Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine November 2011

In The News

In The News

Garlic and Grape Seed Supplementation Associated with Fewer Blood Cancers

Garlic and Grape Seed Supplementation Associated with Fewer Blood Cancers

An article published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reveals a link between increased use of garlic or grape seed supplements and a lower risk of hematologic malignancies, including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and leukemia.*

Researchers examined data from 66,227 men and women enrolled in the VITamins And Lifestyle study. Responses to questionnaires completed between 2000 and 2002 were used to estimate the ten year average daily dose of each supplemental vitamin, mineral or specialty supplement consumed prior to enrollment.

Five hundred eighty-eight hematologic malignancies were identified among the subjects through December 2008. Among those who reported using garlic supplements for at least four days a week over three or more years, there was a 45% lower adjusted risk of a hematologic cancer compared to those who reported no use. For grape seed, the risk was 43% lower in those who reported ever using the supplement compared to nonusers.

Editor’s Note: Daily use of multivitamin supplements for at least eight years was associated with a non-significant 20% lower risk of hematologic malignancies in comparison with no use.

—D. Dye

Reference

* Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Aug 23.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Associated with Decreased Cognitive Decline in Older Men and Women

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Associated with Decreased Cognitive Decline in Older Men and Women

An article published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging establishes a link between the use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements and a reduced risk of cognitive impairment.*

The current study sought to determine the association of omega-3 from supplements with the development of cognitive decline. Researchers at National University of Singapore analyzed data from 1,475 participants in the Singapore Longitudinal Aging Studies who did not have dementia upon enrollment. Questionnaires administered at the beginning of the study were analyzed for the frequency of omega-3 fatty acid supplement use and for the intake of fish, from which these fatty acids are derived. Cognitive performance was evaluated at enrollment and at a median of 1.5 years later.

Compared to those who did not report daily supplementation, subjects who supplemented had a 63% lower adjusted risk of being diagnosed with cognitive decline over follow-up.

—D. Dye

Reference

* J Nutr Health Aging. 2011;15(1):32-5.

Meta-Analysis Affirms Efficacy for Zinc Lozenges in Common Cold

Meta-Analysis Affirms Efficacy for Zinc Lozenges in Common Cold

The outcome of a meta-analysis published in the Open Respiratory Medicine Journal concludes that zinc lozenges are beneficial in reducing the length of colds if the mineral is available in sufficient quantities.*

Dr. Harri Hemilä of the University of Helsinki selected thirteen placebo-controlled trials examining the effects of zinc lozenges on cold duration. Three trials tested zinc acetate and five trials tested other forms of zinc in daily doses of greater than 75 milligrams. The remaining five trials evaluated the use of lozenges that contained lower doses of the mineral.

While pooled analysis of the five trials that analyzed the effects of less than 75 milligrams zinc found no benefit, zinc acetate consumed in doses higher than 75 milligrams per day was associated with a 42% reduction in cold duration. Consuming more than 75 milligrams of other forms of zinc was associated with a 20% decrease in the length of colds.

Editor’s Note: Although no long-term adverse effects were observed, high doses of zinc consumed for extended periods of time are not recommended. Nevertheless, Dr. Hemilä remarks that 150 milligrams per day of zinc have been administered for therapeutic uses for months or years in specific patients, and that a trial involving six weeks of supplementation at this level failed to result in a deficiency of copper (a potential side effect of prolonged intake of high amounts of zinc).

—D. Dye

Reference

* Open Respir Med J. 2011;5:51-8.

Antioxidants Show Potential for Infertility

Antioxidants Show Potential for Infertility

An analysis published online in the journal Pharmacological Research reviews the role of antioxidants in the treatment of infertility issues in men and women and concludes that the compounds show significant promise via their effects on vascular function.*

“While the direct effects of antioxidant treatment on the quality of semen and oocytes are still under investigation, a significant body of evidence points to loss of vascular tone as a root-cause of erectile dysfunction and, possibly, alterations to female reproduction,” write authors Francesco Visioli and Tory M. Hagen.

The authors remark that nitric oxide synthesis and bioavailability, which play a major role in vascular function, are impaired by compounds known as free radicals. These damaging molecules can be controlled, in part, by increasing the availability of antioxidants. While commonly supplemented antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, may be helpful, other antioxidants, such as lipoic acid, may have a more profound benefit.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Hagen added that treatment with antioxidants, “Might help prevent other critical health problems as well, at an early stage when nutritional therapies often work best.”

—D. Dye

Reference

* Pharmacol Res. 2011 Jul 1.

Protein Supplementation Lowers Blood Pressure

In an article published online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, Jiang He, MD, PhD, and associates report the outcome of a crossover trial which found that milk and soy protein supplements lower systolic blood pressure among those in the early stages of hypertension.*

A team led by Dr. He divided 352 adults with prehypertension or stage 1 high blood pressure to receive 40 grams of soy or milk protein, or a refined carbohydrate supplement daily for eight weeks, followed by a three week wash-out period in which no supplements were given. The subjects then participated in two additional treatment phases in which they received supplements that had not previously been administered.

The trial revealed a reduction in systolic blood pressure associated with protein, but not carbohydrate, supplementation. “The systolic blood pressure differences we found are small for the individual, but they are important at the population level,” Dr. He stated.

Editor’s note: The authors remark that the study’s findings suggest that partially replacing carbohydrate with soy or milk protein could become part of a nutritional intervention to help prevent or treat high blood pressure.

—D. Dye

Reference

* Circulation. 2011 Jul 18.