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LE Magazine September 2009
In The News

Highlights from the 2009 Experimental Biology Conference

Highlights from the 2009 Experimental Biology Conference

Top scientists from around the world gathered at the 2009 Experimental Biology Conference (FASEB) in New Orleans, Louisiana. Drawing an audience of more than 10,000 people, the conference examined the latest cutting-edge research on a wide range of topics including aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease, weight loss, genetics, and more.

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS), the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), and others, the conference explored the use of natural compounds to prevent or offset disease. Here are a few highlights:

Nutrigenomics: Influencing Genetic Expression through Nutrition

The emerging field of nutrigenomics looks at how the nutrients we consume from food or supplements interact with our genes to impact health. New research suggests that the fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from fish oil could actually nullify the genetic disposition of some individuals for developing metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

Green Tea & Vitamin D Combination Reduces Bone Loss

Green tea polyphenols and vitamin D show promise in a human model of low-grade inflammation known to negatively impact bone health. Vitamin D and green tea polyphenols produced a synergistic effect that increased bone mineral density, reduced oxidative stress, reduced inflammation and DNA damage, and positively impacted hormones involved in bone health.

Inflammation, Cardiovascular Disease, and Obesity

Inflammation, Cardiovascular Disease, and Obesity

Inflammation plays a central role in cardiovascular disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Scientists now believe that fat cells are major drivers of inflammation both locally and systemically, controlling a wide variety of metabolic functions and feedback mechanisms in the human body that lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other ailments. Natural anti-inflammatory compounds found in fish oil, green tea, and cinnamon may mitigate the inflammation associated with these chronic conditions.

Flax Lignans, Citrus Compound Fight Breast Cancer

In a recent study, scientists examined the effects of flax and sesame lignans on estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells that had been implanted in mice. They found that flax lignans reduced proliferation and increased the rate of programmed cell death (apoptosis) of human breast cancer cells, while sesame lignans were much less effective.

A natural agent derived from citrus fruits called auraptene showed powerful chemoprotective (cancer-preventive) properties against breast cancer, both in the laboratory and in living animals. Researchers believe auraptene may be one of the most powerful natural anti-cancer agents yet found.

New Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

New Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Animals genetically altered to have higher ratios of omega-3 to omega-6 lipids in their tissues suffer less oxidative stress and demonstrate improved mitochondrial function, both of which are crucial to forestall aging and disease.

Omega-3 fats offer tremendous potential for reducing brain damage caused by lack of oxygen (stroke). Animals that received an omega-3 emulsion immediately after a stroke had significantly less brain injury compared with animals that did not receive the fatty acids.

Summary

Scientists are making great strides in understanding how natural compounds promote longevity and wellness. Life Extension® will continue to report on these exciting new findings.

—Will Brink

Reference

Will Brink is a health, fitness, and longevity author. For more information, visit www.brinkzone.com.

Professional Cancer Coaches Help Patients Live Better, Happier Lives

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and frightening, but help is now available through the non-profit National Association of Professional Cancer Coaches (NAPCC). The NAPCC’s six-step process helps bring cancer patients back in control of their lives by guiding them through all the stages of cancer, from prevention through remission.

Those diagnosed with cancer are learning how to integrate science-based holistic medicine with conventional choices to modify critical components of their risk factors, thus encouraging an early and permanent remission. Cancer nutrition, therapeutic supplementation, environmental awareness, personal habits, emotional and spiritual consciousness, and appropriate conventional therapies are all integral components of a successful healing program.

Only licensed health professionals qualify for training as a Certified Professional Cancer Coach with the NAPCC. Coaches are available for private consultations and to conduct free six-step community programs in many areas throughout the US and Canada.

—Jeanette Marshall

Reference

For more information, please visit the NAPCC at www.napcc.ca or www.cancerwipeout.com.

Healthy Fats Reduce Age-Related Macular Degeneration Risk

Healthy Fats Reduce Age-Related Macular Degeneration Risk

Reports published in a recent issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology reveal a protective effect for omega-3 fatty acids, fish, nuts, and olive oil, and an adverse effect for trans fatty acids, on the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.1,2

In the first study, Jennifer Tan, MBBS and her colleagues determined that men and women who consumed one serving of fish per week had a 31% lower risk of developing early macular degeneration compared with those who consumed less. Compared with those who consumed nuts less than once per week, those who reported eating 1 to 2 weekly servings had a 35% lower risk of early disease.1

In the second article, Elaine Chong, MD, and her associates found that a high intake of trans fats was associated with a significant increase in late macular degeneration. Olive oil emerged as protective against late disease.2

—Dayna Dye

Reference

1. Arch Opthalmol. 2009 May;127(5): 656-65.
2. Arch Opthalmol. 2009 May;127(5): 674-80.

DHEA Improves Bone Density in Women

DHEA Improves Bone Density in Women

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis report that women who supplemented with DHEA along with calcium and vitamin D experienced a greater increase in bone density than those who received calcium and vitamin D alone.*

Edward Weiss, PhD and his associates randomized 113 men and women to receive DHEA or a placebo for one year. For the second year of the study, all subjects received DHEA. Participants also received a daily regimen of calcium and vitamin D.

At the one-year mark, women who received DHEA had an average 1.7% increase in spinal bone density, while those in the placebo group experienced no increase. When women in the placebo group were switched to DHEA during the second year, bone density improved by 2.6% compared to the beginning of the study, while increasing to 3.6% above baseline in the original DHEA group.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1459-67.

Higher Vitamin E Levels Predict Improved Prostate Cancer Survival

Higher Vitamin E Levels Predict Improved Prostate Cancer Survival

An article in Cancer Research reported improved prostate cancer survival among men with high vitamin E levels.*

Participants in the ATBC study whose vitamin E levels were among the top fifth of participants were found to have a 33% lower risk of dying of prostate cancer compared to those whose levels were in the lowest fifth. Men who received vitamin E supplements in the trial and whose levels of vitamin E were highest experienced the lowest risk of prostate cancer mortality, which was 49% less than that of subjects with the lowest vitamin E levels.

When all-cause mortality was analyzed among those with prostate cancer, participants in the top fifth of serum vitamin E levels were shown to have a 33% lower risk of death over the course of follow-up, suggesting “a possible effect for alpha-tocopherol on other causes of death in men with prostate cancer.”

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* Cancer Res. 2009 May 1;69(9):3833-41.

Higher Vitamin D Levels Associated With Speedier Brain Processing

Higher Vitamin D Levels Associated With Speedier Brain Processing

In an article published recently in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, European researchers report that men with higher vitamin D levels performed better on a test of attention and speed of information processing than those with lower levels of the vitamin.*

Dr. David M. Lee and his associates administered three tests of cognitive function to 3,369 men participating in the European Male Aging Study whose blood samples were analyzed for vitamin D.

Men with higher vitamin D levels performed better on a test that measures psychomotor speed and visual scanning. Further analysis revealed that higher test scores were particularly associated with increased vitamin D levels in older participants.

“If cognitive function can be improved by a simple intervention such as vitamin D supplementation, this would have potentially important implications for population health,” the authors conclude.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009 May 21.

Lower Risk of Stroke Among Tea Drinkers

Lower Risk of Stroke Among Tea Drinkers

The results of a meta-analysis published in Stroke revealed that men and women who consumed at least three cups of green or black tea per day had a lower risk of stroke than those who consumed less than one cup.*

Lenore Arab, PhD and her colleagues selected 9 studies that included a total of 194,965 participants among whom 4,378 strokes occurred. The pooled analysis uncovered a 21% lower risk of fatal or nonfatal stroke among those who consumed three or more cups of tea per day compared to those whose intake was reported at less than one cup per day.

“The observational, epidemiological research in humans is strongly supportive of the hypothesis that tea consumption, at the level of greater than or equal to 3 cups per day, either as green or black tea, reduces the risk of occurrence of stroke, stroke volume, and mortality from stroke,” the authors conclude.

—Dale Kiefer

Reference

* Stroke. 2009 May;40(5):1786-92.

Mayo Clinic Finds Green Tea Extract Fights Leukemia

Mayo Clinic Finds Green Tea Extract Fights Leukemia

In an article appearing online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Mayo Clinic researchers report positive effects for a green tea compound known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in a phase I trial involving patients with early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).*

Tait Shanafelt, MD and colleagues administered 8 doses varying from 400 to 2,000 milligrams twice per day of an extract containing EGCG as its active ingredient to 33 CLL patients. Participants were evaluated monthly for up to 6 months of treatment.

One third of the patients treated with EGCG experienced a reduction in lymphocyte count of at least 20% following treatment. “The majority of individuals who entered the study with enlarged lymph nodes saw a 50% or greater decline in their lymph node size,” Dr. Shanafelt observed.

The researchers hope that EGCG can stabilize CLL or improve the effectiveness of other treatments.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* J Clin Oncol. 2009 May 26.

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