Whole Body Health Sale

Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine April 2010
In The News

Pomegranate Inhibits Hormone-dependent Breast Cancer Cell Growth

A report published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research reveals the discovery of researchers at City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, California of a suppressive effect for compounds found in pomegranate on the proliferation of breast cancer cells.*

City of Hope Division of Tumor Cell Biology director Shiuan Chen, PhD and his associates found that ten ellagitannins occurring in pomegranates had the potential to prevent estrogen-responsive breast cancer, with a metabolite of ellagic acid called urolithin B significantly inhibiting the growth of cultured breast cancer cells.

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Center Clinical Cancer Prevention Department chairman Powel Brown, MD, PhD is intrigued by the results. “This study does suggest that studies of the ellagitannins from pomegranates should be continued.”

He suggested that people “might consider consuming more pomegranates to protect against cancer development in the breast and perhaps in other tissues and organs.”

Editor’s note: Pomegranate extract is available in a number of dietary supplements.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* Cancer Prev Res. 2010 Jan;3(1) .

Low-carb Diet Effective for Lowering Blood Pressure

Pomegranate Inhibits Hormone-dependent Breast Cancer Cell Growth

A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that a low-carb diet may help lower blood pressure.* The study gave 146 patients either instructions on how to eat a low-carbohydrate diet, and to start the trial by eating 20 or fewer grams of carbohydrates daily, or to take 120 mg of a weight loss aid (orlistat) three times a day while eating a lower calorie, lower fat diet.

The patients were followed for 48 weeks, at the end of which the low-carb group had lost 9.5% of their body weight, compared to only 8.5% for the weight loss-aid group. While there were similar improvements in cholesterol levels between the two groups, the low-carb diet patients showed improvement in blood pressure.

The improvements amounted to a 5.9 point drop in their systolic blood pressure and a 4.5 point drop in their diastolic pressure, compared to only a 1.5 point systolic drop in the weight loss aid group, and a 0.4 point drop in diastolic.

—Jon Finkel

Reference

* Arch Int Med. 2010 Jan. 25.

Vitamin D Levels Inadequate During Winter Months

A study in the Journal of Nutrition by researchers from the University of California, Davis is one of the most recent to recommend a vast increase in the recommended dosage for proper vitamin D levels.* Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with or can make worse a host of diseases, including osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.

In order to prevent the onset of these diseases, vitamin D sufficiency is defined in this study as having blood vitamin D levels of at least 75 nmol/L (30 ng/mL).* In order for people of European ancestry with high sun exposure to achieve that level, they would need to supplement with 1,300 IU per day of the vitamin during the winter. People of African ancestry with low sun exposure would need to supplement with between 2,100 and 3,100 IU per day throughout the year, according to the study.

The study, led by Laura Hill, endorses increasing the supplementation of vitamin D for some groups of people by nearly five times the current 200 IU recommendation.

Editor’s note: While mainstream doctors are finally realizing the lethal dangers of insufficient vitamin D, they still don’t understand that optimal levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood are over 50 ng/mL. Achieving this optimal blood level usually requires the daily ingestion of 5,000 IU to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3.

—Jon Finkel

Reference

* J Nutr. 2010 Jan 6.

More Drug Company Kickbacks

More Drug Company Kickbacks

Federal prosecutors claim that Big Pharma company Johnson & Johnson paid tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks so nursing homes would prescribe their schizophrenia medicine to more patients.* An Associated Press article written by Linda A. Johnson described the recent alleged lawsuit, where prosecutors Johnson & Johnson paid rebates and other forms of kickbacks to Omnicare Inc., the country’s biggest dispenser of prescription drugs in nursing homes.

The allegations are in a complaint filed by the US Attorney in Boston that includes accusations that after receiving money from Johnson & Johnson, pharmacists at Omnicare then recommended that nursing home patients with signs of Alzheimer’s disease be put on the strong schizophrenia drug Risperdal®. This drug was later found to increase the risk of death in the elderly.

“Kickbacks in the nursing home pharmacy context are particularly nefarious because they can result in excessive prescribing of strong drugs to patients who have little or no control over the medical care they are receiving,” US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in his statement. “Nursing home doctors should be able to rely on the integrity of the recommendations they receive from pharmacists, and those recommendations should not be a product of money that a drug company is paying to the pharmacy.”

—Jon Finkel

Reference

Johnson LA. Johnson & Johnson Accused of Kickbacks, Associated Press, January 15, 2010.

Pterostilbene Aids in Colon Cancer Prevention

Pterostilbene Aids in Colon Cancer Prevention

In a recent study in the journal Carcinogenesis by the Department of Chemical Biology at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, stilbenes, which are phytochemicals present in grapes and berries, were shown to potentially help prevent colon cancer.*

While widely studied stilbenoids like resveratrol have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive, and anti-aging effects in a number of biological systems, the purpose of this study was to identify the chemopreventive potential of pterostilbene with colonic tumor formation as an end point, and to further evaluate how pterostilbene affect colon carcinogenesis.

The researchers evaluated rats over a 45-week period that were given either a control or 40 ppm pterostilbene. Overall analysis indicated that pterostilbene reduced colon tumor multiplicity of non-invasive adenocarcinomas, lowered proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and downregulated the expression of beta-catenin and cyclin D1.

—Jon Finkel

Reference

* Carcinogenesis. 2010 Jan. 8.

Antioxidant-rich Fruits and Vegetables May Cut Lymphoma Risk

Antioxidant-rich Fruits and Vegetables May Cut Lymphoma Risk

In a recent study done at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, researchers evaluated the results of increased dietary intakes of specific antioxidant nutrients, like vitamin C, alpha-carotene, and proanthocyanidins in order to determine their effectiveness in reducing the risk of cancer.*

The study, led by James Cerhan, analyzed the dietary intakes for 35,159 Iowa women aged between 55 and 69. A total of 415 cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were documented during the study.

Dietary vitamin C intakes were associated with a 22% reduction in lymphoma risk, while alpha-carotene, proanthocyanidins, and manganese were associated with 29, 30, and 38% reductions in risk. In addition, increased intakes of fruits and vegetables were associated with a 31% reduction in risk, while yellow/orange and cruciferous vegetables were linked to a 28 and 18% reduction.

—Jon Finkel

Reference

Int J Cancer. 2010 Feb 15;126(4):992-1003.

Blueberry Juice May Boost Memory

A new study done by researchers at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center showed that drinking wild blueberry juice every day improved the memory of aging adults with memory problems.*

Blueberries contain polyphenol compounds, the most prominent of which are anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and have also been associated with increased neuronal signaling in brain centers, which mediates memory function as well as improved glucose disposal. These benefits would be expected to mitigate neurodegeneration.

The researchers measured the effects of daily consumption of wild blueberry juice in a sample of nine older adults over a 12-week period. The findings of this preliminary study suggest that moderate-term blueberry supplementation may confer neurocognitive benefits and establish a basis for more comprehensive human trials to study preventive potential and neuronal mechanisms.

Editor’s note: Blueberry extracts are available in a number of dietary supplements.

—Jon Finkel

Reference

* J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jan 4.

Higher Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels Correlated with Reduced Telomere Shortening Rate

Higher Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels Correlated with Reduced Telomere Shortening Rate

Researchers at the University of California reveal in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that heart disease patients who have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids experience a lower rate of reduction in telomere length over time.* Telomeres, which are protective DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes, shorten with the age of the cell, and their length is a marker of biological aging.

The investigation enrolled 608 men and women recruited from the Heart and Soul Study. Patients whose levels of EPA and DHA were among the top 25% of participants had the slowest rate of telomere shortening over the 5-year follow-up period, while those whose levels were lowest had rates that were the fastest.

“These findings raise the possibility that omega-3 fatty acids may protect against cellular aging in patients with coronary heart disease,” the authors conclude.

Editor’s note: Daily fish oil capsules are a convenient and safe way to ensure optimal omega-3 fatty acid intake.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* J Am Med Assoc. 2010 Jan 20;303(3).

Jogging Builds Brain Cells

Scientists reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have recently concluded that running has a positive impact on the hippocampus, which is the section of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Their findings are based on studies that show that adult mice that voluntarily used running wheels increased the number of their brain cells and performed better at spatial learning tests than non-exercising mice.*

Until recently, neuroscientists were under the impression that we do not grow new brain cells after birth. However, recent mice experiments have repeatedly shown that running boosts the number of new brain cells in the hippocampus. In this particular study, two groups of mice, one of which had unlimited access to a running wheel throughout, were put through post-exercise memory tests. After training sessions, the mice in the exercising group scored almost twice as high as the other mice in a repeated memory test for a sugar reward. The sedentary mice got steadily worse at the test.

This evidence confirms what other studies have begun to show, which is that exercise triggers significant physiological and structural changes in the brain that can improve cognitive function and help prevent mental decline.

—Jon Finkel

Reference

* Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jan 19.

Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation Reduces Fracture Risk Regardless of Age, Gender

Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation Reduces Fracture Risk Regardless of Age, Gender

The January 16, 2010 issue of the British Medical Journal reported the results of a review of seven clinical trials which found that supplementing daily with both calcium and vitamin D helps prevent bone fractures among men and women of all ages.* 

An international team of scientists pooled data from 68,517 subjects for their analysis of randomized trials involving vitamin D supplementation. The combination vitamin D with calcium reduced overall fracture risk by 8%, and hip fracture risk by 16% compared to the risk experienced by those who did not receive the nutrients. Vitamin D supplementation alone in daily doses of 10 or 20 micrograms was not associated with significant benefits. 

“Interestingly, this combination of supplements benefits both women and men of all ages, which is not something we fully expected to find,” noted Dr. John Robbins, who coauthored the article.

Editor’s note: The combination of calcium with vitamin D, such as are contained in Life Extension’s Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D and Bone Restore products, has long been recognized by Life Extension as necessary for bone maintenance during all of life’s stages.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* Br Med J. 2010 Jan 16;340(7738).

Green Tea May Block Lung Cancer

Green Tea May Block Lung Cancer

A recent front-page news article on the British Broadcasting Corporation’s news web site claims that green tea may block lung cancer.* The article cited several cancer experts who spoke about a few specific studies that point to green tea’s cancer stopping effects. In particular, several lab studies have shown that extracts from green tea, called polyphenols, can stop cancer cells from growing.

The link between green tea being a beneficial weapon against cancer originated with the discovery that rates of many cancers are much lower in Asia, where green tea is a widely consumed drink, than other parts of the world.

Dr. I-Hsin Lin, of Shan Medical University found that among smokers and non-smokers, people who did not drink green tea were more than five times as likely to get lung cancer as those who drank at least one cup a day.

—Jon Finkel

Reference

* http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8453628.stm.