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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 3/17/21

Low-Dose Aspirin May Help Shield You From COVID-19 WebMD, 3/15/21 - "Because the study was a look back at prior data, it wasn't designed to show cause-and-effect, only associations. But Magen's group found that people who'd already been taking low-dose aspirin to reduce their risk of heart disease had a 29% lower risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to those who didn't take aspirin, and that rates of aspirin use were much lower among COVID-19 patients than among those who didn't get infected ... Among people who did get COVID-19, the time it took for SARS-CoV-2 PCR test results to go from positive to negative was significantly shorter among those who used aspirin, and the duration of their disease was two-three days shorter, depending upon preexisting health conditions"

Sociodemographic, Lifestyle and Medical Influences on Serum Testosterone and Sex Hormone–Binding Globulin in Men From UK Biobank - Medscape, 3/12/21 - "When considering SHBG, older, slim, White, unpartnered, qualified below A levels (high school), fish eating and sufficiently physically active men had levels more than double those in middle-aged, Asian, obese, partnered, college/university qualified, red meat eating and insufficiently physically active men." - Note:  So you have to be overweight to lower your SHBG?  I guess it makes sense because they claim that aerobic exercise also raises SHBG and aerobic exercise can make you slim.

Adding triglyceride-lowering Omega-3 based medication to statins may lower stroke risk - AHA, 3/11/21 - "Adding the triglyceride-lowering medication icosapent ethyl cut the risk of a first stroke by an additional 36% in patients already taking statin medications to treat high cholesterol ... In previous research, icosapent ethyl reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events ... The prescription medication is a highly purified form of an omega-3 fatty acid. The study’s results do not apply to supplements available over-the-counter"

The Gut Microbiota in Osteoarthritis - Medscape, 3/11/21 - "Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most frequent musculoskeletal diseases characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage, subchondral bone remodeling, and synovial membrane inflammation, which is a leading cause of global disability, morbidity, and decreased quality of life ... Gut microbiota is responsible for a series of metabolic, immunological, and structural and neurological functions, potentially elucidating the heterogeneity of OA phenotypes and individual features. In this narrative review, we summarized research evidence supporting the hypothesis of a "gut-joint axis" and the interaction between gut microbiota and the OA-relevant factors, including age, gender, genetics, metabolism, central nervous system, and joint injury, elucidating the underlying mechanisms of this intricate interaction. In the context, we also speculated the promising manipulation of gut microbiota in OA management, such as exercise and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), highlighting the clinical values of gut microbiota. Additionally, future research directions, such as more convincing studies by the interventions of gut microbiota, the gene regulation of host contributing to or attributed to the specific phenotypes of gut microbiota related to OA, and the relevance of distinct cell subgroups to gut microbiota, are expected. Moreover, gut microbiota is also the potential biomarker related to inflammation and gut dysbiosis that is able to predict OA progression and monitor the efficacy of therapeutic intervention" - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Steroid abuse by men leads to long-lasting impaired testicular function - Science Daily, 3/9/21 - "Our results suggest a long-lasting impaired gonadal capacity in previous anabolic steroid users"

Cannabis for Migraine Strongly Linked to Rebound Headache - Medscape, 3/9/21 - "patients who used cannabis were nearly six times more likely to have medication overuse headache than those who did not use cannabis ... Patients with medication overuse headaches may have more comorbidities, such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders, that are driving the cannabis use. The patients on cannabis also had higher rates of opiate use, which itself is a stronger contributor to medication overuse headache and may indicate the presence of other pain disorders"

Cannabis Vaping Triggers Respiratory Symptoms in Teens - Medscape, 3/9/21 - "Vaping cannabis significantly increased the risk of respiratory symptoms in adolescents"

FDA Warns Against Using Ivermectin to Treat COVID-19 - Medscape, 3/8/21 - "The agency says it issued the guidance on Friday in light of growing interest in the drug as a COVID-19 treatment and multiple reports of patients hospitalized or needing medical support "after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses." ... Interactions with other drugs, such as blood thinners, are also potentially dangerous even at the levels specified in approved uses ... "You can also overdose on ivermectin," the FDA warns, adding that ivermectin can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension, allergic reactions, dizziness, ataxia, seizures, coma, and even death ... ivermectin, tested in a randomized trial of 476 patients, did not significantly shorten duration of symptoms for adults with mild COVID-19 who received a 5-day course of ivermectin compared with placebo (median time to resolution of symptoms, 10 vs 12 days; hazard ratio for resolution of symptoms, 1.07) ... Excitement about the drug has grown after some smaller studies have shown positive results for the drug related to COVID-19 ... However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says, "[M]ost of these studies had incomplete information and significant methodological limitations.""

New discovery explains antihypertensive properties of green and black tea - Science Daily, 3/8/21 - "two catechin-type flavonoid compounds (epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin-3-gallate) found in tea, each activate a specific type of ion channel protein named KCNQ5, which allows potassium ions to diffuse out of cells to reduce cellular excitability. As KCNQ5 is found in the smooth muscle that lines blood vessels, its activation by tea catechins was also predicted to relax blood vessels -- a prediction confirmed by collaborators at the University of Copenhagen ... In addition to its role in controlling vascular tone, KCNQ5 is expressed in various parts of the brain, where it regulates electrical activity and signaling between neurons. Pathogenic KCNQ5 gene variants exist that impair its channel function and in doing so cause epileptic encephalopathy, a developmental disorder that is severely debilitating and causes frequent seizures. Because catechins can cross the blood-brain barrier, discovery of their ability to activate KCNQ5 may suggest a future mechanism to fix broken KCNQ5 channels to ameliorate brain excitability disorders stemming from their dysfunction." - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.

Study finds two servings of fish per week can help prevent recurrent heart disease - Science Daily, 3/8/21 - "The critical ingredient is omega-3 fatty acids, which researchers found was associated with a lower risk of major CVD events such as heart attacks and strokes by about a sixth in high-risk people who ate two servings of fish rich in omega-3 each week" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Green tea supplements modulate facial development of children with Down syndrome, study finds - Science Daily, 3/3/21 - "The researchers observed that the intake of green tea extracts can reduce facial dysmorphology in children with Down syndrome when taken during the first three years of life. Additional experimental research in mice confirmed the positive effects at low doses. However, they also found that high doses of the extract can disrupt facial and bone development. More research is needed to fully understand the effects of green tea extracts and therefore they should always be taken under medical supervision."

Bitter receptor involved in anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol? - Science Daily, 3/2/21 - "Bitter food ingredients not only influence the taste of a food, but often also exert other physiological effects. For example, resveratrol not only tastes bitter, but also reduces biomarkers of inflammation as shown in various clinical trials including, e.g., patients with metabolic syndrome and related disorders ... In the current study, resveratrol reduced the amount of inflammatory marker released by about 80 percent" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.

Apigenin For Anti-Aging | Better Than NMN In 2021? - Dr Brad Stanfield, 10 minute YouTube video - See apigenin at Amazon.com.

Abstracts from this week:

Serum uric acid is positively associated with the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver in non-obese type 2 diabetes patients in a Chinese population - J Diabetes Complications 2021 Feb 16 - "SUA levels are strongly and independently associated with the prevalence of NAFLD. SUA may be used as a useful predictor to stratify the higher risks for NAFLD of non-obese type 2 diabetes patients"

The Effects of Quercetin on the Apoptosis of Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231: A Systematic Review - Nutr Cancer 2021 Mar 7 - "This systematic review was performed with a focus on the effects of quercetin (QT) on the human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 ... Of 15 studies that examined the effects of QT on MDA-MB-231 cells, 14 reports showed successful apoptosis. It is concluded that QT might be beneficial in the eliminating of breast cancer cells" - See quercetin at Amazon.com.

Spironolactone in Patients With Heart Failure, Preserved Ejection Fraction, and Worsening Renal Function - J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 Mar 9 - "Treatment of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) with spironolactone is associated with lower risk of heart failure hospitalization (HFH) but increased risk of worsening renal function (WRF) ... Among HFpEF patients enrolled in TOPCAT-Americas, spironolactone increased risk of WRF compared with placebo. Rates of CV death were lower with spironolactone in both patients with and without WRF"

Gut microbiota compositions and metabolic functions in type 2 diabetes differ with glycemic durability to metformin monotherapy - Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2021 Mar 4 - "Metformin, the first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes, has been found to modulate the gut microbiota ... There were different compositions of gut microbiota with unique microbial metabolic pathways between type 2 diabetes with and without glycemic durability to metformin monotherapy. Microbial salvage by increasing thiamine biosynthesis might be beneficial for the metformin durable group to maintain optimal glycemic control"

Dissecting the contribution of host genetics and the microbiome in complex behaviors - Cell 2021 Mar 4 - "The core symptoms of many neurological disorders have traditionally been thought to be caused by genetic variants affecting brain development and function. However, the gut microbiome, another important source of variation, can also influence specific behaviors. Thus, it is critical to unravel the contributions of host genetic variation, the microbiome, and their interactions to complex behaviors. Unexpectedly, we discovered that different maladaptive behaviors are interdependently regulated by the microbiome and host genes in the Cntnap2-/- model for neurodevelopmental disorders. The hyperactivity phenotype of Cntnap2-/- mice is caused by host genetics, whereas the social-behavior phenotype is mediated by the gut microbiome. Interestingly, specific microbial intervention selectively rescued the social deficits in Cntnap2-/- mice through upregulation of metabolites in the tetrahydrobiopterin synthesis pathway. Our findings that behavioral abnormalities could have distinct origins (host genetic versus microbial) may change the way we think about neurological disorders and how to treat them" - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Circulating B-vitamin biomarkers and B-vitamin supplement use in relation to quality of life in patients with colorectal cancer: results from the FOCUS consortium - Am J Clin Nutr 2021 Mar 1 - "Higher pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) was cross-sectionally associated with better physical, role, and social functioning, as well as reduced fatigue, 6 months postdiagnosis. Associations were observed for a doubling in the hydroxykynurenine ratio [3-hydroxykynurenine: (kynurenic acid + xanthurenic acid + 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid + anthranilic acid); an inverse marker of vitamin B6] and both reduced global quality of life (β = -3.62; 95% CI: -5.88, -1.36) and worse physical functioning (β = -5.01; 95% CI: -7.09, -2.94). Dose-response relations were observed for PLP and quality of life. No associations were observed for changes in biomarker concentrations between diagnosis and 6 months. Participants who stopped using B-vitamin supplements after diagnosis reported higher fatigue than nonusers" - See B complex supplements at Amazon.com.

The effects of 14-week betaine supplementation on endocrine markers, body composition and anthropometrics in professional youth soccer players: a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial - J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2021 Mar 4 - "Betaine supplementation may enhance body composition outcomes when supplemented chronically during an exercise program. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of betaine supplementation on development-related hormones, body composition, and anthropometrics in professional youth soccer players during a competitive season ... Twenty-nine players (age, 15.45 ± 0.25 years) were matched based upon position and then randomly assigned to a betaine group (2 g/day; n = 14, BG) or placebo group ... testosterone to cortisol ratio (T/C) ... Betaine supplementation increased testosterone levels and T/C ratio in youth professional soccer players during a competitive season. Betaine supplementation had no negative effects on growth (height and weight) and may attenuate reductions in testosterone due to intense training during puberty" - Note:  I which they would state whether it's betaine hydrochloride [HCl] or betaine anhydrous (trimethylglycine (TMG)).  It must be TMG because HCL is for digestion. - See betaine hydrochloride products at Amazon.com and betaine anhydrous (TMG) at Amazon.com.

  • Betaine HCl – Remembering the Basics - edu.emersonecologics.com - "Trimethylglycine (TMG) is a popular molecule in the betaine family – consisting of the amino acid glycine with three methyl groups attached. TMGs main uses are as either a primary (reducing homocysteine into L-methionine for cardio-protection) or secondary (affecting folate and SAMEe metabolism) methyl donor. For clarity it’s important to remember that the terms “TMG” and “betaine” are used interchangeably ... While still in the same molecular family, betaine hydrochloride [HCl] is a very different molecule. It is a protonated form of TMG, meaning it will give up or transfer a proton and a chloride ion in an aqueous solution (liquid). This makes betaine HCl a very good dietary source of hydrochloric or gastric acid"

Effect of six weeks 1000 mg/day vitamin C supplementation and healthy training in elderly women on genes expression associated with the immune response - a randomized controlled trial - J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2021 Mar 2 - "we investigated the effects of supplementation and exercise on the expression of genes associated with inflammation like CCL2, CRP, IL1, IL6, IL10 mRNA in elderly women ... Twenty four participants divided randomly into two groups were subjected to 6 weeks of the same health training program (three times per week). SUP group (supplemented, n = 12, mean age 72.8 ± 5.26 years and mean body mass 68.1 ± 8.3 kg) received 1000 mg of Vitamin C/day during the training period, while CON group (control, n = 12, mean age 72.4 ± 5.5 years and body mass 67.7 ± 7.5 kg) received placebo ... It can be concluded, that 6 weeks of supplementation and exercise was too short to obtain significant changes in gene expression in leukocytes, but supplementation of 1000 mg vitamin C positively affected IL-6 and IL-10 expression - which are key changes in the adaptation to training. However, changes in body mass, IL1 and CCL2 were positive in CON group. It is possible that Vitamin C during 6 weeks of supplementation could have different effects on the expression of individual genes involved in the immune response" - See vitamin C products at Amazon.com.

n-3 Fatty Acid Biomarkers and Incident Type 2 Diabetes: An Individual Participant-Level Pooling Project of 20 Prospective Cohort Studies - Diabetes Care 2021 Mar 3 - "Higher circulating biomarkers of seafood-derived n-3 fatty acids, including EPA, DPA, DHA, and their sum, were associated with lower risk of T2D in a global consortium of prospective studies. The biomarker of plant-derived ALA was not significantly associated with T2D risk" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

4-week eicosapentaenoic acid-rich fish oil supplementation partially protects muscular damage following eccentric contractions - J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2021 Mar 1 - "We previously showed 8-week of fish oil supplementation attenuated muscle damage. However, the effect of a shorter period of fish oil supplementation is unclear. The present study investigated the effect of fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), for 4 weeks on muscular damage caused by eccentric contractions (ECCs) of the elbow flexors ... Twenty-two untrained men were recruited in this double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel design study and the subjects were randomly assigned to the EPA and DHA group (EPA and DHA, n = 11) and placebo group (PL, n = 11). They consumed either EPA 600 mg and DHA 260 mg per day or placebo supplement for 4 weeks prior to exercise. Subjects performed 60 ECCs at 100 % maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) using a dumbbell. Changes in MVC torque, range of motion (ROM), upper arm circumference, muscle soreness, echo intensity, muscle thickness, serum creatine kinase (CK), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were assessed before exercise; immediately after exercise; and 1, 2, 3, and 5 days after exercise ... ROM was significantly higher in the EPA and DHA group than in the PL group immediately after performing ECCs (p < 0.05). No differences between groups were observed in terms of MVC torque, upper arm circumference, muscle soreness, echo intensity, and thickness. A significant difference was observed in serum CK 3 days after ECCs ... We concluded that shorter period EPA and DHA supplementation benefits joint flexibility and protection of muscle fiber following ECCs" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

Tomato powder is more effective than lycopene to alleviate exercise-induced lipid peroxidation in well-trained male athletes: randomized, double-blinded cross-over study - J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2021 Feb 27 - "Consumption of nutritional supplements to optimize recovery is gaining popularity among athletes. Tomatoes contain micronutrients and various bioactive components with antioxidant properties. Many of the health benefits of tomatoes have been attributed to lycopene encouraging athletes to consume pure lycopene supplements. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of tomato powder and lycopene supplement on lipid peroxidation induced by exhaustive exercise in well-trained male athletes ... Eleven well-trained male athletes participated in a randomized, double-blinded, crossover study. Each subject underwent three exhaustive exercise tests after 1-week supplementation of tomato powder (each serving contained 30 mg lycopene, 5.38 mg beta-carotene, 22.32 mg phytoene, 9.84 mg phytofluene), manufactured lycopene supplement (30 mg lycopene), or placebo ... Beneficial effects of tomato powder on antioxidant capacity and exercise-induced lipid peroxidation may be brought about by a synergistic interaction of lycopene with other bioactive nutrients rather than single lycopene" - See tomato powder at Amazon.com.

Low-dose Coconut Oil Supplementation Induces Hypothalamic Inflammation, Behavioral Dysfunction and Metabolic Damage in Healthy Mice - Mol Nutr Food Res 2021 Mar 2 - "These results show that a low dose CO change the behavioral pattern, induces inflammatory pathway activation, TLR4 expression in healthy mice and stimulates the pro-inflammatory response through a TLR4-mediated mechanism"

Comparison of Losartan and Amlodipine Effects on the Outcomes of Patient with COVID-19 and Primary Hypertension: A Randomized Clinical Trial - Int J Clin Pract 2021 Mar 1 - "hypertension (HTN) ... hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and primary HTN were enrolled in the study. One arm received losartan, 25 mg, twice a day and the other arm received amlodipine, 5 mg per day for two weeks ... The mean age of patients treated with losartan (N=41) and amlodipine (N=39) was 67.3±14.8 and 60.1±17.3 years, respectively (P value=0.068). The length of hospital stay in losartan and amlodipine groups was 4.57±2.59 and 7.30±8.70 days, respectively (P value=0.085). Also, the length of ICU admission in losartan and amlodipines group was 7.13±5.99 and 7.15±9.95 days, respectively (P value=0.994). The 30-day mortality was two and five patients in losartan and amlodipine groups, respectively (P value=0.241)"

Effect of dietary protein intake on bone mineral density and fracture incidence in older adults in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study - J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 Mar 3 - "Dietary recommendations may underestimate the protein older adults need for optimal bone health. This study sought to determine associations of protein intake with bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture among community-dwelling white and black older adults ... Participants in the upper protein tertile (≥15% TEI) had 1.8-6.0% higher mean hip and lumbar spine BMD compared to the lower protein tertile (<13% TEI; p<0.05). Protein intake did not affect change in BMD at any site over the follow-up period. Participants in the upper protein tertile had a reduced risk of clinical vertebral fracture over five years of follow-up (Hazard Ratio: 0.36 [95% Confidence Intervals (CI), 0.14, 0.97] vs. lower protein tertile ... Older adults with higher protein intake (≥15% TEI) had higher BMD at the hip, whole body, and lumbar spine, and a lower risk of vertebral fracture"

The Hydroalcoholic Extract of Uncaria tomentosa (Cat's Claw) Inhibits the Infection of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) In Vitro - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2021 Feb 24 - "cytopathic effect (CPE) ... These results showed that U. tomentosa, known as cat's claw, has an antiviral effect against SARS-CoV-2, which was observed as a reduction in the viral titer and CPE after 48 h of treatment on Vero E6 cells. Therefore, we hypothesized that U. tomentosa stem bark could be promising in the development of new therapeutic strategies against SARS-CoV-2" - See cat's claw extract at Amazon.com.

Observation of the Expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and the Potential Effect of Promoting Hair Growth Treated with Chinese Herbal BeauTop - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2021 Feb 17 - "Despite minoxidil and finasteride already being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of hair loss, it is important to identify new and innovative treatments for hair loss, such as looking for a solution in Chinese herbal medicine. One such treatment to consider is BeauTop (BT), whose primary ingredients include Panax japonicus (T.Nees), C.A. Mey. (Araliaceae), Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch) Bunge (Fabaceae), Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels (Apiaceae), Ligustrum lucidum W.T. Aiton (Oleaceae), Rehmannia glutinosa (Gaertn.) DC. (Plantaginaceae), and Eclipta prostrata (L.) L. (Compositae). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether BT can promote hair growth in C57BL/6 mice and to investigate hair coverage, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEFG), and the numbers of hair follicles in growth phase after oral administration. A total of 12 C57BL/6 mice were divided into two groups: control group and treatment group BT. BT was administered orally as an extract at a volume of 0.6 g/kg. The control group was treated with distilled water. Each group was treated once a day for 12 consecutive days. To observe the expression of VEGF distribution, the number of hair follicles and the hair coverage were examined on days 4, 8, and 12. By comparing the treatment group and control group, we found that VEGF in the BT group on day 8 presented with a higher area percentage than the control group (p value = 0.003). Hair follicle counting results showed that the BT group was significantly higher than the control group on day 8 (p value = 0.031). Furthermore, hair coverage was shown to be significantly increased in the treatment group BT on day 8 (p value = 0.013). Taken together, these results suggest that Chinese medicine (BT) possesses the potential effect of promoting hair growth through VEGF expression. VEGF is considered the most important mediator for the process of angiogenesis involved in hair growth development" - Note:  I don't see where it's sold but I'm sure you can get the main ingredients on Amazon.

Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) increases plasma adiponectin but does not affect insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial - Eur J Clin Nutr 2021 Mar 4 - "Vitamin K is a co-factor in the carboxylation of the bone matrix protein osteocalcin (OC), and thus decreases the concentration of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC). Animal and in vitro studies suggest that ucOC increases insulin sensitivity ... One hundred forty-eight postmenopausal women received MK-7 375 µg daily or placebo, as an add-on to calcium (800 mg) and vitamin D (38 µg) for 12 months ... S-ucOC decreased in the MK-7 group (-70.3 (-75.6; -63.8) %) compared to the placebo group (-7.2 (-15.9; 2.0) %) after 12 months (p < 0.01). P-adiponectin increased in the MK-7 group (6.1 ± 20.1%) (mean ± SD) compared to the placebo group (-0.7 ± 15.5%) after 12 months (p = 0.03). HOMA-IR and p-leptin did not change in the two groups" - See vitamin k2 at Amazon.com.

Statins, vascular calcification, and vitamin K-dependent proteins: Is there a relation? - Kaohsiung J Med Sci 2021 Feb 26 - "The present cross-sectional clinical study aimed to examine the connection between statin exposure, coronary artery calcification (CAC), and vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDPs) in patients with cardiovascular (CV) conditions. Two groups of patients were studied: patients with established CV disease (CVD) and healthy patients at moderate risk for CVD (a control group). The groups were also split into statin users and non-users. The following VKDPs were measured in plasma: uncarboxylated Matrix Gla-protein (ucMGP), undercarboxylated (ucOC), and carboxylated osteocalcin (cOC), Gla-rich protein (GRP). CAC score (CACS) was determined by multislice computed tomography. Among all the participants in the study, CACS was more pronounced in statin users compared to non-users; the same was found also among the CVD patients and among the controls. While the levels of ucMGP and GRP did not differ between statin users and non-users, ucOC and ucOC/cOC were significantly elevated in statin users, indicating vitamin K deficiency. There was a positive correlation between the levels of ucOC and CACS in the entire population and in the group of statin users, but not in statin non-users. No association was found between ucMGP or GRP and CACS. Statins had also an impact on the international normalized ratio and interacted with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs). Our results are in agreement with the existing evidence about positive association between statins and vascular calcification. They enlighten to a certain extent the possible mechanisms through which statins may enhance calcium accumulation in arterial wall, namely, by inhibition of vitamin K dependent proteins and functions involved in vascular protection." -  [Nutra USA] - See vitamin k2 at Amazon.com.

Association between serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D level and metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD)-‍a ‍population-based study - Endocr J 2021 Mar 4 - "Metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is a new concept proposed in 2020. This study aimed to explore the relationship between serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) level and MAFLD based on a population survey dataset (the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys of the United States) ... The incidence of MAFLD and the grade of hepatic steatosis were both significantly higher in vitamin D insufficiency group. Multivariate analysis showed that vitamin D insufficiency was an independent risk factor for MAFLD after adjusted for other confounders (OR: 1.130, 95%CI: 1.035 to 1.234). In MAFLD population, the average serum 25(OH)D level decreased with the numbers of metabolic risks in MAFLD cases. Serum 25(OH)D level was not associated with the severity of fibrosis or steatosis in MAFLD group. In Conclusion, lower serum 25(OH)D level is associated with higher prevalence of MAFLD in general population. No relationship was found between serum 25(OH)D level and the severity of hepatic steatosis or fibrosis in MAFLD" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Prevalence of low protein intake in 80+ year-old community-dwelling adults and association with dietary patterns and modifiable risk factors- a cross-sectional study - Br J Nutr 2021 Mar 8 - "Low protein intake may accelerate age-related loss of lean mass and physical function. We investigated prevalence of low protein intake (<1.0 g/kg/day) and the associations between dietary patterns, key modifiable risk factors and low protein intake in self-reliant community-dwelling adults ≥ 80 years ... Participants with low protein intake had a higher prevalence of nausea, diarrhoea and mouth dryness. Reduced appetite, mouth dryness and pain increased odds of low protein intake (adjusted OR 3.06 CI: 1.23-7.63, OR 3.41 CI:1.51-7.7, OR 1.54 CI:1.00-2.36, respectively). There was a high prevalence of low protein intake in community-dwelling adults ≥ 80-years. Day-to-day variability, reduced appetite, mouth dryness and pain may be potentially modifiable risk factors. Targeting dietary patterns and risk factors in primary prevention strategies may be important to improve intake of protein and minimise risk of physical frailty"

Zinc deficiency as a possible risk factor for increased susceptibility and severe progression of COVID-19 - Br J Nutr 2021 Mar 1;1-42 - "The importance of zinc for human health becomes obvious during zinc deficiency. Even mild insufficiencies of zinc cause alterations in haematopoiesis and immune functions, resulting in a pro-inflammatory phenotype and a disturbed redox metabolism. Although immune system malfunction is the most obvious effect, the functions of several tissue cell types are disturbed if zinc supply is limiting. Adhesion molecules and tight junction proteins decrease while cell death increases, generating barrier dysfunction and possibly organ failure. Taken together, zinc deficiency both weakens the resistance of the human body towards pathogens and at the same time increases the danger of an overactive immune response that may cause tissue damage. The case numbers of COVID-19 are still increasing, which is causing enormous problems for health systems and economies. There is an urgent need to reduce both the number of severe cases and the resulting deaths. While therapeutic options are still under investigation,and first vaccines have been approved, cost-effective ways to reduce the likelihood of or even prevent infection, and the transition from mild symptoms to more serious detrimental disease, are highly desirable. Nutritional supplementation might be an effective option to achieve these aims" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com.

Sugar-Sweetened Soda Consumption and Total and Breast Cancer Mortality: The Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer (WEB) Study - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Mar 2 - "We assessed the relationship between sugar-sweetened soda and both all-cause and breast cancer mortality among women with incident, invasive breast cancer from the Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer (WEB) Study. Breast cancer cases were followed for a median of 18.7 years, with ascertainment of vital status via the National Death Index (NDI). Frequency of sugar-sweetened soda consumption was determined via a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Cox proportional hazards, adjusting for relevant variables, were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) ... Of the 927 breast cancer cases, 386 (54.7%) had died by the end of follow-up. Compared to never/rarely sugar-sweetened soda drinkers, consumption at {greater than or equal to} 5 times per week was associated with increased risk of both total (HR=1.62, 95% CI: 1.16, 2.26, p-trend<0.01) and breast cancer mortality (HR=1.85, 95% CI: 1.16, 2.94; p-trend<0.01). Risk of mortality was similarly increased among ER-positive, but not ER-negative patients, among women with BMI above the median, but not below the median; and among pre-, but not post-menopausal women for total mortality only"

Glucosyl Hesperidin Has an Anti-diabetic Effect in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice - Biol Pharm Bull 2021;44(3):422-430 - "Glucosyl hesperidin (GH) is a water-soluble derivative of hesperidin, a citrus flavonoid. GH has various pharmacological effects, such as hypolipidemic and hypouricemic effects, and may therefore be a useful supplement or drug. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of long- and short-term intake of GH on hyperglycemia and macrophage infiltration into the adipose tissue of high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice. Long-term (11-week) consumption of GH tended to reduce body weight and the fasting blood glucose concentration of the HFD-fed mice, and ameliorated glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, according to glucose and insulin tolerance tests. Additionally, although GH did not affect fat pad weight, it reduced HFD-induced macrophage infiltration into adipose tissue. Short-term (2-week) consumption of GH did not affect the HFD-induced increases in body weight or fasting blood glucose, and it did not ameliorate glucose intolerance or insulin resistance. However, short-term intake did reduce the HFD-induced macrophage infiltration and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) expression in adipose tissue. Furthermore, hesperetin, which is an aglycone of GH, inhibited MCP-1 expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, 3T3-L1 adipocytes co-cultured with RAW264 macrophages, and tumor necrosis factor-α-treated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The present findings suggest that daily consumption of GH may have preventive and/or therapeutic effects on obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes mellitus" - See hesperidin at Amazon.com.

The effects of co-administration of probiotics and prebiotics on chronic inflammation, and depression symptoms in patients with coronary artery diseases: a randomized clinical trial - Nutr Neurosci 2021 Feb 28 - "we are interested in exploring of anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant effects of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus G (LGG), a probiotic strain, alone or in combination with a prebiotic, Inulin, in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) ... This randomized, double-blind clinical trial was held on 96 patients with CAD. Patients were randomly allocated into four different groups: LGG [a capsule/day, contained 1.9 × 109 colony-forming unit of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus G], inulin (15 g/day), co-supplemented (LGG and inulin), and placebo. Participants consumed the supplements for two months. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), MacNew questionnaire and Spielberger state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI-Y) were used to assess depression, quality of life and anxiety, respectively. Serum levels of C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and Interleukin (IL)-10 were also measured ... Co-supplementation of probiotics and inulin in CAD subjects for eight weeks had beneficial effects on depression, anxiety, and inflammatory biomarkers. Adding inulin to probiotic supplements improved psychological outcomes and inflammatory biomarkers more effectively than two supplements separately" - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com and prebiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Idiopathic myalgic pain (fibromyalgia): supportive management and prevention with Pycnogenol® - Panminerva Med 2021 Mar;63(1):46-50 - "standard management (SM) ... A SM and a Pycnogenol®+SM group were formed. Pycnogenol® supplementation was used at the dose of 150 mg/day (4 weeks) ... The percentage of patients using NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) as rescue medications in the observation period was significantly higher in the SM management group (P<0.05) in comparison with the supplement group. The percentage of patients using corticosteroids as rescue medication was significantly higher in the SM group (P<0.05). The percentage of subjects with the symptoms/complaints decreased significantly, considering each symptom, with Pycnogenol® after 4 weeks in comparison with the SM (P<0.05) ... Conclusions: Pycnogenol® supplementation appears to control and reduce the intensity of common symptoms and complaints - especially pain-related - associated with FM. Pycnogenol® could be a 'soft', safe supplementation and prevention method to manage the symptoms of most of these patients, even for longer periods, reducing the need for drugs" - [Nutra USA] - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.

Neat tech stuff:

This is the third time in two months that the Moen Flow ( https://amzn.to/3eAKYia ) has saved our ass. It's paid for itself already. This time it was our housemate's toilet which probably would have gone all night if I didn't get the alert and shut off the water till I got home to troubleshoot.  42 gals at 5 pm and 63 gals at 6 PM (105 gals) before I shut off the water with my iPhone. California is always writing laws to save water. Seems like they should require something like the Moen in every new home.

Health Focus (Quercetin):