What's Hot

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.

 

  • Senolytics could boost organ donor pool
  • Vitamin C may help preserve muscle mass
  • Vitamin E supplementation shows promise as treatment option for NAFLD
  • Low vitamin D and K levels associated with increased risk of mortality during 14.2-year median
  • Greater cruciferous vegetable intake associated with less aortic calcification
  • Multivitamin supplementation associated with improved immunity among older adults
  • Robuvit® supplementation associated with youthful vigor in men
  • Alpha-lipoic acid supplementation associated with improved weight control
  • Blueberries may help support muscle
  • Calcium, vitamin D may help protect against vertigo recurrence
  • Fisetin derivative shows promise against Alzheimer disease in mice
  • Soy isoflavone consumption associated with lower heart disease risk.
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    Senolytics could boost organ donor pool

    Senolytics could boost organ donor pool August 31 2020. Research reported on August 27, 2020 in Nature Communications suggests a role for senolytic compounds in improving the viability of older donor organs. Organs from decreased older donors less likely to be transplanted than those from younger donors because they stimulate a stronger immune response in recipients, which increases the risk of rejection.  

    "Older organs are available and have the potential to contribute to mitigating the current demand for organ transplantation," remarked corresponding author Stefan G. Tullius, MD, PhD. "If we can utilize older organs in a safe way with outcomes that are comparable, we will take a substantial step forward for helping patients."

    Aged organs accumulate increasing numbers of senescent cells which, instead of being destroyed by the body, remain to release proinflammatory compounds. Senescent cells also release cell-free mitochondrial DNA. Dr Tullius and colleagues determined that cell-free mitochondrial DNA from senescent cells accumulates during aging, leading to the heightened immune response in transplant recipients that increases the risk of rejection.  

    Quercetin and the drug dasatinib are among compounds known as senolytics that cause senescent cells to self-destruct. In older mice, treatment with quercetin and dasatinib decreased senescent cells, cell-free mitochondrial DNA and inflammation. Hearts obtained from these animals were found to be comparable to those of younger mice after transplantation.

    "We have not yet tested the effects clinically, but we are well prepared to take the next step toward clinical application by using a perfusion device to flow senolytic drugs over organs and measure whether or not there are improvements in levels of senescent cells," Dr Tullius stated. "Our data provide a rationale for considering clinical trials treating donors, organs, and/or recipients with senolytic drugs to optimize the use of organs from older donors. The goal is to help to close the gap between organ availability and the needs of the many patients currently on transplant waiting lists."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Vitamin C may help preserve muscle mass

    Vitamin C may help preserve muscle mass August 28 2020. An article that appearedon August 26, 2020 in the Journal of Nutrition reported the finding of researchers at the University of East Anglia of an association between higher intake of vitamin C and greater skeletal muscle mass in older men and women. Loss of muscle mass that occurs during aging can lead to sarcopenia and diminished quality of life.

    "As people age, they lose skeletal muscle mass and strength,” explained lead researcher Ailsa Welch. "We know that vitamin C consumption is linked with skeletal muscle mass. It helps defend the cells and tissues that make up the body from potentially harmful free radical substances. Unopposed these free radicals can contribute to the destruction of muscle, thus speeding up age-related decline.

    The study included 13,125 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and NutritionNorfolk study.Skeletal muscle mass was estimated usingbioelectrical impedance analysis. Blood samples were analyzed for plasma vitamin C levels and food diaries completed by the subjects provided information concerning vitamin C intake.

    "We studied a large sample of older Norfolk residents and found that people with the highest amounts of vitamin C in their diet or blood had the greatest estimated skeletal muscle mass, compared to those with the lowest amounts,” reported coauthor Richard Hayhoe. "We are very excited by our findings as they suggest that dietary vitamin C is important for muscle health in older men and women and may be useful for preventing age-related muscle loss.

    "This is particularly significant as Vitamin C is readily available in fruits and vegetables, or supplements, so improving intake of this vitamin is relatively straightforward,” he added. "We found that nearly 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women participants were not consuming as much vitamin C as they should, according to the European Food Safety Agency recommendations.”

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Vitamin E supplementation shows promise as treatment option for NAFLD

    Vitamin E supplementation shows promise as treatment option for NAFLD August 26 2020. Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis reported on August 18, 2020 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology indicate a benefit for supplementing with vitamin E for individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The disease is defined as an elevated percentage of liver cell fat in the absence of excessive alcohol consumption. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is estimated to affect up to a third of the world’s population.

    For their review, Andreas Vadarlis and colleagues at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece selected seven randomized clinical trials that compared the effects of vitamin E to a placebo. Four trials evaluated the effects of the vitamin in a total of 368 participants with NAFLD and three trials included 400 participants with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH, an advanced state of NAFLD).

    Among the studies that examined the effects of vitamin E on the transaminase liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase and (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), which are elevated in patients with liver diseases, ALT was lowered by an average of 7.37 international units per liter (IU/L) and AST by an average of 5.71 IU/L compared to a placebo.

    Fibrosis score, considered to be the most important prognostic factor of NAFLD progression, significantly improved among those who received vitamin E. Histology parameters, including steatosis, lobular inflammation and hepatocellular ballooning, also improved in vitamin E-treated participants compared to a placebo.

    Among the subjects evaluated for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a significant reduction occurred in those treated with vitamin E. Additionally, fasting blood glucose levels and leptin were lower in comparison with the placebo group among those who received vitamin E.

    “Vitamin E could be considered as a treatment option in patients with NAFLD/NASH improving both liver enzymes and histological parameters,” the authors concluded.

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Low vitamin D and K levels associated with increased risk of mortality during 14.2-year median

    Low vitamin D and K levels associated with increased risk of mortality during 14.2-year median August 24 2020. A study published on August 18, 2020 in the European Journal of Nutrition revealed a greater risk of premature mortality among men and women with decreased levels of vitamins D and K.

    “Nutritional deficiencies have been recognized as important contributors to disease and increased mortality,” wrote Adriana J. van Ballegooijen of Amsterdam University and her colleagues. “Previous analyses of our cohort indicated that sufficient vitamin D or K alone are associated with survival benefits and reduced cardiovascular disease.”

    The study included 4,742 participants in the Prevention of REnal and Vascular ENd-Stage Disease (PREVEND) Study who provided plasma samples between 2001 and 2003 that were used to determine levels of vitamins D and K. Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as levels lower than 20 nanograms per milliliter and low vitamin K was defined as having a dephosphorylated uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein (dp-ucMGP) level of less than 361 picomoles per liter. Mortality data was collected through the end of 2016.

    During a median follow-up period of 14.2 years, there were 620 deaths, among which 142 were caused by cardiovascular disease. Among the 970 participants with low levels of vitamins D and K there was a 46% greater risk of dying during follow-up in comparison with participants who had higher levels of both vitamins. An increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality was also observed for the low vitamin D and K group, although the researchers did not determine the increase to be significant.

    “Combined low vitamin D and K status are associated with increased all-cause mortality risk and possibly with cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular events compared with adequate vitamin D and K status,” they concluded. “Future studies should investigate the effect of combined vitamin D and K supplementation on clinical outcomes.”

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Greater cruciferous vegetable intake associated with less aortic calcification

    Greater cruciferous vegetable intake associated with less aortic calcification August 21 2020. Research findings reported on July 17, 2020 in the British Journal of Nutrition reveal an association between increased intake of Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables and less extensive calcification of the abdominal aorta in older women.

    Calcification of the blood vessels, including the aorta (the large artery that carries oxygenated blood away from the heart), is a marker of atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attack.

    The current investigation included 684 older women who enrolled in the Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study in 1998. Responses to dietary questionnaires administered upon enrollment provided information concerning cruciferous vegetable intake. Aortic calcification was categorized as extensive or not extensive based on imaging obtained during 1998–1999.

    The researchers observed a correlation between greater cruciferous vegetable intake and a reduction in abdominal aortic calcium. Women whose intake of the vegetables was more than 44.6 grams per day had a 46% lower adjusted risk of extensive abdominal aortic calcification compared to those whose intake was less than 15 grams. Total vegetable intake and intake of other types of vegetables were not associated with abdominal aortic calcification risk.

    "One particular constituent found abundantly in cruciferous vegetables is vitamin K which may be involved in inhibiting the calcification process that occurs in our blood vessels," noted lead researcher Lauren C. Blekkenhorst of Edith Cowan University’s School of Medical and Health Sciences and the University of Western Australia. "In our previous studies . . . those with a higher intake of these vegetables had a reduced risk of having a clinical cardiovascular disease event, such as a heart attack or stroke, but we weren't sure why. Our findings from this new study provides insight into the potential mechanisms involved."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Multivitamin supplementation associated with improved immunity among older adults

    Multivitamin supplementation associated with improved immunity among older adults August 19 2020. A report published on August 14, 2020 in the journal Nutrients revealed improved markers of immune function, immune status, and self-reported health status among healthy older adults who received a multivitamin and mineral formula.

    In a double-blind trial, 42 participants between 55 and 75 years of age were randomized to a placebo group or a group that received supplements that contained vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D and E; copper, iron, selenium and zinc for 12 weeks. At the beginning and end of the study, blood levels of vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, immune function markers and markers of immune status were evaluated.

    After 12 weeks, vitamin C and zinc levels and self-reported health had improved among supplemented patients. While the percentage of participants who reported illnesses was similar between the groups, those who received the multinutrient supplements experienced an average of 2.29 days ill in comparison with 6.43 days among the placebo group. People who received the nutrients also reported experiencing fewer and milder illness-associated symptoms compared with the placebo group.

    "The observed illness differences were striking," observed corresponding author Adrian Gombart, who is a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State University College of Science and a principal investigator at the Linus Pauling Institute. "Supplementation was associated with significantly increased circulating levels of zinc and vitamin C, and with illness symptoms that were less severe and shorter lasting. This supports findings that stretch back decades, even to the days of Linus Pauling's work with vitamin C. Our results suggest more and better designed research studies are needed."

    "Since multiple nutrients support immune function, older adults often benefit from multivitamin and mineral supplements,” he remarked. “These are readily available, inexpensive and generally regarded as safe."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Robuvit® supplementation associated with youthful vigor in men

    Robuvit® supplementation associated with youthful vigor in men August 17 2020. The September 2020 issue of Panminerva Medica reported the outcome of a pilot study that evaluated the effects of the French oak wood extract known as Robuvit® in a group of middle-aged men. The study resulted in improvement in association with Robuvit® supplementation among men who complained of a lack of vigor.

    “The concept of vigor as active physical, mental strength or force appropriate to the subject has been poorly considered by medicine,” Andrea Ledda and colleagues wrote. “Its decline is considered a ‘normal’ condition usually associated with ‘aging’ that does not require specific management.”

    The investigation include 40 men aged 50 to 65 years who received standard management for lack of vigor, including regular daily routines, exercise three times per week, recommendations for handling stress, and a diet that did not contain excessive fat, sugar or salt. Half of the group received 300 milligrams Robuvit® daily for four weeks. Questionnaires completed before and after the treatment period ascertained the presence of factors associated with a lack of vigor, including apathy, initial erectile dysfunction, lethargy and other issues.

    The number of men reporting each complaint was significantly reduced in the Robuvit® group after four weeks. In contrast, scores for aspects of vigor, including general physical or mental health, energy, force, strong feelings, enthusiasm, verve and mental vitality significantly improved in Robuvit® supplemented subjects in comparison with those who received standard management alone.

    “The concept of vigor, partially associated with premature aging, decreased level of activity and exercise, a sedentary lifestyle, appears to be a quantifiable entity,” the authors concluded. “Robuvit® supplementation — previously shown to be effective in chronic fatigue syndrome, convalescence, post-mononucleosis, PTSD or in liver failure — improves vigor; further evaluations need to be planned according to the concept of this pilot registry.”

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Alpha-lipoic acid supplementation associated with improved weight control

    Blueberries may help support muscle August 14 2020. Results from a randomized trial reported on July 21, 2020 in the Journal of Nutrition reveal an association between alpha-lipoic acid supplementation and improved weight management in overweight adults.

    "Scientists have been researching the potential health benefits of lipoic acid supplements for decades, including how it might enhance healthy aging and mitigate cardiovascular disease," noted Alexander Michels, who is a coauthor of the report and a researcher at Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute.

    The trial included 64 overweight or obese but otherwise healthy men and women. Participants received 600 milligrams R-alpha-lipoic acid or a placebo daily for 24 weeks. Body mass index, body fat, and other factors were assessed before and after the treatment period.

    "The data clearly showed a loss in body weight and body fat in people taking lipoic acid supplements," reported researcher Balz Frei, director emeritus of the Linus Pauling Institute. "Particularly in women and in the heaviest participants."

    "Many existing clinical studies using lipoic acid have focused on volunteers with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, making it difficult to determine if lipoic acid supplements simply act as a disease treatment or have other beneficial health effects," commented principal investigator Tory Hagen, also of the Linus Pauling Institute. "Another issue is the formulation of the supplement. Many previous studies have used the S form of lipoic acid, which is a product of industrial synthesis and not found in nature. We only used the R form of lipoic acid - the form found in the body naturally."

    "By the end of the study, some markers of inflammation declined," he added. "The findings also suggest that lipoic acid supplementation provides a mild reduction in oxidative stress. It is not a perfect panacea, but our results show that lipoic acid supplements can be beneficial."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Blueberries may help support muscle

    Blueberries may help support muscle August 10 2020. Findings from a study reported on July 17, 2020 in the Journal of Nutrition suggest that consuming a blueberry-rich diet may help improve muscle growth and repair in women.

    The study included 12 women between the ages of 21 and 40 years and 10 women aged 60 to 79. The women consumed 19 grams freeze-dried blueberries in the morning and evening (the equivalent of 1.75 cups of fresh blueberries per day) for six weeks in addition to their regular diet, while avoiding other foods that contain high amounts of polyphenols and anthocyanins. Serum samples were collected prior to the intervention, 1.5 hours after a morning dose of blueberries, and at four and six weeks. Serum was administered to cultured human muscle progenitor cells to determine the effects of blueberries on muscle cell proliferation, oxidative stress and metabolism.

    Serum collected from the younger women at six weeks resulted in a 40% increase in cultured muscle progenitor cells in comparison with serum collected at the beginning of the study. It was also associated with greater resistance to oxidative-stress induced cell death and improved oxygen consumption. Serum derived from the older group was not associated with any benefit.

    "The consequences associated with the deterioration of skeletal muscle are a loss of mobility, decreased quality of life, and ultimately, loss of independence,” observed lead researcher Anna Thalacker-Mercer, PhD. “Currently, research on dietary interventions to support skeletal muscle regeneration in humans is limited. This preliminary study of muscle progenitor cell function paves the way for future studies to develop clinical interventions. While the results cannot be generalized to all populations, this study is an important step in translating findings from cell culture and rodent studies to a potential dietary therapy for improving muscle regeneration after injury and during the aging process."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Calcium, vitamin D may help protect against vertigo recurrence

    Calcium, vitamin D may help protect against vertigo recurrence August 7 2020. On August 5, 2020, Neurology® published the finding of a lower rate of recurrence of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) among people who consumed calcium and vitamin D supplements compared to unsupplemented patients. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is among the most common types of vertigo, which occurs during a change in head position. Although BPPV is treatable by engaging in a series of head movements, the condition frequently recurs.

    "Our study suggests that for people with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, taking a supplement of vitamin D and calcium is a simple, low-risk way to prevent vertigo from recurring," commented coauthor Ji-Soo Kim, MD, PhD

    The study took place in eight locations between December 2013 and May 2017. Vitamin D levels were measured in an intervention group consisting of 518 participants treated for BPPV, and those in the group whose levels were below 20 ng/mL were assigned to receive 500 milligrams calcium and 400 international units of vitamin D twice daily for one year. Five hundred twelve additional subjects with BPPV served as an observation group that participated in follow-ups without being further evaluated for vitamin D or receiving supplements.

    Thirty-eight percent of those in the intervention group experienced recurrence of vertigo in comparison with 46.7% of the observation group. Intervention group participants who received the supplements had an annual vertigo recurrence rate after an average of one year that was 24% lower than the observation group. Those with the lowest levels of vitamin D experienced a 45% annual reduction.

    "Our results are exciting because so far, going to the doctor to have them perform head movements has been the main way we treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo," Dr Kim remarked. "Our study suggests an inexpensive, low-risk treatment like vitamin D and calcium tablets may be effective at preventing this common, and commonly recurring, disorder."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Fisetin derivative shows promise against Alzheimer disease in mice

    Fisetin derivative shows promise against Alzheimer disease in mice August 5 2020. The September 2020 issue of Redox Biology published the finding of Salk Institute researchers of an ability for a compound derived from fisetin, a flavonoid occurring in many plants, to reverse memory loss in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease. The compound, known as CMS121, which was synthesized by Pamela Maher and colleagues, was recently demonstrated to slow brain cell aging.

    "This was a more rigorous test of how well this compound would work in a therapeutic setting than our previous studies on it," commented Dr Maher. "Based on the success of this study, we're now beginning to pursue clinical trials."

    In the current research, normal mice and mice that were genetically modified to develop Alzheimer disease were given CMS121 starting at nine months of age. Untreated Alzheimer mice and normal mice served as controls. At 12 months, memory and behavior tests revealed that treated Alzheimer mice performed as well as control mice and that Alzheimer mice that did not receive CMS121 performed worse.

    An increase in lipid peroxidation was observed in brains cells of untreated Alzheimer mice in comparison with Alzheimer mice that received CMS121. "That not only confirmed that lipid peroxidation is altered in Alzheimer's, but that this drug is actually normalizing those changes," remarked first author Gamze Ates.

    It was further determined that CMS121 lowered levels of the lipid-producing molecule fatty acid synthetase (FASN). Brain samples from human Alzheimer patients revealed that greater amounts of FASN were present in comparison with cognitively healthy patients, suggesting that FASN could be a drug target for Alzheimer disease.

    "There has been a big struggle in the field right now to find targets to go after," Dr Maher stated. "So, identifying a new target in an unbiased way like this is really exciting and opens lots of doors."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Soy isoflavone consumption associated with lower heart disease risk.

    Soy isoflavone consumption associated with lower heart disease risk. August 3 2020. The April 7, 2020 issue of Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, revealed a lower risk of heart disease in association with regular intake of tofu or soy isoflavones in comparison with infrequent intake. Tofu, a soybean curd, contains a high amount of isoflavones, which occur in other beans, nuts and fruits.

    The investigation included 74,241 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study from 1984 to 2012, 94,233 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II, conducted from 1991 to 2013; and 42,226 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study between 1986 and 2012. Subjects did not have cancer or heart disease upon enrollment. Surveys completed every two to four years provided information concerning food intake and medical records documented cases of heart disease.

    Subjects whose intake of soy isoflavones was among the top 20% had a 13% lower adjusted risk of developing heart disease in comparison with subjects whose intake was among the lowest 20%. Tofu consumed more than once per week was associated with an 18% lower heart disease risk compared to once per month consumption. Postmenopausal women and premenopausal women who did not use hormone replacement therapy appeared to enjoy the greatest benefit.

    "Other human trials and animal studies of isoflavones, tofu and cardiovascular risk markers have also indicated positive effects, so people with an elevated risk of developing heart disease should evaluate their diets," commented lead researcher Qi Sun, MD, ScD, of Harvard University's T. H. Chan School of Public Health. "If their diet is packed with unhealthy foods, such as red meat, sugary beverages and refined carbohydrates, they should switch to healthier alternatives. Tofu and other isoflavone-rich, plant-based foods are excellent protein sources and alternatives to animal proteins."

     

    —D Dye

     

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