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July 2008

Life Extension Supports Clinical Research on Vitamin D in Prostate Cancer Treatment

Life Extension Supports Clinical Research on Vitamin D in Prostate Cancer Treatment

The goal of Life Extension Clinical Research, Inc. is not only to investigate the efficacy of products for Life Extension members, but also to support groundbreaking clinical studies within the scientific community as a whole. Now, Life Extension Clinical Research is supporting a clinical trial examining the use of vitamin D in treating slow-growing recurrent prostate cancer.

An estimated 186,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2008. Frighteningly, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.1 Prostate cancer is a highly variable disease—sometimes it progresses so slowly that it poses little risk to a patient’s health, while in other instances it rapidly progresses to a lethal disease.

While radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy typically yield excellent results in prostate cancer, a significant number of treated patients will experience rising levels of serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA)—a warning sign of recurrent disease.2 According to a study of 1,184 men who underwent radical prostatectomy, PSA recurrence occurred in 13.9% of patients at a mean follow-up of 2.7 years (range: 0.3-5.1 years).3

While scientists have been unclear regarding the best management strategy for PSA relapse following local treatment for prostate cancer, a 2005 pilot study reported that vitamin D3 supplementation arrested PSA progression in 9 out of 15 such patients.4

Now, Charles E. Myers Jr., MD, of the Foundation for Cancer Research and Education is building upon these early findings by conducting a study titled “A Single Site, Phase II Clinical Trial: Treatment of Slow-Growing Recurrent Prostate Cancer with Vitamin D3” in Earlysville, Virginia. Life Extension Clinical Research, Inc. is assisting in this endeavor by providing vitamin D3 products in the strengths of 1,000 IU and 5,000 IU. The scientists hope to find if prostate cancer progression may be slowed or arrested with a treatment that carries low risk and expense, compared with most anticancer treatments.

For further information, contact the Foundation for Cancer Research and Education at (434) 220-4539.

—Dr. Steven Hirsh


1. Available at:
sitearea=. Accessed April 14, 2008.
2. Bong GW, Keane TE. Salvage options for biochemical recurrence after primary therapy for prostate cancer. Can J Urol. 2007 Dec;14
(Suppl 1):2-9.
3. Mouraviev V, Sun L, Madden JF, Mayes JM, Moul JW, Polascik TJ. Prostate cancer laterality does not predict prostate-specific antigen
recurrence after radical prostatectomy. Urology. 2007 Dec;70 (6): 1141-5.
4. Woo TC, Choo R, Jamieson M, Chander S, Vieth R. Pilot study: potential role of vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) in patients with PSA relapse after
definitive therapy. Nutr Cancer. 2005;51(1):32-6.

Unlock the Information in Your Genome

Unlock the Information in Your Genome

A new method that enables you to find out how your genes influence your health and longevity has been developed by BioMarker Pharmaceuticals, a company in San Jose, California, that develops innovative products to help people live longer in good health.

Utilizing the latest scientific discoveries in medical genetics, the newly available Gene Essence™ test uncovers information about your genetic makeup (genotype). The Gene Essence™ Report provides you with the most comprehensive personalized genetic information associated with 90 conditions unique to your genotype among nearly one million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Based on this report, you can find out if you have inherited traits that influence your susceptibility to diseases or other health concerns like cholesterol levels and athletic performance. This major breakthrough can help you determine which therapies could help to lower your risk of becoming afflicted with life-threatening diseases. To learn more about how to take this simple DNA test, visit

—Saul Kent

Increased Dietary Choline May Help Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Greater intake of the B vitamin choline is associated with a reduction in the risk of breast cancer, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).*

Scientists compared dietary intake data from 1,508 women with breast cancer with 1,556 women who did not have the disease. They focused on choline and other nutrients involved in methylation, which plays a role in cancer development.

Women whose intake of choline was in the highest one-fifth of participants (>455 mg/day) had a 24% lower risk of breast cancer than women whose intake was in the lowest fifth (<196 mg/day).

Despite choline’s importance for maintaining normal cellular function, only 10% of Americans are estimated to meet the Institute of Medicine’s adequate choline intake level of 425 mg/day for women and 550 mg/day for men and breastfeeding women.

—Dayna Dye


* Xu X, Gammon MD, Zeisel SH, et al. Choline metabolism and risk of breast cancer in a population-based study. FASEB J. 2008 Jan 29
[Epub ahead of print].

Tart Cherries are Anti-Inflammatory “Superfood”

Tart Cherries are Anti-Inflammatory “Superfood”

Tart cherries reduce inflammation in animals and may reduce the risk of inflammation-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.*

Investigators fed lean and obese rats a typical American-style diet, characterized by high fat and moderate carbohydrates. Feed was also enriched with 1% tart cherries. Both lean rats and obese rats with the metabolic syndrome experienced a sharp decline—up to 50%—in markers of chronic inflammation. Levels of the inflammatory cytokine, TNF-alpha, were reduced by 50% in lean rats. Obese rats experienced a 40% reduction. Levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) decreased by 31% in obese rats, while lean rats experienced a 38% drop in the inflammatory mediator.

“This study offers further promise that foods rich in antioxidants, such as cherries, could potentially reduce inflammation and lower disease risk,” noted one of the study’s authors.

—Dale Kiefer


* Available at:—Lower-Risk-for-Type-2-
Diabetes—26-Heart-Disease-1689-1/. Accessed April 30, 2008.

Stress Fractures Reduced by Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation

Supplementing female military recruits with vitamin D and calcium prevents stress fractures—debilitating overuse injuries that commonly affect this population, a new study reveals.* Stress fractures occur when bones are repetitively stressed over short periods of time without adequate time for repair, and are more common in women than men.

Researchers randomized 5,201 female Navy recruit volunteers to receive 2,000 mg calcium and 800 IU vitamin D daily or placebo during eight weeks of basic training. During the treatment period, 309 participants were diagnosed with a stress fracture. Women who received calcium and vitamin D had a 20% lower incidence of stress fracture than the placebo group.

Supplementing basic training recruits with calcium and vitamin D supplements may significantly reduce debility and financial costs related to stress fractures, the authors concluded. Further, “Supplementation with calcium and vitamin D provides a safe, easy, and inexpensive intervention that does not interfere with training goals.”

—Dayna Dye


* Lappe J, Cullen D, Haynatzki G, Recker R, Ahlf R, Thompson K. Calcium and vitamin d supplementation decreases incidence of stress
fractures in female navy recruits. J Bone Miner Res. 2008 May;23(5):741-9.

Pine Nut Oils Significantly Increase Satiety Hormone, Reduce Appetite

Korean pine nut oil reduces appetite by boosting key satiety hormones, according to a new placebo-controlled, double-blind study.*

Eighteen overweight, postmenopausal women randomly received 3 grams of Korean pine nut fatty acids, pine nut triglycerides, or olive oil (placebo), plus a light breakfast. Blood levels of various hunger/satiety hormones were assessed at regular intervals for four hours. Subjects also provided subjective ratings of hunger sensations at each interval. Later, subjects were rotated to receive a different test substance, and again underwent testing.

Compared with placebo, appetite sensation was 36% lower among subjects who received pine nut free fatty acids. Over the four-hour testing period, the satiety hormone, cholecystokinin, was 60% higher among subjects who took pine nut oils versus placebo.

“This study suggests that Korean pine nut may work as an appetite suppressant through an increasing effect on satiety hormones and a reduced prospective food intake,” researchers concluded.

—Dale Kiefer


* Pasman WJ, Heimerikx J, Rubingh CM, et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut
hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids Health Dis. 2008 Mar 20;7(1):10.

Pycnogenol® Improves Memory in the Elderly

Pycnogenol® Improves Memory in the Elderly

The antioxidant Pycnogenol® may improve memory in the elderly, as reported in a recent Australian study.* Pycnogenol® is a pine bark extract used in many supplements.

The study evaluated the effects of Pycnogenol® on cognitive function tests in 101 individuals aged 60 to 80 years. Patients were divided into two matched groups; one group received 150 mg/day Pycnogenol® and the other took placebo. At three months, working memory was sign-ificantly better in the treated group than in the placebo group. Treated patients also had significantly lower concentrations of F2-isoprostanes, a chemical marker of lipid peroxidation.

The results support the theory that cognitive decline is due in part to oxidative damage and confirm previous findings that Pycnogenol® has positive antioxidant effects that preserve cognitive function. The possible role of Pycnogenol® in managing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease is an exciting topic for future research. The active proanthocyanidins in Pycnogenol® are also found in grapeseed extract.

—Laura J. Ninger, ELS


* Available at: Accessed April 30, 2008.