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.

 

  • Resveratrol supplementation associated with improved glucose regulation in diabetics
  • Improvement of vitamin D levels linked to longer life
  • Higher CoQ10 levels linked with improved physical capacity, reduced cardiovascular risk among older individuals
  • Health spans increasing
  • Study finds lithium users had lower dementia risk compared to nonusers
  • Folate deficiency associated with greater risk of dementia and death during up to four years of follow-up
  • Antioxidant supplementation improves men’s condition
  • Higher testosterone to estradiol ratio predicts lower risk of mortality during median of 23.7-months
  • Making cells younger
  • Nicotinamide riboside shows promise in Parkinson disease trial
  • High antioxidant intake linked with lower risk of mortality during 19.5-year follow-up
  • Meta-analysis finds increased frailty among men with low testosterone
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    Resveratrol supplementation associated with improved glucose regulation in diabetics

    Resveratrol supplementation associated with improved glucose regulation in diabetics March 30 2022. The June 2022 issue of Complementary Therapies in Medicine reported findings from a randomized trial that uncovered positive effects for supplementing with resveratrol in the regulation of glucose and the maintenance of healthy levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetics.

    “To prevent and treat type 2 diabetes mellitus and its life-threatening co-morbidities, the use of appropriate nutritional supplements along with recommended diabetic therapy has risen to prominence,” noted authors Wajiha Mahjabeen of Pakistan’s National University of Medical Sciences and colleagues.

    The trial included men and women who were being treated with orally administered drugs for type 2 diabetes. Forty-five participants received 200 milligrams resveratrol per day and 46 received a daily placebo for 24 weeks. Blood samples collected at the beginning and end of the trial were analyzed for plasma glucose, insulin, hemoglobin A1c (a marker of long-term glucose control), lipids, malondialdehyde (a marker of oxidative stress), circulatory microRNAs associated with diabetes, and markers of inflammation that included tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).
    Participants who received resveratrol experienced significant reductions in plasma glucose and insulin, as well as insulin resistance, compared to the beginning of the trial. Malondialdehyde, hs-CRP, TNF-a and IL-6 decreased in the group that received resveratrol, indicating less oxidative stress and inflammation in comparison with the beginning of the trial and compared to the placebo. MicroRNA expression also improved among resveratrol-treated participants. No side effects were reported.

    “Resveratrol supplementation contributes in improvement of glycemic control by reducing insulin resistance,” the authors concluded. “It has significant beneficial impact on chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and associated microRNA expression in diabetic patients. Thus, supplementation of resveratrol along with oral hypoglycemic agents may be useful in the reduction of diabetic associated complications.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Improvement of vitamin D levels linked to longer life

    Higher CoQ10 levels linked with improved physical capacity, reduced cardiovascular risk among older individuals March 28 2022. It’s never too late to reap the benefits of correcting vitamin D deficiency according to the results of a study published March 24, 2022, in BMC Geriatrics.

    The investigation included 1,362 participants in the Chinese Longitudinal and Health Longevity Study aged 60 to 113 who had their serum vitamin D levels measured in 2012 and 2014. Mortality data was collected in 2018. Deficient vitamin D levels of less than 20 ng/mL were detected among 67.5% of the participants in 2012 and 68.4% in 2014.

    During follow-up, 420 deaths occurred. Men and women who were deficient in vitamin D in 2012 and 2014 had a 2.33 times greater risk of mortality than those who maintained nondeficient levels. Among participants who maintained sufficient vitamin D or were deficient in 2012 and not deficient in 2014, the risk of dying was 30% and 53% lower than participants who were deficient at both time points. Women and participants who among the oldest old at 80 years of age or older experienced the greatest benefit.

    No significant difference in mortality was detected among those who were not deficient in 2012 but became deficient in 2014 compared to individuals who maintained their deficient status from 2012 to 2014.

    “This cohort study showed that maintaining no deficiency status of vitamin D was associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality, and the change of vitamin D status from deficiency to no deficiency can also reduce the mortality risk,” Jing Zeng and colleagues concluded. “Proper attention should be paid to addressing vitamin D deficiency of older adults in clinical practice for the improvement of longevity and healthy aging. Future clinical trials targeting the sex and age-specific association between vitamin D supplementation and mortality in the old adult are still essential.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Higher CoQ10 levels linked with improved physical capacity, reduced cardiovascular risk among older individuals

    Higher CoQ10 levels linked with improved physical capacity, reduced cardiovascular risk among older individuals March 23 2022. A study published on January 29, 2022 in Antioxidants found lower levels of blood factors related to cardiovascular disease and greater physical capacity and among participants with higher plasma levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a factor in the production of energy within the mitochondria of the cells.

    The study included 64 men and women aged 65 years and older who were able to participate in physical assessments. Physical activity levels were determined from questionnaire responses and blood samples were analyzed for CoQ10, cholesterol and triglycerides, and general blood chemistry values.

    Higher CoQ10 levels were significantly associated with lower total and non-HDL cholesterol among women (who comprised the majority of participants), indicating lower cardiovascular disease risk. Higher CoQ10 levels were correlated with less sitting time and, among women, were moderately or strongly correlated with better physical activity test scores. “In general, it is clear that higher activity and performance is associated with higher levels of CoQ10 in plasma,” authors Rocío de la Bella-Garzó and colleagues wrote.

    CoQ10 levels were higher among participants whose physical assessments indicated low or no frailty risk. When participants were evaluated according to whether their plasma CoQ10 concentrations were below or above average, higher levels were associated with better physical test scores in general, which reached significance in a measurement of balance while moving.

    Due to the decline of CoQ10 levels that occurs during aging, the resulting reduction in mitochondrial activity in the muscles may accelerate sarcopenia (aging-associated muscle tissue loss), which increases the risk of frailty. In animal studies, CoQ10 improved exercise performance and decreased fatigue.

    “Combination of CoQ10 with physical activity could be an important therapy for avoiding sarcopenia and maintaining higher capacity during aging,” de la Bella-Garzó and associates concluded.

     

    —D Dye

     

    Health spans increasing

    Health spans increasing March 21 2022. While life expectancy (the number of years one can expect to live) has been increasing in some parts of the world, a concern exists regarding whether most of these extra years will be lived in good health. However, a study from the UK that appeared on March 15, 2022 in PLOS Medicine revealed that the average number of healthy years lived is also increasing.

    Holly Bennett of Newcastle University in England and colleagues analyzed data from the Cognitive Function and Aging Studies, which interviewed 7,635 men and women aged 65 and older from 1991 to 1993 and 7,762 individuals from 2008 to 2011, both with two years of follow-up. Average disability-free years of life increased between 1991 and 2011, even among people with chronic health conditions, such as coronary heart disease and diabetes.

    Men gained an average of 4.6 years of life expectancy at age 65 and 3.7 years of disability-free life expectancy. Men with chronic conditions experienced a greater increased in disability-free life expectancy than years spent with disability. Women gained an increase in life expectancy of 2.1 years and a 2-year increase in disability-free life expectancy. Women with chronic health conditions also experienced a larger increase in disability-free life expectancy than years spent disabled, except those with cognitive impairment who had a 1.6-year increase in life expectancy with disability without an improvement in disability-free life expectancy. Men with cognitive impairment experienced a 1.4-year increase in life expectancy with disability and an equal increase in disability-free years.

    “While these findings are mostly positive, we found an increase in the percentage of remaining years spent with disability for men and women with cognitive impairment,” the authors remarked. “Given cognitive impairment was also the only long-term condition where prevalence decreased this is a cause for concern and requires further investigation.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Study finds lithium users had lower dementia risk compared to nonusers

    Study finds lithium users had lower dementia risk compared to nonusers March 18 2022. A study reported on March 17, 2002 in PLoS Medicine revealed a significantly lower risk of dementia, including vascular dementia and Alzheimer disease, among men and women who were prescribed lithium, commonly used in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

    “The number of people with dementia continues to grow, which puts huge pressure on healthcare systems,” first author Shanquan Chen, PhD, of Cambridge University observed. “It’s been estimated that delaying the onset of dementia by just five years could reduce its prevalence and economic impact by as much as 40 percent.”

    Dr Chen and his associates analyzed data from 29,618 patients who accessed mental health services from 2005 to 2019 and had at least a one-year follow-up appointment. Patients were over the age of 50 and had not been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or dementia at the beginning of the study.

    Five hundred forty-eight patients had been treated with lithium. Among treated patients, 9.7% were diagnosed with dementia, while 11.2% of those who did not use lithium received a dementia diagnosis. After adjustment for several factors, lithium use was associated with a 44% lower risk of dementia, a 45% lower Alzheimer disease risk and a 64% lower risk of vascular dementia.

    “Bipolar disorder and depression are considered to put people at increased risk of dementia, so we had to make sure to account for this in our analysis,” Dr Chen remarked. “We expected to find that patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to develop dementia, since that is the most common reason to be prescribed lithium, but our analysis suggested the opposite.”

    “Our findings support the possibility that lithium treatment could decrease the risk of developing dementia and supports the need for further randomized controlled trials,” the authors wrote.

     

    —D Dye

     

    Folate deficiency associated with greater risk of dementia and death during up to four years of follow-up

    Folate deficiency associated with greater risk of dementia and death during up to four years of follow-up March 16 2022. A study reported on March 15, 2022 in Evidence Based Mental Health found a relationship between deficient serum levels of the B vitamin folate and a greater risk of developing dementia or death among older individuals during a follow-up period of up to 4.8 years.

    “Folate deficiency is associated with an elevated risk of premature mortality in the general adult population,” wrote Anat Rotstein, PhD, of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York and colleagues. “Despite the increased rate of folate deficiency in older adults, few observational studies have scrutinized the association between serum concentrations of folate and the risk of mortality, focusing on this population segment.”

    The study utilized data obtained from the medical records of 27,188 men and women between the ages of 60 and 75 years who did not have dementia prior to blood folate assessment beginning in 2013. Folate deficiency, defined as serum levels of less than 4.4 nanograms per milliliter, was detected among 3,418 individuals.

    Among deficient individuals, 3.4% developed dementia and 7.8% died during follow-up, in contrast with dementia and mortality rates of 3.2% and 3.8% among those who were not deficient. After adjustment for several factors, folate deficiency was associated with a 68% greater risk of dementia and a three times greater risk of mortality during follow-up compared to not being deficient.

    “Serum concentrations of folate may function as a biomarker used to modify the risks of dementia and mortality in old age,” the authors concluded. “The implications for public health policy appear to be to reliably monitor serum concentrations of folate in older adults and treat deficiency for preventative measures and/or as part of implemented therapeutic strategies while regularly reviewing patients’ clinical outcomes.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Antioxidant supplementation improves men’s condition

    Antioxidant supplementation improves men’s condition March 14 2022. A meta-analysis reported on March 1, 2022 in Sexual Medicine Reviews concluded a benefit for antioxidants combined with each other or added to prescription therapies among men with erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition that affects an estimated 150 million males worldwide.

    The meta-analysis included 13 randomized, controlled trials and 5 crossover randomized trials involving a total of 1,331 men with ED. Nutrients with antioxidant properties evaluated in the studies included amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline, myoinositol, folic acid, yohimbine, vitamin E, L-carnitine, niacin, pine bark extract, adenosine monophosphate (AMP), trans-resveratrol, robuvins from French Oak wood and ginseng.

    Analysis of the four studies that compared an antioxidant alone to a placebo found improvement in International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) scores among supplemented participants, however, the authors suggested that the benefits of single antioxidant treatment may be limited. Since three of these four studies evaluated L-arginine, they concluded that treatment with the amino acid may be an acceptable option for men with mild ED. When the nine studies that compared the effects of combined antioxidants to a placebo were analyzed, significant improvement in sexual satisfaction as well as IIEF scores was revealed. Adding antioxidants to PDE5 inhibitors also significantly increased these scores in comparison with drug treatment alone.

    Authors Liang Su, PhD, of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and colleagues remarked that reactive oxygen species, which are balanced by antioxidants, lower the production or bioavailability of nitric oxide, which is needed for blood vessel relaxation and healthy erectile function.

    “This study found that the effect of antioxidant alone treatment on ED may be limited,” they noted. “However, antioxidant compound treatment, as well as combination of PDE5 inhibitors and antioxidants, were associated with improved ED, and can be considered as an accessary therapeutic option for ED.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Higher testosterone to estradiol ratio predicts lower risk of mortality during median of 23.7-months

    Higher testosterone to estradiol ratio predicts lower risk of mortality during median of 23.7-months March 11 2022. A study reported on March 9, 2022 in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation found lower mortality during follow-up for men and women who had a higher ratio of testosterone to estradiol (T/E2).

    “In males with severe carotid atherosclerosis, low T/E2 ratio is associated with systemic and plaque inflammation and is a powerful predictor of future cardiovascular events,” Valeria Raparelli, MD, PhD, and colleagues noted. “In females, the reverse regarding T/E2 ratio has been observed, with higher T/E2 ratio being associated with worse cardiovascular disease outcomes/events in postmenopausal women.”

    The study included 434 men and women with ischemic heart disease who had testosterone and estradiol levels measured upon enrollment in the Endocrine Vascular disease Approach (EVA) project. The research team investigated the association between sex-specific T/E2 ratio and the vasoactive molecules thromboxane and nitric oxide, which impact blood flow. They additionally explored the ratio’s relationship to adverse long-term outcomes, and whether the relationship could be explained by sex hormone-dependent effects on platelet function.

    Thromboxane and nitric oxide levels did not differ between men and women and improved in association with increasing T/E2 ratios. Men and women whose sex-specific T/E2 ratio was among the lowest 75% of participants had over three times the risk of dying from all causes during the 23.7-month median follow-up period compared to men and women whose ratios were among the highest 25%. When platelets obtained from 6 men and women were primed with testosterone and estradiol in ratios that corresponded to the lowest and highest of subjects in the study, greater platelet aggregation occurred in association with the lowest ratios.

    “Among adults with ischemic heart disease, higher T/E2 was associated with a lower long-term risk of fatal events,” the authors concluded. “The effect of sex hormones on the platelet thromboxane release may partially explain such finding.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Making cells younger

    Nicotinamide riboside shows promise in Parkinson disease trial March 9 2022. Findings reported on March 7, 2022 in Nature Aging revealed that administering molecules known as Yamanaka factors to aging mice resulted in changes to skin, kidneys and blood cells that caused them to resemble more youthful states.

    The Yamanaka factors are the genetic transcription factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and cMyc that, when expressed, can convert mature cells into stem cells capable of developing into all tissues.

    In previous research, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, PhD, and colleagues discovered that partial reprogramming with the Yamanaka factors in mice that were bred to age prematurely could combat signs of aging and extend life span. In the current study, Dr Belmonte’s team administered Yamanaka factors to mice at various ages. One group received regular doses of Yamanaka factors from the age of 15 months to 22 months, which is equivalent to 50 to 70 years of age in humans. A second group received treatment from 12 to 22 months, equivalent to 35 to 70 human years, and a third group were treated for a month at the age of 25 months, equivalent to 80 years.

    Gene expression of the kidneys and skin of treated mice more closely resembled that of younger animals. Skin cells of treated animals had a greater proliferative ability and were less likely to form permanent scars, and blood metabolic molecules did not show normal age-related changes. The findings were observed among mice treated for 7 or 10 months, but not among animals that received a month of treatment.

    “We are elated that we can use this approach across the life span to slow down aging in normal animals,” Dr Belmonte stated. “In addition to tackling age-related diseases, this approach may provide the biomedical community with a new tool to restore tissue and organismal health by improving cell function and resilience in different disease situations.”

    “We further conclude that longer-term partial reprogramming regimens are more effective in delaying aging phenotypes than short-term reprogramming,” the authors wrote.

     

    —D Dye

     

    Nicotinamide riboside shows promise in Parkinson disease trial

    Nicotinamide riboside shows promise in Parkinson disease trial March 7 2022. The March 1, 2022 issue of Cell Metabolism reported findings from a randomized, double-blind trial that revealed a benefit for nicotinamide riboside (NR, a form of vitamin B3) among men and women with Parkinson disease.

    Nicotinamide riboside is a precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a coenzyme involved in metabolism whose levels decline during aging. “A growing body of evidence supports that boosting cellular levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) may confer neuroprotective effects in both healthy aging and neurodegeneration,” Brage Brakedal and colleagues wrote.

    The trial included 30 newly diagnosed Parkinson disease patients who had not received treatment for the disease. Half of the participants received 500 milligrams NR twice daily and the remainder received a daily placebo for thirty days. Upon enrollment and at the end of the study, participants received MRS and PET scans of the brain, and cerebrospinal fluid, skeletal muscle and blood cells were analyzed for metabolites. Gene expression in muscle and blood cells, and serum and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation were also analyzed at these time points.

    The majority of NR-supplemented participants had higher brain NAD levels, which were associated with changes in cerebral metabolism and mild clinical improvement. They also showed an increase in a cerebrospinal fluid metabolite of NR. “This finding further corroborated that oral NR therapy increases brain NAD levels across the blood brain barrier,” the authors remarked.

    “Our findings suggest that NR may target multiple processes implicated in the pathophysiology of the disease by upregulating the expression of genes involved in mitochondrial respiration, oxidative damage response, lysosomal and proteasomal function, and downregulating inflammatory cytokines in the central nervous system,” they reported. “Taken together, our findings nominate NR as a potential neuroprotective agent against Parkinson disease, which warrants further investigation in a larger trial.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    High antioxidant intake linked with lower risk of mortality during 19.5-year follow-up

    High antioxidant intake linked with lower risk of mortality during 19.5-year follow-up March 4 2022. A study reported on February 5, 2022 in the European Journal of Nutrition revealed that men and women who consumed more antioxidants had a lower risk of dying during an average of 19.5 years of follow-up.

    Researchers analyzed data from 62,063 participants in the Singapore Chinese Health Study who were aged 45 to 74 years upon enrollment between 1993 and 1998. Responses to questionnaires administered at the beginning of the study were scored for dietary total antioxidant capacity using the Comprehensive Dietary Antioxidant Index (CDAI) and Vitamin C Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (VCEAC).

    There were 23,397 deaths during the follow-up period, including 7,523 from cardiovascular disease, 7,713 from cancer and 4,696 from respiratory diseases. Compared with participants whose CDAI scores were among the lowest 25% of participants, those whose scores were among the highest 25% had a 15% lower risk of all-cause mortality, an 18% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, a 6% lower cancer mortality risk and a 24% lower risk of dying from respiratory diseases. VCEAC Index scores had similar associations. Antioxidant components that included carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E and flavonoids all appeared to be protective.

    In comparison with participants whose dietary total antioxidant capacity was among the lowest, those in the top 25% were likelier to be female, younger, more educated and consumers of nutritional supplements at least once per week. The group was less likely to be former/current smokers or weekly/daily drinkers.

    “Our study showed that higher total antioxidant capacity of midlife diet was associated with reduced risk of all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease mortality,” the authors concluded. “Our findings substantiate the public health recommendation of consuming more plant-based foods that are rich in antioxidant nutrients to reduce mortality in the general population.”

     

    —D Dye

     

    Meta-analysis finds increased frailty among men with low testosterone

    Meta-analysis finds increased frailty among men with low testosterone March 2 2022. A systematic review and meta-analysis reported on February 2, 2022 in European Geriatric Medicine found an association between having low levels of free and total testosterone and a greater risk of frailty. The associations were significant for men but not for women.

    According to a commonly used set of criteria, frailty includes weight loss, weakness, exhaustion, slowness and low activity levels. It increases the risk of falls, hospitalization, admission to long-term care and mortality.

    Xuchao Peng of Sichuan University in China and colleagues reviewed 11 studies that evaluated the relationship between free testosterone, total testosterone and/or serum hormone binding globulin (SHBG, which binds testosterone) and frailty among a total of 9,034 men and 1,283 women. Analysis of the eight studies that reported the association between total testosterone levels and frailty in men found a 37% greater risk of frailty in association with low vs higher total testosterone levels. When studies that examined the relationship between free testosterone and frailty in men were analyzed, those who had low free testosterone had a 55% greater frailty risk. Neither total nor free testosterone levels had significant associations with frailty among women. Serum hormone binding globulin was not associated with frailty.

    In their discussion of the findings, the authors observed that the decline in testosterone experienced by aging men is associated with atrophies in muscle mass and strength, which contributes to frailty. This is also observed among men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer.

    “In future clinical work, attention should be given to screening for low testosterone levels in patients with frailty,” Dr Peng and associates concluded. “In the management of frailty, attention should be given to the maintenance of testosterone levels. Especially in patients with acute frailty, short-term testosterone supplementation can be considered.”

     

    —D Dye

     

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