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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 12/9/20

Fish oil omega-3s EPA and DHA work differently on chronic inflammation - Science Daily, 12/7/20 - "DHA had a stronger anti-inflammatory effect than EPA: DHA lowered the genetic expression of four types of pro-inflammatory proteins, whereas EPA lowered only one type ... DHA lowered white blood cell secretion of three types of pro-inflammatory proteins, whereas EPA lowered only one type ... DHA also reduced levels of an anti-inflammatory protein, whereas EPA did not. However, EPA improved the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory proteins: After being metabolized, EPA produced by-products that were associated with immune function regulation and worked differently from those derived from DHA" - See docosahexaenoic acid at Amazon.com and and iHerb and omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Pilot Study Looks at Metformin in COVID-19 - Medscape, 12/7/20 - "A significant reduction in mortality was seen in women who had been taking metformin (defined as having at least 90 days of filled prescriptions) — an approximately 24% reduced likelihood of dying compared with similar women not taking the medication, after adjusting for confounding factors. There was no significant reduction in mortality among men, and the authors hypothesize that this may be due to a larger anti-inflammatory effect of metformin in women than in men." - See metformin at ReliableRX.

Drinking linked to a decline in brain health from cradle to grave - Science Daily, 12/3/20 - "in older people, alcohol use disorders were recently shown to be one of the strongest modifiable risk factors for all types of dementia (particularly early onset) compared with other established risk factors such as high blood pressure and smoking"

Can Some Vaccines Reduce Your Alzheimer’s Risk? - WebMD, 12/3/20 - "getting a pneumonia vaccine between ages 65 and 75 reduced the risk of Alzheimer's disease by up to 30%. In people who didn't carry a specific Alzheimer's genetic risk factor -- called rs2075650 G -- the reduction in Alzheimer's risk was even better -- up to 40% ... In another study this year, people who got one or more flu vaccines were 17% less likely to get Alzheimer's disease. Those who got their flu shot more often had an additional 13% lower risk. Getting the first flu shot earlier in life -- at age 60 -- seemed to offer better protection than waiting until age 70 to get the vaccine ... These aren't the only studies to link vaccines with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. An older study of 4,000 people ages 65 and older found that people who'd been exposed to the diphtheria, tetanus, polio, or flu vaccine had a lower risk for dementia. In another study, people with chronic kidney disease who got the flu vaccine were 30% to 40% less likely to get dementia, compared to those who weren't vaccinated"

Sacubitril/Valsartan: Neprilysin Inhibition 5 Years After PARADIGM-HF - Medscape, 12/4/20 - "Sacubitril/valsartan is an efficacious, safe, and cost-effective therapy that improves quality of life and longevity in patients with chronic HFrEF and reduces hospital admission. An in-hospital initiation strategy offers a potentially new avenue to improve the clinical uptake of sacubitril/valsartan ... The recently completed PARAGON-HF trial showed that sacubitril/valsartan modestly reduced the risks of total heart failure hospitalizations and cardiovascular death than valsartan in patients with HFpEF, although this finding narrowly missed statistical significance,[18] Clinical benefits were observed in secondary endpoints including quality of life and kidney endpoints; women and patients at the lower end of the LVEF spectrum appeared to preferentially benefit. The safety profile of sacubitril/valsartan was largely consistent with prior trial experiences. Regulatory review of sacubitril/valsartan for the treatment of HFpEF is currently under way. Ongoing trials are evaluating the clinical utility of sacubitril/valsartan among patients with HFpEF (PARALLAX) and acute myocardial infarction ... In the last 5 years, sacubitril/valsartan has been established as a cornerstone component of comprehensive disease-modifying medical therapy in the management of chronic HFrEF. The next 5 years should see its wider implementation in practice and potential expansion of its therapeutic indications"

Which Antidiabetic Drug Class is Most Renoprotective? - Medscape, 12/2/20 - "All three of the newer drug classes performed better than the sulfonylureas. Both SGLT2i and GLP-1a offered greater renoprotection than DPP-4i, but neither was notably better than the other, according to the analysis. These findings held for patients at various levels of early and advanced chronic kidney disease and were independent of whether the patients were taking metformin" - Note: In my last newsletter I had information about Jardiance (empagliflozin) for diabetes but also for repairing the heart in heart failure.  Jardiance is a SGLT2 inhibitor.

Air Pollution Linked to Brain Amyloid Pathology - Medscape, 12/2/20 - "For the current study, the researchers analyzed data from the Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study, which included more than 18,000 US participants with cognitive impairment who received an amyloid positron-emission tomography (PET) scan between 2016 and 2018 ... Results showed that those living in an area with increased air pollution, as determined using concentrations of predicted fine particulate matter (PM2.5), had a higher probability of a positive amyloid PET scan. This association was dose dependent and statistically significant after adjusting for demographic, lifestyle, and socioeconomic factors as well as medical comorbidities. The association was seen in both periods; the adjusted odds ratio was 1.10 in 2002–2003 and 1.15 in 2015–2016 ... Every unit increase in PM2.5 in 2002–2003 was associated with an increased probability of positive amyloid findings on PET of 0.5%. Every unit increase in PM2.5 in for the 2015–2016 period was associated with an increased probability of positive amyloid findings on PET of 0.8%"

Glucosamine may reduce overall death rates as effectively as regular exercise, study suggests - Science Daily, 12/1/20 - "taking glucosamine/chondroitin every day for a year or longer was associated with a 39 percent reduction in all-cause mortality ... It was also linked to a 65 percent reduction in cardiovascular-related deaths" - See glucosamine chondroitin formulas at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Odds of Cholangiocarcinoma - Medscape, 12/1/20 - "extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ECC)) ... PPI use was correlated with a significant 61% increased odds of CCA, particularly in the ECC"

  • Cholangiocarcinoma - Wiki - "Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, is a type of cancer that forms in the bile ducts.[2] Symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma may include abdominal pain, yellowish skin, weight loss, generalized itching, and fever.[1] Light colored stool or dark urine may also occur.[4] Other biliary tract cancers include gallbladder cancer and cancer of the ampulla of Vater"

Drug reverses age-related mental decline within days, mouse study shows - Science Daily, 12/1/20 - "Just a few doses of an experimental drug can reverse age-related declines in memory and mental flexibility in mice ... The drug, called ISRIB, has already been shown in laboratory studies to restore memory function months after traumatic brain injury (TBI), reverse cognitive impairments in Down Syndrome, prevent noise-related hearing loss, fight certain types of prostate cancer, and even enhance cognition in healthy animals ... researchers showed rapid restoration of youthful cognitive abilities in aged mice, accompanied by a rejuvenation of brain and immune cells that could help explain improvements in brain function ... The data suggest that the aged brain has not permanently lost essential cognitive capacities, as was commonly assumed, but rather that these cognitive resources are still there but have been somehow blocked, trapped by a vicious cycle of cellular stress ... animals who received small daily doses of ISRIB during the three-day training process were able to accomplish the task as well as youthful mice, much better than animals of the same age who didn't receive the drug ... common signatures of neuronal aging disappeared literally overnight: neurons' electrical activity became more sprightly and responsive to stimulation, and cells showed more robust connectivity with cells around them while also showing an ability to form stable connections with one another usually only seen in younger mice ... ISRIB also alters the function of the immune system's T cells, which also are prone to age-related dysfunction ... aging has a profound and persistent effect on T cells and that these changes can affect brain function in the hippocampus ... One might think that interfering with the ISR, a critical cellular safety mechanism, would be sure to have serious side effects, but so far in all their studies, the researchers have observed none"-  Note:  It's too early for me to try it but I see several places like this selling it but the way I read it, it's $119 per pill and has to be stored at -20 degrees Celsius or -4 degrees Fahrenheit: https://www.apexbt.com/isrib-trans-isomer.html

Air pollution spikes linked to lower test scores for Salt Lake County third graders - Science Daily, 12/1/20 - "more frequent peak air pollution exposure was associated with reduced math and English language arts (ELA) test scores for third graders in all primary public schools in Salt Lake County during the 2016-2017 year. The minimum peak pollution levels in this study are below what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determines are "safe" levels of PM2.5. The results stress the need for legislators to enact policies that reduce the number of peak pollution days, and to advocate for lower federal pollution standards"

Children with dyslexia show stronger emotional responses - Science Daily, 12/1/20 - "The results broaden current conceptualizations of typical dyslexia and suggest the syndrome is much more complex than just a weakness in reading skills, adding support to the growing awareness that dyslexia is often associated with hidden interpersonal strengths ... the children with dyslexia displayed greater emotional facial behavior and were more physiologically reactive while watching the film clips than children without dyslexia. In addition, functional MRI scans of the children's brain activity revealed that the children who were most expressive had stronger connectivity between the right anterior insula and the right anterior cingulate cortex -- key structures in the salience network that support emotion generation and self-awareness. In the children with dyslexia, those with stronger emotional facial expressions also had greater parent-reported social skills but also greater symptoms of anxiety and depression"

How Much Does Marijuana Impair Driving? - Medscape, 12/1/20 - "There's one thing we can conclude from this study — and a bunch of things we definitely can't ... The thing we can conclude is that THC leads to levels of driving impairment that are similar to what we see with alcohol intoxication ... A typical marijuana cigarette — what the kids call a "joint" — contains about 10 times the dose of THC given in this study. I can buy gummy bears on Amazon with twice the CBD dose this study provided"

Connection between gut bacteria and vitamin D levels - Science Daily, 11/30/20 - "In addition to discovering a link between active vitamin D and overall microbiome diversity, the researchers also noted that 12 particular types of bacteria appeared more often in the gut microbiomes of men with lots of active vitamin D. Most of those 12 bacteria produce butyrate, a beneficial fatty acid that helps maintain gut lining health" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com and vitamin D at iHerb.

Gut microbes: a key to normal sleep - Science Daily, 11/30/20 - "The researchers gave a group of mice a powerful cocktail of antibiotics for four weeks, which depleted them of intestinal microorganisms. Then, they compared intestinal contents between these mice and control mice who had the same diet. Digestion breaks food down into bits and pieces called metabolites. The research team found significant differences between metabolites in the microbiota-depleted mice and the control mice. As Professor Yanagisawa explains, "we found more than 200 metabolite differences between mouse groups. About 60 normal metabolites were missing in the microbiota-depleted mice, and the others differed in the amount, some more and some less than in the control mice." ... the biological pathways most affected by the antibiotic treatment were those involved in making neurotransmitters, the molecules that cells in the brain use to communicate with each other. For example, the tryptophan-serotonin pathway was almost totally shut down; the microbiota-depleted mice had more tryptophan than controls, but almost zero serotonin. This shows that without important gut microbes, the mice could not make any serotonin from the tryptophan they were eating. The team also found that the mice were deficient in vitamin B6 metabolites, which accelerate production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine." - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com and iHerb.

An AstraZeneca Manufacturing Error Is Clouding Vaccine Study Results - Time, 11/26/20 - "In a surprise, the group of volunteers that got a lower dose seemed to be much better protected than the volunteers who got two full doses. In the low-dose group, AstraZeneca said, the vaccine appeared to be 90% effective. In the group that got two full doses, the vaccine appeared to be 62% effective. Combined, the drugmakers said the vaccine appeared to be 70% effective. But the way in which the results were arrived at and reported by the companies has led to pointed questions from experts ...

In a statement Wednesday, Oxford University said some of the vials used in the trial didn’t have the right concentration of vaccine so some volunteers got a half dose. The university said that it discussed the problem with regulators, and agreed to complete the late stage trial with two groups ...

Experts say the relatively small number of people in the low dose group makes it difficult to know if the effectiveness seen in the group is real or a statistical quirk. Some 2,741 people received a half dose of the vaccine followed by a full dose, AstraZeneca said. A total of 8,895 people received two full doses.

Another factor: none of the people in the low-dose group were over 55 years old. Younger people tend to mount a stronger immune response than older people, so it could be that the youth of the participants in the low-dose group is why it looked more effective, not the size of the dose."

Cocoa flavanols boost brain oxygenation, cognition in healthy adults - Science Daily, 11/24/20 - "Previous studies have shown that eating foods rich in flavanols can benefit vascular function, but this is the first to find a positive effect on brain vascular function and cognitive performance in young healthy adults ... The team tested the 18 participants before their intake of cocoa flavanols and in two separate trials, one in which the subjects received flavanol-rich cocoa and another during which they consumed processed cocoa with very low levels of flavanols ... About two hours after consuming the cocoa, participants breathed air with 5% carbon dioxide -- about 100 times the normal concentration in air. This is a standard method for challenging brain vasculature to determine how well it responds ... The levels of maximal oxygenation were more than three times higher in the high-flavanol cocoa versus the low-flavanol cocoa ... After ingesting the cocoa flavanols, participants also performed better on the most challenging cognitive tests, correctly solving problems 11% faster than they did at baseline or when they consumed cocoa with reduced flavanols" - See Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Squares, Midnight Reverie, 4.12 oz., 86% Cacao (Pack of 6) at Amazon.com.

Abstracts from this week:

Supplemental Choline Modulates Growth Performance and Gut Inflammation by Altering the Gut Microbiota and Lipid Metabolism in Weaned Piglets - J Nutr 2020 Nov 26 - "Choline supplementation improved growth performance and prevented gut inflammation in weaned piglets by altering gut microbiota and lipid metabolism" - See citicholine at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Maternal Intake of Cow's Milk during Lactation Is Associated with Lower Prevalence of Food Allergy in Offspring - Nutrients 2020 Nov 28 - "An increased maternal intake of cow's milk during lactation, confirmed with biomarkers (fatty acids C15:0 and C17:0) in the maternal blood and breast milk, was associated with a lower prevalence of physician-diagnosed food allergy by 12 months of age. Intake of fruit and berries during lactation was associated with a higher prevalence of atopic eczema at 12 months of age"

The effects of alpha lipoic acid on muscle strength recovery after a single and a short-term chronic supplementation - a study in healthy well-trained individuals after intensive resistance and endurance training - J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2020 Dec 1 - "Our data indicate possible effects of ALA supplementation, during intensive training periods result in a reduction of muscle damage, inflammation and an increase of recovery. Whether ALA supplementation in general may enhance performance and the exact training / supplementation scenarios needs to be investigated in future studies" - See alpha lipoic acid at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Nutrients to mitigate osteosarcopenia: the role of protein, vitamin D and calcium - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2020 Nov 2 - "An adequate intake of protein (1.2-1.5 g/kg/day), vitamin D (800 IU/day) and calcium (1000-1200 mg/day), is well tolerated and effective at mitigating some aspects of osteosarcopenia such as lean mass, bone density and fracture risk" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com and vitamin D at iHerb.

Low vitamin D status is associated with hearing loss in the elderly: a cross-sectional study - Am J Clin Nutr 2020 Nov 27 - "In the elderly, low vitamin D status was associated with low-frequency and speech-frequency HL. Low vitamin D status may be a potential risk factor for age-related HL" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com and vitamin D at iHerb.

Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Omentin-1 and Spexin Levels, Inflammatory Parameters, Lipid Profile, and Anthropometric Indices in Obese and Overweight Adults with Vitamin D Deficiency under Low-Calorie Diet: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2020 Nov 10 - "70 overweight and obese participants with vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D ≤ 20 nmol/L) were assigned into the intervention (a daily dose of 2,000 IU vitamin D + low-calorie diet) and placebo (placebo + low-calorie diet) groups for 8 weeks ... Vitamin D supplementation along with a low-calorie diet (LCD) program for 8 weeks significantly decreased the inflammatory markers in obese individuals" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com and vitamin D at iHerb.

Dietary supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid rich fish oil increases circulating levels of testosterone in overweight and obese men - Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2020 Nov 12 - "Pre-clinical evidence suggests that omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), in particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been shown to affect testosterone synthesis in males ... Participants were stratified by sex and randomly allocated to intervention (860 mg DHA + 120 g EPA/day; FO) or an isocaloric control (corn oil; CO) for 12 weeks ... DHA-enriched fish oil supplementation increased total testosterone levels in males after adjusting for baseline levels, age and BMI. There was no treatment effect in females. Changes in testosterone levels in males were positively associated with changes to omega-3 PUFAs EPA and DHA and inversely correlated with omega-6 PUFA, arachidonic acid and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid content in erythrocyte membranes, and was associated with beneficial changes to fasting insulin and HOMA-IR across the course of the study. DHA-enriched fish oil supplementation increases testosterone levels in overweight and obese men" - [Nutra USA] - See docosahexaenoic acid at Amazon.com and and iHerb.

DHA-enriched fish oil reduces insulin resistance in overweight and obese adults - Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2020 Aug - "Adipose tissue inflammation is major factor in the development of insulin resistance (IR). Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are anti-inflammatory bioactive lipids, thus may protect against type 2 diabetes (T2D) development ... Men and women with abdominal obesity (waist circumference: males, ≥102 cm; females, ≥88 cm) and without diabetes were recruited from the community. Participants (age: 50.9 ± 12.7 years, female: 63.7%, BMI: 32.4 ± 6.6 kg/m2) were randomly allocated to either 2 g FO (860 mg DHA + 120 mg EPA) (intervention, n = 38) or 2 g corn oil (CO) /day (control, n = 35) for 12 weeks in a double-blind randomised controlled trial ... Compared with CO (n = 32), FO (n = 36) significantly reduced fasting insulin by -1.62 μIU/L (95%CI: -2.99, -0.26,) (p = 0.021) and HOMA-IR by -0.40 units (95%CI: -0.78, -0.02, p = 0.038). Higher insulin and HOMA-IR at baseline were associated with greater reductions in the FO group (p < 0.001). There was no interaction between sex and treatment for the change in insulin (p-interactionsex*treatment = 0.816) or HOMA-IR (p-interactionsex*treatment = 0.825). DHA-enriched FO reduces IR in adults with abdominal obesity, however, sex-dependent differences were not evident in this study" - See docosahexaenoic acid at Amazon.com and and iHerb.

Association of Antioxidant Vitamins A, C, E and Carotenoids with Cognitive Performance over Time: A Cohort Study of Middle-Aged Adults - Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3558 - "Carotenoids may strengthen the association of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E with favorable cognitive outcomes over time, though a few prospective studies have examined this hypothesis ... Mixed-effects linear regression models detected an interaction between vitamin E and total (and individual) carotenoids for three of 11 cognitive tests at v1, with only one meeting the statistical significance upon multiple testing correction whereby vitamin E was linked with greater verbal memory performance in the uppermost total carotenoid tertile (γ0a = +0.26 ± 0.08, p = 0.002), a synergism largely driven by carotenoid lycopene. Vitamins A and C showed no consistent interactions with carotenoids. In conclusion, we provide partial evidence for synergism between vitamin E and carotenoids in relation to better baseline cognitive performance, pending further studies with time-dependent exposures and randomized trials directly examining this synergism" - [Nutra USA] - See mixed carotenoids at Amazon.com and Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com and iHerb.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

My t-shirt design of the week:

Good Morning America was recommending this for a Christmas gift.  Sounded good:

Health Focus (Interleukin 6 (IL-6)):