Life Extension Magazine®

In The News: March 2011

Longevity linked to carotene intake; omega-3s combat age-related macular degeneration; and more.

Vitamin C Could Improve Sepsis Outcome

Vitamin C Could Improve Sepsis Outcome

Research conducted by the University of Western Ontario has uncovered a beneficial role for vitamin C in sepsis, an immune system reaction to bacterial infection that results in the formation of blood clots, impaired blood flow, and organ failure. The findings were reported in the November 2010 issue of the journal Intensive Care Medicine.*

Capillaries that have been blocked by blood clots, caused by oxidative stress and activation of the blood clotting pathway, are the cause of multiple organ failure and death in septic patients.

In experiments with mice, Karyl Tyml and colleagues demonstrated that vitamin C administered intravenously early in the development of sepsis prevents capillary blockage, as well as reverses the condition by restoring blood flow if administered later. Reversal of blood flow blockage by vitamin C appeared to be dependent upon the production of nitric oxide, which dislodges platelets from the capillary wall.

Editor’s note: Dr. Tyml noted that, “Vitamin C is cheap and safe. Previous studies have shown that it can be injected intravenously into patients with no side effects.”

—D. Dye

Reference

*Intensive Care Med. 2010 Nov;36(11):1928-34.
Urgent alert: The FDA has just notified small pharmacies that they will no longer be allowed to manufacture or distribute injectable vitamin C—despite its remarkable power to heal conditions that conventional medicine can’t touch. Life Extension will aggressively investigate the FDA’s outrageous decision and enlighten health freedom activists how they can help to reverse it.

Longer Life Associated with Higher Alpha Carotene Levels

Longer Life Associated with Higher Alpha Carotene Levels

An article appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports the discovery of researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of an association between higher serum levels of the carotenoid alpha-carotene and a lower risk of dying over a 13.9 year average period.*

Chaoyang Li, MD, PhD, and colleagues evaluated data from 15,318 adults who enrolled in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study between 1988 and 1994. The participants were followed through 2006, during which the causes of deaths that occurred were recorded.

Among participants whose alpha-carotene levels were highest at 9 or more micrograms per deciliter, there was a 39% lower adjusted risk of dying from any cause compared with those whose levels were lowest.

“These findings support increasing fruit and vegetable consumption as a means of preventing premature death,” the authors conclude.

Editor’s note: To obtain high levels of alpha carotene you should include the following in your diet: pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, broccoli, green beans, barley, oats, and plant-based foods.

—D. Dye

Reference

* Arch Int Med. 2010 Nov 22.

Calcium, Vitamin C Supplements May Help Protect Against Diabetes

In an article published in Diabetes Care, Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, and colleagues report that individuals who regularly consume calcium or vitamin C supplements have a lower risk of developing diabetes than people who don’t consume such supplements.*

Dr. Chen and associates evaluated data from 232,007 participants in the NIH-AARP Study. Questionnaires administered upon enrollment between 1995 and 1996 provided information concerning multivitamin supplement use as well as individual vitamin and mineral supplements. Multivitamins were categorized as stress-tab, Theragran-M® or One-a-Day® types. Follow-up questionnaire responses revealed 14,130 cases of diabetes diagnosed after the year 2000.

A protective effect for multivitamin use against diabetes was observed; however, its significance disappeared after adjusting for the use of individual supplements. When individual supplements were examined, participants who used vitamin C daily had a 9% lower risk of developing diabetes, and for those who used calcium, the risk was 15% lower.

Editor’s note: The authors write that, “It is likely that multivitamins at their current composition cannot reduce the risk of diabetes. Most multivitamins contain lower amounts of single antioxidants than individual vitamin supplements and thus might not be sufficient to be biologically effective.”

—D. Dye

Reference

* Diabetes Care. 2010 Oct 26.

Garlic Could Help Reduce Osteoarthritis of the Hip

An article published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders reports the discovery of Frances M. K. Williams, PhD, and her associates of a protective effect of allium vegetables, which include garlic, leeks, and onions, against osteoarthritis of the hip.*

The study included 1,000 healthy female twins between the ages of 46 to 77, many of whom had no symptoms of arthritis. Dietary questionnaire responses provided information on the participants’ intake of 131 foods. Radiographic evaluation assessed the presence of early osteoarthritis in the hip, knee, and spine.

Among women whose fruit and vegetable intake was high, there was a lower adjusted risk of hip osteoarthritis compared to those whose intake was low, with the greatest protective benefit observed for non-citrus fruit and allium vegetables. Further research in cultured human cartilage cells determined that diallyl disulphide, a compound that occurs in garlic, limited the expression of cartilage-damaging enzymes.

Editor’s note: Dr. Williams remarked that, “While we don’t yet know if eating garlic will lead to high levels of this component in the joint, these findings may point the way towards future treatments and prevention of hip osteoarthritis.”

—D. Dye

Reference

* BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010 Dec 8;11(1):280.

Greater Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake Associated with Protection Against Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Greater Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake Associated with Protection Against Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University report in the journal Ophthalmology their finding of a protective effect for fish that contain abundant amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA against the development of advanced age-related macular degeneration.*

Sheila K. West, PhD, and her associates evaluated data from 2,391 participants in the Salisbury Eye Evaluation (SEE) Study. Dietary questionnaire responses were analyzed for the type and amount of fish and shellfish consumed weekly.

Early macular degeneration was diagnosed in 227 subjects, 153 had intermediate-stage disease, and advanced macular degeneration was observed in 68 participants. Although there did not appear to be a significant protective effect for fish and shellfish in general, those whose intake of high omega-3 fatty acid fish was greatest at one or more servings per week had a 60% lower risk of advanced disease compared to those who consumed less than one serving.

Editor’s note: The finding adds evidence to that of other research, including the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), concerning the benefit of nutritional components against macular degeneration. High amounts of omega-3s have been measured in the retina of the eye and may be essential to eye health.

—D. Dye

Reference

* Ophthalmol. 2010 Dec;177(12):2395-401.

Pomegranate May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer Metastasis

Pomegranate May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer Metastasis

The American Society for Cell Biology’s 50th Annual Meeting was the site of a presentation concerning the identification of compounds in pomegranate that protect against prostate cancer metastasis.*

In 2006, researchers observed a reduction in the increase of PSA levels in men with prostate cancer who consumed 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily. Researchers involved in the current study, led by Manuela Martins-Green, PhD, had previously determined that pomegranate juice concentrate increased cell death in prostate tumor cell lines that were resistant to testosterone (which is associated with metastasis), as well as increased cell adhesion and decreased migration in cells that survived.

The team identified phenylpropanoids, hydrobenzoic acids, flavones, and conjugated fatty acids as compounds responsible for the effects in the cancer cells that were not destroyed. In addition to inhibiting the growth of the tumor cell lines, the compounds inhibited their migration and attraction to a signal that promotes metastasis to the bone.

Editor’s note: Dr. Martins-Green and her associates noted, “Expect that further testing for dose-dependent effects, side effects, etc., should allow usage of these components as a more effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer than simply drinking the juice.”

—D. Dye

Reference

* American Society for Cell Biology’s 50th
Annual Meeting. December 12, 2010.

Low Dose Aspirin Could Help Protect Against Death from Cancer

Low Dose Aspirin Could Help Protect Against Death from Cancer

An article published in The Lancet reveals a protective effect of low dose aspirin against the risk of dying from a number of cancers. “These findings provide the first proof in man that aspirin reduces deaths due to several common cancers,” the authors announce.*

Peter Rothwell and his colleagues pooled data from 8 randomized trials comparing the use of aspirin to no aspirin or another blood thinning agent to prevent vascular disease. Those who received aspirin had a 21% lower risk of dying from cancer over the treatment periods compared to those who did not receive the drug. Further analysis found a significant benefit after 5 years of follow-up, with aspirin use associated with a 34% lower risk of dying from all cancers and a 54% lower risk of dying from gastrointestinal cancer. Doses of aspirin higher than 75 milligrams were not associated with increased protection.

Editor’s note: “Perhaps the most important finding for the longer-term is the proof of principle that cancers can be prevented by simple compounds like aspirin and that ‘chemoprevention’ is therefore a realistic goal for future research with other compounds,” Dr. Rothwell stated.

—D. Dye

Reference

* Lancet. 2010 Dec 7.

Hot Flashes Reduced by Folic Acid

Hot Flashes Reduced by Folic Acid

A trial described in the journal Gynecological Endocrinology found that the B vitamin folic acid significantly reduced the number and intensity of hot flashes experienced by a group of menopausal women.*

Brain release of the hormone norepinephrine and its metabolite MHPG has been found to be higher in women who experience hot flashes than in those who do not. In the current research, 46 women suffering from hot flashes were divided to receive 5 milligrams folic acid or a placebo daily for four weeks.

Nine of the women who received folic acid experienced complete elimination of hot flashes, and six had moderate improvement. Only one woman in the placebo group experienced a complete response. Participants who received folic acid also experienced a reduction in plasma MHPG. A review subsequent to the treatment period found that hot flashes returned in all subjects who had experienced improvement when supplementing with folic acid.

Editor’s note: While hormone replacement therapy is helpful in alleviating hot flashes, there are some women whose medical conditions preclude its safe usage.

—D. Dye

Reference

* Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Sep;26(9):658-62.

Greater Branched-Chain Amino Acid Intake Associated with Lower Likeliness of Being Overweight

In the Journal of Nutrition, an international team of researchers report an association between an increased intake of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valine and a reduced risk of being overweight or obese.*

The team analyzed data from 4,429 men and women enrolled in the INTERMAP Study, a cross-sectional investigation of individuals residing in Japan, China, the UK, and the US. Increased consumption of branched-chain amino acids was associated with a lower adjusted risk of being overweight. For those whose intake was among the top 25% of participants, a 30% lower risk of being overweight was observed in comparison with those whose intake was lowest. Obesity among British and American subjects also had an inverse association with branched-chain amino acid intake, with a 25% lower risk occurring among participants whose BCAA intake was highest compared to those whose intake was among the lowest fourth.

Editor’s note: In their discussion of possible protective mechanisms for the amino acids against weight gain, the authors write that leucine may increase energy expenditure, stimulate the hormone leptin, and possibly increase the activity of mTOR, which, like leptin, regulates energy balance. The branched-chain amino acids may also help reduce impaired glucose tolerance, which contributes to obesity.

—D. Dye

Reference

* J Nutr. 2010 Dec 14.

Life Extension® Meets FITCAMP Malibu

Life Extension® Meets FITCAMP Malibu

“100 is the new 50, and at FITCAMP we teach what it takes to make that a reality. Your body has an intelligence, and it’s my job to raise your Body Intelligence IQ.”

—Greta Blackburn

Greta Blackburn, co-author of The Immortality Edge: Realize the Secrets of Your Telomeres for a Longer, Healthier Life (2010), founded FITCAMP nearly two decades ago. It has since matured into a pinnacle event offering the latest breakthroughs in fitness, sports, and anti-aging technology. By combining information exchange with one-on-one physical training sessions and a daily schedule packed with everything from Pilates, taught by guru Mari Winsor, to Hell Hikes and hooping, campers learn specific skill sets to take home and incorporate into their daily lives.

FITCAMP seminars feature pioneers like Mike Fossel, MD, PhD, and top Life Extension experts.

Testimonials

Life Extension® Meets FITCAMP Malibu

“I would highly recommend Greta’s FITCAMP to anyone who is ready to take the next step toward wellness and lifestyle transformation. The facilities, food, and presenters were world-class. The opportunity to associate with so many vibrant, open-minded individuals, and the endless supply of love and support from other campers, was priceless.”

—Craig Phillips, age 60

Life Extension® Meets FITCAMP Malibu

“Greta B’s FITCAMP is challenging, fun, and rewarding. It helped me prepare for my second 76 years to be healthy, fit, and enjoyable. All the presenters are cutting-edge, knowledgeable, and motivating. I came home with a wealth of new insights for taking my life to the next level.”

—Gabrielle Guhl, age 76

A FITCAMP is scheduled for early spring in South Florida. For more information call 800-727-2888 or visit www.fitcamp.com