Life Extension Magazine®

In The News September 1999

Garlic prevents plaque build-up, fish oil's effects on depression, upcoming events.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in January 2021. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Garlic Prevents Plaque Build-up

The heart-healthy benefits of garlic include protecting the endothelial lining of the arterial system against oxidative damage. A study published in Atherosclerosis (1999; 144:237-249) shows an actual reduction in build-up of fatty plaque in arteries in garlic supplement users. Fatty plaque is comprised of many substances including cholesterol. When plaque accumulates in the coronary arteries, the condition can lead to heart attack. In a study of 280 adults, German researchers report that participants who took 900 mg of garlic powder per day had up to 18% less plaque in their arteries than those who took a placebo or "dummy" powder. Male study participants who took placebo had a 5.5% increase in plaque volume, while those who took the garlic powder experienced just a 1.1% increase in plaque build-up during the 4-year study period. By comparison, women who took the garlic showed a 4.6% decrease in plaque volume, while those who took the placebo powder had a 5.3% increase. Garlic may affect plaque build-up by reducing blood platelet stickiness (aggregation) and specifically preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol onto the lining of the arteries. Platelet aggregation helps plaque cling to the arteries.

Manic No More

By definition, bipolar depression is a perplexing disease. Adequately treating and preventing, not to mention properly diagnosing the illness has plagued medical circles all too often. Now, according to recent studies, fish oil may prove effective in treating the disease.

A study published in Arch Gen Psychiatry (1999 May, 56(5):407-12) studied the effects of omega 3 fatty acids on bipolar disorder. The four-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared the effects omega 3 fatty acids-fish, flax or perilla oils (9.6 g/d) to placebo (olive oil) in 30 patients who continued their usual regimen. The study showed that the omega 3 fatty acid patient group had a significantly longer period of remission than the placebo group. Furthermore, for nearly every other outcome measure, the omega 3 fatty acid group outperformed the placebo group. In short, the study findings concluded that omega 3 fatty acids improve the short-term course of patients with bipolar disorder.

Late-breaking, brief news items of interest to life extensionists, as well as anyone interested in living a longer, healthier life.

Soy Wonders
Third International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease
October 31 - November 3, 1999, Washington DC
Lately, the medical, scientific and academic communities have joined the general public in their interest for soy, and all its wonders. This conference brings all those groups together to explore the impact of soy and soybean components on health and disease prevention. Researchers and healthcare professional from around the globe will participate in a compelling exchange of scientific information highlighting soy's role in preventing and treating chronic disease.

Most of the symposium's presentation will be based on human trials. Lectures and research exchanges will highlight soy and soybean components in relation to:

- cancer prevention, treatment
- cholesterol reduction
- treating cardiovascular disease
- prevention of osteoporosis
- menopausal symptom reduction
- lowering blood pressure
The symposium will taking place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Check out for program updates or more information.

Cell Biology
Thirty-Ninth American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting
December 11 - 15, 1999, Washington DC
The 39th American Society for Cell Biology will host a wealth of renown leaders in academia and in the medical research field as speakers and forum moderators at this year's annual meeting. Symposia and mini-symposia will highlight current research trends in medicine and science.

Proposed symposia:
Saturday, December 11 Keynote Symposium - The Impact of Genome-Wide Studies on Cell and Developmental Biology
Sunday, December 12 - Stem Cells and Tissue Morphogenesisz
- Asymmetric Cellular Organization
Monday, December 13
- Dynamics of the Nucleus
- Signaling and the Actin Cytoskeleton in Cell Mortality and Adhesion
Tuesday, December 14 - Sorting Out Vesicle Trafficking
- Visualizing Function: A Revolution in Electron Microscopy
Wednesday, December 15 - Cellular Degeneration and Disease
- Cell Biology of Cancer
The American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting will take place at the Washington Convention Center.