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LE Magazine September 2006


Differential effects of blueberry proanthocyanidins on androgen sensitive and insensitive human prostate cancer cell lines.

Blueberries are rich in health-promoting polyphenolic compounds including proanthocyanidins. The purpose of this study was to determine if proanthocyanidin-rich fractions from both wild and cultivated blueberry fruit have the same inhibitory effects on the proliferation of LNCaP, an androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cell line, and DU145, a more aggressive androgen insensitive prostate cancer cell line. When 20 microg/ml of a wild blueberry proanthocyanidin fraction (fraction 5) was added to LNCaP media, growth was inhibited to 11% of control with an IC50 of 13.3 microg/ml. Two similar proanthocyanidin-rich fractions from cultivated blueberries (fractions 4 and 5) at the same concentration inhibited LNCaP growth to 57 and 26% of control with an IC50 of 22.7 and 5.8 microg/ml, respectively. In DU145 cells, the only fraction that significantly reduced growth compared to control was fraction 4 from cultivated blueberries with an IC50 value of 74.4 microg/ml, indicating only minor inhibitory activity. Differences in cell growth inhibition of LNCaP and DU145 cell lines by blueberry fractions rich in proanthocyanidins indicate that blueberry proanthocyanidins have an effect primarily on androgen-dependant growth of prostate cancer cells. Possible molecular mechanisms for growth inhibition are reviewed.

Cancer Lett. 2006 Jan 18;231(2):240-6

Supplementation with Evelle improves skin smoothness and elasticity in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with 62 women.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether nutritional intervention with a proprietary formulation and other micronutrients may favourably alter skin roughness and elasticity. METHODS: Sixty-two women aged 45-73 years participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial testing the efficacy of a proprietary oral supplement for skin nutrition (Evelle), for improvement of skin elasticity and roughness. The active ingredients were vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, amino acids and glycosaminoglycans, blueberry extract and Pycnogenol. RESULTS: Skin elasticity, measured using an optical cutometer, was found to be statistically significantly increased by 9% after 6 weeks of treatment compared with placebo (p=0.0351). Skin roughness, as evaluated by three-dimensional microtopography imaging, was found to be statistically significantly lowered by 6% compared with the control group after 12 weeks treatment (p=0.0157). CONCLUSION: Evelle can potentially improve visible signs of cutaneous ageing.

J Dermatolog Treat. 2004 Jul;15(4):222-6

The beneficial effects of fruit polyphenols on brain aging.

Brain aging is characterized by the continual concession to battle against insults accumulated over the years. One of the major insults is oxidative stress, which is the inability to balance and to defend against the cellular generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These ROS cause oxidative damage to nucleic acid, carbohydrate, protein, and lipids. Oxidative damage is particularly detrimental to the brain, where the neuronal cells are largely post-mitotic. Therefore, damaged neurons cannot be replaced readily via mitosis. During normal aging, the brain undergoes morphological and functional modifications resulting in the observed behavioral declines such as decrements in motor and cognitive performance. These declines are augmented by neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Research from our laboratory has shown that nutritional antioxidants, such as the polyphenols found in blueberries, can reverse age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction as well as cognitive and motor deficits. Furthermore, we have shown that short-term blueberry (BB) supplementation increases hippocampal plasticity. These findings are briefly reviewed in this paper.

Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Dec;26 Suppl 1:128-32

Blueberry- and spirulina-enriched diets enhance striatal dopamine recovery and induce a rapid, transient microglia activation after injury of the rat nigrostriatal dopamine system.

Neuroinflammation plays a critical role in loss of dopamine neurons during brain injury and in neurodegenerative diseases. Diets enriched in foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions may modulate this neuroinflammation. The model of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injected into the dorsal striatum of normal rats, causes a progressive loss of dopamine neurons in the ventral mesencephalon. In this study, we have investigated the inflammatory response following 6-OHDA injected into the striatum of adult rats treated with diet enriched in blueberry or spirulina. One week after the dopamine lesion, a similar size of dopamine degeneration was found in the striatum and in the globus pallidus in all lesioned animals. At 1 week, a significant increase in OX-6- (MHC class II) positive microglia was found in animals fed with blueberry- and spirulina-enriched diets in both the striatum and the globus pallidus. These OX-6-positive cells were located within the area of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) -negativity. At 1 month after the lesion, the number of OX-6-positive cells was reduced in diet-treated animals while a significant increase beyond that observed at 1 week was now present in lesioned control animals. Dopamine recovery as revealed by TH-immunohistochemistry was significantly enhanced at 4 weeks postlesion in the striatum while in the globus pallidus the density of TH-positive nerve fibers was not different from control-fed lesioned animals. In conclusion, enhanced striatal dopamine recovery appeared in animals treated with diet enriched in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and coincided with an early, transient increase in OX-6-positive microglia.

Exp Neurol. 2005 Dec;196(2):298-307

Reversing the deleterious effects of aging on neuronal communication and behavior: beneficial properties of fruit polyphenolic compounds.

Despite elegant research involving molecular biology studies and determination of the genetic mechanisms of aging, practical information on how to forestall or reverse the deleterious effects of aging may be years away. If this is the case, then it is prudent to try to establish other methods that can be used now to alter the course of aging. Numerous epidemiologic studies have indicated that individuals who consume diets containing large amounts of fruits and vegetables may reduce their risk for developing age-related diseases such as Alzheimer disease. Research from our laboratory suggested that dietary supplementation with fruit or vegetable extracts high in antioxidants (eg, blueberry or spinach extracts) might decrease the enhanced vulnerability to oxidative stress that occurs in aging. These reductions might be expressed as improvements in motor and cognitive behavior. Additional research suggested that mechanisms in addition to antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities might be involved in the beneficial effects of these extracts; the most important of these might be their ability to increase cellular signaling and neuronal communication.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;81(1 Suppl):313S-316S

Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation in vitro by fruit and berry extracts and correlations with antioxidant levels.

The effects of 10 different extracts of fruits and berries on cell proliferation of colon cancer cells HT29 and breast cancer cells MCF-7 were investigated. The fruits and berries used were rosehips, blueberries, black currant, black chokeberries, apple, sea buckthorn, plum, lingonberries, cherries, and raspberries. The extracts decreased the proliferation of both colon cancer cells HT29 and breast cancer cells MCF-7, and the effect was concentration dependent. The inhibition effect for the highest concentration of the extracts varied 2-3-fold among the species, and it was in the ranges of 46-74% (average = 62%) for the HT29 cells and 24-68% (average = 52%) for the MCF-7 cells. There were great differences in the content of the analyzed antioxidants in the extracts. The level of the vitamin C content varied almost 100-fold, and the content of total carotenoids varied almost 150-fold among the species. Also in the composition and content of flavonols, hydroxycinnamic acids, anthocyanins, and phenolics were found great differences among the 10 species. The inhibition of cancer cell proliferation seen in these experiments correlated with levels of some carotenoids and with vitamin C levels, present at levels that can be found in human tissues. The same inhibition of cell proliferation could not be found by ascorbate standard alone. This correlation might indicate a synergistic effect of vitamin C and other substances. In MCF-7 cells, the anthocyanins may contribute to the inhibition of proliferation.

J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 1;52(24):7264-71

Blueberry supplemented diet reverses age-related decline in hippocampal HSP70 neuroprotection.

Dietary supplementation with antioxidant rich foods can decrease the level of oxidative stress in brain regions and can ameliorate age-related deficits in neuronal and behavioral functions. We examined whether short-term supplementation with blueberries might enhance the brain’s ability to generate a heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) mediated neuroprotective response to stress. Hippocampal (HC) regions from young and old rats fed either a control or a supplemented diet for 10 weeks were subjected to an in vitro inflammatory challenge (LPS) and then examined for levels of HSP70 at various times post LPS (30, 90 and 240 min). While baseline levels of HSP70 did not differ among the various groups compared to young control diet rats, increases in HSP70 protein levels in response to an in vitro LPS challenge were significantly less in old as compared to young control diet rats at the 30, 90 and 240 min time points. However, it appeared that the blueberry diet completely restored the HSP70 response to LPS in the old rats at the 90 and 240 min times. This suggests that a short-term blueberry (BB) intervention may result in improved HSP70-mediated protection against a number of neurodegenerative processes in the brain. Results are discussed in terms of the multiplicity of the effects of the BB supplementation which appear to range from antioxidant/anti-inflammatory activity to signaling.

Neurobiol Aging. 2006 Feb;27(2):344-50

Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonian syndromes.

The parkinsonian syndrome rests on the clinical tripod: akinesia, rigidity, tremor. Akinesia is the key symptom, broadly defined as a difficulty in initiating and performing movements in proportion to their complexity (sophisticated, simultaneous movements) and their duration (repetitive movements). The most frequent cause of the syndrome is Parkinson’s disease. Although this diagnosis needs to be confirmed in pathological terms by the loss of neurons and the presence of Lewy’s bodies in the substantia nigra, some clinical data enable it to be envisaged with a minimum of errors; these are pure parkinsonian triad, good response to dopatherapy and asymmetrical symptoms. The other causes of parkinsonian syndrome are usually related to the administration of neuroleptic drugs and to degenerative diseases with lesions that are more diffuse than those of Parkinson’s disease. In Steele-Richardson-Olzewski disease a parkinsonian syndrome is associated with supranuclear ophthalmoplegia. Multiple systematized atrophy presents under three different clinical aspects: a parkinsonian syndrome without tremor and resistant to L-dopa, suggesting atrophy of the strionigral tract; a parkinsonian syndrome associated with a cerebellar syndrome, suggesting olivo-cerebellar-pontine atrophy, and Shy-Drager disease which includes primary dysautonomy and other neurological syndromes.

Rev Prat. 1989 Mar 9;39(8):647-51

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