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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.




Omega-3 levels linked with lung health maintenance

July 31 2023. On July 20, 2023, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published the finding of an association between an increase in plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids and reduced lung function.

"We know a lot about the role of diet in cancer and cardiovascular diseases, but the role of diet in chronic lung disease is somewhat understudied," corresponding author Patricia A. Cassano, PhD, observed. "This study adds to growing evidence that omega-3 fatty acids, which are part of a healthy diet, may be important for lung health too."

The first part of the two-part investigation included 15,063 healthy men and women enrolled in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Pooled Cohorts Study. Participants were followed for up to 20 years, during which repeated measures of lung function were obtained. The second part collected genetic data from more than half a million UK Biobank participants.

The first part of the study revealed a correlation between higher plasma omega-3 fatty acid levels and a lower risk of declining lung function during follow-up. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA appeared to be the most protective. The second part uncovered associations between genetically predicted omega-3 levels and less lung function decline.

"We're starting to turn a corner in nutritional research and really moving toward precision nutrition for treating lung diseases," first author Bonnie K. Patchen, PhD, predicted. "In the future, this could translate into individualized dietary recommendations for people at high risk for chronic lung disease."

"This large population-based study suggests that nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties may help to maintain lung health," stated James P. Kiley, PhD, of the NHLBI's Division of Lung Diseases. "More research is needed, since these findings raise interesting questions for future prospective studies about the link between omega-3 fatty acids and lung function."


—D Dye


Eight habits = more life

July 28 2023. Results of a study presented on July 24, 2023, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition revealed eight therapeutic lifestyle factors that increased life expectancy at age 40 by 22.6–23.7 years.

"Lifestyle medicine is aimed at treating the underlying causes of chronic diseases rather than their symptoms," explained presenting author Xuan-Mai T. Nguyen, of the Department of Veterans Affairs. "It provides a potential avenue for altering the course of ever-increasing health care costs resulting from prescription medicine and surgical procedures."

The study included 719,147 men and women between the ages of 40 and 99 years enrolled between 2011 and 2019 in the health research program known as the Million Veteran Program. Medical records and responses to questionnaires provided data concerning lifestyle factors. During an average follow-up of 5-6 years, 33,375 deaths occurred.

A declining risk of mortality during follow-up was observed in association with each increase in the number of positive factors. Having eight lifestyle factors that included never smoking, being physically active, not regularly binge drinking and having good sleep hygiene, good diet, minimal stress, positive social relationships and no addiction to opioids was associated with an increase in 23.7 years of life expectancy at age 40 for men and 22.6 years for women compared with subjects in the study who had none of these factors.

"We were really surprised by just how much could be gained with the adoption of one, two, three, or all eight lifestyle factors," Nguyen remarked. "Our research findings suggest that adopting a healthy lifestyle is important for both public health and personal wellness. The earlier the better, but even if you only make a small change in your 40s, 50s, or 60s, it still is beneficial."

"It is never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle," she emphasized.


—D Dye


Higher vitamin D levels associated with less severe psoriasis

July 26 2023. Research reported at NUTRITION 2023, held July 22–25, 2023, added more evidence to a relationship between increasing vitamin D levels and declining psoriasis severity.

"With growing public interest in vitamin supplementation, we wanted to further examine the connection between vitamin D levels and psoriasis severity," stated research team leader Eunyoung Cho, ScD, who is an associate professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. "Few studies have looked for this association in groups of people, especially in large U.S. populations, or examined this relationship through a clinical nutrition lens."

Dr Cho and colleagues analyzed data from 162 men and women with psoriasis enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003–2006 and 329 patients who enrolled during 2011–2014. The team observed a linear trend between declining serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and increasing psoriasis severity quantified as body surface area affected by the disease. Psoriasis patients with the least severe disease had 25(OH)D levels that averaged 26.8 ng/mL and those with the greatest disease severity had levels averaging 22.4 ng/mL. Thirty-nine percent of those with the most severe psoriasis were deficient in vitamin D.

"Only one previous study, published in 2013, has used NHANES data to analyze the relationship between vitamin D and psoriasis," presenting author Rachel K. Lim of Brown University noted. "We were able to add more recent data, which more than tripled the number of psoriasis cases analyzed, making our results more up-to-date and statistically powerful than previously available data."

"Topical synthetic vitamin D creams are emerging as new therapies for psoriasis, but these usually require a doctor's prescription," she observed. "Our results suggest that a vitamin D-rich diet or oral vitamin D supplementation may also provide some benefit to psoriasis patients."


—D Dye


Just over half a tablespoon olive oil daily lowers dementia mortality risk by 25%

July 24 2023. A study reported at the 2023 meeting of American Society for Nutrition revealed an association between regular olive oil consumption and a lower risk of dying from dementia such as Alzheimer disease, stroke and vascular dementia.

"Some antioxidant compounds in olive oil can cross the blood-brain barrier, potentially having a direct effect on the brain," lead author Anne-Julie Tessier, RD, PhD, of Harvard University explained. "It is also possible that olive oil has an indirect effect on brain health by benefiting cardiovascular health."

The current study included 60,582 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study from 1990 to 2018 and 31,801 men who participated in the Health Professionals' Follow-Up Study between 1990 and 2018. Responses to dietary questionnaires administered every four years provided information concerning the intake of foods including olive oil and other fats, and diet quality was scored.

During more than 28 years of follow-up, there were 4,749 deaths from dementia. Consuming more than seven grams per day of olive oil (over half a tablespoon) was associated with a 25% lower risk of fatal dementia in comparison with no or rare consumption.  Replacing five grams (one teaspoon) of margarine and mayonnaise daily with the same amount of olive oil was associated with a 5%–12% lower risk. According to the authors, "No interaction of olive intake with diet quality on fatal dementia risk was found."

"Our study reinforces dietary guidelines recommending vegetable oils such as olive oil and suggests that these recommendations not only support heart health but potentially brain health, as well," Dr Tessier concluded. "Opting for olive oil, a natural product, instead of fats such as margarine and commercial mayonnaise is a safe choice and may reduce the risk of fatal dementia."


—D Dye


More findings for CoQ10 and selenium

July 21 2023. A substudy of a trial that has been a source of numerous findings concerning the benefits of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and selenium revealed yet more positive effects associated with intake of these nutrients. The current investigation found that participants who received the combination experienced beneficial changes in biomarkers of aging while those who received a placebo had unfavorable modifications. The study was reported July 4, 2023, in Cells.

The trial included 441 men and women aged 70 to 88 years with low selenium levels. Participants received a placebo or 100 mg per day CoQ10 plus 200 mcg per day selenium for 48 months. Blood samples were analyzed before and after the treatment period for factors including biomarkers of aging. These biomarkers included ICAM-1, an immune response regulator that drives inflammatory responses; adiponectin, which has a beneficial anti-inflammatory property yet increases during aging and has been associated with increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality when elevated in older individuals; leptin, a proinflammatory cytokine; stem cell factor, a cytokine and growth factor; and osteoprotegerin, a member of the proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor family and an activator of NF-kB, involved in inflammation. The researchers correlated all biomarkers with age (with the exception of leptin) and noted that inflammation is an important aspect of the aging process.

At the end of the trial, the aging-associated biomarkers were significantly lower among participants who received CoQ10 and selenium and higher in the placebo group.

"From these results, it is an attractive hypothesis that the supplementation might also slow down the ageing process, even if this is not shown per se," the authors wrote. "However, the previously reported effects on IGFBP-1 by our group provide support for our hypothesis. IGFBP-1 is associated with cardiovascular risk, and it has also been reported as a biomarker of the ageing process."


—D Dye


Espresso as Alzheimer prevention?

July 19 2023. A study reported July 19, 2023, in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed that compounds occurring in espresso have a protective effect against the aggregation of tau, a protein that helps stabilize brain structures in healthy people but forms long fibrils within cells in the brains of people with Alzheimer disease.

"Tauopathies is the term used to define a set of neurodegenerative disorders with symptoms of dementia and parkinsonism," Roberto Tira and colleagues at the University of Verona explained. "The primary feature of tauopathies is the abnormal accumulation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in the brain."

Research has uncovered an association between moderate to high coffee intake and a lower risk of Alzheimer disease. Many coffee compounds cross the blood-brain barrier and have neuroprotective effects.

The researchers identified compounds in espresso that included caffeine, trigonelline and genistein. "We then demonstrated with in vitro and in cell experiments that the whole coffee extract as well as caffeine and genistein have biological properties in preventing aggregation, condensation, and seeding activity of the repeat region of tau," they reported.

The team observed an association between increasing concentrations of espresso extract, caffeine or genistein and the formation of shorter tau fibrils that are less toxic than longer fibrils. Even in the presence of low quantities of coffee extract, long fibril formation was reduced. Espresso extract and caffeine were subsequently shown to bind preformed tau fibrils. The authors of the report noted that tau concentration within neurons is about 25 times less than that which was used in their experiments.

"Based on the bioavailability of coffee components in the brain, and on the results of our study, we expect that moderate coffee consumption may provide a sufficient amount of bioactive molecules to act separately or synergistically as modulators of tau protein aggregation and toxicity," they concluded.


—D Dye


Supplements boost nutritional adequacy among low income older adults

July 17 2023. The July 2023 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported poor diet quality and nutrient intake among older participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as well as among older nonparticipants who qualified for SNAP benefits; however, including dietary supplement intake in the analysis improved nutritional inadequacy risk.

The study included 2,582 men and women over the age of 60 years enrolled in the 2007–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Twenty-four-hour dietary recall responses were analyzed to ascertain average usual nutrient intake, inadequate nutrient intake and dietary quality.

Usual nutrient intake from dietary and total sources and dietary quality were similar between older SNAP participants and eligible nonparticipants. A high percentage of inadequacy was determined for the intake of vitamins A, C, D, E, calcium and magnesium from food sources. The risk of inadequacy was reduced when intake from supplements was included in the analysis. As an example, the estimated average requirement for vitamin D was not met by 90% of participants when intake from food and beverages alone was analyzed but was lowered to 60% when supplements were included.

"Dietary supplements are often excluded when examining nutrient intake but may represent a significant contribution to total nutrient intake, the summation of the intake derived from both nutrients from dietary sources and from dietary supplements," authors Yue Qin and colleagues explained. "Previous research has shown that up to 64% (vitamin D) of nutrient intake among food-insecure adults greater than or equal to 19 years comes from dietary supplements and that they make important contributions to meeting requirements for certain nutrients."

"Diet quality and usual nutrient intake among older adult SNAP participants and eligible nonparticipants were poor, but dietary supplements lowered the risk of nutrient inadequacy," they concluded.


—D Dye


Green tea compound shows promise against uterine fibroids

July 14 2023. A Research findings reported May 25, 2023, in the Nature journal Scientific Reports suggest that a compound occurring in green tea may help women with uterine fibroids:  benign fibrous uterine tumors that occur in a significant number of women.

While many women with uterine fibroids have no symptoms, others experience pelvic pain and pressure, abnormal bleeding and/or difficulty conceiving.

"The purpose of this study was to examine how EGCG works to treat and prevent uterine fibroids," explained coauthor James Segars Jr, MD, who is a professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "There is no standard protocol for uterine fibroid disease management or prevention, no tools to prevent their growth, so finding a safe nonsurgical therapy is important."

The investigation utilized lab-grown human fibroid cells that were treated with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant compound in green tea. Dr Segars and his associates observed that EGCG disrupted fibroid tumor cell growth, movement, signaling and metabolism, and reduced specific proteins. When compared with five synthetic inhibitors of fibrosis, EGCG's ability was more effective than three and equal to that of two.

"We report for the first time that EGCG induced antifibrotic effects in uterine fibroid cells," authors Md Soriful Islam, PhD, MSc, and colleagues at Johns Hopkins Medicine announced. "We also found that fibrosis was mediated by multiple signaling pathways, which can be effectively blocked by EGCG treatment."

The current findings add support to an ongoing trial of EGCG that enrolled women with fibroids who are trying to conceive.

"The results from this study show that EGCG targets many signaling pathways involved in fibroid growth, particularly the extracellular matrix," Dr Islam concluded. "EGCG supplements could be an easily accessible and natural way to relieve symptoms and slow fibroid growth."


—D Dye


TMG supplementation associated with improved testosterone levels, exercise performance

July 12 2023. A randomized, crossover trial resulted in improvements in exercise performance and testosterone levels among CrossFit practitioners who supplemented with trimethylglycine (TMG, also known as betaine). The findings were reported on July 6, 2023, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

CrossFit training involves workouts that include strength, gymnastic and endurance exercises involving aerobic and anerobic energy systems. TMG supplements are used by some individuals to improve athletic performance, as well as to lower homocysteine levels.

The study included 43 men between the ages of 18 and 45 who had participated in a minimum of two CrossFit sessions per week for at least one year. Participants were divided into two groups who received a placebo or TMG daily for three weeks followed by a three-week period during which no supplements were received. This was followed by another three-week period in which those who had previously received a placebo received TMG and those who had received TMG received a placebo. TMG dosage was 2.5 grams or 5 grams per day.

CrossFit performance (consisting of wall ball shots, sumo deadlift high-pulls, box jumps, push presses and rowing), muscle power, body composition and blood factors were analyzed before and after each of the two treatment periods. Total CrossFit performance improved, and testosterone levels increased by an average of 7% in TMG-supplemented participants, but no significant changes were observed in association with the placebo. Insulin-like growth factor and cortisol remained relatively unchanged. MTHFR genotype and TMG dose did not impact any of the outcomes.

"Our results showed that betaine significantly improved CrossFit performance, which was the main outcome of the study," Emilia Kawieja of Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland, and colleagues wrote.


—D Dye


Overview affirms CoQ10 association with reduced heart failure mortality

July 10 2023. An overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of clinical trials published June 23, 2023, in Food & Function concluded a possible beneficial effect for CoQ10 on cardiac function, which was associated with fewer hospitalizations and decreased mortality from heart failure.

Heart failure is a condition that occurs when the heart fails to pump adequately. Lower serum and tissue levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a protein produced in the body, have been associated with greater severity of heart failure symptoms.

The overview included ten meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials that compared the effects of a placebo with CoQ10 on cardiac function, quality of life and CoQ10 blood levels in heart failure patients. Daily doses of CoQ10 ranged between 20 mg and 400 mg, consumed for one week to two years. Ejection fraction was evaluated in nine meta-analyses, mortality in six, blood CoQ10 levels in five, exercise capacity in four, New York Heart Association classification in three, and cardiac output, cardiac index, stroke volume (which evaluate cardiac function) and hospitalization in two.

In all studies that measured blood concentrations of CoQ10, levels increased in participants who received it. Coenzyme Q10 increased ejection fraction in six of the nine studies that evaluated it and improved cardiac output, cardiac index and stroke volume in one of the two meta-analyses that assessed these factors. Mortality was 31% to 42% lower and hospitalization was 38% lower compared with a placebo among participants who were given CoQ10.

Although the body makes its own CoQ10, this may be insufficient for heart failure patients who have low levels, authors Eva Alarcón-Vieco and colleagues explained. They concluded that their overview suggests that CoQ10 may have positive effects on aspects of heart function, particularly ejection fraction and mortality, and that it may have further benefits, including those related to lipid, metabolic and inflammatory factors.


—D Dye


Primate study findings suggest cognitive benefit for longevity protein

July 07 2023. A report published July 4, 2023, in Nature Aging revealed cognitive benefits for klotho, a longevity factor that declines during aging, when injected into older nonhuman primates who share a similar evolutionary history with humans.

Research has found that people with elevated klotho have better cognition or a decreased risk of dementia during aging. Authors Stacy A. Castner, PhD, and colleagues noted that human cord blood has five times the level of serum klotho compared to that of adults and that klotho declines further as people age.

Acting on findings of greater synaptic plasticity and cognition in mice that were given the protein, the researchers tested its effects in 18 rhesus macaques whose age averaged 21.78 years. (Synapses connect nervous system cells known as neurons.) Rhesus macaques undergo cognitive decline during aging and show synaptic changes in the brain like that of humans.

A subcutaneous injection of klotho elevated serum klotho levels in macaques to a therapeutic range predetermined in mice. Macaques that received klotho showed better working and spatial memory than those that received an inert substance. "Our data show that klotho enhanced cognition in aging rhesus macaques, an effect that persisted for at least two weeks in both the normal memory load and high memory load measures of memory," Dr Castner and her associates reported. "Klotho-mediated cognitive enhancement similarly persisted in mice for at least two weeks, suggesting organizational, longer-lasting and beneficial effects on the synapse and brain."

"Because klotho levels decrease in human aging, our data showing that a lower dose of klotho (comparable to five times baseline levels and similar to levels observed at birth) can enhance cognition in aged nonhuman primates suggest that peripheral treatment or replenishment with this endogenous hormone may prove therapeutic in aging humans," they concluded.


—D Dye


Quercetin supports post-exercise muscle recovery

July 05 2023. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the July 2023 issue of Biology of Sport concluded that supplementing with the plant compound quercetin speeds muscle function recovery and reduces muscle soreness following exercise.

"Quercetin is one of the most frequently consumed flavonoids in the human diet and exerts a broad range of health-promoting physiological effects in humans," Daniel Rojano-Ortega, PhD, of University Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain and colleagues noted.

The researchers selected 13 studies that included a total of 249 men and women for their review. The studies compared the effects of quercetin supplementation to a placebo or control when administered prior to an exercise protocol designed to induce muscle damage. Twelve of the studies evaluated a quercetin dosage of 1,000 milligrams per day.

Among the five studies that assessed muscle function, four studies found significant improvement among groups that received quercetin compared with the control groups. Meta-analysis of the four studies that evaluated muscle soreness revealed a decrease in association with quercetin supplementation. Pooled analysis of six studies that measured creatine kinase, a marker of muscle tissue damage, found a significant decrease 24 hours to 48 hours after exercise among participants who received quercetin. Post-exercise oxidative stress was also lowered in association with quercetin.

"Our findings suggest that quercetin supplementation may accelerate recovery of muscle function and attenuate muscle damage and muscle soreness following strenuous exercise," Dr Rojano-Ortega and his associates wrote. "Our results also suggest that quercetin supplementation is associated with reduced oxidative stress and increased antioxidant capacity. Therefore, quercetin supplementation is a good strategy to accelerate the recovery of muscle function."


—D Dye


Mediterranean diet plus AREDS supplements slows macular degeneration

July 03 2023. The July–August 2023 issue of In Vivo reported the findings of a study that evaluated the effects of consuming a nutritional supplement based on the AREDS (Age-related Eye Disease Study) 2 formula and/or a Mediterranean diet on the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of visual impairment. Benefits were revealed for either treatment, but the greatest reduction in progression occurred among patients who consumed both.

The study included 164 men and women with early or intermediate dry AMD. Dietary questionnaires completed at enrollment were assessed for adherence to a Mediterranean diet, which is characterized by an abundance of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, olive oil as a primary source of fat, low to moderate amounts of poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products, and low intake of red meat and sweets. One hundred thirty-seven patients were using AREDS 2 supplements (containing lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and copper) for over six months. Patients received eye examinations at the beginning of the study and at one year.

Sixty-five percent of supplement users and 67% of those with high Mediterranean diet adherence showed improvement or stabilization of AMD at one year. Patients who used supplements for longer than six months were 8.2 times more likely to have slowed the progression of AMD than those who failed to use them.

Among the group who had high adherence to the diet and used AREDS 2 supplements, 74.3% stabilized or improved. Compared with those who did not use supplements or adhere to the diet, their likelihood of slowing AMD was 24.5 times higher.

"Adopting a Mediterranean-type diet and complementing it with antioxidant supplement may play an important role in the risk of progression to advanced stages of AMD," the authors concluded.


—D Dye


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