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.

 

 

 

Greater CoQ10 intake associated with lower marker of inflammation

October 30 2023. A study reported October 18, 2023, in Food & Function found a relationship between increased intake of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and reduced levels of the inflammation biomarker C-reactive protein. The study is the first, to the authors' knowledge, to evaluate the association between CoQ10 in the diet and inflammation.

A team from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, analyzed data from 7,953 men and women enrolled in the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Three days of dietary intake information provided by the participants during interviews was analyzed for CoQ10 content to estimate daily intake. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and white blood cell count were measured in fasting blood samples to evaluate inflammation.

Compared with men and women whose CoQ10 intake from their diets was among the lowest 25% of participants, those whose intake was among the highest 25% had adjusted average levels hs-CRP levels that were 21% lower and participants among third 25% had levels that averaged 30% lower. Men and people over 45 years of age showed the strongest associations between higher CoQ10 intake and lower hs-CRP levels. No significant association was found between CoQ10 intake and white blood cell counts.

"Dietary intake of CoQ10 from food is usually low, around 3–5 mg per day," authors Mingzhu Zhao and colleagues noted. They reported that CoQ10 from dietary sources lowered hs-CRP by a small effect size in this study and that hs-CRP did not continue to decline above a certain amount of intake. "We speculated that the practical application of modulating inflammation through CoQ10 from dietary sources may be limited," they wrote.

They concluded that the study's "findings suggested a significant negative association between dietary-derived CoQ10 and hs-CRP levels."

 

—D Dye

 

Omega-3 fatty acids show promise against liver disease

October 27 2023. Research findings reported in the October 11, 2023, issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine suggest that adding omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) to the diets of people with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) could help improve the condition.

NASH is a more serious form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and is associated with an increased risk of fibrosis, cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure and liver cancer.

Acting on the knowledge of improvement in liver function in association with omega-3 fatty acid intake in preclinical models of NAFLD and NASH, researchers at Oregon State University analyzed molecular data obtained from human liver cancer cells and a mouse model of NASH induced by the consumption of a Western diet. They identified betacellulin as a protein growth factor that is downregulated by omega-3 fatty acids in humans and animals with NASH. The team confirmed that betacellulin contributed to liver fibrosis and inflammation.

"We only succeeded in finding these surprising results because we implemented an entirely unbiased approach that incorporated a diverse type of big data analysis ranging from lipids and metabolites to whole tissue and single-cell RNA sequences," corresponding author Andrey Morgun, MD, PhD, explained. "Via large meta-analysis, we found betacellulin is consistently upregulated in livers of cancer patients – there's more of it than there should be. And omega-3 PUFAs lower, or downregulate, betacellulin in both mice and humans with NASH. Targeting betacellulin expression is one of the mechanisms for omega-3 PUFA reduction of western-diet-induced NASH."

"We found a novel drug target, and our results may aid in the quest for a precision-medicine approach to NASH treatment and liver cancer prevention by using specific omega-3 PUFA," Dr Morgun added. "One thought is that patients' betacellulin could be monitored during treatment to determine optimal dosages for each patient."

 

—D Dye

 

Quitting metformin may increase risk of dementia

October 25 2023. A study reported in the American Medical Association journal JAMA Network Open on October 25, 2023, revealed that terminating the use of the prescription drug metformin was associated with an increase in the risk of developing dementia. The finding supports those of earlier studies that found a lower risk of dementia or Alzheimer disease among metformin users in comparison with those who did not use the drug.

Metformin is prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes to support glucose control. Research has uncovered other benefits for the drug, including those that have been associated with calorie restriction. Although metformin is beneficial for most individuals with type 2 diabetes, an increased risk of premature mortality has been found among users with kidney dysfunction, which may lead to metformin cessation. Gastrointestinal side effects may be another reason for termination.

Researchers analyzed electronic health records of 41,346 men and women who were members of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care system. Among this group, there were 12,220 individuals who stopped using metformin without a history of abnormal kidney function at the time of discontinuation. The subjects were followed from the first availability of electronic health records beginning in 1996, to 2020.

The research team found a 21% greater risk of being diagnosed with dementia among early terminators of metformin who did not have abnormal markers of kidney function at the time of termination in comparison with subjects who continued to use the drug or quit because of kidney disfunction.

"Terminating metformin treatment was associated with increased dementia incidence, corroborating prior observational research that initiating metformin was associated with reduced risk of dementia," Scott C. Zimmerman, MPH, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues concluded. "This finding has important implications for the clinical management of diabetes."

 

—D Dye

 

Resveratrol associated with improved endothelial function in diabetes patients

October 23 2023. Results from a randomized, double-blind, crossover study reported in the February 2024 issue of in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology revealed improvement in endothelial function (functioning of the lining of the blood vessels, which maintains healthy blood flow) in people with diabetes and chronic kidney disease who were given resveratrol compared with those who received a placebo.

The study included 21 diabetics with stage 3 chronic kidney disease. Participants received 400 milligrams resveratrol daily or a placebo for six weeks. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation measured endothelial function at the beginning and end of the study. Other factors, including estimated glomerular filtration rate (an indicator of kidney function), hemoglobin A1c (which is elevated in people with diabetes), blood pressure and nitroglycerin-mediated dilation, were also measured at these time points.

At the end of the study, participants who received resveratrol had significantly greater flow-mediated dilation compared with the placebo group. Other measured factors remained unchanged in both the resveratrol and placebo groups, which suggests that the improvement in flow-mediated dilation occurred independently of changes in traditional cardiovascular risk factors. No difference in adverse events occurred between participants who received resveratrol and those who received a placebo.

Report authors Colin J. Gimblet, PhD, of the University of Iowa and associates explained that compounds known as polyphenols, which include resveratrol, may help improve atherosclerosis because of their ability to limit oxidative stress and support a healthy inflammatory response in endothelial cells. They observed that, to their knowledge, no studies had yet evaluated the effectiveness of resveratrol on flow-mediated dilation in patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease. "Our pilot study suggests that resveratrol improves endothelial function in patients with CKD and diabetes and informs the design of larger clinical trials to confirm our findings," Dr Gimblet and colleagues concluded.

 

—D Dye

 

Probiotic species may support healthy blood pressure

October 20 2023. A study using a mouse model of hypertension, reported on October 19, 2023, in the journal mSystems, found that mice that received probiotics that occur in breast milk had lower blood pressure after 16 weeks in comparison with animals that did not receive the probiotics.

"Accumulated evidence supports an antihypertensive effect of probiotics and probiotic fermented foods in both in vitro and in vivo experiments," coauthor and computational biologist Jun Li, PhD, of the City University of Hong Kong noted. "We believed that the dietary intake of probiotic foods would well supplement traditional hypertension treatment."

"Probiotics present a promising avenue in preventive medicine offering potential in regulating hypertension and reshaping our approach to cardiovascular health," added coauthor Zhihong Sun, PhD, who is a microbiologist at Inner Mongolia Agricultural University.

The researchers produced hypertension in 21 mice by giving them water mixed with fructose. Eight mice that served as controls were provided with normal drinking water. Seven animals that received fructose were given Bifidobacterium lactis M8 and eight were given Lactobacillus rhamnosus M9. The animals' blood pressure was monitored every four weeks during the 16-week treatment period.

At the end of the study, mice that received either probiotic had blood pressure that was significantly lower than the group that received fructose and no probiotics. Bifidobacterium lactis M8 was associated with 16.92% and 18.56% respective median reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and Lactobacillus rhamnosus M9 with 15.39% and 20.62% reductions. Further investigation suggested that each probiotic evaluated in the study regulated blood pressure by different mechanisms.

"Our findings indicate that the probiotic efficacies in alleviating hypertension are linked to specific gut microbes and metabolic pathways, which provide a potential mechanistic understanding of probiotics modulated blood pressure," the authors concluded.

 

—D Dye

 

Higher B12 levels associated with less inflammation

October 18 2023. Research reported in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture uncovered a link between higher serum vitamin B12 levels and lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), which increase during inflammation.

"Since chronic inflammation is associated with a wide range of diseases, understanding how vitamin B12 status influences inflammation could have significant implications for disease prevention and management," coauthors Rosa M. Lamuela-Raventós and Inés Domínguez López noted. "IL-6 and CRP are widely recognized as key markers of inflammation in clinical practice, as elevated levels of these markers are associated with various inflammatory conditions and chronic diseases."

The study utilized data from a subgroup of 136 participants in the PREDIMED trial who had available data concerning their serum concentrations of vitamin B12 and CRP, and plasma IL-6. The PREDIMED trial was designed to evaluate the relationship between consuming a Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease prevention.

Men and women who had higher vitamin B12 levels had lower concentrations of CRP and IL-6. Similar findings were obtained when the researchers measured these factors in aged mice. A surprising discovery of the investigation was that mice do not become deficient in vitamin B12 during aging as humans often do. "We didn't know this before, and it poses the possibility that studying mice could potentially help us understand how we could prevent B12 deficiency in older humans," co-first author Marta Kovatcheva stated.

"Our study found that in general, the more vitamin B12 an individual has, the lower their inflammatory markers are -- we call this an inverse relationship," she explained. "We already know that vitamin B12 deficiency can be harmful in many ways, but what we have reported here is a novel relationship. This might help us better understand why some unexplained symptoms of human B12 deficiency, like neurologic defects, occur."

 

—D Dye

 

Calorie restriction good for muscles

October 16 2023. Findings from participants in the Comprehensive Assessment of Long term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study, published October 12, 2023, in Aging Cell revealed a positive effect for calorie restriction in skeletal muscle quality and youthful gene expression.

The CALERIE study included 188 men and women, among whom 117 were assigned to a diet that provided 25% fewer calories than the number consumed before the beginning of the study and the remainder consumed as many calories as they desired for two years. Those assigned to calorie restriction achieved an average of 12% calorie reduction during the two-year period. "A 12% reduction in calorie intake is very modest," corresponding author Luigi Ferrucci, MD, PhD, Scientific Director of the National Institute on Aging stated. "This kind of small reduction in calorie intake is doable and may make a big difference in your health."

Calorie restriction was associated with less of a decline in two measures of muscle function compared with a non-restricted diet. Thigh muscle biopsies of tissue samples obtained from 90 participants at the beginning of the study and/or at 12 and 24 months showed that calorie restriction had beneficial effects on the expression of genes related to proteostasis, circadian rhythm regulation, DNA repair, mitochondrial biogenesis, apoptosis, inflammation and other factors. "Since inflammation and aging are strongly coupled, calorie restriction represents a powerful approach to preventing the proinflammatory state that is developed by many older people," Dr Ferrucci commented.

The authors concluded that "Two years of sustained calorie restriction in humans positively affected skeletal muscle quality, and impacted gene expression and splicing profiles of biological pathways affected by calorie restriction in model organisms, suggesting that attainable levels of calorie restriction in a lifestyle intervention can benefit muscle health in humans."

 

—D Dye

 

Coffee, tea drinking at midlife linked with less frailty later

October 13 2023. A study reported July 21, 2023, in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, revealed an association between drinking coffee or tea during middle-age and less physical frailty in older age.

The investigation included 12,583 men and women whose age averaged 53 years upon enrollment from 1993–1998 in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Questionnaires administered at enrollment obtained information concerning the intake of beverages or food that contained caffeine. Participants' weights were measured at the second follow-up during 2006–2010. At the third follow-up, conducted during 2014–2017, perceived energy levels and handgrip strength were evaluated and timed up-and-go testing was conducted. Frailty was defined as having at least two of the following: more than 10% weight lost between the second and third follow-up interviews, exhaustion, slowness, and weakness indicated by handgrip strength.

In comparison with participants who did not drink coffee, those who consumed four or more cups per day had an adjusted 46% lower risk of frailty at the third follow-up. Daily tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk compared with those who consumed it less than once per month. Among participants whose caffeine intake was among the top 25% of participants, the risk of frailty was an adjusted 22% lower than those whose intake was among the lowest 25%.

"Coffee and tea are mainstay beverages in many societies around the world, including Singapore," noted lead researcher Koh Woon Puay, of the Healthy Longevity Translational Research Program at the National University of Singapore. "Our studies show that consumption of these caffeinated drinks at midlife may be associated with a reduced likelihood of physical frailty in late life. However, further studies are still needed to confirm these longitudinal associations, and to investigate if these effects on physical frailty are mediated by caffeine or other chemical compounds."

 

—D Dye

 

Trial findings suggest herbal combo may help people with mild cognitive impairment

October 11 2023. A report published in the October-December 2023 issue of in Alzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring revealed improvement in memory and executive function among older individuals with mild cognitive impairment who consumed extracts of Panax ginseng, Ginkgo biloba and Crocus sativus L (saffron) for 12 weeks. The SaiLuoTong (SLT) herbal combination was the product of a collaborative effort by Western Sydney University's National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) Health Research Institute and Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing.

"People with mild cognitive impairment have an increased risk of dementia – over fivefold in some cases – and at the moment we do not have any approved medications for mild cognitive impairment," noted first author Genevieve Z. Steiner-Lim, PhD. "Early intervention is critical in order to delay or prevent a dementia diagnosis."

The pilot phase II trial included 78 individuals aged 60 and older with mild cognitive impairment who received 180 milligrams per day of SLT or a placebo for 12 weeks. Participants received tests that evaluated cognitive function and other factors and the beginning and end of the trial.

At the end of the study, logical memory (episodic) delayed recall and executive function (needed for planning and self-control) scores were significantly improved among participants who received the herbal combination in comparison with the placebo. "Our findings are very promising as they show that even after a relatively short treatment period of just 12-weeks, SLT can support important aspects of memory and thinking in people with mild cognitive impairment," Dr Steiner-Lim stated. "The next step is to conduct another trial with a larger sample size and longer treatment period to test whether SLT can be used to treat mild cognitive impairment and potentially delay a diagnosis of dementia."

 

—D Dye

 

Vitamin intake linked with reduction in premature mortality among diabetics

October 02 2023. A study reported September 26, 2023, in Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews uncovered a lower risk of mortality during a median follow-up period of 11 years among people with diabetes who consumed sufficient vitamin A, folate and niacin.

The investigation included 5,418 adults with diabetes who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999–2018. Dietary recall interview responses were analyzed for vitamin intake. Supplementary intake was categorized as low, medium or high. Food or total vitamin intake was classified as insufficient, sufficient or excessive according to Dietary Reference Intakes and other criteria. Through 2019, 1,601 deaths occurred.

Compared with low additional vitamin intake, medium intake of vitamin A was associated with a 17% lower risk of mortality and medium intake of folate with a 12% reduction. In comparison with participants whose vitamin intake from food was categorized as insufficient, those who consumed sufficient vitamin A, vitamin B2, niacin, vitamin B6 or folate had respective 13%, 14%, 15%, 15% and 14% lower risks of dying from any cause during follow-up. Sufficient total intake of vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacin, vitamin B6, folate or vitamin E was associated with respective 19%, 13%, 20%, 14%, 15%, 16% or 15% lower risks of dying compared with insufficient total intake.

People who had a sufficient intake of vitamin A from food had a 21% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality than those with insufficient intake and individuals with excess folate intake had a 67% lower risk compared with sufficient intake.

"Compared with the general population, people with diabetes often exhibit unique dietary patterns and nutrient needs," the authors observed. "For example, a calorie-restricted diet for controlling the blood glucose level may lead to vitamin deficiency."

"Thus, the effect of dietary vitamin intake on mortality in people with diabetes may differ from that in the general population."

 

—D Dye

 

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