Life Extension Magazine®

Woman sleeping full 8 hours for better cognitive health

In The News: September 2011

Sleep duration linked to cognitive function; olive oil lowers stroke risk; green tea combats autoimmune disorders; and more.

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

In The News

Sleep Length May Affect Cognitive Aging 4 to 7 Years

A study in a recent issue of the journal Sleep discusses how differing sleep patterns over a five-year period as people age can affect cognitive function in-later-life.* When people get sleep in between the 6 to 8 hour time-frame, the body seems to respond normally, however, sleeping more or less than 6 to 8 hours per night may induce and accelerate cognitive decline that is equivalent to four to seven years of aging.

“The main result to come out of our study was that adverse changes in sleep duration appear to be associated with poorer cognitive function in later-middle age,” said lead author Jane Ferrie, PhD, senior research fellow in the University College London Medical School Department of Epidemiology and Public Health in the UK.

The mined data from the Whitehall II study included more than 10,000 London-based citizens aged 35-55.

“The detrimental effects of too much, too little, and poor-quality sleep on various aspects of health have begun to receive more attention,” Ferrie added. “Given that our 24/7 society increasingly impinges on the lives of many people, it is important to consider what effects changes in sleep duration may have on health and well-being in the long term.”

—J. Finkel


* Sleep. 2011 May 1;34(5):565-73.

Olive Oil Use Linked with Lower Risk of Stroke

Olive Oil Use Linked with Lower Risk of Stroke

A study reported in the journal Neurology reveals an association between olive oil consumption and a lower risk of stroke.*

Cécilia Samieri, PhD, and her associates analyzed data from 7,625 participants in the Three-City Study. Olive oil consumption frequency was ascertained from dietary intake documented upon enrollment between 1999 and 2000 and was categorized as no use, moderate use or intensive use.

During a median follow-up period of 5.25 years, 148 strokes occurred. Adjusted analysis of the data unveiled a 41% lower risk of stroke among intensive olive oil users compared to those who reported no use. The protective association was significant for ischemic, but not hemorrhagic stroke.

In a secondary study, subjects with the highest levels of plasma oleic acid had a 73% reduction in stroke risk compared to those whose levels were lowest.

Editor’s note: Olive oil is a common feature of diets consumed in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea and has been suggested as an important factor in the Mediterranean diet’s disease-protective benefit.

—D. Dye


* Neurol. 2011 Jun 15.

Micronutrient Supplementation Associated with Decreased Mortality Among the Critically Ill

A review published in the July 2011 issue of the journal Nutrition concludes that supplementation with vitamins and trace elements may help reduce the risk of dying among critically ill adults.*

For their analysis, the authors selected 18 randomized clinical trials involving parenteral/intravenous or oral supplementation of single or combined micronutrients in critically ill patients, in order to determine the effect of such supplementation on mortality, infectious complications and other end points. Nutrients commonly used in the trials included selenium, alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, zinc, and copper in varying doses.

Fourteen trials included in the analysis found a decrease in overall mortality and six indicated a reduction in 28-day mortality in association with micronutrient supplementation. Although no decrease in infectious complications or length of intensive care unit or hospital stay was indicated by the meta-analysis, a 31% decrease in mortality was associated with combined supplementation.

Editor’s note: As more clinical trials are conducted, the authors suggest subgroup analyses to determine if greater benefit could be derived from supplementation at higher levels than those currently recommended for specific critically ill patient populations.

—D. Dye


* Nutr. 2011 Jul;27(7);745-58.

Resveratrol Shows Promise as Human Anti-Aging Compound

Resveratrol Shows Promise as Human Anti-Aging Compound

A review published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research concludes that resveratrol, which has recently gained attention as a possible anti-aging and disease-preventive compound, could indeed possess an ability to help retard the development of some of the conditions associated with aging in humans.*

In their introduction to the article, Heather Hausenblas and her associates note that nearly 4,000 studies have been published on the subject of resveratrol and that one study conducted in 2007 found two-thirds of those who use multiple supplements include resveratrol in their regimen. Although the review included just 15 peer-reviewed human trials involving varying doses of resveratrol, the authors conclude that there is significant evidence of a potential for the compound to prevent disease and improve human health.

In addition to resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory effect, the compound’s role as an antioxidant could be partly responsible for its numerous benefits.

Editor’s note: Dr. Hausenblaus and her colleagues “Believe the evidence is sufficiently strong to conclude that a single dose of resveratrol is able to induce beneficial physiologic responses, and that either weeks or months of resveratrol supplementation produces physiologic changes that are predictive of improved health, especially in clinical populations with compromised health.”

—D. Dye


* Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Jun 20.

$60 Million Trasylol® Settlement Reached

Following the egregious actions taken by Bayer regarding its insidious drug Trasylol®, the Big Pharma company is finally being held accountable for the untold deaths and suffering if caused by its profit-hungry, immoral actions.*

Around 1,600 lawsuits were filed against the company in total, all claiming similar allegations that Bayer completely failed to design and test the drug properly. Furthermore, and perhaps most disturbing, the lawsuits allege that Bayer did not let healthcare professionals and users know about the dangerous side-effects and risks associated with the drug. Compounding the matter, the lawsuit also charges Bayer with delayed disclosure of negative data to the FDA, as well as failure to issue proper warnings or a Trasylol® recall.

Life Extension® recently wrote about the heinous acts by Bayer throughout this entire horrible ordeal. The company has reportedly reached a settlement agreement with about 150 Trasylol® lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who allege that the drug, used during heart surgery, increased the risk of strokes, heart attack, kidney failure, and even death. Bayer will reportedly pay $60 million to settle the lawsuits.

—J. Finkel


* Accessed June 20, 2011.

How Deficiencies of Micronutrients Can Increase the Risk of Age-Related Disease

In the June 2011 FASEB Journal, Bruce N. Ames, PhD, and Joyce C. McCann, PhD, reveal why modest deficiencies of any vitamin or mineral can increase the incidence of age-related disease.*

Dr. Ames’ triage hypothesis proposes that the body evolved to allocate frequently scarce micronutrients to short-term survival or reproductive functions rather than to those that are protective of long-term health. This results in damage to the tissues during nutrient deficiency states.

The current review evaluates the effect of selenium deficiency on 12 selenoproteins. Five of these selenium-dependent proteins are considered essential from an evolutionary perspective and seven are nonessential. It was found that modest selenium deficiency results in the loss of nonessential selenoprotein activities and concentrations, with the exception of one nonessential protein that they predict is conditionally essential. Mutations in selenoproteins lost with deficiency were discovered to result in characteristics in common with diseases that occur with aging.

Editor’s note: FASEB Journal’s Editor-in-Chief Gerald Weissmann, MD, remarked that, “This paper should settle any debate about the importance of taking a good, complete, multivitamin every day. As this report shows, taking a multivitamin that contains selenium is a good way to prevent deficiencies that, over time, can cause harm in ways that we are just beginning to understand.”

—D. Dye


* FASEB J. 2011 Jun; 25(6):1793-814.

Obesity Increasingly Leads to Liver Disease

A recent feature highlights the growing relationship between overweight and obese people and liver disease.* The epidemic lies in the basic fact that nearly two-thirds of the American population is either overweight and obese, and that too much fat can cause a person’s liver to malfunction.

“It’s overwhelming how many patients we’re seeing with this problem,” Dr. Naim Alkhouri, a hepatologist at the Cleveland Clinic says in the article. Dr. William Carey, also a hepatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, agrees, saying, “This is huge. We didn’t even know this disease existed 30 years ago. Now, it’s the most common liver disease in America.”

According to some stats cited in the article, about one-third of the US population has nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Most of these people, about 80%, will not develop significant liver disease, but the other 20% will develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. Of those, about 20-30% will go on to develop cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. Crunching the numbers leads to about 6 million people dealing with this awful disease.

The first sign of the disease is sometimes a swollen stomach, swollen ankles, or vomiting blood. Other people might develop brain changes similar to Alzheimer’s, resulting in memory lapses and lack of coordination due to the amount of toxins in a person’s system. The problem was reported in Life Extension Magazine® in February of 2004.

Eating better, exercising, and losing weight are all possible ways to reverse this disease in its earlier stages.

—J. Finkel


* Accessed, June 20, 2011.

Tea Mechanism for Preventing Autoimmune Disease Uncovered

Tea Mechanism for Preventing Autoimmune Disease Uncovered

In an article published in the journal Immunology Letters, researchers at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute report a mechanism for green tea in suppressing autoimmune disease: an imbalance of the immune system that results in the body attacking itself.

Oregon State University associate professor Emily Ho and her associates studied the effect of the green tea polyphenol known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in cell cultures and in mice. They found that EGCG increased the amount of regulatory T cells (which help dampen the immune system), whose function is regulated by processes that involve transcription factors and DNA methylation.

“EGCG may have health benefits through an epigenetic mechanism, meaning we aren’t changing the underlying DNA codes, but just influencing what gets expressed, what cells get turned on,” Dr. Ho elaborated. “And we may be able to do this with a simple, whole-food approach.”

Editor’s note: Although treatment with pharmaceutical agents can help regulate immune function in autoimmune disease, the drugs are frequently associated with toxicity.

—D. Dye


* Immunol Lett. 2011 May 20.