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.


  • Form of vitamin B5 may help protect against obesity by activating brown fat
  • Nicotinamide riboside shows promise against peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy
  • Greater potassium intake linked to lower blood pressure in women
  • Trial will evaluate form of vitamin B1 in Alzheimer disease
  • Consuming more carotenoids could improve women’s later years
  • Supplementing with vitamin B6 could help with anxiety
  • Leucine-rich protein supplements could benefit adults with sarcopenia
  • Nutrients for the bones
  • Quercetin phytosome® reduced allergy symptoms in clinical trial
  • Children of women who supplemented with vitamin D during pregnancy had lower eczema risk
  • Greater folate and vitamin B6 intake linked to lower risk of mortality during 9.8-year period
  • Higher serum antioxidant vitamins predict lower risk of respiratory illness and mortality


    Form of vitamin B5 may help protect against obesity by activating brown fat

    July 29 2022. The July 2022 issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism published the finding that pantothenate, the ionic form of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) helped prevent weight gain by activating brown adipose (fatty) tissue in preclinical research. Unlike white fat, brown adipose tissue burns calories to release heat (thermogenesis). Targeting brown fat may aid in the treatment of obesity and diabetes.

    “Pantothenic acid and its pantothenate derivatives have been applied for dyslipidemia treatment for decades, and one of the derivatives of pantothenic acid, pantethine, has exhibited favorable effects in hyperlipemia,” authors Huiqiao Zhou and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences noted.

    By screening different compounds, Zhou and associates found that pantothenic acid upregulated uncoupling protein 1, which is a thermogenic protein found in brown adipose tissue. When mice were fed a high-fat diet, 11 weeks of pantothenate supplementation prevented the development of obesity beginning at 5 weeks in comparison with control mice who received the diet supplemented with saline, even though the amount of food consumed and activity levels were similar between the groups. Brown adipose tissue activity increased in mice that received pantothenate and the group had less overall, subcutaneous and liver fat than mice that did not receive the compound. The groups had similar amounts of lean tissue, which confirmed that the difference in weight was due to less fatty tissue. Additionally, pantothenate-treated mice had healthier insulin and glucose levels compared to the control mice.

    “For the first time, to our knowledge, we reported that pantothenic acid treatment can increase energy expenditure and thermogenesis via brown adipose tissue activation, ultimately preventing obesity and inducing metabolic remodeling,” Zhou and colleagues announced. “Overall, pantothenic acid treatment is a promising approach to preventing obesity.”


    —D Dye


    Nicotinamide riboside shows promise against peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy

    July 27 2022. Research findings reported on June 27, 2022, in Neuro-Oncology Advances suggest an ability of nicotinamide riboside (NR, a form of vitamin B3) to protect against peripheral neuropathy, described as burning, shooting or electric-shock-like pain, induced by the chemotherapy cisplatin.

    Nicotinamide riboside is a precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a coenzyme that supports the production of energy within the cells. NAD+, in turn, is an activator of SIRT2, a gene that encodes the sirtuin 2 protein.

    “Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy represents a major impairment to the quality of life of cancer patients and is one of the most common dose-limiting adverse effects of cancer treatment,” noted authors Scarlett Acklin and associates. “In this study, we aimed to examine whether pharmacologic activation of SIRT2 would provide effective prevention and treatment of cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy without compromising tumor cell cytotoxic response to cisplatin.”

    Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy has been attributed to the toxic effects of these drugs in peripheral neurons (nerve cells). When the research team treated neurons with cisplatin and NAD+, the cells had better survival compared to those treated with cisplatin alone. In another experiment, NAD+ had no effect on cisplatin-induced damage in neurons that had been genetically modified to lack SIRT2, which indicates that SIRT2 is necessary for NAD+’s protective effect. In cancer cells, NAD+ activated SIRT2 but did not inhibit the anticancer effects of cisplatin.

    In mice in which peripheral neuropathy was induced by cisplatin, nicotinamide riboside helped prevent as well as alleviate neuropathy. Nicotinamide riboside did not inhibit cisplatin’s ability to reduce tumor growth in mice implanted with cancerous tumors.

    “Our results identify SIRT2-targeted activity of NR as a potential therapy to alleviate cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy,” the authors concluded.


    —D Dye


    Greater potassium intake linked to lower blood pressure in women

    July 25 2022. A study reported on July 21, 2022, in European Heart Journal found an association between consuming a higher amount of potassium and lower blood pressure among women with a high intake of sodium. “It is well known that high salt consumption is associated with elevated blood pressure and a raised risk of heart attacks and strokes,” noted study author Liffert Vogt, MD, PhD, of Amsterdam University Medical Center. “Health advice has focused on limiting salt intake but this is difficult to achieve when our diets include processed foods. Potassium helps the body excrete more sodium in the urine.”

    The study included 11,267 men and 13,696 women who enrolled in England’s EPIC-Norfolk study between 1993 and 1997. Some participants were being treated for hypertension. Sodium and potassium intake were estimated from urinary levels of these minerals and categorized as low, medium or high.

    Increased potassium intake was associated with declining blood pressure among women with high sodium intake. In this group, each 1 gram increase in potassium consumption was associated with a 2.4 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure.

    During a median follow-up of 19.5 years, 54.5% of the men and women experienced cardiovascular disease events. Men whose potassium intake was among the top one-third of participants had a 7% lower risk of hospitalization or death caused by cardiovascular disease compared to men whose intake was among the lowest third. Among women whose potassium intake was highest, the risk was 11% lower. “The results suggest that potassium helps preserve heart health, but that women benefit more than men,” Dr Vogt stated. “The relationship between potassium and cardiovascular events was the same regardless of salt intake, suggesting that potassium has other ways of protecting the heart on top of increasing sodium excretion.”


    —D Dye


    Trial will evaluate form of vitamin B1 in Alzheimer disease

    July 22 2022. The Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study at University of California San Diego, in collaboration with Burke Neurological Institute and Columbia University Irving Medical Center, plans to evaluate the effect of high dose of a form of thiamin (vitamin B1) known as benfotiamine in individuals with Alzheimer disease.

    The trial is made possible by a $45 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Aging. Beginning next year, patients with mild Alzheimer disease or mild cognitive impairment due to the disease will be enrolled at up to 50 U.S. clinical trial sites. “We are excited to receive this funding, which will enable expanded testing of benfotiamine through to its clinical proof of concept, including adaptively testing for the optimal dose and treatment response across clinical and biomarker measures,” stated Howard Feldman, MD, who is dean of Alzheimer’s Disease Research and a professor of neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

    Being deficient in thiamin negatively impacts thiamin-regulated metabolic pathways, leading to a decrease in glucose metabolism. Glucose is the form of sugar that the brain uses as its main fuel. In preclinical research conducted by coprincipal investigator Gary E. Gibson, PhD, elevation of thiamin using benfotiamine supplements protected against Alzheimer symptoms.

    The current investigation will evaluate cognition and blood markers of Alzheimer disease and mild cognitive impairment among approximately 400 participants during an 18-month period.

    "At the Burke Neurological Institute, we have been studying the effects of thiamine on neurodegenerative diseases for more than 40 years,” commented Dr Gibson, who is a professor of neuroscience at Brain and Mind Research Institute of Weill Cornell Medicine. “I am particularly excited about this trial because it will determine how relevant these decades of research are to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”


    —D Dye


    Consuming more carotenoids could improve women’s later years

    July 20 2022. A review published June 11, 2022, in Nutritional Neuroscience concluded that a greater intake of plant compounds known as carotenoids, in particular lutein and zeaxanthin, may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases that are more common among women than men later in life.

    “The idea is that men get a lot of the diseases that tend to kill you, but women get those diseases less often or later, so they perseverate but with illnesses that are debilitating,” stated first author Billy R. Hammond, PhD, who is a professor at the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “For example, of all of the existing cases of macular degeneration and dementia in the world, two-thirds are women … these diseases that women suffer for years are the very ones most amenable to prevention through lifestyle.”

    Dr Hammond, along with Lisa Renzi-Hammond, examined degenerative conditions that women experience more often than men and observed that carotenoids target some of these illnesses. Because certain vitamins and minerals are absorbed by the body’s fat stores and women have a higher body fat percentage than men, lesser amounts of these vitamins may be available to the retina and the brain, which could contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration and some forms of dementia.

    “Men and women eat about the same amount of these carotenoids, but the requirements for women are much higher,” Dr Hammond stated. “The recommendations should be different, but there are, generally, not any recommendations for men or women for dietary components that are not directly linked to deficiency disease (like vitamin C and scurvy).”

    “Recommendations need to be changed so that women are aware that they have these vulnerabilities that they have to proactively address, so they don’t have these problems later in life.”


    —D Dye


    Supplementing with vitamin B6 could help with anxiety

    July 18 2022. A trial reported July 19, 2022, in Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental revealed that men and women who received supplements containing vitamin B6 had a reduction in feelings of anxiety compared to a placebo group.

    The trial recruited 478 participants among whom 265 reported experiencing anxiety and 146 reported depression. The participants were randomized to groups that received 100 mg vitamin B6, 1 mg vitamin B12 or a placebo daily for a month.

    Participants who received vitamin B6 had a significant decrease in self-reported anxiety following the supplementation period, while a nonsignificant reduction occurred in the placebo group.

    “The functioning of the brain relies on a delicate balance between the excitatory neurons that carry information around and inhibitory ones, which prevent runaway activity,” explained lead author David Field, PhD, of the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading. “Recent theories have connected mood disorders and some other neuropsychiatric conditions with a disturbance of this balance, often in the direction of raised levels of brain activity. Vitamin B6 helps the body produce a specific chemical messenger that inhibits impulses in the brain, and our study links this calming effect with reduced anxiety among the participants.”

    “Many foods, including tuna, chickpeas and many fruits and vegetables, contain vitamin B6,” he added. “However, the high doses used in this trial suggest that supplements would be necessary to have a positive effect on mood.”

    “It is important to acknowledge that this research is at an early stage and the effect of vitamin B6 on anxiety in our study was quite small compared to what you would expect from medication. However, nutrition-based interventions produce far fewer unpleasant side effects than drugs, and so in the future people might prefer them as an intervention.”


    —D Dye


    Leucine-rich protein supplements could benefit adults with sarcopenia

    July 15 2022. Sarcopenia is a condition characterized by muscle wasting that contributes to frailty in aging men and women. Results from a meta-analysis of randomized trials reported on June 24, 2022, in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics concluded that protein supplements rich in the essential branched-chain amino acid leucine could improve muscle strength in sarcopenic individuals.

    “The treatment of choice for sarcopenia is still resistance exercise with nutritional supplementation because no pharmacological agents to treat sarcopenia have become available yet,” Sang Yoon Lee, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Seoul National University College of Medicine noted. “While resistance exercise should be added to maximize the effects of the nutritional intervention, nutritional interventions remain the most promising treatment and prevention strategies for many older adults who are unable to exercise.”

    The meta-analysis included 6 randomized, controlled trials that involved a total of 699 men and women with sarcopenia. Three hundred forty-six trial participants received a daily protein supplement containing 3 to 6 grams of leucine and 353 participants received a placebo or no leucine for 8 to 13 weeks. Muscle strength, muscle mass and physical performance were evaluated before and after the treatment periods.

    Muscle strength significantly improved in leucine-supplemented participants as a primary outcome in comparison with the control groups. There was also a trend toward improvement in muscle mass and physical performance in the groups that received leucine. There was no significant difference in response between lower and higher amounts of leucine. No serious adverse events were reported.

    “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis investigating the effects of leucine-rich protein supplementation in sarcopenic older adults,” Dr Lee and his associates announced. They concluded that leucine-rich protein supplementation can be suggested as a nutritional therapy for individuals with sarcopenia.


    —D Dye


    Nutrients for the bones

    July 13 2022. A review appearing April 26, 2022, in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences describes how specific nutrients activate bone-preserving mechanisms.

    Osteoclasts are bone cells that break down bone tissue while osteoblasts synthesize bone. “To ward off the loss of bone mass, a logical strategy is to promote the differentiation, function, and survival of osteoblasts and osteocytes [bone cells], while concurrently suppressing the osteolytic activity of osteoclasts,” Mark F. McCarty and colleagues wrote. “With respect to osteoblasts, the RUNX2 transcription factor is the master regulator of osteoblast formation and function, driving the transcription of a number of genes essential for the bone forming process.”

    Signaling pathways that drive RUNX2 gene transcription are triggered by bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) 2 and 4. AMPK, which is activated by G. pentaphyllum, hesperidin and metformin, promotes BMP 2 and 4 expression in osteoblasts.

    The protein Sirt1 promotes RUNX2 activity. Sirt1 activation is increased by melatonin, nicotinamide riboside, glucosamine and thymoquinone, found in Nigella sativa.

    Activation of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), the only known nitric oxide receptor, also leads to the promotion of RUNX2. High doses of biotin activate sGC.

    Nrf2 regulates the cells’ defense against oxidative stress, as well as enhancing the activation of RUNX2 in osteoblasts and osteocytes. Lipoic acid, melatonin, thymoquinone, astaxanthin and sulforaphane can promote Nrf2 activity.

    Activation of these mechanisms also promotes autophagy, a process in which the cells consume their own damaged cellular components, which helps to prevent apoptosis (programmed cell death) and senescence in osteoblasts and osteocytes.

    “Regimens providing a selection of these nutraceuticals in clinically meaningful doses may have an important potential for preserving bone health,” the authors concluded. “Concurrent supplementation with taurine, N-acetylcysteine, vitamins D and K2, and minerals, including magnesium, zinc, and manganese, plus a diet naturally high in potassium, may also be helpful in this regard.”


    —D Dye


    Quercetin phytosome® reduced allergy symptoms in clinical trial

    July 11 2022. A randomized trial described in the June 2022 issue of the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences revealed a decrease in seasonal allergy symptoms among men and women who were given quercetin, a flavonoid that occurs in fruits, tea, onions and herbs.

    The trial included 60 participants who reported experiencing eye and nasal symptoms related to pollen or house dust exposure. Half of the participants received 200 milligrams quercetin phytosome® (a food-grade bioavailable formulation of quercetin) and the remainder received a placebo daily for 4 weeks. Blood samples were analyzed for various factors and quality of life questionnaires that evaluated eye and nasal symptoms were administered before the treatment period and at 2 and 4 weeks. Symptom severity was graded at the beginning of the trial and weekly thereafter.

    At the end of the study, allergy symptoms evaluated by the quality of life questionnaire responses, including eye itching, sneezing, nasal discharge and sleep disorder scores, were significantly improved among participants who received quercetin in comparison with participants who received a placebo. Severity of sneezing, nasal discharge and disturbance of daily living were lower at the end of various time points among supplemented participants compared to the placebo group.

    “Quercetin combined with the new delivery system used in the present study has been reported to have recorded a plasma level after an oral dose in humans 20-times higher than that of ordinary quercetin, thanks to the high solubility and trans-oral absorption,” S. Yamada of the University of Shizuoka and colleagues wrote. “Therefore, an elevation in the bioavailability of quercetin seems to have contributed to the alleviation of allergic symptoms in the present study.”

    “The results indicated that oral intake of quercetin-containing supplements might effectively reduce some allergy symptoms derived from pollinosis,” they concluded.


    —D Dye


    Children of women who supplemented with vitamin D during pregnancy had lower eczema risk

    July 8 2022. A study reported June 28, 2022, in the British Journal of Dermatology found a lower risk of atopic eczema among infants born to women who used vitamin D3 supplements during pregnancy. Atopic eczema is an allergic skin condition that affects an estimated 9.5% of children under the age of four.

    “Our aim was to see whether taking 1000 IU of vitamin D (cholecalciferol) as a supplement during pregnancy would decrease the risk of atopic eczema in babies,” first author Sarah El-Heis, MD, stated. “We also wanted to establish whether breastfeeding had any effect on this.”

    The investigation included 703 infants born to women enrolled in the Maternal Vitamin D Osteoporosis Study, which evaluated the effects of supplementation with vitamin D3 among pregnant women on the bone mineral content of their infants.

    The current study determined that babies less than a year old who were born to women who received vitamin D3 had a 45% lower risk of developing eczema than those born to mothers who received a placebo. Among children who breastfed for at least a month, the risk was 52% lower.

    “Our results showed that babies of mothers who received supplements had a lower chance of having atopic eczema at 12 months, which supports recommendations for vitamin D supplements to be routine during pregnancy,” Dr El-Heis stated. “We found no effect at 24 and 48 months suggesting that other postnatal influences might become more important beyond infancy or that the babies themselves might also need to be supplemented during the postnatal period for a sustained effect.”

    “We know that vitamin D can affect the immune system and the proteins that make up our skin,” lead researcher Keith Godfrey noted. “Our findings showed a positive effect, which was more evident in infants that breastfed. This may reflect supplementation during pregnancy increasing the amount of vitamin D in breast milk.”


    —D Dye


    Greater folate and vitamin B6 intake linked to lower risk of mortality during 9.8-year period

    July 6 2022. A study published on May 27, 2022, in Nutrients revealed a decreased risk of death during a median period of 9.8 years among men and women with a greater intake of vitamin B6 and the B vitamin folate compared to those whose intake was lower.

    The investigation included 55,569 participants enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1988–1994 and eight cycles of the continuous NHANES that occurred between 1999 and 2014. (Since 1999, NHANES has been a continuous survey that has released findings in two-year cycles.) Dietary recall interview responses were analyzed for the intake of folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

    Men whose intake of folate was among the top 25% of individuals in the study had a 23% lower risk of death from any cause, a 41% lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and a 32% lower risk of cancer mortality during follow-up than those whose intake was among the lowest 25%. Among women in the top 25%, the risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality were 14% and 47% lower.

    For men whose intake of vitamin B6 was among the highest 25% of those included in the study, the risk of all-cause mortality was 21% lower, cardiovascular disease mortality was 31% lower and cancer mortality was 27% lower compared to individuals whose intake was lowest. The risk of mortality among women whose vitamin B6 intake was among the top 25% was 12% lower than those whose intake was among the lowest 25% and their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was 44% lower.

    “Our findings suggest that increasing the intake of folate and vitamin B6 may lower the mortality risk among U.S. adults,” Yacong Bo of Zhengzhou University and colleagues wrote.


    —D Dye


    Higher serum antioxidant vitamins predict lower risk of respiratory illness and mortality

    July 1 2022. A pooled analysis published on June 9, 2022, in Respiratory Research concluded that having lower serum levels of vitamins C and E was associated a greater risk of suffering from wheeze or respiratory diseases, and that lower vitamin A, C and D were associated with an increased risk of dying from respiratory diseases.

    Paivi M. Salo and colleagues analyzed data from 16,218 men and women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES III), conducted from 1988 to 1994, and 17,838 adults who were continuous NHANES participants during 1999 to 2006 who had information available concerning at least one serum antioxidant vitamin level. Questionnaires completed upon enrollment provided data concerning the presence of wheezing during the previous year, and chronic lower respiratory disease diagnoses, including asthma, bronchitis or emphysema. Deaths from chronic lower respiratory disease, influenza or pneumonia were ascertained through 2015. Forty-two percent of the participants reported using vitamin supplements.

    Lower vitamin C levels were associated with a greater risk of wheeze. Among smokers, lower levels of the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E were associated with increased wheeze and chronic bronchitis/emphysema.

    A higher risk of death from chronic lower respiratory disease was associated with lower levels of vitamin C. Among smokers with lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, chronic lower respiratory disease and influenza/pneumonia deaths were increased. Greater influenza and pneumonia mortality was also associated with lower vitamin A levels. In pooled analysis of NHANES III and continuous NHANEs participants, vitamin C deficiency doubled the risk of dying from influenza or pneumonia in comparison with sufficiency.

    “Ours is the largest and most comprehensive epidemiological study on serum antioxidant vitamins and respiratory morbidity and mortality in adults conducted to date,” the authors announced. “The results underscore the importance of antioxidant vitamins in respiratory health.”


    —D Dye


    What's Hot Archive