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.




Trial finds NAC lowers obesity complications, senescence

September 29 2023. A randomized, double-blind trial that included obese men and women undergoing bariatric surgery found a reduction in inflammation, insulin, insulin resistance and adipose tissue senescence among participants who received the amino acid N-acetylcysteine (NAC). The findings were reported September 19, 2023, in Frontiers in Nutrition.

"One of the common features of obesity and aging is the accumulation of adipose tissue that has undergone senescence," the authors explained. "Although cellular senescence is a defensive mechanism that inhibits tumor growth, when it occurs in adipose tissue, it results in impaired adipogenesis, inflammation, abnormal adipocytokine secretion, and insulin resistance, all of which contribute to adipose dysfunction."

The trial included 40 participants, among whom half received 600 milligrams NAC and the remainder received a placebo for 4 weeks prior to bariatric surgery. Genes for p16 (a biomarker of cellular senescence) as well as genes for tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), which are both involved in inflammation, were measured before and after the treatment period. Also assessed at these time points were blood levels of TNF-a, IL-6, fasting glucose, insulin, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and other factors. Adipose tissue samples obtained during surgery were analyzed for senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity.

SA-β-gal, and the expression of P16 and IL-6 were significantly lower at the end of the study among participants that received NAC in comparison with the placebo group. TNF-a gene expression was non-significantly reduced among the NAC group. Glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, IL-6 and hs-CRP were also significantly lower at the end of four weeks among those who received NAC compared to the placebo.

"Findings showed that NAC, in addition to having a potential beneficial effect on reducing some of the complications caused by obesity, seems to have senolytic/senomorphic potential as well," the authors concluded.


—D Dye


Magnesium depletion linked with cardiovascular disease, premature death

September 27 2023. The September 19, 2023, issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association published a study conducted by researchers at The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University which found a significant association between higher magnesium depletion scores and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular mortality and deaths from all causes during follow-up.

The study examined data from 42,711 men and women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2018. Follow‐up was calculated from the date that the participants completed their NHANES interview until death or the end of 2019. Magnesium depletion was scored according to whether participants were currently using diuretics, were using proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs, had a low glomerular filtration rate (a marker of kidney function) or consumed more than two drinks per day if they were male or more than one drink if they were female. (These factors decrease the body’s magnesium.)

NHANES participants who had magnesium depletion scores of 2 to 4 factors had a higher risk of total cardiovascular disease and specific cardiovascular disease (angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke) in comparison with those who scored 0. Each unit increase in magnesium depletion score corresponded with a higher cardiovascular disease risk. High scores were also significantly associated with a greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease or from any cause during follow-up.

The authors remarked that while serum and urine magnesium levels are used to evaluate magnesium status, magnesium depletion stores have been validated by the gold standard of the magnesium tolerance test as a method for evaluating magnesium deficiency. They concluded that their study confirms that a high magnesium depletion score is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease occurrence and prognosis.


—D Dye


How hops compound could help lower metabolic syndrome risk

September 25 2023. Research reported September 21, 2023, in Microbiome determined that a compound found in hops reduces the amount of unfavorable Oscillibacter species in the gastrointestinal microbiome.

"The gut microbiota contributes to macrophage-mediated inflammation in adipose tissue with consumption of an obesogenic diet, thus driving the development of metabolic syndrome," authors N. K. Newman of Oregon State University College of Pharmacy and colleagues wrote. "There is a need to identify and develop interventions that abrogate this condition."

The term "metabolic syndrome" refers to a condition in which people have two or more of the following: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides. Metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Previous research has shown that xanthohumol or the xanthohumol derivative tetrahydroxanthohumol (TXN) from hops lowered metabolic syndrome biomarkers in animals with diet-induced obesity.

By examining genetic data and metabolic markers from these animals, the researchers found that TXN reduced macrophage inflammatory processes in fatty tissue and lowered levels of microbes that induce inflammation, including Oscillibacter valericigenes. [Macrophages are large immune cells involved in inflammation.] In cultured cells and in mice, Oscillibacter induced the expression of metabolic macrophage genes that TXN downregulates.

"When exposed to a high-fat diet common to metabolic syndrome, Oscillibacter bacteria help prompt the inflammation of fatty tissue that drives the syndrome," senior coauthor Andey Morgun of Oregon State University explained. "TXN serves to limit Oscillibacter species' numbers."

"We found TXN mainly works by reducing the abundance of gut microbes that promote inflammation in the adipose tissue's macrophage cells and improving glucose metabolism," he concluded.


—D Dye


Ginger’s support of healthy inflammatory response shows promise for autoimmune diseases

September 22 2023. Research findings reported on September 22, 2023, in JCI Insight explained how ginger could help control some autoimmune diseases.

Increased inflammation and blood clotting contribute to lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, antiphospholipid syndrome and several other autoimmune diseases. A type of white blood cell known as neutrophils can form extracellular traps (NETs), which are microscopic structures that contribute to this inflammation. This process is called NETosis.

"There are a lot of diseases where neutrophils are abnormally overactive," observed senior co-author Kristen Demoruelle, MD, PhD, who is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. "We found that ginger can help to restrain NETosis, and this is important."

Daily intake of ginger that provided 20 milligrams of compounds known as gingerols increased levels of a messenger molecule known as cyclic AMP inside neutrophils in a trial involving healthy participants. The researchers found that cyclic AMP inhibited NETosis. "Our research, for the first time, provides evidence for the biological mechanism that underlies ginger's apparent anti-inflammatory properties in people," announced senior coauthor Jason Knight, MD, PhD, who is an associate professor in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Michigan.

Dr Knight remarked that there are not many compounds known to combat overactive neutrophils. "Ginger may have a real ability to complement treatment programs that are already underway," he stated. "The goal is to be more strategic and personalized in terms of helping to relieve people's symptoms."

Based on their findings, the research team hopes to obtain funding for clinical trials of ginger in patients with autoimmune diseases in which neutrophils are overactive.


—D Dye


More vitamin K means lower diabetes risk

September 20 2023. Findings from meta-analyses reported September 19, 2023, in Food & Function affirm lower blood glucose and less insulin resistance among men and women given vitamin K, as well as a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes among people with higher intake of the vitamin.

The first meta-analysis included seven controlled trials that compared the glycemic effects of treatment with vitamin K1 or K2 to a placebo or multivitamin formula that did not contain vitamin K. The decline in glucose from levels measured at the beginning of the trials was significantly greater at the end of the trials among diabetics who received vitamin K in comparison with those who did not receive it. A significant reduction in insulin resistance was found among participants who received vitamin K2 (but not vitamin K1) compared with the control participants, which the authors suggested is due to the longer half-life of vitamin K2 forms MK-7 and MK-9 in circulation which allows the vitamin to be absorbed for a longer time. Among Asian participants, a significant association between vitamin K and lower fasting insulin was observed. 

Meta-analysis of five observational studies that examined the association between reported daily vitamin K intake and the development of type 2 diabetes among a total of 105,798 participants found a 21% lower risk of developing the disease among those whose intake was highest compared with the lowest.

"Recent studies have suggested a potential role for vitamin K in the metabolic syndrome, including hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and other disorders," Boyang Qu of The First Hospital of Jilin University and colleagues wrote. "Combined with the results of this study, we suggest that vitamin K may be closely associated with improvements in glycemic and insulin resistance and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus."


—D Dye


Vitamin B1 associated with improved survival among heart attack patients

September 18 2023. A retrospective observational study reported August 29, 2023, in Frontiers in Nutrition revealed a lower risk of dying in the hospital, as well as a lower mortality risk after 30 and 90 days among heart attack patients admitted to an intensive care unit who were given thiamine (vitamin B1).

Patients hospitalized in an intensive care unit following a myocardial infarction (heart attack) have a 17% risk of mortality.

"Critically ill patients are prone to inflammatory responses and tissue hypoxia, which disrupts the balance of oxidative and antioxidant systems within the body and increases the products of oxidative stress, such as reactive oxygen species," Suru Yue of and colleagues wrote. "Based on the inhibition of lipid peroxidation and oleic acid oxidation mechanisms, thiamine supplementation could improve the oxidative stress status."

The study included 170 men and women who were admitted to an intensive care unit for a heart attack for at least 48 hours. One hundred-seventy patients were given oral or intravenous thiamine and 1,612 patients did not receive the vitamin during their hospitalization.

Patients who were given thiamine had a 39.5% lower adjusted risk of in-hospital mortality than those who did not receive the vitamin. The group that received thiamine also had a thirty-day adjusted mortality risk that was 38.2% lower and a 90-day mortality risk that was 37.4% lower than those who did not receive it. Additional analysis of the data supported the evidence of a survival benefit for thiamine.

"To the best of our understanding, this research effort was the first to investigate the relevance between outcomes in myocardial infarction patients and thiamine," Yue and associates announced.

"Considering that thiamine is convenient, safe, and low cost, it has an excellent application prospect in critically ill patients," they concluded.


—D Dye


Vitamin B6 reduces adverse H. pylori treatment reactions

September 18 2023. Findings from a randomized, controlled trial published September 11, 2023, in BMC Infectious Diseases suggest that vitamin B6 could help decrease adverse reactions associated with the quadruple anti-Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) treatment regimen.

Helicobacter pylori is a widely prevalent bacterium that causes most gastric ulcers. Infection with H. pylori is the strongest known risk factor for gastric cancers. However, drugs used to treat the infection can cause intermittent vomiting and other symptoms.

The trial included 260 men and women diagnosed with H. pylori infection who were treated with rabeprazole tablets twice per day, metronidazole tablets three times per day, minocycline capsules twice per day and bismuth potassium citrate capsules twice per day for two weeks. Half of the participants also received 20 mg vitamin B6. At the end of the treatment period, participants were given a breath test to determine whether treatment for H. pylori was successful.

The percentages of H. pylori eradication in each group were statistically similar. While 74.62% of the group that received H. pylori treatment alone experienced adverse reactions to the treatment, these effects occurred among 56.92% of those whose treatment was combined with vitamin B6. Central nervous system symptoms, including dizziness, headache and loss of muscle coordination, occurred in 58.7% of the group that did not receive vitamin B6 and 14.63% of the B6 group. None of those who received B6 experienced moderate or severe gastrointestinal symptoms, compared with a third of the group that did not receive it.

"We have shown that the effect of H. pylori eradication did not differ between the conventional treatment group and vitamin B6 supplement treatment group" authors Meng-Yan Cui and colleagues announced. "Vitamin B6 can alleviate adverse reactions of the quadruple anti-H. pylori regimen containing minocycline and metronidazole," they concluded.


—D Dye


Glucosamine use associated with lower risk of dementia

September 13 2023. Findings from a study reported September 9, 2023, in Alzheimer's Research & Therapy revealed a reduced risk of developing vascular dementia among older men and women who used glucosamine, a compound that supports cartilage health that is used by people with osteoarthritis.

"In addition to the possible symptomatic benefits of glucosamine use on painful osteoarthritis, recent evidence suggests that glucosamine may modulate inflammation status, and may therefore be associated with improvements in a range of chronic metabolic disorders, particularly obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease," Chun Zhou and colleagues at Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China wrote. "Furthermore, studies in animal models have linked the use of glucosamine with better cognitive function."

The investigation included 214,945 participants in the UK Biobank, a long-term study that included men and women between the ages of 40 and 69 years at recruitment during 2006-2010. Participants' questionnaire responses provided information concerning regularly consumed nutrients. During a median 12-year follow-up, 1,039 men and women developed vascular dementia, 1,774 developed Alzheimer disease and 122 developed frontotemporal dementia.

Habitual use of glucosamine was associated with an adjusted 17% lower risk of vascular dementia compared with non-use. No association was observed between glucosamine and the development of Alzheimer disease or frontotemporal dementia. People who used calcium as well as glucosamine had a 54% lower risk of developing vascular dementia than those who did not use glucosamine. The participants' APOE status, which can indicate an increased genetic risk of Alzheimer disease, did not impact the association of glucosamine use with Alzheimer disease or vascular dementia.

"Our study showed that habitual glucosamine use was significantly associated with a lower risk of incident vascular dementia in the older population, regardless of APOE genotypes and cognitive function," Zhou and associates concluded.


—D Dye


Greater antioxidant intake linked with lower risk of gout

September 11 2023. A study reported August 24, 2023, in Biological Research for Nursing found a reduced risk of gout among men and women with a high antioxidant intake in comparison with those whose intake was low.

"To our best knowledge, this is the first study to explore the relationship between CDAI and gout in the general population," Wanqin Hu, MSN, and colleagues announced.

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by elevated uric acid that leads to the formation of painful sodium urate crystals in joints, tendons and surrounding tissues. "The formation of monosodium urate and hyperuricemia result in inflammation, endothelial oxidative damage, and oxidative stress by stimulating nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases, reducing endothelial levels of antioxidant nitric oxide, increasing reactive oxygen species and activating proinflammatory biomarkers," Hu and associates explained.

The investigation included 26,117 adults aged 40 to 59 enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2008, 2009–2010, 2011–2012, 2013–2014, 2015–2016 and 2017–2018 survey cycles. Composite dietary antioxidant index (CDAI) was calculated from the intake of the antioxidants selenium, zinc, vitamins A, C and E, and the carotenoids calculated from dietary questionnaire responses.

Men and women whose CDAI was among the top 25% had an adjusted 35% lower risk of gout than those whose CDAI was among the lowest 25%. The authors noted that oxidative stress, which is decreased by antioxidants, and inflammation have been found to be higher in gout patients than in those without the disease. "Composite dietary antioxidant index was inversely associated with gout in US adults, and dietary antioxidant intervention might be a promising method in the therapy of gout and greater emphasis should be placed on zinc, selenium, carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E," the authors concluded.


—D Dye


Urolithin A reverses blood stem cell decline

September 08 2023. Research reported August 31, 2023, in Nature Aging revealed a benefit for urolithin A, a compound made from ellagic acids and ellagitannins that occur in pomegranate, berries and nuts, in reversing the aging-associated decline of hematopoietic stem cells that generate blood and immune cells.

"Aging compromises hematopoietic and immune system functions, making older adults especially susceptible to hematopoietic failure, infections and tumor development, and thus representing an important medical target for a broad range of diseases," Mukul Girotra of the University of Lausanne and colleagues remarked.

Stem cells are immature, undifferentiated cells that can differentiate into various cell types in the body. The two major types of white blood cells are lymphoid and myeloid cells, both of which are generated by hematopoietic stem cells. "Aging dramatically reduces the blood reconstitution capability of hematopoietic stem cells and skews their fate toward myeloid lineages to the detriment of lymphoid cell production," the authors wrote. "In fact, specific age-related dysfunctions of the immune system stem from the deteriorated hematopoietic stem cell pool."

Ellagic acids and ellagitannins from foods that include raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate and walnuts are transformed by human gut microflora into urolithin A. The compound targets the cells' mitochondria, which are its energy-producing organelles. The researchers identified mitochondrial abnormalities as a factor in hematopoietic stem cell aging.

They determined that urolithin A restored hematopoietic stem cells' mitochondrial function. Administration of urolithin A to aged stem cells resulted in rejuvenation of their blood cell-forming capability. When added to the diet of mice, it enhanced hematopoietic performance, which boosted the animals' immune response against viral infection.

"The administration of the mitochondrial modulator urolithin A corrects mitochondrial function in hematopoietic stem cells and completely restores the blood reconstitution capability of 'old' hematopoietic stem cells," Girotra and colleagues wrote.


—D Dye


Vitamin C and D associated with fewer complications in leukemia patients

September 06 2023. A study reported in Blood Advances found reduced complications from chemotherapy received by adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who were given vitamins C and D.

The investigation included 431 men and women with AML who received intensive chemotherapy at the University Cancer Institute of Toulouse in France. One hundred sixty-nine patients who were treated from 2018–2020 received vitamins C and D and 262 patients treated with chemotherapy during 2015–2018 who did not receive the vitamins served as a control group. The majority of patients had low vitamin C and D levels at the time of diagnosis. Patients who received the vitamins were followed for a median of 28.7 months and the control group was followed for a median 58.2-month period.

Bacterial infections, bleeding and immune system inflammation occurred among a respective 27.2%, 1.8% and 1.8% of the vitamin-treated group, while patients who were not given the vitamins experienced rates of 35.1%, 5.7% and 8.8%. Although survival was similar between the groups, when patients with the NPM1 mutation (which occurs in one in three patients) were examined, the risk of death during follow-up was 48% lower among those given the vitamins than those who were not.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the potential effects of vitamin C and D supplementation during intensive chemotherapy for AML," announced senior author Christian Récher, MD, of the University Cancer Institute of Toulouse. "We have shown that supplementation is feasible and safe and may help reduce some significant adverse events associated with intensive chemotherapy, which is a clear benefit for patients."

"Our results are encouraging and support prospective clinical trials of vitamin C and D administration in AML patients," he concluded.


—D Dye


Study finds greater omega-3 fatty acid intake linked with lower atrial fibrillation risk

September 01 2023. The August 2023 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported a declining risk of the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation in association with increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

Although increased omega-3 fatty acid intake has been linked with cardioprotective effects, some research has associated it with a greater risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia. "We sought to test the hypothesis that dietary eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid/docosapentaenoic acid (EPA/DHA/DPA) is associated with a higher risk of atrial fibrillation in a large prospective cohort of US Veterans," Eric T. Guardino, DO, and colleagues wrote.

The study included 301,294 US men and women enrolled in the Million Veteran Program (MVP), which examined the effects of genetic and nongenetic characteristics on health. Veterans who had a history of atrial fibrillation were excluded from the study. Dietary questionnaire responses were used to calculate the participants' average daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids. The MVP Lifestyle Survey provided data concerning additional omega-3 usage. Data concerning atrial fibrillation events during follow-up were obtained from health records. Follow-up was calculated as the time between the date of completion of the MVP Lifestyle Survey and the closure date of the current study's data.

Greater intake of total marine omega-3 fatty acids was nonlinearly associated with a lower risk of atrial fibrillation incidence. Compared with veterans whose intake was among the lowest 20%, those among the highest 20% had a 7% lower risk of being diagnosed during follow-up. Separate analysis of the intake of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA, DHA and DPA also revealed a nonlinear reduction in risk.

"Our findings demonstrated an inverse and nonlinear relation of dietary omega-3 fatty acids with the incidence of atrial fibrillation among US veterans," the authors concluded. "Confirmation in the general population is warranted."


—D Dye


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