Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine January 2011

In The News

Luteolin May Help Prevent Memory Loss

Researchers at the University of Illinois report that the flavonoid luteolin helped reduce inflammation in the brains of aged mice, which restored memory to levels observed in younger animals.*

The study examined luteolin’s effect in immune cells in the brain known as microglial cells, which produce inflammatory signaling molecules in response to infection. When the researchers exposed microglial cells to a bacterial toxin, they produced inflammatory cytokines capable of destroying brain cells known as neurons. While pretreatment of neurons with luteolin showed no benefit, exposure of microglia to this compound prevented neuron death.

In an experiment with mice, adult and aged animals were fed a control diet or a luteolin-enhanced diet for four weeks. Assessment of spatial memory found increased learning and recall in older mice supplemented with luteolin compared to aged controls. In addition, inflammatory markers in the brain’s hippocampus were decreased.

Editor’s note: Luteolin is found in carrots, rosemary, celery, and some supplemental nutritional formulas.

—D. Dye

Reference

* J Nutr. 2010 Oct;149(10):1892-8.

Gamma Tocotrienol Inhibits Prostate Cancer Stem Cells

Gamma Tocotrienol Inhibits Prostate Cancer Stem Cells

Researchers at Australia’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have found that gamma tocotrienol, one of eight forms of vitamin E, could help prevent prostate cancer regrowth due to an ability to inhibit prostate cancer stem cells. The research was described in an article published in the International Journal of Cancer.*

Dr. Patrick Ling and colleagues demonstrated that gamma-tocotrienol downregulates the expression of prostate cancer stem cell markers in androgen-independent prostate cancer cell lines. Pretreatment of one of the cell lines with gamma tocotrienol was found to suppress the cells’ ability to initiate tumor growth.

“Currently there is no effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer, because it grows back after conventional therapies in more than 70% of cases,” Dr. Ling observed. “But with gamma-tocotrienol, QUT researchers have found a better way to treat prostate cancer, which has the potential to inhibit recurrence of the disease.”

Editor’s note: Dr. Ling noted that, “Previous clinical trials using another vitamin E constituent to inhibit prostate cancer development were unsuccessful, but these trials did not use the vitamin E constituent gamma-tocotrienol.”

—D. Dye

Reference

* Int J Cancer. 2010 Jul 8.

Reduced Testosterone Levels in Men Linked to Increased Mortality Over 7-year Period

Reduced Testosterone Levels in Men Linked to Increased Mortality Over 7-year Period

A report published in a recent issue of the journal Heart reveals an increased risk of premature death from all causes and cardiovascular disease among men whose testosterone levels were deficient.*

Researchers at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, England analyzed data from 930 men with cardiovascular disease who underwent elective coronary angiography in a cardiac referral center between June 2000 and June 2002. Serum total testosterone and bioavailable testosterone were measured on the day of the procedure.

The subjects were followed for an average of 6.9 years, during which 129 deaths occurred. Twenty-one percent of those with deficient bioavailable testosterone levels died from all causes over follow-up, compared to 12% of those with normal levels. Borderline low levels of total testosterone were also associated with an increased risk of dying over follow-up.

Editor’s note: The current study’s finding indicates that men with low testosterone are almost twice as likely to die over a 7-year period.

—D. Dye

Reference

* Heart. 2010 Nov;96(22):1821-25.

High LDL Levels in Early Life Predict Coronary Calcification

People seldom die of a “sudden” heart attack. Instead, coronary artery blockage represents an accumulation of risk factors that were reversible if detected before the heart attack happened.*

A meticulous study done recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine looked at a large group whose blood was initially tested between ages 18-30. Seven additional blood tests were done on each person over a 20-year period. The results showed that those with the highest LDL (over 160 mg/dL) were 5.6 times more likely to have calcium buildup in their coronary arteries by age 45.

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) transports cholesterol from the liver throughout the vascular system. In the presence of excess LDL, too much cholesterol saturates the blood and contributes to arterial occlusion. This study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that over a 20-year period, those with even moderately elevated LDL (100-129 mg/dL) were 2.4 times more likely to have coronary calcification.

This study validates the need for everyone to have their blood tested for cardiac risk factors starting no later than age 18.

—J. Finkel

Reference

* Annals Intern Med. 2010 Aug 3;153(3);137-46.

Diabetes Epidemic: Numbers Projected to Triple by 2050

Diabetes Epidemic: Numbers Projected to Triple by 2050

Diabetes is the number one cause of blindness, lower limb amputations, heart attack, stroke, dementia, and cancer, yet a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that if the current upward trend of diabetes isn’t stemmed, the number of Americans living with this disease will skyrocket.*

“Certainly the fact that diabetes prevalence is increasing and is likely to continue to increase into the future isn’t really surprising,” said Dr. M. Sue Kirkman, vice president of clinical affairs at the American Diabetes Association. “The absolute numbers in terms of the projections, are, of course, concerning and shocking.”

CDC researchers also studied the rise in obesity in the US and found that the number of Americans living with diabetes is expected to double and possibly even triple by 2050. The overwhelming majority of these people will develop type 2 diabetes, where the body loses its ability to produce insulin.

“A large number of type 2 cases can be prevented,” Ann Albright, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation said. “A smart nutritious diet and moderate exercise, even just 30 minutes a day of vigorous walking, can help maintain proper blood sugar levels and help prevent type 2 diabetes.”

—J. Finkel

Reference

* http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/22/diabetes-numbers-expected-to-triple-by-2050/. Accessed October 26, 2010.

The Immortality Edge: Realize the Secrets of Your Telomeres for a Longer, Healthier Life

The Immortality Edge: Realize the Secrets of Your Telomeres for a Longer, Healthier Life

By Michael Fossel, MD, PhD, Greta Blackburn, and Dave Woynarowski, MD

The introduction for this book is titled The Hunt for Immortality, but that phrase could be used to describe the overall tone of the book as well. Throughout its 200 or so pages, authors Michael Fossel, MD, PhD, Greta Blackburn, and Dave Woynarowski, MD, take the reader on a relentless pursuit of increased longevity. No aspect of immortality is left unturned, from a history of the science behind slowing aging to specific steps you can take to live longer, this book has it all.

Divided into three parts, The Immortality Edge is essential reading for Life Extension® members.

Part One: The Immortality Promise tackles the question of whether aging is a disease with a cure or a natural process that has existed forever. By examining the roots of longevity science, readers will gain a basic knowledge of where cutting-edge anti-aging science is at today. The bulk of this chapter rests upon this foundation and the introduction of the telomere theory of aging. In fact, the authors state the following: “we are quite positive that the cause of and the solution to aging lies in telomere biology.”

Part Two: The Immortality Edge Longevity Program is actually divided into four parts; The Immortality Edge Supplement Plan, The Immortality Edge Fitness Plan, The Immortality Edge Stress-Reduction Plan, and Add Years to Your Life. While the titles of each section are self-explanatory, the information inside deserves a thorough reading. In fact, you might want to take notes, as there is so much information involving key supplements for longevity you’ll want to refer back to the pages several times over. The fitness plan and stress-reduction plan are sections that even advanced exercisers can pull tips from. But what separates this book from others in the field is the level of explanation and justification for each strategy. The authors aren’t merely telling you to do something; they’re telling you why and giving you lessons in longevity to boot.

Part Three: The Immortality Edge Forever is made up of two parts, The Immortality Edge Nutrition Plan and The Immortality Edge Forever Exercise Plan. These sections take the previous chapters in the book to another level, including such spot on sidebars as the Top Twenty Telomere-Friendly Foods and lists of foods with the most protein or fiber content. In short, this book provides everything you need, from knowledge, to nutrition, to fitness, to start your longevity program today!

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The Immortality Edge: Realize the Secrets of Your Telomeres for a Longer, Healthier Life