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.


  • Whey protein improves blood glucose in diabetics
  • N-acetylcysteine could improve concussion recovery
  • Senolytics could help protect against adverse effects of radiation therapy
  • Cranberry supplement boosts memory, lowers LDL
  • Probiotic reduces brain atrophy in cognitively impaired individuals
  • Majority of acne sufferers have diminished levels of omega-3
  • Vitamin B12 shows promise against ALS
  • Time of day we eat may impact calorie restriction benefits
  • Selenium may help slow progression of a type of dementia
  • Lower risk of dementia found among people with higher carotenoid levels
  • Zinc, niacin, protein and heart health
  • Inadequate vitamin intake linked with insulin resistance


    Whey protein improves blood glucose in diabetics

    May 27 2022. A study reported on May 27, 2022, in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care resulted in improved glucose control among people with type 2 diabetes who consumed whey protein.

    The crossover study included 18 type 2 diabetic men and women who received a drink that contained 15 grams of whey protein or a protein-depleted placebo to be consumed 10 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner for 7 days. This was followed by a 2-week period during which no treatments were given. Participants who had previously received whey were then given a placebo and those who received the placebo were given whey for an additional 7 days.

    “People were able to stick to the regime and liked the idea of having a convenient, tasty, small pre-made drink,” coauthor Kieran Smith reported.

    Continuous glucose monitoring revealed improved daily blood glucose levels in association with whey intake. Participants experienced an increase of 2 hours per day of normal glucose during the week in which whey was consumed in comparison with the week in which the placebo was administered.

    “While previous studies for a few hours in the lab have shown the potential for this dietary intervention, this is the first time that people have been monitored as they go about normal life,” announced principal investigator Daniel West, of the Human Nutrition Research Centre and Diabetes Research Group at Newcastle University. “We believe the whey protein works in two ways, firstly, by slowing down how quickly food passes through the digestive system and secondly, by stimulating a number of important hormones that prevent the blood sugars climbing so high.”

    “As we see growing numbers of people around the world developing diabetes, investigating the potential of alternatives to drugs such as food supplements becomes more important,” he added.


    —D Dye


    N-acetylcysteine could improve concussion recovery

    May 25 2022. A study reported on April 8, 2022, in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery revealed improvement in symptoms of concussion among older men and women with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) who received supplements containing the antioxidant amino acid N-acetylcysteine (NAC).

    “Physical changes to the brain are what are believed to be responsible for symptoms after all degrees of TBI,” Ryan McPherson, DO, and colleagues wrote. “Traumatic brain injury symptoms can include, but are not limited to sleep disturbances, behavioral changes, cognitive impairment, [and] somatic, cognitive, and emotional alterations.”

    Free radicals produced following brain injury react with lipids to create toxic molecules within the first hours following a traumatic brain injury. Dr McPherson and his associates suggested that the damage caused by these molecules could be responsible for the symptoms that occur after a concussion and that the use of compounds such as NAC could help mitigate some of these symptoms.

    The study included 65 traumatic brain injury patients of an average age of 76 years who were within three hours of trauma surgery service evaluation. Thirty-four patients received standard treatments for TBI plus 4 grams NAC within three hours of injury, followed by a 3-day period during which 2 grams NAC was administered twice per day and an additional 3 days during which 1.5 grams NAC was provided twice daily. The remainder of the participants received standard treatment alone. Questionnaires that evaluated post-concussion symptoms were administered at the beginning of the study and at 7 and 30 days.

    While questionnaire scores were similar at the beginning of the study, they were significantly better in the NAC group on days 7 and 30. “The results of this pilot study reveal further clinical research into treating TBI with NAC may be fruitful,” the authors predicted.


    —D Dye


    Senolytics could help protect against adverse effects of radiation therapy

    May 23 2022. Results from a study reported May 4, 2022, in elife suggest a protective role for senolytic therapies against long term effects associated with radiation therapy, which is used to treat cancer.

    “Increasing number of people are now successfully treated from cancer, and the survival rates from many cancer types are high,” lead researcher Satomi Miwa of Newcastle University observed. “The people who had beaten cancers can start looking forward to their new lives again - but only if the quality of life is not going to be affected. Sadly, this is the case for the moment. However, our new research shows that there is a way to prevent any long-term side effects occurring, and to reduce risks of cancer relapse.”

    Senescence describes a condition in which aged, dysfunction cells stop dividing yet survive to create a harmful proinflammatory environment in the body. Senolytic therapies that kill senescent cells include Navitoclax or a combination of quercetin and dasatinib.

    Mice that received radiation were treated for 10 days with Navitoclax or quercetin/dasatinib, or for 10 weeks with metformin, which, rather than killing senescent cells, prevents the proliferation of senescence to neighboring cells.

    Animals that received senolytics within a month following irradiation exhibited a reduction in frailty progression, better muscle and liver function, and improved short-term memory compared to untreated irradiated mice. When initiated after the mice had already exhibited premature frailty, senolytic therapy still reduced frailty progression and short-term memory deficits. Metformin was found to be as effective as the senolytic compounds.

    “We want to test our approach in cancer types specifically and move to clinical setting as fast as we can,” Dr Miwa stated. “We are particularly interested in childhood brain tumor survivors, as they are the worst affected group of people suffering from long term side effects from cancer therapies.”


    —D Dye


    Cranberry supplement boosts memory, lowers LDL

    May 20 2022. On May 19, 2022, Frontiers in Nutrition reported the finding of a brain benefit among a group of older men and women who consumed a supplement that contained powdered cranberries.

    “Past studies have shown that higher dietary flavonoid intake is associated with slower rates of cognitive decline and dementia,” lead researcher David Vauzour, BSc, MSc, PhD, of the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School observed. “And foods rich in anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which give berries their red, blue, or purple color, have been found to improve cognition.”

    “Cranberries are rich in these micronutrients and have been recognized for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.”

    Sixty participants between the ages of 50 to 80 years were given a supplement that contained the equivalent of a cup of fresh cranberries (providing 281 milligrams proanthocyanidins) or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Blood chemistry and cognitive function were assessed, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain were conducted before and after the treatment period.

    “We found that the participants who consumed the cranberry powder showed significantly improved episodic memory performance in combination with improved circulation of essential nutrients such as oxygen and glucose to important parts of the brain that support cognition – specifically memory consolidation and retrieval,” Dr Vauzour reported. “The cranberry group also exhibited a significant decrease in LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, known to contribute to atherosclerosis – the thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a build-up of plaque in the inner lining of an artery. This supports the idea that cranberries can improve vascular health and may in part contribute to the improvement in brain perfusion and cognition.”

    “The findings of this study are very encouraging, especially considering that a relatively short 12-week cranberry intervention was able to produce significant improvements in memory and neural function,” he remarked.


    —D Dye


    Probiotic reduces brain atrophy in cognitively impaired individuals

    May 18 2022. A trial reported on May 7, 2022 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found improvement in cognitive function and a decrease in the progression of brain atrophy in comparison with a placebo among men and women with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who received a probiotic.

    “Probiotics are ‘live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host as defined by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics’,” Daisuke Asaoka of Juntendo Tokyo Koto Geriatric Medical Center and colleagues wrote. “Several central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including MCI and Alzheimer disease, are associated with abnormal inflammation in the brain and the gut, suggesting these diseases may not have a unique central origin but could start from the periphery. In addition, several studies looking at the possible alterations in gut microbiota identified a shift of microbial populations towards a pro-inflammatory flora.”

    The trial included 115 participants among whom 55 received the probiotic Bifidobacterium breve MCC1274 (A1) and 60 received a placebo for 24 weeks. ADAS-Jcog and MMSE tests of cognitive function and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain were conducted at the beginning and end of the study.

    Participants who received the probiotic showed improvement in ADAS-Jcog test scores for orientation. Scores for writing and orientation in time improved among those who had low MMSE scores at the beginning of the study. While brain atrophy worsened among participants who received a placebo, the group that received the probiotic experienced less progression.

    The authors noted that a combination of high-dose folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 has also slowed brain atrophy in MCI patients.

    “These results indicate that B. breve MCC1274 is a practical approach for preventing cognitive impairment of MCI subjects,” they concluded.


    —D Dye


    Majority of acne sufferers have diminished levels of omega-3

    May 16 2022. A study reported during the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Spring Symposium 2022 suggests a protective role for omega-3 fatty acids against acne.

    “Nutrition plays a pivotal role in the prevention, onset, and course of many diseases, including dermatologic disorders such as acne vulgaris,” stated Anne Gϋrtler of Ludwig-Maximilian University, who is the lead author of the report. “As part of a modern treatment approach, clinicians should provide patients with information on how their choice of diet might impact their dermatologic diagnosis and could potentially enhance therapeutic outcomes.”

    The study revealed that 94% of 100 acne patients whose blood samples were analyzed for red blood cell omega-3 fatty acid levels had lower than the recommended concentrations. Higher omega-3 fatty acid levels were found among people who regularly consumed legumes and among those who supplemented with omega-3.

    Omega-3 fatty acids lower inflammation that occurs in acne by stimulating anti-inflammatory eicosanoids and decreasing levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Patients with omega-3 fatty acids below the recommended levels had higher serum IGF-1 concentrations than patients who were not deficient in omega-3. Those with severe deficiencies had even greater levels of IGF-1.

    “For years, a negative impact for acne vulgaris has been attributed to a western diet due to its direct effects on IGF-1 levels,” Dr Gürtler explained.

    “To determine an effect that a supplement may have, baseline levels need first to be investigated to evaluate whether real deficiencies exist,” she noted. “The objective of the present study was to explore acne patients’ omega-3 fatty acid blood levels in erythrocytes (red blood cells) and correlate them with the clinical severity of the disease and patients’ dietary habits. While data presents a tendency toward omega-3 fatty acids deficit in the general population, our study outlines aggravation in acne patients.”


    —D Dye


    Vitamin B12 shows promise against ALS

    May 13 2022. An article appearing on May 9, 2022 in JAMA Neurology described a randomized trial in which men and women with the progressive neurologic disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) exhibited improvement in their condition after receiving a high dose of a form of vitamin B12 known as methylcobalamin.

    The trial enrolled 130 ALS patients whose symptom onset had occurred within the past year. Following a 12-week observation period, participants received injections of 50 milligrams methylcobalamin or a placebo twice weekly for 16 weeks. Revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) scores were obtained at the beginning of the study and at 4, 8 and 16 weeks.

    Among the 126 patients who completed the trial, ALSFRS-R scores declined by an average of 2.66 points for those who received the vitamin and by 4.63 in the placebo group—a difference of 43%. (Lower scores indicate increased severity of symptoms.) When participants who were also using the drug riluzole were analyzed, methylcobalamin supplementation was associated with a 45% reduction in the decline of ALSFRS-R scores, which suggests that combining the two provided a greater benefit than methylcobalamin treatment alone. The number of adverse events reported were similar between both groups. Most of those who completed the trial chose to participate in a subsequent open-label period during which they could continue to receive methylcobalamin.

    “This randomized clinical trial demonstrated that use of ultrahigh-dose methylcobalamin resulted in a 43% reduction in clinical deterioration as evaluated with the ALSFRS-R total score throughout the 16-week treatment period in the patients with early-stage ALS,” Ryosuke Oki, MD, of Tokushima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and colleagues wrote. “Our results indicate disease-modifying, reproducible, and clinically meaningful effects of ultrahigh-dose methylcobalamin for patients in the early stages of ALS and with moderate progression rate.”


    —D Dye


    Time of day we eat may impact calorie restriction benefits

    May 11 2022. On May 5, 2022, Science reported a significant extension of the lifespan of mice receiving circadian-aligned feeding in addition to a calorie restricted diet.

    “Caloric restriction (CR) prolongs lifespan, yet the mechanisms by which it does so remain poorly understood,” the authors wrote. “Under CR, mice self-impose chronic cycles of 2-hour-feeding and 22-hour-fasting, raising the question whether calories, fasting, or time of day are causal.”

    The research team gave mice diets that were restricted in calorie content by 30%–40% and divided them into groups that received one of five different eating schedules for 4 years. Control mice were allowed to consume an unlimited amount of food.

    Although no differences in weight occurred between mice given calorie restricted diets on different schedules, “we found profound differences in lifespan,” lead researcher Joseph Takahashi, PhD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center reported. While restricting calories by 30% extended the animals’ lifespan by 10%, a daily fasting period of at least 12 hours plus circadian alignment of feeding (which involved feeding the mice during their active time at night) extended lifespan by 35%. Calorie-restricted animals fed at night additionally showed a decrease in age-related changes in gene expression.

    Gerontologist Rafael de Cabo of the National Institute on Aging remarked that the Science article “is a very elegant demonstration that even if you are restricting your calories but you are not [eating at the right times], you do not get the full benefits of caloric restriction.”

    While mice are active at night, humans’ active period is during the day. “We have discovered a new facet to caloric restriction that dramatically extends life span in our lab animals,” Dr Takahashi announced. “If these findings hold true in people, we might want to rethink whether we really want that midnight snack.”


    —D Dye


    Selenium may help slow progression of a type of dementia

    May 9 2022. Results from a small study published on May 5, 2022 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions indicated that supplementing with selenium was associated with a decrease in the progression of brain changes among some individuals with a diagnosis of possible behavioral frontal temporal dementia (FTD), a syndrome observed in patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration of the brain.

    The study included 12 behavioral FTD patients whose age averaged 61 years. All participants received selenium supplements for one year. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain was conducted at the beginning and end of the study to evaluate whole brain volume change. Cerebrospinal fluid and serum samples were assessed for levels of tau, a protein that builds up in the brains of approximately 45% of behavioral FTD patients. Participants were additionally evaluated for cognition and behavior.

    While the dose of selenium received by the behavioral FTD patients was well above amounts recommended for healthy individuals, the majority of adverse events experienced were mild, leading the researchers to conclude that the treatment was safe and well tolerated. Among the 11 patients for whom efficacy assessment results were available, 7 showed minimal progression of brain atrophy and cognitive and behavioral decline at the end of the study, while the remainder experienced a considerable decrease in brain volume and cognitive and behavioral measures. A small improvement in a test of verbal learning was observed among the participants as a whole. There was no evidence of change in tau levels.

    Authors Lucy Vivash, PhD, MS of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and colleagues concluded that “randomized, placebo-controlled trials of sodium selenate for behavioral FTD are warranted to investigate the potential efficacy of this treatment.”


    —D Dye


    Lower risk of dementia found among people with higher carotenoid levels

    May 6 2022. An article appearing on May 4, 2022, in Neurology® reported an association between higher levels of several carotenoids and a lower risk of developing Alzheimer disease and other dementias during a 16 to 17-year average period.

    Carotenoids are a family of yellow to red plant pigments, including beta-carotene, which have an antioxidant effect.

    “Extending people’s cognitive functioning is an important public health challenge,” observed first author May A. Beydoun, PhD, MPH, of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Aging. “Antioxidants may help protect the brain from oxidative stress, which can cause cell damage.”

    Dr Beydoun and colleagues examined data from 7,283 men and women who were aged 45 years and older upon enrollment in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 1988-1994. The participants’ serum levels of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, and the carotenoids were determined from blood samples collected at the beginning of the study. Cases of dementia were documented during an average of 16 years of follow-up.

    Among participants aged 65 and older at enrollment, those whose levels of the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin were highest had a lower risk of developing dementia than individuals with lesser levels. Each approximate 15.4 micromole per liter increase in lutein and zeaxanthin was associated with a 7% decrease in dementia risk during follow-up.

    “Further studies are needed to test whether adding these antioxidants can help protect the brain from dementia,” Dr Beydoun concluded.


    —D Dye


    Zinc, niacin, protein and heart health

    May 4 2022. Findings from a study reported at the European Congress on Obesity held May 4–7, 2022, suggested that protein, zinc and niacin (vitamin B3) may be important for a healthy heart.

    The investigation included 72 obese men and women with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of factors associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Participants had an average body mass index (BMI) of 34.28 kg/m2 at the beginning of the study. Questionnaires concerning food intake were completed by the participants at the beginning and end of a one-year diet and exercise program. Measures of blood vessel flexibility, including pulse wave velocity, common carotid artery intima media thickness and flow mediated dilation were also evaluated at these time points.

    At the end of the program, BMI had declined by an average of 9.4%. Pulse wave velocity improved by an average of 13%, intima media thickness by 1% and flow mediated dilation by 47%. An association was observed between pulse wave velocity improvement and an increase in the intake of zinc, along with reductions in saturated fat and calories. Intima media thickness improvement was also associated with saturated fat and calorie reduction as well as increased protein intake. Increased consumption of niacin was correlated with improvement in flow mediated dilation.

    Weight loss is associated with improvements in metabolic and cardiovascular health, and these benefits have been believed to be caused by the weight loss itself or resultant changes in glucose and other factors, rather than increased micronutrients provided by the diet. “We found changes in the consumption of specific food components to be linked to better vascular structure and function,” stated lead researcher Brurya Tal, of Tel Aviv-Sourasky Medical Center. “A Mediterranean diet, rich in protein (lean dairy products, fish, poultry, and eggs), rich in vegetables, nuts, seeds and with moderate consumption of fruits and grains, can contribute to improving vascular flexibility, thus indirectly protecting the cardiovascular system.”


    —D Dye


    Inadequate vitamin intake linked with insulin resistance

    May 2 2022. A greater risk of insulin resistance was revealed among women with acceptable calorie consumption whose folate and vitamin C intake were below the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) values in a study reported on February 22, 2022 in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.

    “Adequate dietary intakes of essential micronutrients are critical to prevent the development of insulin resistance and insulin resistance-related diseases,” authors Chandrika J. Piyathilake, BDS, MPH, PhD, and associates wrote. “However, since excess calorie intake linked with obesity is also associated with those diseases, it is important to meet the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) of those micronutrients without exceeding recommended daily calorie intakes.

    The study included 509 women who were divided according to whether they consumed an acceptable number of calories that did not exceed 2,200 per day. The groups were further divided according to whether they consumed or failed to meet the DRI of carotene, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E.

    Among women whose calorie intake was categorized as acceptable and who met the Food and Nutrition Board’s DRI of folate and vitamin C, the respective risks of insulin resistance were 59% and 66% lower than women who did not meet the DRIs.

    “Our results indicate that even with fortification of food items with micronutrients, some segments of the US population fail to meet the DRIs of important and essential micronutrients within acceptable calories intakes,” the authors noted. “Our study also showed that even with the consumption of over the recommended calorie intake, only 2% of women met the DRI of vitamin D and approximately only 30% met the DRIs of vitamins A and E, further emphasizing the fact that a significant proportion of women consume calorie-dense food rather than micronutrient-dense food.”


    —D Dye


    What's Hot Archive