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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine June 2009
In The News

Elevated C-Reactive Protein May Signal Higher Cancer Risk

Elevated C-Reactive Protein May Signal Higher Cancer Risk

Elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) predict higher cancer risk and poorer disease outcomes, according to a recent report published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1 Detectable by a simple blood test, CRP is an inflammatory marker that is increasingly recognized as an important independent risk factor for heart disease.2

More than 10,000 Danish citizens participated in this long-term study, which documented CRP levels at baseline and subsequently monitored subjects’ health for up to 16 years. People with a higher baseline plasma CRP value (greater than 3 mg/L) were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than people with a relatively low baseline CRP level (less than 1 mg/L). The risk of lung cancer more than doubled among people with high baseline CRP levels. Furthermore, elevated levels of baseline CRP were associated with a dramatically higher risk of early death following a diagnosis of any type of cancer, especially in patients whose cancer had not metastasized.2

“Elevated levels of CRP in cancer-free individuals are associated with increased risk of cancer of any type…[and] with early death after a diagnosis of any cancer…” wrote researchers.2 These findings support the link between inflammation and elevated cancer risk, and underscore the importance of regularly monitoring CRP blood levels as part of a health maintenance program.

—Dale Kiefer

Reference

1. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Mar 16.
2. Circulation. 2008 Nov 25;118(22):2243-51, 4 p following 2251

Compound in Broccoli May Help Protect Against Asthma and Other Respiratory Diseases

Compound in Broccoli May Help Protect Against Asthma and Other Respiratory Diseases

In a recent issue of Clinical Immunology, researchers at UCLA and the US Environ-mental Protection Agency report that sulforaphane, a compound that occurs in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, may help protect against respiratory inflammation and the diseases it causes, including asthma and allergic rhinitis.*

The team administered a preparation of broccoli sprouts, which contain high amounts of sulforaphane, or a preparation of alfalfa sprouts to 65 men and women for three days. Gene expression of antioxidant enzymes was evaluated in nasal passage rinse samples collected before and after treatment. 

“We found a two- to three-fold increase in antioxidant enzymes in the nasal airway cells of study participants who had eaten a preparation of broccoli sprouts,” principal investigator Dr. Riedl noted. “This strategy may offer protection against inflammatory processes and could lead to potential treatments for a variety of respiratory conditions.”

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* Clin Immunol. 2009 Mar;130(3):244-51.

Clinical Studies Demonstrate Benefits of Life Extension®’s DHEA Formulation

Clinical Studies Demonstrate Benefits of Life Extension®’s DHEA Formulation

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a popular anti-aging supplement associated with many health benefits. Two impressive studies utilized Life Extension’s brand of DHEA to demonstrate that doses of 50 mg/day can help accelerate abdominal fat loss,1 improve insulin sensitivity,1 and increase lean muscle mass.2

In the first placebo-controlled study, investigators examined the effect of DHEA on visceral fat (within the abdomen) and subcutaneous fat (under the skin) in 56 men and women aged 65 to 78 years. After six months of supplementation, they found that women lost an average of 10.2% of their visceral fat, while men lost an average of 7.4%. Subcutaneous fat loss averaged about 6% for both groups. DHEA also improved insulin sensitivity in this study. The investigators concluded, “long-term DHEA replacement therapy might reduce the accumulation of abdominal fat and protect against the development of the metabolic/insulin resistance syndrome.”1

Since endogenous levels of DHEA decline by about 80% between the ages of 25 and 75 years, which correlates with a decrease in muscle mass and strength, the same research team also studied the effect of DHEA on lean tissue.2 They found that after 10 months of supplementation, DHEA maximized increases in muscle mass and strength induced by four months of weight-training exercise in 56 elderly men and women. The researchers concluded, “DHEA replacement has the additional benefit of enhancing the increases in muscle mass and strength induced by heavy resistance exercise.”2

—Bina Singh

Reference

1. JAMA. 2004 Nov 10;292(18):2243-8.
2. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Nov;291(5):E1003-8.

Greater Carotenoid Intake Linked With Longer Cancer-Free Survival in Breast Cancer Patients

A recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention published the discovery of a positive effect of high carotenoid intake on recurrence-free survival in breast cancer patients.* 

Compared with women whose carotenoid levels were among the lowest one-third of participants, subjects whose levels were in the top two-thirds experienced a 33% lower risk of recurrent or new primary breast cancer. 

“Longer-term exposure to a high vegetable and fruit dietary pattern that promotes higher plasma carotenoid concentration may improve prognosis and survival,” they concluded.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Feb;18(2):486-94.

New Media Campaign Highlights Dangers of Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency

In the April 2009 issue, Life Extension® magazine published a detailed article linking falling levels of vitamin D over the past 20 years with the rising incidence of autism. To ensure this breakthrough information reaches Ob/Gyn doctors, leading vitamin D researcher, Dr. John Cannell, is launching a media campaign to raise awareness of maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D during pregnancy. His message is echoed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which stated recently:

“Given the growing evidence that adequate maternal vitamin D status is essential during pregnancy, not only for maternal well-being but also for fetal development, health care professionals who provide obstetric care should consider assessing maternal vitamin D status by measuring the 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations of pregnant women.”1

Scientists fear that many pregnant women mistakenly believe they are getting enough vitamin D from prenatal vitamins.2 The sad reality is that low levels of maternal vitamin D can affect fetal development and may contribute to autism,3 which does not manifest itself until several years after birth. Mounting evidence also indicates that extra vitamin D is needed during pregnancy, with recent research revealing that pregnant women may need as much as 6,000 IU of vitamin D per day.4

Dr. Cannell’s campaign is being sponsored by the Vitamin D Council. Targeting both print and television media, it will stress the critical need for specialists to diagnose and aggressively treat maternal vitamin D deficiency.

—Bina Singh

Reference

1. Pediatrics. 2008 Nov;122(5):1142-52.
2. J Nutr. 2007 Feb;137(2):447-52.
3. Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(4):750-9.
4. J Bone Miner Res. 2007 Dec;22(Suppl 2):V39-44.

Nutritional Supplement Plus Testosterone May Help Keep Seniors Out of the Hospital

Nutritional Supplement Plus Testosterone May Help Keep Seniors Out of the Hospital

A recent report from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition describes a study that a combination of testosterone and an oral nutritional supplement containing protein may help keep undernourished older individuals out of the hospital.* 

Forty-nine undernourished men and women were provided with dietary advice and assigned one of the following: testosterone, a nutritional supplement containing 18% protein, both testosterone and the nutritional supplement, or no treatment for one year. 

Over the course of the year, 13 participants had a total of 18 hospital admissions, and two deaths occurred. Among the 11 participants who received both testosterone and supplemental nutritional therapy, there were no hospital admissions or deaths. 

“Because hospitalizations are a common and serious event in undernourished older people, this is an exciting finding of considerable potential benefit to many people,” the authors concluded.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Mar;89(3):880-9.

Mediterranean Diet Associated With Reduction in Deaths From Heart Attack and Stroke

A recent article from the journal Circulation reports an association between greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet and a reduction in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke in women.*

Teresa T. Fung, ScD, and colleagues evaluated data from 74,886 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study. Questionnaires were scored for adherence to the Mediterranean diet, which is characterized by a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, fish, and monounsaturated fat. 

Over two decades of follow-up, women whose scores were in the top 20% of participants had a 29% lower risk of heart disease, a 42% lower risk of fatal heart disease, a 13% lower risk of stroke, and a 31% lower risk of fatal stroke, compared with women whose scores were lowest. 

The authors acknowledge the need for their results to be replicated in other populations, particularly men.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* Circulation. 2009 Mar 3;119(8):1093-100.

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