Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Jun 2018

Pomegranate, magnesium-L-threonate (MgT), Vitamin D Male sexual health, AND Microbiome health

Pomegranate, magnesium-L-threonate (MgT), Vitamin D Male sexual health, AND Microbiome health


Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) as a marker of short term death in breast cancer recurrence.

OBJECTIVE: To relate paraoxonase (PON1) activity to survival time and short term death in breast cancer recurrence. DESIGN AND METHODS: PON1 activity was measured by its rate of hydrolysis of two different substrates, paraoxon (PON) and phenylacetate (ARE) in 50 patients with recurrence of breast cancer. Results were compared between patients surviving more than one year after the analysis (22) and those who died within one year (28). RESULTS: In a logistic regression analysis, ARE was negatively associated with early death (OR=0.10 [0.02-0.58], p=0.0109). PON did not reach significance (OR=0.43 [0.17-1.11], p=0.0826). In a multiple logistic regression analysis model, ARE was independently associated with early death (OR=0.12 [0.02-0.98], p=0.0476), besides interval time between diagnosis and recurrence (OR=0.54 [0.27-1.07], p=0.0781) and undernutrition (OR=3.95 [0.81-19.19], p=0.0883). CONCLUSION: Paraoxonase is a potential marker of survival in patients with breast cancer recurrence.

J Clin Biochem. 2012 Nov;45(16-17):1503-5.

Serum paraoxonase and arylesterase activities in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.

OBJECTIVE: The HDL-associated paraoxonase and arylesterase activities play a role in decreasing oxidative stress, which is known to contribute to cancer development. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum paraoxonase and arylesterase activities and lipid hydroperoxide (LOOH) levels in patients with newly-diagnosed epithelial ovarian cancer. MATERIALS: Serum paraoxonase and arylesterase activities, total free sulfhydryl (-SH) levels and LOOH levels were measured in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (n=24) and controls (n=29). RESULTS: Serum paraoxonase activity and arylesterase activity, as well as -SH levels were significantly lower (p=0.003, p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively) in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer compared to controls, while LOOH levels were significantly higher (p<0.001). A significant inverse correlation was found between the stage, grade and CA-125 level of ovarian cancer and paraoxonase activity (rho=-0.630, p=0.001 and rho=-0.601, p=0.002 and rho=-0.436, p=0.033, respectively), arylesterase activity (rho=-0.601, p=0.002 and rho=-0.713, p<0.001 and rho=-0.580, p=0.003, respectively), and -SH levels (rho=-0.642, p=0.001 and rho=-0.637, p=0.001 and rho=-0.530, p=0.008, respectively). In contrast, there was a positive correlation between LOOH and the stage, grade and CA-125 level of ovarian cancer (rho=0.565, p=0.004 and rho=0.479, p=0.018 and rho=0.642, p=0.001). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that diminished paraoxonase and arylesterase activity, -SH levels and increased LOOH levels are associated with particular stage, grade and CA-125 level of ovarian cancer.

Gynecol Oncol. 2009 Mar;112(3):481-5.

Serum 8-isoprostane levels and paraoxonase 1 activity in patients with stage I multiple myeloma.

OBJECTIVE: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy comprising 15% of hematological malignancies. Many studies have assessed the relationship between free radicals and tumor progression or cancer risk. We aimed to evaluate the antioxidant activity of paraoxonase 1 (PON1), arylesterase (ARE), and 8-isoprostane in patients with stage I MM. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Spectrophotometric assays of serum PON1 and ARE activities in addition to serum 8-isoprostane level were performed in 34 patients newly diagnosed with stage I MM as compared to 35 age- and sex-matched individuals who comprised the healthy control group. RESULTS: A significant reduction was found in the activities of PON1 and ARE (for both, P < 0.001) in the patient group. The ratio of PON1/high-density lipoprotein was significantly lower in the MM patient group than in the control group (P < 0.001), while 8-isoprostane levels compared with the control group were significantly higher (P < 0.001), observations that may indicate an increase in oxidative stress in stage I MM patients. CONCLUSION: A decrease in PON1 activity and increase in 8-isoprostane serum activities in patients may indicate the importance of lipid peroxidation in MM disease. Oxidative stress and especially lipid peroxidation could reduce the antioxidant activity of PON1 and ARE in MM patients and could be considered as factors in the pathogenesis of MM disease.

Redox Rep. 2016 Sep;21(5):204-8.

Paraoxonase and arylesterase activities in patients with papillary thyroid cancer.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate paraoxonase-1 (PON1) activities and oxidative stress status, and the changes in their levels after total thyroidectomy in patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-five patients with PTC and 27 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Blood samples were obtained from the PTC patients before and 3 months after the operation. Preoperative and postoperative serum samples from PTC patients and healthy controls were analyzed for paraoxonase (PON), arylesterase (ARE) activities, and lipid hydroperoxide (LOOH) and -SH (total free sulfhydryl) levels. RESULTS: The preoperative PON, ARE and -SH levels of the patients with PTC were significantly lower compared to those of the control group (p = 0.033, p < 0.001, p = 0.002, respectively), while LOOH levels were significantly higher (p < 0.001). The levels of PON and ARE decreased significantly in patients with PTC after the operation (p = 0.038, p = 0.023, respectively), while LOOH and -SH levels remained unchanged (p = 0.117, p = 0.487, respectively). PON and ARE levels showed a positive correlation with -SH (r = 0.211, p = 0.065; r = 0.471, p < 0.001, respectively) and a negative correlation with LOOH (r = - 0.391, p < 0.001, r = - 0.486, p < 0.001, respectively). CONCLUSION: Serum PON1 activity is decreased in patients with PTC, and serum PON1 is positively correlated with -SH, a well-known antioxidant, and negatively correlated with LOOH, an oxidant. PON1 activity is significantly decreased after total thyroidectomy.

Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2015 May;75(3):259-64.

Measurement of serum paraoxonase activity and MDA concentrations in patients suffering with oral squamous cell carcinoma.

BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress is associated with many diseases including cancer. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a prevalent cancer involving oral cavity. We evaluate the activity of paraoxonase 1 (PON1) in serum samples of subjects suffering from OSCC along with malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, a marker for oxidative stress. Antioxidant status in OSCC may reflect the role of oxidative imbalance in the disease. METHODS: Forty-five patients suffering with OSCC and 30 healthy controls were selected for the study. Serum paraoxonase (PON) and arylesterase (ARE) activities were measured in subjects suffering from OSCC and their healthy counterparts. To examine the status of lipid peroxidation, MDA concentrations were estimated and a correlation was determined between PON activities and MDA concentrations. MDA expression in cancer and normal adjacent tissue was studied through immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis. Total reactive oxygen species (ROS) level was determined in serum from normal and diseased subjects. Our results revealed that both PON and ARE activities of PON1 were significantly decreased in OSCC patients. Serum MDA concentrations were inversely correlated to PON activity. Immunohistochemical analysis showed a higher expression of MDA in cancerous tissue. Total ROS levels were found to be significantly elevated in cancer subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Along with other antioxidants, PON levels may act as an indicator of oxidative stress in cancer.

Clin Chim Acta. 2014 Mar 20;430:38-42

Pomegranate fruit juice for chemoprevention and chemotherapy of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common invasive malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among U.S. males, with a similar trend in many Western countries. One approach to control this malignancy is its prevention through the use of agents present in diet consumed by humans. Pomegranate from the tree Punica granatum possesses strong antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. We recently showed that pomegranate fruit extract (PFE) possesses remarkable antitumor-promoting effects in mouse skin. In this study, employing human prostate cancer cells, we evaluated the antiproliferative and proapoptotic properties of PFE. PFE (10-100 microg/ml; 48 h) treatment of highly aggressive human prostate cancer PC3 cells resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth/cell viability and induction of apoptosis. Immunoblot analysis revealed that PFE treatment of PC3 cells resulted in (i) induction of Bax and Bak (proapoptotic); (ii) down-regulation of Bcl-X(L) and Bcl-2 (antiapoptotic); (iii) induction of WAF1/p21 and KIP1/p27; (iv) a decrease in cyclins D1, D2, and E; and (v) a decrease in cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) 2, cdk4, and cdk6 expression. These data establish the involvement of the cyclin kinase inhibitor-cyclin-cdk network during the antiproliferative effects of PFE. Oral administration of PFE (0.1% and 0.2%, wt/vol) to athymic nude mice implanted with androgen-sensitive CWR22Rnu1 cells resulted in a significant inhibition in tumor growth concomitant with a significant decrease in serum prostate-specific antigen levels. We suggest that pomegranate juice may have cancer-chemopreventive as well as cancer-chemotherapeutic effects against prostate cancer in humans.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Oct 11;102(41):14813-8


Efficacy and Safety of MMFS-01, a Synapse Density Enhancer, for Treating Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment is a major problem in elderly, affecting quality of life. Pre-clinical studies show that MMFS-01, a synapse density enhancer, is effective at reversing cognitive decline in aging rodents. OBJECTIVE: Since brain atrophy during aging is strongly associated with both cognitive decline and sleep disorder, we evaluated the efficacy of MMFS-01 in its ability to reverse cognitive impairment and improve sleep. METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-designed trial in older adult subjects (age 50-70) with cognitive impairment. Subjects were treated with MMFS-01 (n = 23) or placebo (n = 21) for 12 weeks and cognitive ability, sleep quality, and emotion were evaluated. Overall cognitive ability was determined by a composite score of tests in four major cognitive domains. RESULTS: With MMFS-01 treatment, overall cognitive ability improved significantly relative to placebo (p = 0.003; Cohen’s d = 0.91). Cognitive fluctuation was also reduced. The study population had more severe executive function deficits than age-matched controls from normative data and MMFS-01 treatment nearly restored their impaired executive function, demonstrating that MMFS-01 may be clinically significant. Due to the strong placebo effects on sleep and anxiety, the effects of MMFS-01 on sleep and anxiety could not be determined. CONCLUSIONS: The current study demonstrates the potential of MMFS-01 for treating cognitive impairment in older adults.

J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;49(4):971-90.

Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium.

Learning and memory are fundamental brain functions affected by dietary and environmental factors. Here, we show that increasing brain magnesium using a newly developed magnesium compound (magnesium-L-threonate, MgT) leads to the enhancement of learning abilities, working memory, and short- and long-term memory in rats. The pattern completion ability was also improved in aged rats. MgT-treated rats had higher density of synaptophysin-/synaptobrevin-positive puncta in DG and CA1 subregions of hippocampus that were correlated with memory improvement. Functionally, magnesium increased the number of functional presynaptic release sites, while it reduced their release probability. The resultant synaptic reconfiguration enabled selective enhancement of synaptic transmission for burst inputs. Coupled with concurrent upregulation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors and its downstream signaling, synaptic plasticity induced by correlated inputs was enhanced. Our findings suggest that an increase in brain magnesium enhances both short-term synaptic facilitation and long-term potentiation and improves learning and memory functions.

Neuron. 2010 Jan 28;65(2):165-77.

Effects of elevation of brain magnesium on fear conditioning, fear extinction, and synaptic plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex and lateral amygdala.

Anxiety disorders, such as phobias and posttraumatic stress disorder, are among the most common mental disorders. Cognitive therapy helps in treating these disorders; however, many cases relapse or resist the therapy, which justifies the search for cognitive enhancers that might augment the efficacy of cognitive therapy. Studies suggest that enhancement of plasticity in certain brain regions such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and/or hippocampus might enhance the efficacy of cognitive therapy. We found that elevation of brain magnesium, by a novel magnesium compound [magnesium-l-threonate (MgT)], enhances synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and learning and memory in rats. Here, we show that MgT treatment enhances retention of the extinction of fear memory, without enhancing, impairing, or erasing the original fear memory. We then explored the molecular basis of the effects of MgT treatment on fear memory and extinction. In intact animals, elevation of brain magnesium increased NMDA receptors (NMDARs) signaling, BDNF expression, density of presynaptic puncta, and synaptic plasticity in the PFC but, interestingly, not in the basolateral amygdala. In vitro, elevation of extracellular magnesium concentration increased synaptic NMDAR current and plasticity in the infralimbic PFC, but not in the lateral amygdala, suggesting a difference in their sensitivity to elevation of brain magnesium. The current study suggests that elevation of brain magnesium might be a novel approach for enhancing synaptic plasticity in a regional-specific manner leading to enhancing the efficacy of extinction without enhancing or impairing fear memory formation.

J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 19;31(42):14871-81.

Predictors of progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer disease.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the occurrence of neuropsychiatric symptomatology and the relation to future development of Alzheimer disease (AD) in persons with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI). METHOD: We followed 185 persons with no cognitive impairment and 47 with MCI (amnestic and multidomain), ages 75 to 95, from the population-based Kungsholmen Project, Stockholm, Sweden, for 3 years. Three types of neuropsychiatric symptoms were assessed at baseline: mood-related depressive symptoms, motivation-related depressive symptoms, and anxiety-related symptomatology. AD at 3-year follow-up was diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-III-R criteria. RESULTS: Psychiatric symptoms occurred more frequently in persons with MCI (36.2% mood, 36.2% motivation, and 46.8% anxiety symptoms) than in cognitively intact elderly individuals (18.4% mood, 13.0% motivation, and 24.9% anxiety). Of persons with both MCI and anxiety symptoms, 83.3% developed AD over follow-up vs 6.1% of cognitively intact persons and 40.9% persons who had MCI without anxiety. Among persons with MCI, the 3-year risk of progressing to AD almost doubled with each anxiety symptom (relative risk [RR] = 1.8 [1.2 to 2.7] per symptom). Conversely, among cognitively intact subjects, only symptoms of depressive mood were related to AD development (RR = 1.9 [1.0 to 3.6] per symptom). CONCLUSIONS: The predictive validity of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) for identifying future Alzheimer disease (AD) cases is improved in the presence of anxiety symptoms. Mood-related depressive symptoms (dysphoria, suicidal ideation, etc.) in preclinical AD might be related to the neuropathologic mechanism, as they appear preclinically in persons both with and without MCI.

Neurology. 2007 May 8;68(19):1596-602.

Prefrontal atrophy, disrupted NREM slow waves and impaired hippocampal-dependent memory in aging.

Aging has independently been associated with regional brain atrophy, reduced slow wave activity (SWA) during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and impaired long-term retention of episodic memories. However, whether the interaction of these factors represents a neuropatholgical pathway associated with cognitive decline in later life remains unknown. We found that age-related medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) gray-matter atrophy was associated with reduced NREM SWA in older adults, the extent to which statistically mediated the impairment of overnight sleep-dependent memory retention. Moreover, this memory impairment was further associated with persistent hippocampal activation and reduced task-related hippocampal-prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, potentially representing impoverished hippocampal-neocortical memory transformation. Together, these data support a model in which age-related mPFC atrophy diminishes SWA, the functional consequence of which is impaired long-term memory. Such findings suggest that sleep disruption in the elderly, mediated by structural brain changes, represents a contributing factor to age-related cognitive decline in later life.

Nat Neurosci. 2013 Mar;16(3):357-64.

Risk factors for behavioral abnormalities in mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease.

BACKGROUND: Behavioral symptoms are common in both mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). METHODS: We analyzed the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire data of 3,456 MCI and 2,641 mild AD National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center database participants. Using factor analysis and logistic regression we estimated the effects of age, sex, race, education, Mini-Mental State Examination, functional impairment, marital status and family history on the presence of behavioral symptoms. We also compared the observed prevalence of behavioral symptoms between amnestic and nonamnestic MCI. RESULTS: Four factors were identified: affective behaviors (depression, apathy and anxiety); distress/tension behaviors (irritability and agitation); impulse control behaviors (disinhibition, elation and aberrant motor behavior), and psychotic behaviors (delusions and hallucinations). Male gender was significantly associated with all factors. Younger age was associated with a higher prevalence of distress/tension, impulse control and psychotic behaviors. Being married was protective against psychotic behaviors. Lower education was associated with the presence of distress/tension behaviors. Caucasians showed a higher prevalence of affective behaviors. Functional impairment was strongly associated with all behavioral abnormalities. Amnestic MCI patients had more elation and agitation relative to nonamnestic MCI patients. CONCLUSIONS: Younger age, male gender and greater functional impairment were associated with higher overall presence of behavioral abnormalities in MCI and mild AD. Marital status, lower education and race had an effect on selected behaviors.

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2014;37(5-6):315-26.

Prediction of brain age suggests accelerated atrophy after traumatic brain injury.

OBJECTIVE: The long-term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can resemble observed in normal ageing, suggesting that TBI may accelerate the ageing process. We investigate this using a neuroimaging model that predicts brain age in healthy individuals and then apply it to TBI patients. We define individuals’ differences in chronological and predicted structural “brain age,” and test whether TBI produces progressive atrophy and how this relates to cognitive function. METHODS: A predictive model of normal ageing was defined using machine learning in 1,537 healthy individuals, based on magnetic resonance imaging-derived estimates of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM). This ageing model was then applied to test 99 TBI patients and 113 healthy controls to estimate brain age. RESULTS: The initial model accurately predicted age in healthy individuals (r = 0.92). TBI brains were estimated to be “older,” with a mean predicted age difference (PAD) between chronological and estimated brain age of 4.66 years (±10.8) for GM and 5.97 years (±11.22) for WM. This PAD predicted cognitive impairment and correlated strongly with the time since TBI, indicating that brain tissue loss increases throughout the chronic postinjury phase. INTERPRETATION: TBI patients’ brains were estimated to be older than their chronological age. This discrepancy increases with time since injury, suggesting that TBI accelerates the rate of brain atrophy. This may be an important factor in the increased susceptibility in TBI patients for dementia and other age-associated conditions, motivating further research into the age-like effects of brain injury and other neurological diseases.

Ann Neurol. 2015 Apr;77(4):571-81.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, sub-inflammation and insulin resistance. A window on a potential role for the interaction between bone and glucose metabolism.

Vitamin D is a key hormone involved in the regulation of calcium/phosphorous balance and recently it has been implicated in the pathogenesis of sub-inflammation, insulin resistance and obesity. The two main forms of vitamin D are cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2): the active form (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) is the result of two hydroxylations that take place in liver, kidney, pancreas and immune cells. Vitamin D increases the production of some anti-inflammatory cytokines and reduces the release of some pro-inflammatory cytokines. Low levels of Vitamin D are also associated with an up-regulation of TLRs expression and a pro-inflammatory state. Regardless of the effect on inflammation, Vitamin D seems to directly increase insulin sensitivity and secretion, through different mechanisms. Considering the importance of low grade chronic inflammation in metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes, many authors hypothesized the involvement of this nutrient/hormone in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Vitamin D status could alter the balance between pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines and thus affect insulin action, lipid metabolism and adipose tissue function and structure. Numerous studies have shown that Vitamin D concentrations are inversely associated with pro-inflammatory markers, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and obesity. Interestingly, some longitudinal trials suggested also an inverse association between vitamin D status and incident type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, vitamin D supplementation in humans showed controversial effects: with some studies demonstrating improvements in insulin sensitivity, glucose and lipid metabolism while others showing no beneficial effect on glycemic control and on inflammation. In conclusion, although the evidences of a significant role of Vitamin D on inflammation, insulin resistance and insulin secretion in the pathogenesis of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, its potential function in treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus is unclear. Encouraging results have emerged from Vitamin D supplementation trials on patients at risk of developing diabetes and further studies are needed to fully explore and understand its clinical applications.

Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2017 Jun;18(2): 243- 258.

Inflammatory and bone turnover markers in relation to PTH and vitamin D status among saudi postmenopausal women with and without osteoporosis.

Postmenopausal osteoporosis is characterized by rapid bone loss occurring in the post-menopausal period. The bone loss predominantly involves the trabecular bone and is brought about by an imbalance between the bone remodeling process which can be influenced by factors that could cause or contribute to osteoporosis. Pro-inflammatory cytokines (Il-1b, Il-6, IL-8 and TNF-a) have been implicated in the regulation of bone cells and play a critical role in bone remodeling. They act both directly and indirectly to increase bone resorption, and/or inhibit bone formation. The aim of the study is to determine whether pro-inflammatory cytokines correlate with bone turnover markers (BTM) in a cohort of Saudi post-menopausal women with or without osteoporosis and which BTMs will correlate with PTH and Vitamin D for use in osteoporosis diagnosis. The study is composed of 100 post-menopausal patients and 100 controls aged around 50 years. Serum concentrations of pro-inflammatory and BTMs as well as PTH and vitamin D were determined by ELISA, Luminex and electrochemiluminescence. Serum calcium, phosphorus, glucose, and lipid profile were measured by using a chemical analyzer. There was a significant increase in the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, PTH, CTx, and glucose. A significantly lower vitamin D and osteocalcin levels were observed in subjects with osteoporosis than those without. No significant differences were recorded in the circulating lipid profile between groups. The present study proved that the pro-inflammatory cytokines accelerate the bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Int J Clin Exp Med. 2014 Oct 15;7(10):3528-35.

25 hydroxyvitamin D serum levels influence adequate response to bisphosphonate treatment in postmenopausal osteoporosis.

It remains unclear whether vitamin D sufficiency optimizes response to bisphosphonate (BP) treatment in postmenopausal osteoporosis. We evaluated the role and possible mechanisms of vitamin D in adequate response to standard BP treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis. METHODS: We included 120 postmenopausal osteoporotic women (aged 68 ± 8 years) receiving BP (alendronate or risedronate) at their annual follow-up, performing complete anamnesis, including treatment adherence, use of vitamin D supplements, and previous falls and fractures during the last year. We analyzed the evolution of bone mineral density (BMD) during this period and serum PTH and 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and urinary NTx levels. Patients were classified as inadequate responders to antiosteoporotic treatment based on BMD loss>2% and/or the presence of fragility fractures during the last year. RESULTS: Thirty percent of patients showed inadequate response to BP treatment, with significantly lower levels of 25(OH)D (22.4 ± 1.3 vs. 26.6 ± 0.3 ng/ml, p=0.01), a higher frequency of 25(OH)D levels<30 ng/ml (91% vs. 69%, p=0.019) and higher urinary NTx values (42.2 ± 3.9 vs. 30.9 ± 2.3 nM/mM, p=0.01). Patients with 25(OH)D>30 ng/ml had a greater significant increase in lumbar BMD than women with values <30 ng/ml (3.6% vs. 0.8%, p<0.05). The probability of inadequate response was 4-fold higher in patients with 25(OH)D<30 (OR, 4.42; 95% CI, 1.22-15.97, p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Inadequate response to BP treatment is frequent in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis as is vitamin D insufficiency, despite vitamin D supplementation. Maintenance of 25(OH)D levels >30 ng/ml is especially indicated for adequate response to BP treatment.

Bone. 2012 Jul;51(1):54-8.

Reduced bone mass and preserved marrow adipose tissue in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases in long-term remission.

Bone marrow adipose tissue has not been studied in patients with inactive inflammatory bowel disease. We found that these patients have preserved marrow adiposity even with low bone mass. Factors involved in bone loss in active disease may have long-lasting effects but do not seem to affect bone marrow adiposity. INTRODUCTION: Reduced bone mass is known to occur at varying prevalence in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) because of inflammation, malnutrition, and steroid therapy. Osteoporosis may develop in these patients as the result of an imbalanced relationship between osteoblasts and adipocytes in bone marrow. This study aimed to evaluate for the first time bone mass and bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT) in a particular subgroup of IBD patients characterized by long-term, steroid-free remission. METHODS: Patients with Crohn’s disease (CD; N = 21) and ulcerative colitis (UC; N = 15) and controls (C; N = 65) underwent dual X-ray energy absorptiometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the L3 lumbar vertebra for BMAT assessment. RESULTS: Both the CD and UC subgroups showed significantly higher proportions of patients than controls with Z-score ≤-2.0 at L1-L4 (C 1.54%; CD 19.05%; UC 20%; p = 0.02), but not at other sites. The proportions of CD patients with a T-score-1.0 at the femoral neck (C 18.46%; CD 47.62%; p = 0.02) and total hip (C 16.92%; CD 42.86%; p = 0.03) were significantly higher than among controls. There were no statistically significant differences between IBD patients and controls regarding BMAT at L3 (C 28.62 ± 8.15%; CD 29.81 ± 6.90%; UC 27.35 ± 9.80%; p = 0.67). CONCLUSIONS: IBD patients in long-term, steroid-free remission may have a low bone mass in spite of preserved BMAT. These findings confirm the heterogeneity of bone disorders in IBD and may indicate that factors involved in bone loss in active disease may have long-lasting effects on these patients.

Osteoporos Int. 2017 Jul;28(7):2167-2176.

Inflammation and its resolution and the musculoskeletal system.

Inflammation, an essential tissue response to extrinsic/intrinsic damage, is a very dynamic process in terms of complexity and extension of cellular and metabolic involvement. The aim of the inflammatory response is to eliminate the pathogenic initiator with limited collateral damage of the inflamed tissue, followed by a complex tissue repair to the preinflammation phenotype. Persistent inflammation is a major contributor to the pathogenesis of many musculoskeletal diseases including ageing-related pathologies such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and sarcopaenia. Understanding the mechanisms of inflammation and its resolution is therefore critical for the development of effective regenerative, and therapeutic strategies in orthopaedics.

J Orthop Translat. 2017 Jul;10:52-67.

Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of incident diabetes in the Women’s Health Initiative.

OBJECTIVE: Experimental and epidemiologic studies suggest that calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing diabetes. We examined the effect of calcium plus vitamin D supplementation on the incidence of drug-treated diabetes in postmenopausal women. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The Women’s Health Initiative Calcium/Vitamin D Trial randomly assigned postmenopausal women to receive 1,000 mg elemental calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin D3 daily, or placebo, in a double-blind fashion. Among 33,951 participants without self-reported diabetes at baseline, we ascertained by treatment assignment new diagnoses of diabetes treated with oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin. Effects of the intervention on fasting measurements of glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance were examined among a subset of participants. RESULTS: Over a median follow-up time of 7 years, 2,291 women were newly diagnosed with diabetes. The hazard ratio for incident diabetes associated with calcium/vitamin D treatment was 1.01 (95% CI 0.94-1.10) based on intention to treat. This null result was robust in subgroup analyses, efficacy analyses accounting for nonadherence, and analyses examining change in laboratory measurements. CONCLUSIONS: Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation did not reduce the risk of developing diabetes over 7 years of follow-up in this randomized placebo-controlled trial. Higher doses of vitamin D may be required to affect diabetes risk, and/or associations of calcium and vitamin D intake with improved glucose metabolism observed in nonrandomized studies may be the result of confounding or of other components of foods containing these nutrients.

Diabetes Care. 2008 Apr;31(4):701-7.

Vitamin D supplementation reduces insulin resistance in South Asian women living in New Zealand who are insulin resistant and vitamin D deficient - a randomised, placebo-controlled trial.

Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) has been shown to correlate with increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Small, observational studies suggest an action for vitamin D in improving insulin sensitivity and/or insulin secretion. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of improved vitamin D status on insulin resistance (IR), utilising randomised, controlled, double-blind intervention administering 100 microg (4,000 IU) vitamin D(3) (n 42) or placebo (n 39) daily for 6 months to South Asian women, aged 23-68 years, living in Auckland, New Zealand. Subjects were insulin resistant - homeostasis model assessment 1 (HOMA1)>1.93 and had serum 25(OH)D concentration < 50 nmol/l. Exclusion criteria included diabetes medication and vitamin D supplementation >25 microg (1,000 IU)/d. The HOMA2 computer model was used to calculate outcomes. Median (25th, 75th percentiles) serum 25(OH)D(3) increased significantly from 21 (11, 40) to 75 (55, 84) nmol/l with supplementation. Significant improvements were seen in insulin sensitivity and IR (P = 0.003 and 0.02, respectively), and fasting insulin decreased (P = 0.02) with supplementation compared with placebo. There was no change in C-peptide with supplementation. IR was most improved when endpoint serum 25(OH)D reached > or = 80 nmol/l. Secondary outcome variables (lipid profile and high sensitivity C-reactive protein) were not affected by supplementation. In conclusion, improving vitamin D status in insulin resistant women resulted in improved IR and sensitivity, but no change in insulin secretion. Optimal vitamin D concentrations for reducing IR were shown to be 80-119 nmol/l, providing further evidence for an increase in the recommended adequate levels.

Br J Nutr. 2010 Feb;103(4):549-55.

Effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on pancreatic β cell function, insulin sensitivity, and glycemia in adults at high risk of diabetes: the Calcium and Vitamin D for Diabetes Mellitus (CaDDM) randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: A suboptimal vitamin D and calcium status has been associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes in observational studies, but evidence from trials is lacking. OBJECTIVE: We determined whether vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium, improved glucose homeostasis in adults at high risk of diabetes. DESIGN: Ninety-two adults were randomly assigned in a 2-by-2 factorial-design, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial to receive either cholecalciferol (2,000 IU once daily) or calcium carbonate (400 mg twice daily) for 16 wk. The primary outcome was the change in pancreatic b cell function as measured by the disposition index after an intravenous-glucose-tolerance test. Other outcomes were acute insulin response, insulin sensitivity, and measures of glycemia. RESULTS: Participants had a mean age of 57 y, a body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)) of 32, and glycated hemoglobin (Hb A(1c)) of 5.9%. There was no significant vitamin D × calcium interaction on any outcomes. The disposition index increased in the vitamin D group and decreased in the no-vitamin D group (adjusted mean change ± SE: 300 ± 130 compared with -126 ± 127, respectively; P = 0.011), which was explained by an improvement in insulin secretion (62 ± 39 compared with -36 ± 37 mU · L(-1) · min, respectively; P = 0.046). Hb A(1c) increased less, but nonsignificantly, in the vitamin D group than in the no-vitamin D group (0.06 ± 0.03% compared with 0.14 ± 0.03%, respectively; P = 0.081). There was no significant difference in any outcomes with calcium compared with no calcium. CONCLUSION: In adults at risk of type 2 diabetes, short-term supplementation with cholecalciferol improved b cell function and had a marginal effect on attenuating the rise in Hb A(1c).

Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug;94(2):486-94.

Male sexual health

Erectile dysfunction and coronary risk factors: prospective results from the Massachusetts male aging study.

BACKGROUND: Erectile dysfunction (ED), a wide spread and troublesome condition among middle-aged men, is partly vascular in origin. In the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, a random-sample cohort study, we investigated the relationship between baseline risk factors for coronary heart disease and subsequent ED, on the premise that subclinical arterial insufficiency might be manifested as ED. METHODS: Men ages 40-70, selected from state census lists, were interviewed in 1987-1989 and reinterviewed in 1995-1997. Data were collected and blood was drawn in participants’ homes. ED was assessed from responses to a privately self-administered questionnaire. Analysis was restricted to 513 men with no ED at baseline and no diabetes, heart disease, or related medications at either time. RESULTS: Cigarette smoking at baseline almost doubled the likelihood of moderate or complete ED at followup (24% vs. 14%, adjusted for age and covariates, P = 0.01). Cigar smoking and passive exposure to cigarette smoke also significantly predicted incident ED, as did overweight (body-mass index > or =28 kg/m(2)) and a composite coronary risk score. Weaker prospective associations were seen for hypertension and dietary intake of cholesterol and unsaturated fat. CONCLUSIONS: Erectile dysfunction and coronary heart disease share some behaviorally modifiable determinants in men who, like our sample, are free of manifest ED or predisposing illness. Open questions include whether modification of coronary risk factors can prevent ED and whether ED may serve as a sentinel event for coronary disease.

Prev Med. 2000 Apr;30(4):328-38.

The prevalence of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus and depression in men with erectile dysfunction.

PURPOSE: We quantified the prevalence of diagnosed hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus and depression in male health plan members with erectile dysfunction (ED). MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used a nationally representative managed care claims database that covered 51 health plans with 28 million lives for 1995 through 2002. Based on 272,325 identified patients with ED population and age specific prevalence rates were calculated for the same period. RESULTS: The crude population prevalence rates were 41.6% for hypertension, 42.4% for hyperlipidemia, 20.2% for diabetes mellitus, 11.1% for depression, 23.9% for hypertension and hyperlipidemia, 12.8% for hypertension and diabetes mellitus, and 11.5% for hyperlipidemia and depression. The crude age specific prevalence rates varied across age groups significantly for hypertension (4.5% to 68.4%), hyperlipidemia (3.9% to 52.3%), and diabetes mellitus (2.8% to 28.7%), and significantly less for depression (5.8% to 15.0%). Region adjusted population prevalence rates were 41.2% for hypertension, 41.8% for hyperlipidemia, 19.7% for diabetes mellitus and 11.9% for depression. Only 87,163 patients with ED (32%) had no comorbid diagnosis of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus or depression. CONCLUSION: Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus and depression were prevalent in patients with ED. This evidence supported the proposition that ED shares common risk factors with these 4 concurrent conditions. Therefore, as a pathophysiological event, ED could be viewed as a potential observable marker for these concurrent diseases. This finding suggests that clinicians could include ED in the assessment profile of these concurrent conditions for earlier detection and treatment.

J Urol. 2004 Jun;171(6 Pt 1):2341-5.

Incidence of nonarteritic and arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. Population-based study in the state of Missouri and Los Angeles County, California.

This population-based study was undertaken to obtain information on age-, sex-, and race-specific incidence of nonarteritic and arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy for the State of Missouri and for Los Angeles County, California. Among subjects who were 50 or older the estimated mean annual incidence rates per 100,000 population were 2.30 for nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy and 0.36 for arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. White individuals appear to be at significantly higher risk of developing nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy than black or Hispanic individuals, suggesting possible genetic predisposition.

J Neuroophthalmol. 1994 Mar;14(1):38-44.

Incidence of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.

PURPOSE: Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy is the most common acute optic nerve disease of adults over age 50 years. This study determined the incidence of acute nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy in the circumscribed population of Olmsted County, Minnesota. METHODS: This was a retrospective study of the incidence of acute nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy between 1981 and 1990. The Rochester Epidemiology Project medical records linkage system facilitates identification of the medical records of virtually all Olmsted County residents with a given diagnosis. All cases of acute nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy that fulfilled certain inclusion and exclusion criteria were identified. RESULTS: Twenty-two cases in 21 patients (11 men and 10 women) were recorded. The crude annual incidence rate was 10.3 per 100,000 individuals (95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.1 to 18.4). When adjusted to the age and sex distribution of the 1990 United States white population, the incidence rate was 10.2 per 100,000 (95% CI = 6.5 to 15.6). At diagnosis, the median age was 72 years, mean visual acuity was 20/200 in the affected eye, and the most common visual field defect was an altitudinal deficit (10 cases). CONCLUSIONS: Although results of this small study should be interpreted cautiously, extrapolation of our findings to the United States white population indicates that nearly 5,700 new cases of acute nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy may be expected to occur each year in this group.

Am J Ophthalmol. 1997 Jan;123(1):103-7.

Relaxant mechanisms of 3, 5, 7, 3’, 4’-pentamethoxyflavone on isolated human cavernosum.

We have investigated effects and mechanisms responsible for the activity of 3, 5, 7, 3’, 4’-pentamethoxyflavone (PMF) on isolated human cavernosum. PMF is the major flavone isolated from Kaempferia parviflora claimed to act as an aphrodisiac. PMF caused relaxation of phenylephrine precontracted human cavernosal strips, and this effect was slightly inhibited by N(G)-nitro-l-arginine, a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, but not by ODQ (soluble guanylate cyclase inhibitor), TEA (tetraethylammonium, blocker of voltage-dependent K(+) channels) or glybenclamide (blocker of ATP-dependent K(+) channels). PMF did not significantly inhibit the relaxant activity of glyceryltrinitrate or acetylcholine on human cavernosal strips precontracted with phenylephrine. In contrast, sildenafil (phosphodiesterase inhibitor) potentiated the relaxant activity of glyceryl trinitrate but not of acetylcholine. In normal Krebs solution with nifedipine (blocker of l-type Ca(2+) channels), or in Ca(2+)-free Krebs solution, PMF caused a further inhibition of human cavernosum contracted with phenylephrine. In human cavernosum treated with thapsigargin (inhibitor of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase) in Ca(2+)-free medium, PMF suppressed the concentration-response curve of human cavernosum to phenylephrine and a further suppression was found when SKF-96365 (a blocker of store-operated Ca(2+) channels and Y-27632 (inhibitor of Rho-kinase)), but not nifedipine, were added sequentially. Thus, PMF had only a weak effect on the release of nitric oxide, and had no effect as a K(ATP)- or K(Ca) channel opener, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, a store-operated Ca(2+) channel blocker or a Rho-kinase inhibitor. Therefore, these studies suggest that PMF causes relaxation of human cavernosum through voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels and other mechanisms associated with calcium mobilization.

Eur J Pharmacol. 2012 Sep 15;691(1-3):235-44.

Metformin treatment decreases nitroxidative stress, restores nitric oxide bioavailability and endothelial function beyond glucose control.

Reduction of nitric oxide (NO), a potent vasodilator, and an increase in cytotoxic peroxynitrite (ONOO-) may be associated with the uncoupling of NO synthase (eNOS) and endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction. In addition to its effect on glucose control, metformin, may also directly benefit in the restoration of the function of eNOS and EC. Obese Zucker rats were administered vehicle or 300 mg/kg/day metformin for 4 weeks. NO concentration [NO] and ONOO- concentration [ONOO-] were measured in aortic and glomerular endothelial cells from Zucker rats in vitro. Compared with controls, aortic and glomerular endothelial [NO] was reduced by 32% and 41%, while [ONOO-] release increased 79% and 69%, respectively. Metformin treatment increased aortic and glomerular endothelial [NO] by 37% and 57%, respectively, while decreasing [ONOO-] by 32% and 34%, compared with vehicle-treated animals. Treatment with metformin significantly restored the balance in the [NO]/[ONOO-] ratio with 101% and 138% increase for aortic and glomerular endothelial cells, respectively. Fasting glucose levels were not significantly changed. These findings indicate that metformin therapy has a direct and beneficial effect on arterial and renal EC function in obese rats, including enhanced NO release and reduced nitroxidative stress, beyond any effects on fasting glucose levels.

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Feb;98:149-156.

Microbiome health

Cholesterol-lowering efficacy of a microencapsulated bile salt hydrolase-active Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 yoghurt formulation in hypercholesterolaemic adults.

Several studies have reported limited or no reduction in serum cholesterol in response to probiotic formulations. Recently, probiotics have shown promise in treating metabolic disease due to improved strain selection and delivery technologies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cholesterol-lowering efficacy of a yoghurt formulation containing microencapsulated bile salt hydrolase (BSH)-active Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242, taken twice per d over 6 weeks, in hypercholesterolaemic adults. A total of 114 subjects completed this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, parallel-arm, multi-centre study. This interventional study included a 2-week washout, 2-week run-in and 6-week treatment period. Subjects were randomised to consume either yoghurts containing microencapsulated L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 or placebo yoghurts. Over the intervention period, subjects consuming yoghurts containing microencapsulated L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 attained significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) of 8·92 % (P = 0·016), total cholesterol (TC) of 4·81 % (P = 0·031) and non-HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) of 6·01 % (P = 0·029) over placebo, and a significant absolute change in apoB-100 of - 0·19 mmol/l (P = 0·049). Serum concentrations of TAG and HDL-C were unchanged over the course of the study. Present results show that consumption of microencapsulated BSH-active L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 yoghurt is efficacious and safe for lowering LDL-C, TC, apoB-100 and non-HDL-C in hypercholesterolaemic subjects. The efficacy of microencapsulated BSH-active L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 yoghurts appears to be superior to traditional probiotic therapy and akin to that of other cholesterol-lowering ingredients.

Br J Nutr. 2012 May;107(10):1505-13.

Cholesterol lowering and inhibition of sterol absorption by Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242: a randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The percentage of hypercholesterolemic individuals not reaching their LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) goal remains high and additional therapeutic strategies should be evaluated. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cholesterol-lowering efficacy and mechanism of action of bile salt hydrolase-active Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 capsules in hypercholesterolemic adults. SUBJECTS/METHODS: A total of 127 subjects completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm, multicenter study. Subjects were randomized to consume L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 capsules or placebo capsules over a 9-week intervention period. The primary outcome was LDL-C relative to placebo at the study end point. RESULTS: L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 capsules reduced LDL-C by 11.64% (P<0.001), total cholesterol by 9.14%, (P<0.001), non-HDL-cholesterol (non-HDL-C) by 11.30% (P < 0.001) and apoB-100 by 8.41% (P = 0.002) relative to placebo. The ratios of LDL-C/HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) and apoB-100/apoA-1 were reduced by 13.39% (P = 0.006) and 9.00% (P = 0.026), respectively, relative to placebo. Triglycerides and HDL-C were unchanged. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein and fibrinogen were reduced by 1.05 mg/l (P = 0.005) and 14.25% (P = 0.004) relative to placebo, respectively. Mean plasma deconjugated bile acids were increased by 1.00 nmol/l (P=0.025) relative to placebo, whereas plasma campesterol, sitosterol and stigmasterol were decreased by 41.5%, 34.2% and 40.7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The present results suggest that the deconjugation of intraluminal bile acids results in reduced absorption of non-cholesterol sterols and indicate that L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 capsules may be useful as an adjunctive therapy for treating hypercholesterolemia.

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Nov;66(11):1234-41.

Oral supplementation with probiotic L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 increases mean circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D: a post hoc analysis of a randomized controlled trial.

CONTEXT: Low serum 25- hydroxyvitamin D is a risk factor for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Disruption of noncholesterol sterol absorption due to cholesterol-lowering therapies may result in reduced fat-soluble vitamin absorption. OBJECTIVE: We have previously reported on the cholesterol-lowering efficacy and reduced sterol absorption of probiotic bile salt hydrolase active Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242; however, the effects on fat-soluble vitamins was previously unknown and the objective of the present study. DESIGN, SETTINGS, PATIENTS, AND INTERVENTION: The study was double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel-arm, multicenter lasting 13 weeks. A total of 127 otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic adults with low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol >3.4 mmol/L, triglycerides <4.0 mmol/L, and body mass index of 22 to 32 kg/m² were included. Subjects were recruited from 6 private practices in Prague, Czech Republic, and randomized to consume L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 or placebo capsules over a 9-week intervention period. OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was the change in serum low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol over the 9-week intervention. Analysis of fat-soluble vitamins at weeks 0 and 9 were performed post hoc. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 and placebo capsule groups in serum vitamin A, vitamin E, or b-carotene or dietary intake over the intervention period (P > .05). L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D by 14.9 nmol/L, or 25.5%, over the intervention period, which was a significant mean change relative to placebo of 17.1 nmol/L, or 22.4%, respectively (P = .003). CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first report of increased circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D in response to oral probiotic supplementation.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jul;98(7):2944-51.

Beneficial microbes for the oral cavity: time to harness the oral streptococci?

Indigenous microbes are known to influence human health outcomes and various approaches are now being made to positively modulate these microbe-induced outcomes via the administration of probiotics. The application of probiotics that are specific to the oral cavity is a relatively undeveloped field, and their emergence has largely occurred as a reasoned follow-up to initial studies in which probiotics that had already been developed and obtained regulatory approval for intestinal applications were then also evaluated for their putative influence on oral microbiota functionality. These attempts to extend the application of existing probiotics were probably at least in part motivated by recognition of the substantial safety and regulatory hurdles that must be overcome prior to the introduction of a novel probiotic agent. Nevertheless, from an efficacy perspective it appears more logical to develop microbes of oral origin as the specific providers of probiotic solutions for oral diseases, rather than attempting to adapt intestinally-derived strains for this role. Oral bacteria and their bioactive molecules have evolved to operate optimally in this environment and in some cases are known to persist only in oral sites. Amongst the bacteria of more than 700 species now identified within the human oral microbiota, it is the streptococci that are numerically predominant. Although this review highlights the development of the oral cavity bacterium Streptococcus salivarius as an oral probiotic, a number of other streptococcal species have also been shown to have considerable potential as probiotic candidates.

Benef Microbes. 2011 Jun;2(2):93-101.

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