almost no symptoms and other suffering an agonizing death. Maybe the ones with the lesser symptoms either got partial immunity from the 2003 flu shot or the actual disease itself.  True, the vaccine isn’t as effective as the disease itself but it does provide some protection which should cause the symptoms to be less severe. "

Intermittent Fasting May Aid Weight Loss - NYT, 7/27/20 - "In an eight-week trial, published in Cell Metabolism, scientists randomly assigned 58 obese men and women to three groups. The first ate whatever they wanted without counting calories, but only between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The second ate what they wanted between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The third, a control group, ate without restrictions ... In both of the groups that practiced time-restricted fasting, participants consumed an average of 550 fewer calories a day and lost about 3 percent of their body weight. Compared with the controls, both groups had significantly reduced fat mass, reductions in oxidative stress, and reductions in both fasting insulin and insulin resistance, which suggest a reduced risk for diabetes. Blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were unaffected."

Hydroxychloroquine No COVID Cure, Experts Warn - WebMD, 7/29/20 - "Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said the verdict on hydroxychloroquine is not in doubt ... "We all hoped it was going to work. ... All of the studies that were rigorously done have pointed in the same direction, which is that the drug doesn't work," Gottlieb told MSNBC. "I think at this point, we can definitively say hydroxychloroquine doesn't work. I'm not sure what more we need to do.""

Low Vitamin D Linked to Increased COVID-19 Risk - Medscape, 7/29/20 - "Participants positive for COVID-19 were 50% more likely to have low vs normal 25(OH)D levels in a multivariate analysis that controlled for other confounders ... The take home message for physicians is to "test patients' vitamin D levels and keep them optimal for the overall health — as well as for a better immuno-response to COVID-19" - [Science Daily] - See vitamin D at Amazon.com and vitamin D at iHerb.

Common Diabetes Meds Tied to Complication Risk - WebMD, 7/28/20 - "People taking a class of diabetes medications called SGLT2s have up to three times the risk for a serious complication called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) compared to people taking another drug"

Flu, pneumonia vaccinations tied to lower risk of Alzheimer's dementia - Science Daily, 7/27/20 - "At least one flu vaccination was associated with a 17% reduction in Alzheimer's incidence. More frequent flu vaccination was associated with another 13% reduction in Alzheimer's incidence ... Vaccination against pneumonia between ages 65 and 75 reduced Alzheimer's risk by up to 40% depending on individual genes ... The researchers found the protective association between the flu vaccine and the risk of Alzheimer's was strongest for those who received their first vaccine at a younger age -- for example, the people who received their first documented flu shot at age 60 benefitted more than those who received their first flu shot at age 70 ... pneumococcal vaccination between ages 65-75 reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's by 25-30% after adjusting for sex, race, birth cohort, education, smoking, and number of G alleles. The largest reduction in the risk of Alzheimer's (up to 40%) was observed among people vaccinated against pneumonia who were non-carriers of the risk gene" - I don't think I've missed a vaccine ever.

Lithium in drinking water linked with lower suicide rates - Science Daily, 7/27/20 - "geographical areas with relatively high levels or concentration of lithium in public drinking water had correspondingly lower suicide rates ... Lithium, sometimes referred to as the 'Magic Ion', is widely and effectively used as a medication for the treatment and prevention of manic and depressive episodes, stabilising mood and reducing the risk of suicide in people with mood disorders. Its anti-aggressive properties can help reduce impulsivity, aggression, violent criminal behaviour and chronic substance abuse ... Lithium is a naturally occurring element and is found in variable amounts in vegetables, grains, spices and drinking water ... Recent studies have also linked lithium to reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. This raises the potential for its preventative use to combat the risk of dementia" - See lithium supplements at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Ejection Fraction in Heart Failure Revisited-Where Does the Evidence Start? - Medscape, 7/27/20 - "The authors observed a similar effect on treatment with sacubitril/valsartan as in placebo-controlled trials in the low EF group. Interestingly, at an EF of from 40% to <55%, a clear sign for risk reduction was also observed"

Abstracts from this week:

Delta-tocotrienol supplementation improves biochemical markers of hepatocellular injury and steatosis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial - Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Aug 2020 - "patients with NAFLD were randomly assigned to receive δ-tocotrienol 300 mg twice daily or placebo for 24 weeks ... δ-tocotrienol effectively improved biochemical markers of hepatocellular injury and steatosis in patients with NAFLD. δ-tocotrienol supplementation might be considered as a therapeutic option in the management of patients with NAFLD" - [Nutra USA] - See delta-tocotrienol at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Vitamin D levels in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma/diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and multiple myeloma - J Int Med Res 2020 Jul - "We measured serum levels of vitamin D by ELISA in 103 patients prior to initiation of treatment, of whom 37 were diagnosed with MM, 32 with CLL and 34 with NHL-DLBCL ... Suboptimal serum vitamin D levels (<30 ng/mL) were observed in all 103 patients. In 14 patients, serum vitamin D levels were between 20 and 30 ng/mL, while all other patients had vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL). Severe vitamin D deficiency (<10 ng/mL) was observed in 32.3% of NHL-DLBCL patients, 28.1% of CLL patients and 81% of MM patients" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com and vitamin D at iHerb.

Novel predictive risk factor of erectile dysfunction: Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D - Andrologia 2020 Jul 29 - "The present study aimed to investigate the association between the severity of erectile dysfunction (ED) and serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D. It also sought to determine the cut-off level of serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D for ED. This study included 130 men who had ED between 2018 and 2019. Patients were divided into three groups according to their scores on the international index of erectile function-5 (IIEF-5) Turkish validated short form questionnaire. The serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D results were compared between the groups. The mean age of the patients was 49.28 ± 13.62 years. Groups 1, 2 and 3 included 44 (33.8%) patients with severe ED, 56 (43.1%) patients with moderate ED and 30 (23.1%) patients with mild ED, respectively. Statistical significance was observed between the groups and serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels. A positive correlation was detected between the IIEF-5 scores, serum testosterone and serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels. A cut-off level for serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D was calculated as 27.32 ng/ml. During multivariate analysis, we found that serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels were independent prognostic risk factors for decreased IIEF-5 scores. Decreased serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels were associated with decreased IIEF-5 scores. Therefore, vitamin D replacement therapy may improve symptoms" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com and vitamin D at iHerb.

Antihypertensive efficacy and safety of a standardized herbal medicinal product of Hibiscus sabdariffa and Olea europaea extracts (NW Roselle): A phase-II, randomized, double-blind, captopril-controlled clinical trial - Phytother Res 2020 Jul 29 - "Hypertension is a public health concern that needs immediate attention upon diagnosis. The demand for natural alternatives is on the rise; Hibiscus sabdariffa and Olea europaea are traditionally used for hypertension management in Egypt ... We equally randomized 134 patients to receive captopril 25 mg, low-dose NW Roselle, or high-dose NW Roselle BID for 8 weeks. No significant decrease was found in systolic blood pressure or diastolic blood pressure when we compared low-dose NW Roselle and high-dose NW Roselle to captopril (p > .05). In all groups, mean reduction in BP at 8 weeks was significant; 16.4/9.9 mmHg (p < .0001), 15.4/9.6 mmHg (p < .0001), and 14.9/9.4 mmHg (p < .0001) with captopril, low-dose NW Roselle, and high-dose NW Roselle respectively. In addition, low-dose NW Roselle induced a significant reduction in the mean level of triglycerides (17.56 mg/dL; p = .038). In conclusion, NW Roselle had comparable antihypertensive efficacy and safety to captopril in Egyptian patients with grade 1 essential hypertension" - See Hibiscus sabdariffa at Amazon.com and iHerb and Olea europaea at Amazon.com and iHerb.

The effects of aspirin and N-3 fatty acids on telomerase activity in adults with diabetes mellitus - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2020 Jun 25 - "Type 2 Diabetes mellitus is associated with aging and shortened telomere length. Telomerase replaces lost telomeric repeats at the ends of chromosomes and is necessary for the replicative immortality of cells ... We explored the effects of aspirin, EPA + DHA, and the combined effects of aspirin and EPA + DHA treatment on telomerase activity in 30 adults with diabetes mellitus. EPA and DHA ingestion alone increased telomerase activity then a decrease occurred with the addition of aspirin consumption. Crude (F-stat = 2.09, p = 0.13) and adjusted (F-stat = 2.20, p = 0.14) analyses of this decrease showed signs of a trend. These results suggest that aspirin has an adverse effect on aging in diabetics who have relatively high EPA and DHA ingestion" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Curcumin Inhibits Hepatocellular Carcinoma via Regulating miR-21/TIMP3 Axis - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2020 Jul 17 - "Curcumin exhibits anticancer effects against various types of cancer including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). miR-21 has been reported to be involved in the malignant biological properties of HCC ... Taken together, the present study suggests that miR-21 is involved in the anticancer activities of curcumin through targeting TIMP3, and the mechanism possibly refers to the inhibition of TGF-β1/smad3 signaling pathway" - See curcumin at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Positive effect of curcumin on experimental peridontitis via suppression of IL-1-beta and IL-6 expression level - Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2020 Jul 28 - "This study examined the effect of curcumin on T-helper (Th17) and T-regulatory (Treg) cells regarding the mRNA of cytokines/mediators in the gingiva. Thirty-five male albino Wistar rats were divided into four groups: Group 1: periodontitis (n = 9); Group 2: periodontitis with curcumin treatment (n = 8); Group 3: periodontally healthy with curcumin treatment (n = 10); and Group 4: periodontally healthy (n = 8). Curcumin was administered via oral gavage (30 mg/kg/day) for a total of 15 days ... When the periodontitis groups were compared, curcumin treatment resulted in lower IL-1β (Group 2 median: 0.002, Group 1 median: 0.12) and IL-6 (Group 2 median: 0.031, Group 1 median: 0.078) and higher IL-17 (Group 2 median: 1.07, Group 1 median: 0.583) relative mRNA expression in Group 2 than in Group 1 (p < 0.001). Group 3 also had higher IL-10 relative expression (median: 0.067) than Groups 1 and 4 (median: 0.028, 0.007, respectively. p < 0.001). These results indicate that curcumin might be a promising agent for the prevention and/or treatment of periodontal diseases due to its decreasing effect on IL-1β and IL-6 mRNA expression" - See curcumin at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Effectiveness and Safety of Panax ginseng Extract on Hepatic Dysfunction: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2020 Jul 16 - "Panax ginseng extract (GS-KG9) ... A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted from December 2017 to January 2019. The trial included 60 subjects between the ages of 19 and 70 who had higher alanine transaminase (ALT) levels than the normal upper limit. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups: GS-KG9 (n = 30) and placebo (n = 30). The former was administered three GS-KG9 capsules (3 g/day) and the latter three placebo capsules (3 g/day) twice each day orally after meals in the morning and evening for 12 weeks ... After 12 weeks of treatment, the ALT levels were significantly reduced in the GS-KG9 group compared to the placebo group (p=0.009). The GGT level of the GS-KG9 group was significantly lower than that of the placebo group (p=0.036). Mild AEs, such as diarrhea, occurred during the study. There were no significant differences between the two groups" - See Panax ginseng at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Magnolol Ameliorates Behavioral Impairments and Neuropathology in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease - Oxid Med Cell Longev 2020 Jul 3 - "Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive memory loss. Magnolol (MN), the main active ingredient of Magnolia officinalis, possesses anti-AD effects in several experimental models of AD ... The results demonstrated that MN (20 and 40 mg/kg) could markedly ameliorate the cognitive deficits in TgCRND8 mice. In addition, MN significantly increased the expression of postsynaptic density protein 93 (PSD93), PSD-95, synapsin-1, synaptotagmin-1, synaptophysin (SYN), and interleukin-10 (IL-10), while markedly reduced the protein levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), IL-6, IL-1β, Aβ 40, and Aβ 42, and modulated the amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing and phosphorylation. Immunofluorescence showed that MN significantly suppressed the activation of microglia (Iba-1) and astrocytes (GFAP) in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex of TgCRND8 mice. Mechanistic studies revealed that MN could significantly increase the ratios of p-GSK-3β (Ser9)/GSK-3β, p-Akt (Ser473)/Akt, and p-NF-κB p65/NF-κB p65. These findings indicate that MN exerted cognitive deficits improving effects via suppressing neuroinflammation, amyloid pathology, and synaptic dysfunction through regulating the PI3K/Akt/GSK-3and NF-κB pathways, suggesting that MN is a promising naturally occurring polyphenol worthy of further developing into a therapeutic agent for AD treatment" - [Nutra USA] - See Magnolia officinalis at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Brain delivery of supplemental docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial - EBioMedicine 2020 Jul 17 - "The increase in CSF EPA in non-APOE4 carriers after supplementation was three times greater than APOE4 carriers ... Dementia prevention trials using omega-3 supplementation doses equal or lower to 1 g per day may have reduced brain effects, particularly in APOE4 carriers" - [Nutra USA] - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com and iHerb.

A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the effects of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep quality in healthy adults - Sleep Med 2020 Mar 21 - "150 healthy subjects scoring high on non-restorative sleep measures were given 120 mg of standardized ashwagandha extract (Shoden®) once daily for six weeks. Subjects were evaluated using the Restorative Sleep Questionnaire-weekly version and World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref (WHOQOL) scale ... A total of 144 subjects completed the study, with no dropouts due to adverse events. A 72% increase in self-reported sleep quality was found for the treatment group, compared with 29% in the placebo group (p < 0.001). Based on activity monitoring data, the treatment group showed significant improvement in sleep efficiency (SE) (p < 0.01), total sleep time (p < 0.001) and sleep latency (p < 0.01) and wake after sleep onset (WASO) (p < 0.05) versus placebo after six weeks. In the ashwagandha group quality of life (QOL) scores showed significant improvement in physical (p < 0.001), psychological (p < 0.001), and environment domains" - [Nutra USA] - See ashwagandha at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Conjugated linoleic acid supplements preserve muscle in high-body-fat adults: A double-blind, randomized, placebo trial - Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2020 Jun 8 - "66 Chinese adults (aged 18-45 years old, 37.9% male) with elevated body fat percentage were provided with 3.2 g/day CLA (n = 33) or 3.2 g/day placebo (sunflower oil; n = 33) for 12 weeks ... Compared with the placebo group, the CLA group showed increased trunk muscle mass (MM) (0.6 ± 1.7 vs. -0.3 ± 1.2 kg, P = 0.019). Among those with an adherence score higher than 0.80 (n = 56, 87.5%), a greater increase in both total and trunk MM was observed in the CLA group (both P < 0.05). Moreover, the effect on MM appeared to be more evident in men, those with a body mass index <25 kg/m2, or those with higher self-rated physical activity" - [Nutra USA] - See conjugated linoleic acid at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

I bought a CarPlay2Air (no affiliation) and like it.  It was shipped from China and took a few weeks.  Amazon has the same thing.  See: How to Get Wireless CarPlay: For Cheap! - YouTube  8:25

Health Focus (BPH/Prostate Cancer):