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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.

 

  • Meta-analysis concludes resveratrol beneficially modulates glycemic control in diabetics
  • Polyphenols may improve leaky gut
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation associated with improved lung cancer survival
  • Research suggests calorie restriction may be better than keto for cancer patients
  • Turmeric supplementation associated with liver enzymes NAFLD patients
  • Greater intake of plant omega 3 associated with lower risk of mortality during up to 32 years of follow-up
  • Omega 3 could offset effects of processed food
  • Mushroom consumption linked to lower depression risk
  • Vitamin B12 improves Alzheimer symptoms in roundworms
  • Basil compound may help protect against Alzheimer disease
  • Ketone supplements may support brain health in obese individuals
  • Nicotinamide riboside supplementation could help prevent muscle loss during calorie restriction
  • Tea associated with lower risk of upper respiratory tract infection
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    Meta-analysis concludes resveratrol beneficially modulates glycemic control in diabetics

    Resveratrol beneficially modulates glycemic control October 29 2021. Findings from a meta-analysis of clinical trials published on October 16, 2021 in Medicina Clinica (Barcelona) revealed an association between supplementing with resveratrol and improvements in glycemic control.

    “Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a progressive meta-inflammatory disorder, which induces micro and macrovascular complications,” Ibrahim A. Abdelhaleem and colleagues wrote. “Resveratrol is a nutraceutical known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.”

    “This systematic review and meta-analysis is the first to consider resveratrol’s efficacy on glycemic and cardiometabolic parameters in patients with T2DM.”

    Sixteen randomized trials that included a total of 871 diabetic men and women were selected for the meta-analysis. The trials compared resveratrol to a placebo with or without concurrent antidiabetic medications or other drug treatment.

    Resveratrol doses of 500 milligrams or more were associated with lower fasting blood glucose, fasting serum insulin, insulin resistance, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure in comparison with a placebo. Resveratrol was associated with a greater reduction in hemoglobin A1c (a marker of long-term glucose control) compared to a placebo in trials of three months duration. When HDL cholesterol levels were analyzed, resveratrol was superior to a placebo in trials of less than two months duration. Resveratrol was also associated with a reduction in systolic blood pressure compared to measurements obtained in the placebo group. Furthermore, triglycerides were lower in association with resveratrol in trials that lasted six to twelve months.

    “We concluded that resveratrol appropriately improved insulin sensitivity by decreasing insulin resistance, fasting blood glucose, fasting serum insulin, and hemoglobin A1c,” the authors concluded. “In addition, it improved other cardiometabolic parameters, including triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The most appropriate glycemic control effect was fulfilled when consumed for at least one month with doses of 500 mg or more.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Polyphenols may improve leaky gut

    Polyphenols may improve leaky gut October 27 2021. Research reported on September 8, 2021 in Clinical Nutrition further explored the association between increased polyphenol intake and decreased intestinal permeability among adults with leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome is characterized by increased permeability of the intestinal wall and is associated with food sensitivities and gastrointestinal symptoms.

    The MaPLE randomized, crossover trial included 51 men and women aged 60 years and older with leaky gut syndrome. Participants consumed a control diet or a diet that provided three servings per day of polyphenol-rich foods including berries, blood oranges, pomegranate juice, green tea, apples and dark chocolate for eight weeks. The diet was found to decrease intestinal permeability by altering gut microbiota.

    To further explore the relationship between polyphenols, gut microbiota and the intestinal barrier, the current study was designed to evaluate changes in serum metabolites among participants in the MaPLE trial. According to coauthors Gregorio Perón and Tomás Meroño, “We studied the existing relationship between the metabolism of the elements of the diet, microbiota and intestinal permeability, by analyzing the changes that are caused by a polyphenol-rich diet in the microbiota of the participants in our study and testing the resulting improvement of their gut barrier.”

    In comparison with the control diet, the polyphenol-rich diet was associated with an increase in serum metabolites that are associated with polyphenols and methylxanthines (which occur in coffee, tea and cocoa). Higher levels of methylxanthines were associated with an increase in specific microbiota and a decrease in zonulin, a marker of intestinal permeability. Age, zonulin levels prior to the diet intervention, and changes in the abundance of the Porphyromonadaceae family of bacteria were the main factors that influenced the effect of a polyphenol-rich diet on intestinal permeability.

    “A higher intake of fruits, vegetables and foods such as those described in this paper provide fiber and polyphenols that could help counterbalance the damaging of permeability due to aging,” senior author Cristina Andrés-Lacueva concluded.

     

    —D Dye

     

    Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation associated with improved lung cancer survival

    Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation associated with improved lung cancer survival October 25 2021. A systematic review and meta-analysis of over 1.7 million men and women published on October 20, 2021 in Nutrition and Cancer found a lower risk of lung cancer in association with increased intake of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), as well as a significant increase in overall lung cancer survival in association with PUFA supplementation.

    “To the best of our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to date to quantitatively evaluate the association between intake of fish and PUFA and risk of lung cancer,” authors Dan Lv of the Medical School of Ningbo University and colleagues announced.

    The researchers analyzed 13 population-based prospective cohort studies that examined the role of fish or omega-3 PUFA intake in the prevention of lung cancer among a total of 1,785,698 men and women. Two randomized trials were also analyzed that reported the association between PUFA supplementation during chemotherapy and lung cancer mortality.

    When the seven prospective cohort studies that examined the intake of fish were analyzed, fish intake was not associated with the risk of lung cancer. Greater omega 3 intake, as reported by five prospective studies, was associated with a 1% lower risk of the disease among men. Each 5 gram per day increment of omega 3 intake was associated with a 5% lower risk of lung cancer. Analysis of trials that evaluated the addition of omega 3 supplements to chemotherapy found that overall survival among supplemented participants was nearly double that of participants who received chemotherapy alone.

    “Although smoking cessation is the single biggest factor associated with lung cancer risk reduction, this study adds to a growing body of evidence that diet may have a role in modestly reducing lung cancer risk,” the authors concluded.

     

    —D Dye

     

    Research suggests calorie restriction may be better than keto for cancer patients

    Research suggests calorie restriction may be better than keto for cancer patients October 22 2021. Findings reported on October 20, 2021 in Nature revealed that restricting the intake of calories, including fats, rather than adopting a regimen of restricted carbohydrates and increased fats as characterized by a ketogenic diet, was associated with slower tumor growth in mice.

    Evan Lien, PhD, and associates evaluated the effects of calorie restricted, ketogenic or normal diets in mice with pancreatic tumors. While both glucose and plasma and tumor lipid levels declined in calorie-restricted animals, ketogenic diet-fed mice had lower glucose levels, but an increase in lipids.

    In comparison with mice given ketogenic diets, slower tumor growth occurred in the calorie-restricted mice. The finding can be explained by the animals’ reduced levels of lipids, which are needed by cancer cells for membrane production. Diet-induced lipid depletion decreases cellular levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids because they can’t be manufactured by the body and must be obtained from food. When these lipids aren’t available, cells make their own in a process that requires the enzyme SCD, which converts saturated fatty acids into unsaturated fatty acids. Since both diets lowered SCD activity, mice that received calorie restricted diets couldn’t obtain enough fatty acids from their diet or produce their own, whereas animals on the ketogenic diet had abundant lipids. “Not only does caloric restriction starve tumors of lipids, it also impairs the process that allows them to adapt to it,” Dr Lien explained. “That combination is really contributing to the inhibition of tumor growth.”

    “The purpose of these studies isn’t necessarily to recommend a diet, but it’s to really understand the underlying biology,” Dr Lien stated. “They provide some sense of the mechanisms of how these diets work, and that can lead to rational ideas on how we might mimic those situations for cancer therapy.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Turmeric supplementation associated with liver enzymes NAFLD patients

    Turmeric supplementation associated with liver enzymes NAFLD patients October 20 2021. A randomized, double-blind trial reported on October 18, 2021 in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome resulted in improvements in liver enzymes among men and women with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) who received turmeric supplements in comparison with a placebo.

    Turmeric is an herb used in traditional Indian medicine and cuisine. Its active constituent is curcumin, whose health-supportive properties have been recently explored.

    The trial included 62 participants who received two grams turmeric per day or a placebo for eight weeks. Blood samples collected before and after the treatment period were analyzed for the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST); lipid levels including total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, and malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidative stress. Results of ultrasound examinations of the liver conducted at the beginning and end of the trial were used to grade the degree of liver fat.

    Participants who received turmeric experienced a significant decline in AST and ALT compared to the placebo group. Triglycerides, LDL, HDL and malondialdehyde improved in comparison with levels measured at the beginning of the trial in the turmeric group but did not significantly differ from the placebo group. There were no significant changes in liver fat in both groups at the end of the study, which the authors suggested may have been due to the short treatment period. However, there were significant reductions in NAFLD grade within the turmeric-treated group in comparison with measurements obtained before the treatment period.

    Report authors Maryam Jarhahzadeh of Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran and colleagues concluded that turmeric “could be considered as a good adjuvant therapeutic supplement with hypolipidemic and antioxidant properties for this disease.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Greater intake of plant omega 3 associated with lower risk of mortality during up to 32 years of follow-up

    Greater intake of plant omega 3 associated with lower risk of mortality during up to 32 years of follow-up October 18 2021. Findings from a meta-analysis published on October 13, 2021 in The BMJ revealed a lower risk of dying during follow-up periods ranging from 2 to 32 years among people who consumed more alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega 3 fatty acid that occurs in plants such as flax. Higher blood levels of the fatty acid were also associated with a decrease in risk.

    The meta-analysis included 41 studies published from 1991 to 2021 that analyzed the association between ALA and the risk of mortality during follow-up among 1,197,564 participants aged 18 to 98 years. Age and other considerations were factored into the analysis.

    During the studies’ follow-up periods, 198,113 deaths from all causes occurred, including 62,773 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 65,954 from cancer. Compared to a low intake, having a high intake of ALA was associated with a 10% lower risk of dying from any cause, an 8% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and an 11% lower risk of mortality from coronary heart disease. Each 1 gram per day increase in ALA intake, which is equivalent to a half ounce of walnuts, was associated with a 5% lower risk of mortality from any cause as well as from cardiovascular disease.

    “In a usual dietary pattern, ALA intake is so small that statistical analyses might encounter difficulties in finding an association with health outcomes,” authors Sina Naghshi of Tehran University of Medical Sciences and colleagues noted. “Based on dietary reference intake, however, the recommended intake of ALA is 1.1 g/day for women and 1.6 g/day for men. ALA intake much more than 1.6 g/day or much less than 1.1 g/day might have beneficial or deleterious effects on health.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Omega 3 could offset effects of processed food

    Omega 3 could offset effects of processed food October 15 2021. The November 2021 issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity reported findings from a study that suggested a protective effect for the omega 3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in fish oil and algae, against the adverse effects of processed foods that contain a high amount of refined carbohydrates.

    The four-week study included young and old rats that received normal chow or a diet designed to mimic a human diet that is high in processed foods, which consisted of 63.3% refined carbohydrates. Some of the rats that received the processed food diet also received DHA.

    In comparison with young rats, old animals given the processed food diet had memory deficits and increased expression of proinflammatory genes in the hippocampus and amygdala areas of the brain (which are important to memory) at the end of the four week period. “The amygdala in humans has been implicated in memories associated with emotional – fear and anxiety-producing – events,” explained senior study author Ruth Barrientos.

    “The fact we’re seeing these effects so quickly is a little bit alarming,” she remarked.

    Old rats that were given DHA were largely protected from the adverse effects of the processed food diet. Animals that received DHA had less inflammatory gene expression and memory deficits compared to old rats on the diet that did not receive DHA.

    “These findings indicate that consumption of a processed diet can produce significant and abrupt memory deficits – and in the aging population, rapid memory decline has a greater likelihood of progressing into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr Barrientos stated. “By being aware of this, maybe we can limit processed foods in our diets and increase consumption of foods that are rich in the omega 3 fatty acid DHA to either prevent or slow that progression.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Mushroom consumption linked to lower depression risk

    Mushroom consumption linked to lower depression risk October 13 2021. The November 2021 issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders published the findings of researchers at Penn State of an association between greater mushroom intake and a lower risk of depression. “The study adds to the growing list of possible health benefits of eating mushrooms,” stated coauthor Joshua Muscat, who is a Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine Cancer Institute researcher and professor of public health sciences.

    The investigation included data from 24,699 men and women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005–2016. The subjects were of an average age of 45.5 years. Twenty-four hour dietary recall responses for a period of up to two days provided information concerning mushroom intake. Patient health questionnaire scores determined possible depression.

    Mushrooms were consumed by 5.2% of the subjects and questionnaire scores indicated depression among 5.9%. In comparison with the risk experienced by men and women who were among the lowest one-third of mushroom consumers, those among the middle third whose median intake was 4.9 grams per day had a 69% lower adjusted risk of depression. No dose-response relationship was observed.

    “Mushrooms are the highest dietary source of the amino acid ergothioneine — an anti-inflammatory which cannot be synthesized by humans,” noted lead researcher Djibril Ba, who is a recent graduate of the epidemiology doctoral program at Penn State College of Medicine. “Having high levels of this may lower the risk of oxidative stress, which could also reduce the symptoms of depression.”

    In addition, white button mushrooms, the most consumed mushroom in the U.S., contain potassium, which is associated with lower anxiety. Mushrooms also contain vitamin B12. Furthermore, some species, particularly lion’s mane, may encourage nerve growth factor synthesis, which could help prevent some neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression.

     

    —D Dye

     

    Vitamin B12 improves Alzheimer symptoms in roundworms

    Vitamin B12 improves Alzheimer symptoms in roundworms October 11 2021. An article appearing on September 28, 2021 in Cell Reports revealed a role for vitamin B12 in delaying some of the effects of amyloid beta, a toxic protein that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer disease patients.

    The finding was the result of an investigation of factors contributing to Alzheimer disease using worms known as C. elegans that were genetically modified to express amyloid beta. In this model of Alzheimer disease, amyloid beta induces time-dependent paralysis, defects in the shape of the cells’ energy-producing organelles known as mitochondria, decreased levels of the energy molecule ATP and oxidative stress.

    “As humans, we have immense genetic diversity and such complex diets that it makes it really hard to decipher how one dietary factor is affecting the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s,” commented senior author Jessica E. Tanis. “The worms we use all have exactly the same genetic background, they react to amyloid beta like humans do, and we can exactly control what they eat, so we can really get down to the molecular mechanisms at work.”

    Acting on the discovery that the type of diet received by the worms was associated the time needed to develop paralysis, Dr Tanis’ team determined that one of the diets was deficient in vitamin B12. “When we gave vitamin B12 to the worms that were vitamin B12 deficient, paralysis occurred much more slowly, which immediately told us that B12 was beneficial,” Dr Tanis reported. “The worms with B12 also had higher energy levels and lower oxidative stress in their cells.”

    “Subclinical B12 deficiency is common, with a prevalence of 10%–15% among individuals older than 60 years and up to 35% among those older than 80 years, and low B12 status may be a modifiable risk factor for Alzheimer disease,” the authors wrote.

     

    —D Dye

     

    Basil compound may help protect against Alzheimer disease

    Basil compound may help protect against Alzheimer disease October 8 2021. A study reported on October 6, 2021 in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience suggested a protective role for a compound found in basil against brain changes that occur with Alzheimer disease.

    The finding is the result of research conducted by Hariom Yadav, PhD, and colleagues, who explored the role of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in brain health. Short-chain fatty acids are metabolites produced by beneficial intestinal bacteria. The presence of these fatty acids, which provide nourishment to the cells of the colon, is lower in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer disease in comparison with healthy individuals, yet SCFAs’ protective mechanism against these conditions had not been identified.

    Dr Yadav’s team found that inhibition of a brain receptor for SCFAs known as free fatty acid receptor 2 (FFAR2) contributed to toxicity induced by amyloid beta, a protein that accumulates in the brain during Alzheimer disease. “Our study is the first to discover that stimulation of the FFAR2 sensing mechanism by these microbial metabolites (SCFAs) can be beneficial in protecting brain cells against toxic accumulation of the amyloid-beta protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr Yadav announced.

    By screening over 144,000 compounds, the researchers identified fenchol, found in basil and other plants, as having a considerable ability to enhance the activity of FFAR2. They determined that fenchol offered protection against neurodegeneration induced by amyloid beta in human brain cells and roundworms. It was observed that fenchol decreased senescent “zombie” neurons that are commonly found in the brains of people with Alzheimer disease.

    “Fenchol actually affects the two related mechanisms of senescence and proteolysis,” Dr Yadav explained. “It reduces the formation of half-dead zombie neuronal cells and also increases the degradation of (nonfunctioning) amyloid beta, so that amyloid protein is cleared from the brain much faster.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Ketone supplements may support brain health in obese individuals

    Ketone supplements may support brain health in obese individuals October 6 2021. Obesity has been associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative disorders. On October 4, 2021, The Journal of Physiology reported findings of a study which suggested that supplementing with ketones may help protect brain health and cognitive function in obese adults.

    "Ketone supplements containing β-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB) are a purported therapeutic strategy for improving brain health in at-risk populations," noted authors Jeremy Walsh of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and colleagues.

    In a randomized crossover study, 14 obese men and women of an average age of 56 years received 12 grams of β-OHB or a placebo 15 minutes before each meal for 14 days. All meals and snacks consumed by the participants during the study were provided by the research team. The treatment period was followed by another 14-day period during which participants who were given ketones received a placebo and those who were given a placebo received the ketone supplement. Participants underwent tests of cognitive function and ultrasound evaluation of the extracranial arteries in the neck before and after each treatment period. Serum and plasma levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports neuron growth, differentiation and maintenance, were also evaluated at these time points.

    Supplementation with B-OHB was associated with improved working memory and processing speed and increased blood flow to the brain. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor was not affected.

    "We show for the first time that 14 days of thrice-daily β-OHB supplementation improves aspects of cognition and increases cerebrovascular flow, conductance and shear rate in the extracranial arteries of adults with obesity," the authors announced.

    "Once validated with a larger group of people, we expect that these supplements can be used to protect and improve brain health in people with obesity," Dr Walsh predicted.

     

    —D Dye

     

    Nicotinamide riboside supplementation could help prevent muscle loss during calorie restriction

    Nicotinamide riboside supplementation could help prevent muscle loss during calorie restriction October 4 2021. A study reported on September 13, 2021 in Frontiers in Nutrition revealed benefits for adding nicotinamide riboside (NR), a member of the vitamin B3 family, to calorie restriction, which involves significantly reducing calorie intake to manage weight or improve health.

    "Nutritional compounds combined with conventional weight loss interventions have been widely encouraged against obesity, especially if they simultaneously bring benefits to skeletal muscle tissue," the authors noted.

    Skeletal muscle tissue loss is a side effect of calorie restricted diets. Among other mechanisms, calorie restriction may induce an unbalanced inflammatory profile in the brain’s hypothalamus that can stimulate muscle protein breakdown.

    In the study, 52 rats received a diet designed to induce obesity or a standard diet for six weeks, after which the some of the obese animals received a calorie restricted diet with or without NR. A portion of the control animals that received a standard diet also received NR.

    Among rats that continued to receive the obesity-inducing or standard diets, weight gain was less in those that received NR. Calorie restricted animals experienced declines in body weight that were greater in the NR-supplemented group.

    Rats that received a restricted diet had lower muscle tissue weight compared to the other animals and an increase in hypothalamic TNF-a, a marker of inflammation. Supplementation with NR was associated with an increase muscle tissue weight in all groups in comparison with unsupplemented animals. Calorie restricted animals that received NR had levels of TNF-a that were significantly lower than rats that did not receive the compound.

    "These data, although succinct, are the first to evidence the effects of NR on skeletal muscle and neuroinflammation when associated with calorie restriction," the authors announced. "NR emerges as a potential adjuvant for preventing muscle mass loss in the weight loss processes."

     

    —D Dye

     

    Tea associated with lower risk of upper respiratory tract infection

    Tea associated with lower risk of upper respiratory tract infection October 1 2021. Findings from a review and meta-analysis published on September 22, 2021 in the European Journal of Nutrition adds evidence to a protective effect of tea and tea catechins against the risk of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).

    Catechins are flavanols that occur in tea leaves, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has shown antiviral effects.

    Researchers selected four prospective cohort studies and six randomized controlled trials that examined the effects of gargling or consuming tea or tea catechins against the risk of viral upper respiratory infection, including influenza and the common cold, among a total of 3,838 subjects. The prospective cohort studies involved groups that customarily gargled black and green tea, drank black and green tea, or consumed a type of tea known as Goishi green tea. The randomized trials compared the effects of gargling with or consuming bottled green tea or green tea extracts (catechin solutions or capsules) to a placebo or water.

    In comparison with the control subjects, tea gargling and the intake of tea catechins was associated with a 21% lower risk of influenza and acute upper respiratory tract infection compared to the control subjects. When only randomized trials were analyzed, tea gargling or tea catechin consumption was also associated with a 21% lower risk of influenza and acute upper respiratory tract infection compared to the control participants. A similar reduction in risk was observed in an analysis of the prospective cohort studies.

    "To our knowledge, the present study is the first to quantify the protective effects of tea gargling and tea catechin consumption against influenza infection and URTI," the authors wrote. "Our findings suggest that incorporating tea catechin consumption and/or tea gargling into the daily routine may be effective nonpharmaceutical interventions for preventing viral respiratory infections, but further large-scale studies are needed."

     

    —D Dye

     

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