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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 1/6/21

Stopping RAS inhibitors tied to worse outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease - Science Daily, 12/29/20 - "Renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (RAS inhibitors), including both ACE inhibitors (ending in 'pril') and ARBs (ending in 'sartan'), are common medications for the treatment of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, heart failure and CKD ... Small-scale studies have suggested that stopping RAS inhibitors in these patients may improve kidney function and delay the need for kidney replacement therapy ... Comparing morbidity and mortality rates in patients whose treatment was discontinued with those who continued the drug regimen, the researchers found that discontinuing these medications was associated with an eight percent lower risk of requiring kidney replacement therapy ... However, discontinuing was also linked to a thirteen percent higher risk of death at five years, and a twelve percent higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke" - Note: Research Entresto (although half is an ARB) and Jardiance.  Jardiance is for diabetes but hypotension is a side effect.

Long-lasting COVID immunity gives real hope for the long-term protection of vaccines - Science Daily, 12/23/20 - "antibodies against the virus started to drop off after 20 days post infection ... However -- importantly -- all patients continued to have memory B cells that recognised one of two components of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the spike and nucleocapsid proteins. These virus-specific memory B cells were stably present as far as eight months after infection"

Why Do We Dream? A New Theory on How It Protects Our Brains - Time, 12/29/20 - "the brain preserves the territory of the visual cortex by keeping it active at night. In our “defensive activation theory,” dream sleep exists to keep neurons in the visual cortex active, thereby combating a takeover by the neighboring senses. In this view, dreams are primarily visual precisely because this is the only sense that is disadvantaged by darkness. Thus, only the visual cortex is vulnerable in a way that warrants internally-generated activity to preserve its territory ... We suggest that dream sleep exists, at least in part, to prevent the other senses from taking over the brain’s visual cortex when it goes unused. Dreams are the counterbalance against too much flexibility. Thus, although dreams have long been the subject of song and story, they may be better understood as the strange lovechild of brain plasticity and the rotation of the planet"

Abstracts from this week:

Probiotic Lactobacillus fermentum strain JDFM216 improves cognitive behavior and modulates immune response with gut microbiota - Sci Rep 2020 Dec 10 - "Increasing evidence indicates that alterations in gut microbiota are associated with mammalian development and physiology. The gut microbiota has been proposed as an essential player in metabolic diseases including brain health ... Assessment of various behavioral and physiological functions was performed using Y-maze tests, wheel running tests, accelerated rotarod tests, balance beam tests, and forced swimming tests (FSTs), using adult mice after 50 weeks of administering living probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus fermentum strain JDFM216 or a vehicle. Immunomodulatory function was investigated using immune organs, immune cells and immune molecules in the mice, and gut microbiota was also evaluated in their feces. Notably, the L. fermentum JDFM216-treated group showed significantly better performance in the behavior tests (P < 0.05) as well as improved phagocytic activity of macrophages, enhanced sIgA production, and stimulated immune cells (P < 0.05). In aged mice, we observed decreases in species belonging to the Porphyromonadaceae family and the Lactobacillus genus when compared to young mice. While administering the supplementation of L. fermentum JDFM216 to aged mice did not shift the whole gut microbiota, the abundance of Lactobacillus species was significantly increased (P < 0.05). Our findings suggested that L. fermentum JDFM216 also provided beneficial effects on the regulation of immune responses, which has promising implications for functional foods. Taken together, L. fermentum JDFM216 could confer the benefit of improving health with enhanced cognition, physiological behavior, and immunity by modulating the gut microbiota" - [Nutra USA] - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Synergistic Therapeutic Effects of Probiotic Lactobacillus casei TD-2 Consumption on GM-CSF-Induced Immune Responses in a Murine Model of Cervical Cancer - Nutr Cancer 2020 Dec 26 - "Our findings showed that the combination of GM-CSF and probiotic results in improved tumor suppression against HPV-associated tumors and stimulates enhancement of specific antitumor immune responses." - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Is There an Association between β-Carotene and Breast Cancer? A Systematic Review on Breast Cancer Risk - Nutr Cancer 2020 Dec 26 - "The evidence from the included studies confirms that there is an association between β-carotenoids and breast cancer risk; the dietary intake of β-carotenoids may be beneficial in reducing the risk of developing breast cancer" - See mixed carotenoids at Amazon.com.

The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis and Alzheimer's Disease: Neuroinflammation Is to Blame? - Nutrients 2020 Dec 24 - "microbiota-gut-brain (MGB) axis ... Modulation of the gut microbiota with antibiotics or probiotic supplementation may create new preventive and therapeutic options in AD. Accumulating evidences affirm that research on MGB involvement in AD is necessary for new treatment targets and therapies for AD" - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Improvement of Executive Function after Short-Term Administration of an Antioxidants Mix Containing Bacopa, Lycopene, Astaxanthin and Vitamin B12: The BLAtwelve Study - Nutrients 2020 Dec 27 - "Our findings provide encouraging evidence that regular dietary supplementation with bacopa, lycopene, astaxanthin, and vitamin B12 may be an effective dietary approach for counteracting cognitive changes associated with brain aging" - See Bacopa monnieri at Amazon.com, Jarrow Lyco-Sorb (contains Lyco-O-Mato) at Amazon.com, Astaxanthin at Amazon.com and vitamin B12 at Amazon.com.

Effects of Different Doses of Caffeinated Coffee on Muscular Endurance, Cognitive Performance, and Cardiac Autonomic Modulation in Caffeine Naive Female Athletes - Nutrients 2020 Dec 22 -"Caffeine is widely consumed among elite athletes for its well-known ergogenic properties, and its ability to increase exercise performance ... heart rate variability (HRV) ... A total of 17 participants (mean ± standard deviation (SD): age = 23 ± 2 years, body mass = 64 ± 4 kg, height = 168 ± 3 cm) in a randomized cross-over design completed three testing sessions, following the ingestion of 3 mg/kg/bm of caffeine (3COF), 6 mg/kg/bm of caffeine (6COF) provided from coffee or decaffeinated coffee (PLA) in 600 mL of hot water. The testing results included: (1) repetition number for muscular endurance performance; (2): reaction time and response accuracy for cognitive performance; (3): HRV parameters, such as standard deviation of normal-to-normal (NN) intervals (SDNN), standard deviation of successive differences (SDSD), root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD), total power (TP), the ratio of low- and high-frequency powers (LF/HF), high-frequency power (HF), normalized HF (HFnu), low-frequency power (LF), and normalized LF (LFnu). A one-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed that 3COF (p = 0.024) and 6COF (p = 0.036) improved lower body muscular endurance in the first set as well as cognitive performance (p = 0.025, p = 0.035 in the post-test, respectively) compared to PLA. However, no differences were detected between trials for upper body muscular endurance (p = 0.07). Lastly, all HRV parameters did not change between trials (p > 0.05). In conclusion, ingesting caffeinated coffee improved lower body muscular endurance and cognitive performance, while not adversely affecting cardiac autonomic function"

Zinc Supplementation Modulates NETs Release and Neutrophils' Degranulation - Nutrients 2020 Dec 26 - "Zinc plays an important physiological role in the entire body, especially in the immune system. It is one of the most abundant microelements in our organism and an essential component of enzymes and antibacterial proteins. Zinc levels were reported to be correlated with the intensity of innate immunity responses, especially those triggered by neutrophils ... Proper zinc level is necessary to maintain efficient functioning of the innate immune response" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com.

Cordyceps militaris Fruit Body Extract Decreases Testosterone Catabolism and Testosterone-Stimulated Prostate Hypertrophy - Nutrients 2020 Dec 26 - "late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) ... The fruit bodies of fungi of the genus Cordyceps have been regarded as folk medicine or health food with tonic and antifatigue effects. The extract from the fruit body of Cordyceps militaris parasitizing Samia cynthia ricini (CM) was evaluated as a novel-candidate natural product for ameliorating male andropause symptoms. To explore the effects of CM on LOH and BPH, CM was applied to rat models and cultured testicular cells and prostate cells. The concentrations of androgens in the serum and culture media were determined by ELISA. Expression of steroidogenic enzymes and androgen-related genes was evaluated by qPCR, and prostatic cell proliferation was assessed with the cell-viability assay. CM maintained the serum levels of testosterone and DHT, but inhibited testosterone-induced prostate hypertrophy. CM also increased the secretion of testosterone and DHT by primary testicular cells, with no changes in the mRNA expression of steroidogenic enzymes, but decreased the growth of prostatic cell lines. Our data suggest that CM could improve both LOH and BPH in males." - See cordyceps at Amazon.com.

Identification of Withania somnifera-Silybum marianum-Trigonella foenum-graecum Formulation as a Nutritional Supplement to Contrast Muscle Atrophy and Sarcopenia - Nutrients 2020 Dec 26 - "Muscle atrophy, i.e., the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, is an unresolved problem associated with aging (sarcopenia) and several pathological conditions. The imbalance between myofibrillary protein breakdown (especially the adult isoforms of myosin heavy chain, MyHC) and synthesis, and the reduction of muscle regenerative potential are main causes of muscle atrophy ... We identified WST (Withania somnifera, Silybum marianum, Trigonella foenum-graecum) formulation as extremely efficacious in protecting C2C12 myotubes against MyHC-II degradation by stimulating Akt (protein kinase B)-dependent protein synthesis and p38 MAPK (p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase)/myogenin-dependent myoblast differentiation. WST sustains trophism in C2C12 and young myotubes, and rescues the size, developmental MyHC expression and myoblast fusion in sarcopenic myotubes. Conclusion: WST strongly counteracts muscle atrophy associated to different conditions in vitro. The future validation in vivo of our results might lead to the use of WST as a food supplement to sustain muscle mass in diffuse atrophying conditions, and to reverse the age-related functional decline of human muscles, thus improving people quality of life and reducing social and health-care costs." - See ashwagandha at Amazon.com, silymarin at Amazon.com and fenugreek at Amazon.com.

  • Withania somnifera - "Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha"
  • Silybum marianum - "Silybum marianum has other common names including cardus marianus, milk thistle"
  • Fenugreek - "Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)"

High blood pressure induced by vitamin D deficiency is associated with renal overexpression and hyperphosphorylation of Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter type 2 - J Hypertens 2020 Dec 15 - "Male Wistar rats were fed a vitamin D-free (n = 26) or standard diet (n = 25) for 30 days. BP was recorded using noninvasive and invasive procedures ... Higher BP levels in VDD rats than controls were accompanied by overexpression and hyperphosphorylation of renal cortical and medullary Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter type 2, enhanced levels of phosphorylated Na+/H+ exchanger type 3, and reduced expression levels of total and phosphorylated Na+/Cl- cotransporter. Changes in intrarenal RAS induced by VDD vs. controls included the marked elevation of medullary renin expression, higher expression of cortical angiotensinogen, higher urinary angiotensinogen excretion, and higher cortical and medullary angiotensin II content. VDD rats displayed higher thiobarbituric acid reactive substances/glutathione ratios in the renal cortex and medulla than controls" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Low Free Triiodothyronine Level as a Predictor of Cardiovascular Events and All-Cause Mortality in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis: The DREAM Cohort - J Atheroscler Thromb 2020 Dec 23 - "Low T3 syndrome is characterized by low serum triiodothyronine (T3) levels without elevation of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in patients without apparent thyroid disease, which is known to be associated with worse clinical outcomes in various populations including those with kidney failure ... We analyzed data from 438 eligible patients. During the 5-year follow-up, 154 new CVD events and 86 all-cause deaths were recorded. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that lower FT3 levels were associated with higher risks for new cardiovascular events and all-cause death. This inverse association of FT3 and new CVD events remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, duration of hemodialysis, diabetic kidney disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and smoking; however, it was no longer significant after further adjustment for prior CVD or N-terminal fragment of probrain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). FT3 did not show an independent association with all-cause mortality ... Our results indicate that low FT3 status is not an independent predictor of new CVD events and that the following factors are closely associated: prior CVD, low FT3 and high NT-proBNP levels at present, and future risk of new CVD events in hemodialysis patients"

Protein supplementation increases adaptations to endurance training: A systematic review and meta-analysis - Clin Nutr 2020 Dec 15 - "Nineteen studies and 1162 participants contributed to the analyses. Compared with the control group, the protein supplementation group demonstrated greater improvements in aerobic capacity measured by mixed peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) and peak workload power (Wpeak) (standardised mean difference [SMD] = 0.36, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.05 to 0.67), and V̇O2peak (mean difference [MD] = 0.89 mL‧kg-1‧min-1, 95% CI: 0.07 to 1.70); had a greater lean mass gain (MD = 0.32 kg, 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.58); and had a greater improvement in time trial performance (MD = -29.1s, 95% CI:-55.3 to -3.0). Secondary analyses showed that, in addition to the substantial improvement in V̇O2peak (MD = 3.67 mL‧kg-1‧min-1, 95% CI: 2.32 to 5.03) attributed to endurance training, protein supplementation provided an additional 26.4% gain in V̇O2peak (MD = 0.97 mL‧kg-1‧min-1, 95% CI: -0.03 to 1.97) ... Protein supplementation further increased aerobic capacity, stimulated lean mass gain, and improved time trial performance during chronic endurance training in healthy and clinical populations" - See whey protein at Amazon.com.

Omega-3 fatty acids and human skeletal muscle - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2020 Dec 15 - "ω-3 fatty acid ingestion is a potential preventive therapy to combat skeletal muscle-disuse atrophy" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Ultra-processed food consumption is associated with increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the Moli-sani Study - Am J Clin Nutr 2020 Dec 18 - "Individuals reporting the highest intake of UPF (Q4, >14.6% of total food), as opposed to the lowest (Q1, UPF < 6.6%), experienced increased risks of CVD mortality (HR: 1.58; 95% CI: 1.23, 2.03), death from ischemic heart disease (IHD)/cerebrovascular disease (HR: 1.52; 95% CI: 1.10, 2.09), and all-cause mortality (HR: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.09, 1.46). High sugar content explained 36.3% of the relation of UPF with IHD/cerebrovascular mortality, whereas other nutritional factors (e.g., saturated fats) were unlikely to be on the pathway. Biomarkers of renal function accounted for 20.1% of the association of UPF with all-cause mortality, and 12.0% for that of UPF with CVD mortality ... A high proportion of UPF in the diet was associated with increased risk of CVD and all-cause mortality, partly through its high dietary content of sugar. Some established biomarkers of CVD risk were likely to be on the pathway of such associations"

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators in patients with electrical heart disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: data from the German device registry - Clin Res Cardiol 2020 Apr - "174 patients with HCM [hypertrophic cardiomyopathy] and 112 patients with electrical heart disease (long-QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy) were compared with 5164 other ICD patients. Median follow-up was 17.0 months. Patients in the control group were significantly older. Of note, overall mortality after 1 year was 1.8% in HCM patients, 6.6% in patients with electrical heart disease and 7.3% in the control group. Patients in the control group presented significantly more severe comorbidities. In contrast to HCM patients and the control group where primary prevention was the major indication for ICD implantation, 77.5% of patients with electrical heart disease received an ICD for secondary prevention. The number of surgical revisions was higher in patients with electrical heart disease"

Dietary cholesterol and egg intake in relation to incident cardiovascular disease and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in postmenopausal women - Am J Clin Nutr 2020 Dec 17 - "After multivariable adjustment for traditional risk factors and key dietary nutrients including dietary saturated fat, there were modest associations of dietary cholesterol intake with incident CVD (HRQ5versusQ1: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.21; P-trend < 0.001) and all-cause mortality (HRQ5versusQ1: 1.09; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.15; P-trend < 0.001). Significant positive associations were also observed between dietary cholesterol and incident IHD (P-trend = 0.007), incident ischemic stroke (P-trend = 0.002), and CVD mortality (P-trend = 0.002), whereas there was an inverse association for incident hemorrhagic stroke (P-trend = 0.037) and no association for mortality from cancer, Alzheimer disease/dementia, respiratory diseases, or other causes (P-trend > 0.05). Higher egg consumption was also associated with modestly higher risk of incident CVD (P-trend = 0.004) and all-cause mortality (P-trend < 0.001), with HRs of 1.14 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.25) and 1.14 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.22), respectively, when comparing ≥1 egg/d with <1 egg/wk"

Magnesium intake is associated with a reduced risk of incident liver cancer, based on an analysis of the NIH-American Association of Retired Persons (NIH-AARP) Diet and Health Study prospective cohort - Am J Clin Nutr 2020 Dec 16 - "Higher magnesium intake was independently associated with a lower risk of liver cancer (P-trend = 0.005), with intakes in the highest compared with lowest quartile associated with 35% lower risk (HR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.48, 0.87). The dose-related inverse association was more pronounced in moderate and heavy alcohol users (HR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.35, 0.82; P-trend = 0.006), and this interaction was statistically significant ... Based on a prospective cohort analysis, we demonstrated that magnesium intake is associated with a lower risk of primary liver cancer, which was more pronounced among moderate and heavy alcohol users" - See Jarrow Formulas, MagMind at Amazon.com.

Dietary leucine requirement of older men and women is higher than current recommendations - Am J Clin Nutr 2020 Dec 16 - "Current national (34 mg . kg-1 . d-1) and international (39 mg kg-1 . d-1) recommendations for leucine in older adults are based on data from young adults. Evidence suggests that the leucine requirements of older adults are higher than those of young adults ... The mean leucine requirement for male participants was 77.8 mg . kg-1 . d-1 (upper 95% CI: 81.0) and for female participants, it was 78.2 mg . kg-1 . d-1 (upper 95% CI: 82.0) with no sex effect based on body weight. The data were therefore combined to yield a mean of 78.5 mg . kg-1 d-1 (upper 95% CI: 81.0 mg . kg-1 . d-1 ) for both sexes. On the basis of fat-free mass, the mean ± SEM leucine requirements were 115 ± 3.2 and 127 ± 2.4 mg . kg-1 . d-1 for male and female participants, respectively (P < 0.005) ... The estimated leucine requirement of older adults is more than double the amount in current recommendations. These data suggest that leucine could be a limiting amino acid in the diet of older adults consuming the current RDA for protein and those consuming a plant-based diet. In view of the functional and structural role of leucine, especially its importance in muscle protein synthesis, current leucine recommendations of older adults should be revised" - Note: 170 pounds is 77 KG. 77 KG times 115 mg = 8,855 mg or about 9 grams by my calculations. One scoop of the leucine I take contains 5 grams. - See leucine products at Amazon.com.

Caffeine Consumption and Behavioral Symptoms in Nursing Home Residents: A Cross-Sectional Analysis - J Nutr Health Aging 2021;25(1):100-107 - "In a large group of older persons with dementia resident in nursing homes, a low daily consumption of caffeine was associated with greater behavioral symptoms"

Dietary Patterns and Muscle Mass, Muscle Strength, and Physical Performance in the Elderly: A 3-Year Cohort Study - J Nutr Health Aging 2021;25(1):108-115 - "This study aimed to determine the association between adherence to Mediterranean-style diet (MD), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top (JFG-ST), and modified JFG-ST (mJFG-ST) and muscle mass, muscle strength, and physical performance in community-dwelling Japanese elderly ... skeletal mass index (SMI) ... Adherence to JFG-ST was positively associated with SMI in Japanese community-dwelling elderly adults aged over 60 years, specifically in men. The country-specific dietary recommendations are required to be developed for sarcopenia prevention"

Comparison of Outcomes of Beta-Blocker Therapy after Acute Myocardial Infarction in Patients without Heart Failure or Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction (From the Acute Coronary Syndromes Israeli Survey [ACSIS]) - Am J Cardiol 2020 Dec 21 - "The 30-day MACE [Major Adverse Cardiovascular (CV) Events] rates were similar in patients on vs. not on beta-blockers at discharge (9.0% and 9.5%, respectively). One year survival did not differ significantly between those on vs. not on beta-blockers (HR 0.8, 95% CI 0.58-1.11, P= 0.18).In conclusion, beta-blocker therapy did not affect 30 days MACE or one-year survival after myocardial infarction in patients without heart failure or reduced ejection fraction" - Note:  I threw this in because I don't understand why cardiologists want to destroy your quality of like with beta-blockers for such a minuscule gain.

Borage Oil Enhances Lamellar Body Content and Alters Fatty Acid Composition of Epidermal Ceramides in Essential Fatty Acid-Deficient Guinea Pigs - Lipids 2020 Dec 30 - "Borage oil [BO: 40.9% linoleic acid (LNA) and 24.0% γ-linolenic acid (GLA)] reverses disrupted epidermal lipid barrier in essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD). We determined the effects of BO on lamellar body (LB) content and LNA and GLA incorporation into epidermal ceramide 1 (CER1) and epidermal ceramide 2 (CER2), major barrier lipids. EFAD was induced in guinea pigs by a diet of 6% hydrogenated coconut oil (HCO) for 10 weeks (group HCO) or 8 weeks followed by 6% BO for 2 weeks (group HCO + BO). LB content and LNA and GLA incorporation into CER1 were higher in group HCO + BO than in group HCO. Small but significant levels of LNA, GLA, and their C20-metabolized fatty acids [dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid (ARA)] were incorporated into CER2, where ARA was detected at a level lower than LNA, but DGLA incorporation exceeded that for GLA in group HCO + BO. Dietary BO enhanced LB content and differential incorporation of GLA into CER1 and DGLA into CER2." - See borage oil at Amazon.com.

Effects of 8 Weeks of 2S-Hesperidin Supplementation on Performance in Amateur Cyclists - Nutrients 2020, 12(12) - "2S-Hesperidin is a flavanone (flavonoid) found in high concentrations in citrus fruits. It has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, improving performance in animals ... A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was carried out between late September and December 2018. Forty amateur cyclists were randomized into two groups: one taking 500 mg/day 2S-hesperidin and the other taking 500 mg/day placebo (microcellulose) for eight weeks ... Supplementation with an orange extract (2S-hesperdin) 500 mg/day improves estimated FTP and maximum power performance in amateur cyclists" - [Nutra USA] - See hesperidin at Amazon.com.

Time-restricted eating effects on performance, immune function, and body composition in elite cyclists: a randomized controlled trial - J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2020 Dec 11 - "time-restricted eating (TRE) ... Sixteen elite under-23 cyclists were randomly assigned either to a TRE group or a control group (ND). The TRE group consumed 100% of its estimated daily energy needs in an 8-h time window (from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) whilst energy intake in the ND group was distributed in 3 meals consumed between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. ... peak power output/body weight ratio (PPO/BW) ...Our results suggest that a TRE program with an 8-h feeding window elicits weight loss, improves body composition and increases PPO/BW in elite cyclists. TRE could also be beneficial for reducing inflammation and may have a protective effect on some components of the immune system. Overall, TRE could be considered as a component of a periodized nutrition plan in endurance athletes" - [Nutra USA]

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