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 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
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.
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.