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What's Hot

News flashes are posted here frequently to keep you up-to-date with the latest advances in health and longevity. We have an unparalleled track record of breaking stories about life extension advances.


  • Glucosamine plus chondroitin linked with lower risk of premature mortality
  • Low choline levels among pregnant Black women impact infant development
  • Can hyperbaric oxygen treatments reverse some signs of aging?
  • Vitamin D supplementation associated with lower risk of advanced cancer among those with normal BMI
  • NAD+ decline driven by chronic inflammation
  • Coenzyme Q10 supplementation associated with improved antioxidant status, glycemic control
  • High phenolic extra virgin olive oil shows promise against cognitive impairment
  • Vitamin D supplementation improved eczema in study of children
  • Higher vitamin D in mothers could mean higher IQ in their children
  • Vitamin B3 may help protect against UV damage
  • Study suggests calorie restriction may help protect against fatty liver-induced liver cancer


    Glucosamine plus chondroitin linked with lower risk of premature mortality

    Low choline levels among pregnant Black women impact infant development November 27 2020. The November-December 2020 issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine published the finding of Dana E. King, MD, MS, and Jun Xiang, MS, MA, of an association between regular intake of glucosamine and chondroitin and a lower risk of dying during a median period of 107 months.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin are nutrients that are often consumed in combination to support joint health. Many individuals use glucosamine and/or chondroitin supplements on a regular basis to help maintain healthy joints or relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis.

    The study included 16,686 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999 to 2010 which, among other NHANES surveys, was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics to assess health and nutrition status among noninstitutionalized men and women in the United States. Participant interviews ascertained the use of dietary supplements during the previous month. Individuals who reported using glucosamine/chondroitin for a year or more were identified as glucosamine/chondroitin users in the current investigation.

    During a median follow-up period of 107 months, 3,366 deaths occurred, among which 674 were caused by cardiovascular disease. In comparison with not using glucosamine/chondroitin, regular use was associated with a 58% lower adjusted risk of dying during follow-up from cardiovascular disease and a 27% lower risk of dying from any cause.

    As potential protective mechanisms for the supplements, the authors cite their association with a reduction in inflammation and inflammatory cytokine activity. Glucosamine has also been shown to have anticancer and other effects.

    “Regular intake of glucosamine/chondroitin is associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality in a national US cohort and the findings are consistent with previous studies in other populations,” the authors concluded. “Prospective studies to confirm the link may be warranted.”

    —D Dye



    Low choline levels among pregnant Black women impact infant development

    Low choline levels among pregnant Black women impact infant development November 25 2020. An article appearing on November 13, 2020 in Schizophrenia Bulletin documented lower levels of choline among pregnant Black women in comparison with levels measured among Caucasians. Choline is a nutrient needed by all humans that is particularly important during pregnancy for healthy infant brain development and prevention of behavioral deficits.

    The study involved 183 pregnant women, including 25 Black Americans, whose plasma choline levels were measured during their 16th week of gestation. Infant behavioral development was evaluated at three months of age.

    Lower levels of choline were observed among Black women compared to Caucasians. Women who had lower choline concentrations had a greater risk of giving birth to an infant who had a lower gestational age and a reduction in levels of a marker of inhibitory neuron development, as well as less attention and relation to caregivers at three months.

    Black women also had higher hair cortisol levels, indicating increased stress.

    When compared with 166 pregnant women in rural Uganda, choline concentrations among the Black women in the current study were lower, which suggests that Black Americans’ decreased levels are likelier to be caused by nongenetic factors, including stress.

    In a trial that included 100 pregnant women, supplementation with phosphatidylcholine decreased Black participants’ risk of premature delivery and was associated with fewer attention deficits and social problems among their children at four years of age.

    "We hope to get the word out, to all women and especially to stressed, pregnant Black women, that taking supplemental choline, in addition to the prenatal vitamins they already take, can significantly improve outcomes for their children," recommended lead researcher Robert Freedman, MD, who is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.


    —D Dye



    Can hyperbaric oxygen treatments reverse some signs of aging?

    Can hyperbaric oxygen treatments reverse some signs of aging? November 23 2020. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves the administration of 100% oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure. The treatment is used for patients with decompression sickness, injuries, poor wound healing and other health concerns.

    A new study, published in the journal Aging on November 18, 2020, suggests that hyperbaric oxygen could do more.

    Researchers at Tel Aviv University and Shamir Medical Center have found that hyperbaric oxygen treatments halt or reverse signs of aging.

    “In this study, for the first time in humans, it was found that repeated daily hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions can increase peripheral blood mononuclear cell telomere length by more than 20% in an aging population, with B cells having the most striking change,” Yafit Hachmo and colleagues announced.

    Telomeres are bits of genetic material that cap and protect the chromosomes. Telomere shortening has been associated with aging.

    Cellular senescence describes a state in which an aged cell no longer divides but is not destroyed by the body. Senescent cells secrete compounds that promote inflammation.

    The study included 35 men and women aged 64 and older who received five hyperbaric oxygen therapy exposures per week within a period of three months. Blood samples collected at the beginning of the treatment period and after the 30th and 60th sessions were analyzed for peripheral blood mononuclear cell telomere length and cellular senescence. The team observed a 20% average increase in the length of several peripheral blood mononuclear cells and a decrease of up to 37% in senescent cells.

    "Researchers around the world are trying to develop pharmacological and environmental interventions that enable telomere elongation,” commented coauthor Shai Efrati. “Our hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocol was able to achieve this, proving that the aging process can in fact be reversed at the basic cellular-molecular level."


    —D Dye



    Vitamin D supplementation associated with lower risk of advanced cancer among those with normal BMI

    Vitamin D supplementation associated with lower risk of advanced cancer among those with normal BMI November 20 2020. A secondary analysis of The Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) revealed a reduction in the risk of advanced (metastatic or fatal) cancer among normal weight participants who received vitamin D supplements compared with those who received a placebo.

    VITAL was a five-year study that included men over the age of 50 and women aged 55 years and older who were cancer-free upon enrollment. Participants received 2000 IU vitamin D plus 1 gram omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D plus a placebo, omega 3 fatty acids plus a placebo, or two placebos daily until the trial’s conclusion. Although no difference in cancer rates was observed between the treatment and placebo groups, a 17% reduction in mortality from the disease occurred in association with vitamin D supplementation (when both groups that received active vitamin D were combined).

    The secondary analysis, which appeared on November 18, 2020 in JAMA Network Open, found that the risk of advanced cancers was 17% lower in association with vitamin D and that participants who had a healthy body mass index had a 38% lower risk of developing advanced cancers compared to the placebo, while overweight or obese participants experienced no protective effect.

    "These findings suggest that vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing advanced cancers," stated corresponding author Paulette Chandler, MD, MPH. "Vitamin D is a supplement that's readily available, cheap and has been used and studied for decades. Our findings, especially the strong risk reduction seen in individuals with normal weight, provide new information about the relationship between vitamin D and advanced cancer."

    She added that the current analysis’ results “support the ongoing evaluation of vitamin D supplementation for preventing metastatic cancer -- a connection that is biologically plausible."


    —D Dye



    NAD+ decline driven by chronic inflammation

    NAD+ decline driven by chronic inflammation November 18 2020. Research reported on November 16, 2020 in Nature Metabolism revealed chronic inflammation as the culprit behind the decline in NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) that occurs with aging. NAD+ is a metabolite found in most living cells that is a cofactor in energy transfer. NAD+ also helps protect against inflammation and DNA damage. Intake of NAD+ precursor nutrients help improve NAD+ levels.

    The mechanism involved in aging-related NAD+ decline had previously not been determined. Buck Institute for Research on Aging President Eric Verdin, MD, who is the senior author of the Nature Metabolism report, likened potential mechanisms to a plumbing analogy in which problems can occur with a faucet (decreased production of NAD+) or a leaky sink (increased degradation). "Our data suggests that, at least in some cases, the issue stems from the leaky sink," he stated. "Ultimately I think supplementation will be part of the equation but filling the sink without dealing with the leak will be insufficient to address the problem."

    The increasing number of senescent cells that accumulate during the course of a lifetime secrete proinflammatory proteins known as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). "These inflammatory proteins in the SASP induce macrophages to proliferate, express CD38 and degrade NAD+," explained lead researcher Anthony J. Covarrubias, PhD. "It's a maladaptive process. But drugs that target the SASP or CD38 may offer us another way to deal with the decline of NAD+."

    "We are very excited to link two phenomena which have been separately associated with aging and age-related disease," Dr Verdin commented. "The fact that NAD+ decline and chronic inflammation are intertwined provides a more holistic, systemic approach to aging and the discovery of CD38 macrophages as the mediator of the link between the two gives us a new target for therapeutic interventions."


    —D Dye



    Coenzyme Q10 supplementation associated with improved antioxidant status, glycemic control

    Coenzyme Q10 supplementation associated with improved antioxidant status, glycemic control November 16 2020. The September 2020 issue of the journal Antioxidants published the results of a study that found improvements in antioxidant status and aspects of glucose control in well-trained college athletes who supplemented with high dose coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an antioxidant used by nearly every cell of the body in the production of energy.

    Taiwanese researchers enrolled 31 men and women who were required to train for over 12 hours each week. Seventeen participants received 300 milligrams of the ubiquinone form of CoQ10 and the remainder received a placebo for a 12-week period. Body mass index, blood pressure, plasma and white blood cell levels of CoQ10, plasma and red blood cell levels of malondialdehyde (MDA, a marker of oxidative stress), total antioxidant capacity, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c, a marker of long term glucose control) and other factors were assessed before and after the treatment period.

    After 12 weeks, plasma CoQ10 levels were higher and red blood cell MDA levels were lower in the supplemented group in comparison with the placebo group. Increases in white blood cell CoQ10 levels were associated with decreases in insulin resistance and levels of hemoglobin A1c, and greater insulin sensitivity. Compared to lower levels, white blood cell levels of CoQ10 of at least 0.5 nanomoles per gram were associated improvement in the participants’ quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) and total antioxidant capacity.

    The current investigation “is the first study to clarify the causal relationship between ubiquinone status and antioxidant capacity and glycemic control after ubiquinone supplementation,” Chien-Chang Ho of Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City, Taiwan and colleagues announced.

    “In the present study, we found that ubiquinone supplementation may yield an increase of ubiquinone status and further increase antioxidant capacity, which benefits glycemic control in athletes,” they concluded.


    —D Dye



    High phenolic extra virgin olive oil shows promise against cognitive impairment

    High phenolic extra virgin olive oil shows promise against cognitive impairment November 11 2020. A randomized trial reported on October 8, 2020 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease revealed an association between improvements in cognitive function and the intake of high phenolic extra virgin olive oil among individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a condition characterized by memory loss and difficulty in performing complex activities of daily living that often precedes Alzheimer disease.

    The trial included 285 men and women with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Participants were assigned to consume a Mediterranean diet with the addition of 50 milliliters (mL) high phenolic early harvest extra virgin olive oil or a Mediterranean diet plus 50 mL extra virgin olive oil with a moderate phenolic content daily for one year. A third group received Mediterranean diet instructions alone. Neuropsychological testing was conducted at the beginning and end of the trial.

    At the trial’s conclusion, participants who received high phenolic extra virgin olive oil had better performance than the other groups in most cognitive domains. Those who received olive oil with a moderate phenolic content had better cognitive performance in comparison with those who received Mediterranean diet instructions only. Among the group who did not receive oil olive, test performance was the same or worse than at the beginning of the study. The effects observed in the trial were independent of the APOE- ɛ4 genetic variation, which affects approximately a quarter of the population and is associated with a greater risk of developing Alzheimer disease.

    “Long-term intervention with high phenolic early harvest extra virgin olive oil or moderate phenolic-extra virgin olive oil was associated with significant improvement in cognitive function compared to Mediterranean diet, independent of the presence of APOE ɛ4,” authors Magda Tsolaki of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and colleagues concluded.


    —D Dye



    Vitamin D supplementation improved eczema in study of children

    Vitamin D supplementation improved eczema in study of children November 9 2020. The December 2020 issue of Pharmacology Research & Perspectives described a randomized, placebo-controlled trial that resulted in improvement in severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) among children treated with daily vitamin D.

    “Atopic dermatitis is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease with intermittent flares and debilitating effects on the patient's quality of life,” Noha O. Mansour of Mansoura University and colleagues wrote. “The findings obtained in both clinical and observational studies revealed that the deficiency of vitamin D may be a factor to be considered in the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis.”

    “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation in children and adolescents with severe atopic dermatitis,” they announced.

    The study included 86 boys and girls aged of 5 to 16 years with severe atopic dermatitis who received 1,600 international units vitamin D3 or a placebo daily for three months. Participants in both groups applied a topical 1% hydrocortisone cream twice per day throughout the course of the study. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and dermatitis severity scores were ascertained before and after the treatment period.

    Vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study averaged 22.8 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) in the vitamin D group and 25.4 ng/mL in the placebo group. While vitamin D levels improved to 36.11 ng/mL at the study’s conclusion among those who received the supplement, concentrations were maintained at 25.86 ng/mL in the placebo group, among whom 74% exhibited insufficiency. Among those who received the vitamin, 38.6% achieved 75% or greater reduction in dermatitis severity scores in comparison with 7.1% of participants in the placebo group.

    “Our study suggests that oral daily vitamin D supplement might provide clinical improvement in children with severe atopic dermatitis,” the authors concluded.


    —D Dye



    Higher vitamin D in mothers could mean higher IQ in their children

    Higher vitamin D in mothers could mean higher IQ in their children November 6 2020. On November 2, 2020, The Journal of Nutrition reported findings from a study conducted by researchers at Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Tennessee that revealed an association between mothers’ vitamin D levels during pregnancy and IQ scores of their children.

    Using data from 1,503 pregnant women who participated in the Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood study, Melissa M. Melough and associates examined the association between second trimester plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and the IQ scores of their children at four to six years of age. They determined that for every 10 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) increase in 25(OH)D among mothers there was a 1.17 point higher full scale IQ, a 1.17 point higher verbal IQ and a 1.03 higher nonverbal IQ score among their children.

    Another finding was a significantly lower 25(OH)D level among black mothers, whose concentrations averaged 19.8 ng/mL. "Melanin pigment protects the skin against sun damage, but by blocking UV rays, melanin also reduces vitamin D production in the skin,” Dr Melough noted. “Because of this, we weren't surprised to see high rates of vitamin D deficiency among Black pregnant women in our study. Even though many pregnant women take a prenatal vitamin, this may not correct an existing vitamin D deficiency. I hope our work brings greater awareness to this problem, shows the long-lasting implications of prenatal vitamin D for the child and their neurocognitive development, and highlights that there are certain groups providers should be paying closer attention to. "

    "Vitamin D deficiency is quite prevalent," she added. "It can be difficult to get adequate vitamin D through diet, and not everyone can make up for this gap through sun exposure, so a good solution is to take a supplement."


    —D Dye



    Vitamin B3 may help protect against UV damage

    Vitamin B3 may help protect against UV damage November 4 2020. Research presented on October 31, 2020 at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology’s 29th Congress revealed a protective effect of the nicotinamide form of vitamin B3 against damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) rays, the primary cause of nonmelanoma skin cancers. “Nicotinamide, the amide form of vitamin B3, is a water-soluble molecule assumed by daily diet and is the precursor of NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) a key coenzyme for different processes, such as cell energy production and DNA damage repair,” explained Lara Camillo and colleagues in their abstract that summarized the findings.

    The study utilized human primary keratin cells obtained from the skin of individuals with nonmelanoma skin cancers. Cells were treated with one of three concentrations of vitamin B3 for 18, 24 or 48 hours prior to UV exposure and evaluated for the effects of oxidative stress-related damage.

    Irradiated cells exhibited an increase in the expression of the DNA repair enzyme OGG1 and an increase in reactive oxygen species. However, a reduction in OGG1 expression was observed in association with the medium concentration of vitamin B3 when administered for 48 hours prior to UV exposure, indicating less DNA damage. Oxidative stress was decreased in association with low and medium vitamin B3 concentrations when provided 24 and 48 hours before UV exposure. Administration of the medium concentration of nicotinamide for 24 and 48 hours was associated with a reduction in the expression of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1B.

    “Our study indicates that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3, which is readily available in the daily diet, will protect the skin from some of the effects of UV exposure, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers,” Lara Camillo concluded. “However, the protective effect of vitamin B3 is short-acting, so it should be consumed no later than 24 to 48 hours before sun exposure."


    —D Dye



    Study suggests calorie restriction may help protect against fatty liver-induced liver cancer

    Study suggests calorie restriction may help protect against fatty liver-induced liver cancer November 2 2020. The September 2020 issue of the journal Liver Cancer reported findings from a rodent study that suggest a protective effect for consuming fewer calories against the development of liver cancer associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

    “Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the common malignancies and leading causes of cancer-related death worldwide,” wrote F. Jia of Shinshu University School of Medicine and colleagues. “Persistent infection of hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus (HCV), ethanol consumption, and genetic metabolic disorders, such as hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, glycogen storage disease, and citrin deficiency, are conventional risk factors for HCC. Recently, worldwide increases in obesity and metabolic syndrome have raised the prevalence of HCC derived from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), indicating a close relationship between overnutrition and liver tumorigenesis.”

    The study utilized mice with the HCV core gene that spontaneously develop fatty liver and tumors. The animals were given a control diet that allowed them to eat as much as they liked or a diet that contained 30% fewer calories than the control diet for 15 months.

    At the end of 15 months, animals that received calorie restricted diets had fewer and smaller liver tumors, less liver oxidative stress, lower levels of nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-kB, associated with inflammation), downregulation of pro-cancer mediators, increased autophagy, and other improvements in comparison with the control mice.

    “These findings support the notion that persistent 30% reduction of daily food intake is beneficial for preventing steatosis-associated hepatocarcinogenesis caused by HCV core protein,” the authors wrote. They concluded the article by posing the question as to whether fasting mimetics such as metformin could exhibit similar benefits.


    —D Dye


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