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.

 

  • Loss of resilience proposed as life span predictor
  • Testosterone therapy associated with decrease in fatty liver
  • Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation could help reduce early preterm birth risk
  • Nearsightedness associated with low melatonin levels
  • Low dose aspirin as good as regular dose for cardiovascular event prevention
  • Probiotic use associated with fewer upper respiratory symptoms
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplementation cancels vegan women’s increased fracture risk
  • Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation improves cardiometabolic factors in kidney disease patients
  • Vitamin D useful addition to ED med
  • High prevalence of deficient vitamin D levels among women scheduled for knee replacement
  • Magnesium, B vitamins, green tea, rhodiola, help manage social stress
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    Loss of resilience proposed as life span predictor

    Loss of resilience proposed as life span predictor May 28 2021. An article appearing on May 25, 2021 in Nature Communications reported research that determined an association between aging and an increase in the time necessary to recover from stressors.

    The study utilized data from participants in UK Biobank and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Complete blood count test results and physical activity levels as reported over time by cell phone data were used to determine average recovery periods.

    A linear age-associated increase in people’s recovery time was revealed after 40 years of age. The trend predicted that a complete loss of ability to recover would occur between the ages of 120 to 150 years, even among men and women who did not have major chronic illnesses. The finding may explain the observed lack of increase in human maximum life span during an era in which average life span has been increasing.

    "This work, in my opinion, is a conceptual breakthrough because it determines and separates the roles of fundamental factors in human longevity - the aging, defined as progressive loss of resilience, and age-related diseases, as ‘executors of death’ following the loss of resilience,” commented report coauthor Andrei Gudkov, PhD, who is the Chair of the Department of Cell Stress Biology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “It explains why even most effective prevention and treatment of age-related diseases could only improve the average but not the maximal lifespan unless true antiaging therapies have been developed."

    "Aging in humans exhibits universal features common to complex systems operating on the brink of disintegration,” noted co-corresponding author Peter O. Fedichev. “This work is a demonstration of how concepts borrowed from physical sciences can be used in biology to probe different aspects of senescence and frailty to produce strong interventions against aging."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Testosterone therapy associated with decrease in fatty liver

    Testosterone therapy associated with decrease in fatty liver May 26 2021. Findings from a study presented on May 25, 2021 at the 23rd European Congress of Endocrinology revealed a benefit for testosterone therapy in obese men with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a disease linked to type 2 diabetes. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver in people who do not consume an excessive amount of alcohol.

    The study enrolled 55 obese, type 2 diabetic men with low levels of testosterone. Twenty-eight participants received testosterone undecanoatefor two years and 27 participants received a placebo for one year followed by testosterone during the second year. Blood samples collected at the beginning of the trial and at 12 and 24 months were analyzed for levels of testosterone, prostate specific antigen and other factors. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease grade assessments were determined from the results of liver ultrasounds performed at the beginning and end of the study.

    Testosterone levels improved after the first year in both groups, but the increase was statistically significant only among men who received the hormone. After two years, both groups had testosterone levels within a normal range and a lower NAFLD grade compared to the beginning of the trial. The participants also experienced a reduction in low testosterone symptoms.

    “Improvement of NAFLD grade was a result of improved insulin resistance, reduction in body mass index and body weight, along with changes in body composition,” stated lead researcher Kristina Groti Antonic. “As we know, testosterone increases lean body mass at the expense of fat mass, either alone or in combination with behavioral and lifestyle modifications. Testosterone with its anti-inflammatory effects also reduced chronic inflammatory state in the liver. Our study shows that testosterone therapy could be used as a suitable therapy for obese men living with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.”

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation could help reduce early preterm birth risk

    Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation could help reduce early preterm birth risk May 24 2021. Results from a trial reported on May 17, 2021 in the Lancet journal EClinicalMedicine suggest a protective role for supplementation with the omega 3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) against the risk of early preterm birth, defined as a delivery that occurs prior to 34 weeks of gestation. The condition is associated with a high risk of infant mortality.

    The trial included 1,100 women between 12 and 20 weeks of gestation who received 200 milligrams (mg) or 1,000 mg DHA daily. Blood samples collected upon enrollment, just prior to delivery and in umbilical cord blood were analyzed for red blood cell levels of DHA.

    The rate of early preterm birth was 1.7% among women who received 1,000 mg DHA and 2.4% among those who received 200 mg. Among women who had low DHA levels upon enrollment, those who received the higher dose of DHA had a 2% early preterm birth rate in comparison with a rate of 4.1% among women who received the lower dose. The higher dose was also associated with a reduction in serious maternal and infant adverse events.

    "This study tells us that pregnant women should be taking DHA," commented first author Susan E. Carlson, of the University of Kansas. "And many would benefit from a higher amount than in some prenatal supplements, particularly if they are not already taking a prenatal vitamin with at least 200 mg DHA or eating seafood or eggs regularly.”

    "This study is a potential game changer for obstetricians and their patients," added co-author Carl P. Weiner, MD, also of the University of Kansas. "The dramatic decrease in early preterm birth with DHA supplementation will improve short- and long -term outcomes for children, families and society in a cost-effective fashion."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Nearsightedness associated with low melatonin levels

    Nearsightedness associated with low melatonin levels May 19 2021. The March 2021 issue of the journal Sleep published the finding of researchers at Flinders University in Australia of a greater risk of poor sleep, delayed circadian rhythms and diminished levels of the hormone melatonin among individuals with myopia (nearsightedness) in comparison with those who have normal eyesight. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain in response to darkness, leading to the onset of sleep.

    The incidence of myopia, which often appears in children during puberty, is increasing worldwide. Research suggests an association between more screen time and a greater risk of myopia.

    The study included 18 participants with myopia and 14 participants with normal vision, of an average age of 22 years. Salivary melatonin was collected hourly, beginning five hours before and ending two hours after individual average sleep onset in a sleep laboratory. Total melatonin production was measured in urine collected from the time period during 6:00 pm until awakening.

    Myopic participants experienced a one hour and 12-minute delay in salivary dim light melatonin onset compared to those with normal vision, indicating delayed circadian rhythm. Myopes also had a delay in sleep onset, shorter duration of sleep, and a decrease in melatonin output compared to non-myopic individuals.

    "Disruptions in circadian rhythms and sleep due to the advent of artificial light and the use of light-emitting electronic devices for reading and entertainment has become a recognized health concern in several fields, but its impact on eye health has not been studied extensively," commented first author Ranjay Chakraborty.

    "Because myopia typically develops during childhood, as a next step, we would like to examine circadian rhythm timing, total production of melatonin, sleep and light exposure at night in young children - the actual target population for myopia prevention,” Dr Chakraborty stated.

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Low dose aspirin as good as regular dose for cardiovascular event prevention

    Low dose aspirin as good as regular dose for cardiovascular event prevention May 17 2021. Results from the ADAPTABLE study presented on May 15, 2021 at the American College of Cardiology's 70th Annual Scientific Session indicate that prophylactic use of low dose (baby) aspirin was as effective as regular-strength aspirin in the reduction of the risk of heart attack, stroke or death from any cause during follow-up.

    The study included 15,076 cardiovascular disease patients enrolled by 40 U.S. Centers from April 2016 through June 2019. Information concerning the subjects’ medical histories and clinical events was obtained from medical records and insurance documentation. During the 26.2-month median follow-up period, death or hospitalization for a heart attack or stroke occurred in 590 subjects randomized to 81 mg aspirin and 569 patients who were assigned to 325 mg aspirin per day. The risk of major bleeding, which is a concern associated with long term aspirin use, was rare in both groups.

    "There really hasn't been a clear answer about what is the most effective and safe dose of aspirin for these patients, noted lead author Schuyler Jones, MD, who is an assistant professor of medicine at the Duke Clinical Research Institute of Duke University School of Medicine. “Instead, there have been conflicting findings, with some research suggesting 81 mg may reduce the risk of bleeding, but the higher dose may provide more effective prevention of heart attacks and stroke. However, these earlier studies have primarily investigated aspirin--either 81 or 325 mg daily dose--compared with placebo, whereas ADAPTABLE was a direct comparison of the two doses. We found that there is no difference between the two doses in terms of effectiveness and safety, and we think that because the 81 mg dose had better long-term adherence, it may be the best choice for patients."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Probiotic use associated with fewer upper respiratory symptoms

    Probiotic use associated with fewer upper respiratory symptoms May 14 2021. Findings from a study scheduled for presentation on May 23, 2021 at Digestive Disease Week® 2021 revealed an association between the use of probiotics and a reduction in upper respiratory symptoms among older and overweight men and women.

    The current study included 220 participants in an earlier double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that investigated the effects of six months of daily probiotic supplementation on weight loss. The research team, led by Benjamin Mullish, MD, reviewed diary entries completed by the subjects during the trial to determine the presence of upper respiratory symptoms that included sore throat, wheezing and coughing.

    After one to two weeks of supplementation, subjects who received probiotics exhibited an increase in the time it took to record their first upper respiratory tract symptoms. At the end of the study, there was a 27% lower incidence of upper respiratory tract symptoms reported by probiotic-supplemented participants in comparison with those who received a placebo. The benefit was greatest among those who were at least 45 years of age or obese.  

    "This is not necessarily the most intuitive idea, that putting bacteria into your gut might reduce your risk of respiratory infection, but it's further evidence that the gut microbiome has a complex relationship with our various organ systems,” commented Dr Mullish. “It doesn't just affect how our gut works or how our liver works, it affects aspects of how our whole body works."

    "These findings add to growing interest in the gut-lung axis -- how the gut and the lungs communicate with each other," he added. "It's not just the gut sending out signals that affect how the lungs work. It works in both directions. It adds to the story that changes in the gut microbiome can affect large aspects of our health."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Calcium and vitamin D supplementation cancels vegan women’s increased fracture risk

    Calcium and vitamin D supplementation cancels vegan women’s increased fracture risk May 12 2021. A report published on May 8, 2021 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed findings from the Adventist Health Study 2 of a protective role for supplementing with calcium and vitamin D against the risk of hip fracture among female vegans, who have a greater risk of fracture than the nonvegan population. In fact, supplementing with calcium and vitamin D lowered vegan women’s risk of hip fracture to that of nonvegetarians.

    In their introduction, Donna L. Thorpe and colleagues at Loma Linda University noted that although diets that include an abundance of fruit and vegetables are associated with better bone outcomes, a vegan diet, which does not include animal products, may fail to provide adequate calcium, vitamin D, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids and protein, all of which have been associated with greater bone mineral density.

    The current study included 34,542 men and women aged 45 and older who enrolled in the Adventist Health Study 2 between 2002 and 2007. Questionnaires completed upon enrollment provided information concerning dietary intake. Follow-up questionnaires completed every two years through 2015 included queries concerning the incidence of hip or wrist fractures.

    During a median follow-up period of 8.4 years, 679 hip fractures occurred. While female vegans had a 53% higher adjusted risk of experiencing a hip fracture than nonvegetarians, no association between hip fracture and diet patterns was observed in men. However, when vegan women who supplemented with both calcium and vitamin D were analyzed, they had a risk of hip fracture that was similar to women with other dietary patterns.

    “Without combined supplementation of both vitamin D and calcium, female vegans are at high risk of hip fracture,” the authors concluded. “However, with supplementation the excessive risk associated with vegans disappeared.”

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation improves cardiometabolic factors in kidney disease patients

    Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation improves cardiometabolic factors in kidney disease patients May 10 2021. Results from a meta-analysis reported on May 1, 2021 in BMC Nephrology add evidence to a cardiometabolic benefit for supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids among people with chronic kidney disease.

    “Patients with chronic kidney diseases (CKD) who are maintained with dialysis or nephropathy have a risk of coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and atherosclerosis,” Siavash Fazelian and colleagues explained. “Cardiometabolic factors such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and obesity are determinant risk factors in the general population.”

    Dr Fazelian and associates selected 13 articles that reported the effects of omega 3 supplementation on cardiometabolic outcomes in randomized, placebo-controlled trials that included a total of 708 men and women with chronic kidney disease. Meta-analysis of 11 trials uncovered a significant reduction in chronic kidney disease patients’ total cholesterol levels in association with omega 3. When the 12 trials that reported the effects of omega 3 on triglyceride levels were analyzed, a reduction among supplemented participants was also revealed. Further analysis determined that consuming 2,000 milligrams per day or less of omega 3 was significantly associated with lower total cholesterol and consuming the fatty acids for at least 10 weeks was significantly associated with decreased triglycerides.  

    Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation also had a beneficial effect on oxidative stress parameters. Activity levels of the endogenous antioxidants glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase increased, while levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of lipid peroxidation, decreased among supplemented participants.

    “This systematic review and meta-analysis support current evidence for a clinical benefit of omega-3 fatty acid intake to improve cardiometabolic parameters in chronic kidney disease patients,” the authors concluded. “These results show that omega-3 FAs intake significantly decrease total cholesterol, triglycerides and MDA levels and also considerably increases superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity.”

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Vitamin D useful addition to ED med

    Vitamin D useful addition to ED med May 7 2021. A study reported on March 31, 2021 in Urologia Internationalis revealed an increase in erectile function and desire when a vitamin D supplement was combined with the phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor erectile dysfunction (ED) drug tadalafil in comparison with tadalafil alone.

    “As far as we know, there is no study yet in the literature regarding the addition of vitamin D to phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors in the treatment of ED patients with vitamin D deficiency,” wrote authors Aykut Demirci and colleagues.

    The retrospective investigation included 111 men with ED and deficient 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Fifty-three men received 5 milligrams tadalafil plus 4,000 international units vitamin D3 per day and 58 men received 5 mg tadalafil alone. Vitamin D levels were measured, and International Index of Erectile Function scores were determined at the beginning of the study, and at the first and third months of treatment.

    After a month of treatment, scores of erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, sexual satisfaction and overall satisfaction improved in both groups, while in the group that received vitamin D, levels of the vitamin improved in comparison with pretreatment values. At three months vitamin D levels and erectile function and sexual desire scores were significantly higher among those who received vitamin D compared to men who received tadalafil alone.

    “We showed that adding vitamin D to the daily tadalafil treatment in ED patients with vitamin D deficiency may lead to significant improvement on erectile dysfunction and sexual desire scores,” the authors concluded. “Determination of serum vitamin D level can be useful for the management of ED patients, as vitamin D supplementation may be a low cost, low-risk alternative, beside the potential to increase the efficacy of PDE5 inhibitors.”

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    High prevalence of deficient vitamin D levels among women scheduled for knee replacement

    High prevalence of deficient vitamin D levels among women scheduled for knee replacement May 5 2021. Having enough vitamin D may not only help prevent some of the pain associated with total knee arthroplasty (replacement) surgery but could help to prevent the condition in the first place according to a study published on May 5, 2021 in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

    Knee replacement is a surgical option for people with advanced osteoarthritis of the knee when other, less invasive treatment options are no longer helpful. Previous studies have identified an association of joint pain with postmenopausal status and low estrogen levels, particularly among women between the ages of 50 to 59 years. The current research included 226 postmenopausal women scheduled for total knee replacement who had sufficient 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of at least 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or deficient levels of less than 30 ng/mL.

    Sixty-seven percent of the subjects had deficient levels of vitamin D. In addition to vitamin D deficiency, smoking and having a high body mass index (BMI) were independent risk factors for experiencing moderate to severe pain following knee replacement surgery.

    The findings agree with those of other research that has revealed an association between vitamin D deficiency and low estrogen levels, osteoarthritis, muscle cramps, bone pain, difficulty in walking, low bone density and fractures.

    "This study found that high body mass index, smoking, and vitamin D deficiency were independent risk factors for moderate to severe postoperative pain after knee replacement in postmenopausal women,” concluded Dr Stephanie Faubion, who is the medical director of The North American Menopause Society. “Additionally, those with preoperative vitamin D deficiency had poorer functional outcomes. These findings highlight opportunities for clinicians to address these modifiable factors before postmenopausal women undergo joint replacement surgeries."

     

    —D Dye

     

     

    Magnesium, B vitamins, green tea, rhodiola, help manage social stress

    Magnesium, B vitamins, green tea, rhodiola, help manage social stress May 3 2021. An article that appeared on April 26, 2021 in Nutritional Neuroscience reported an improved response to the effects of social stress following supplementation with magnesium, B vitamins, green tea and the herb rhodiola in a randomized, double-blind trial involving moderately stressed men and women.  

    The trial included 100 participants who received a placebo or capsules and tablets containing one of three nutrient combinations. The first treatment group received 150 milligrams (mg) magnesium, 700 mg vitamin B6, 125 micrograms (mcg) vitamin B12, 100 mcg folate, 125 mg green tea extract (providing 50 mg theanine) and 222 mg rhodiola extract. The second and third groups were given magnesium, B vitamins and rhodiola extract; or magnesium, B vitamins and green tea extract. After receiving the supplements or placebo, the participants underwent a social stress-inducing test and resting state electroencephalography (EEG) was administered.

    Combined treatment with magnesium, B vitamins, green tea and rhodiola was associated with a significant increase in theta waves as measured by EEG, indicating a relaxed, alert state. Participants in this group reported less subjective stress, anxiety and disturbed mood, and heightened energetic arousal in anticipation of stress and after experiencing stress. The authors reported that the combined treatment was superior in the reduction of stress perception up to seven hours post stress.

    “This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial examined the capacity for a combination of ingredients shown to have stress and anxiety reducing potential in isolation to confer synergistic benefits when combined,” authors Neil Bernard Boyle and colleagues at the University of Leeds concluded. “If confirmed, there is a significant practical benefit of a non-pharmaceutical method of reducing the negative impact of stress considering the associated profound detriment to the quality of life of individuals and substantial social and economic societal costs.”

     

    —D Dye

     

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