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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine May 2010
In The News

Chocolate May Be Beneficial Against Strokes

Chocolate May Be Beneficial Against Strokes

Recent research done by St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto points to the possibility that eating chocolate may reduce stroke risk. The author of the study, Gustavo Saposnik, says there is limited evidence, but after reviewing three previous studies, eating a bar of chocolate once a week can help cut the risk of stroke and lower the risk of death by stroke.*

One of the studies involving 44,489 people found that those who ingested one serving of chocolate a week were 22% less likely to have a stroke than those who didn’t eat chocolate. A separate study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46% less likely to die following a stroke than people who didn’t eat chocolate.

While the evidence is compelling that chocolate may help against strokes, future research needs to be done to determine what particular element of chocolate is the most beneficial. “This is something that requires further investigation,” Saposnik says.

—Jon Finkel

Reference

* Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-02-12-chocolate12_ST_N.htm. Accessed February 15, 2010.

Mediterranean Diet May Be Brain-protective

A presentation at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting revealed the finding of Nicolaos Scarmeas, MD, MSc that consuming a Mediterranean diet may help preserve memory and learning ability by protecting against cerebrovascular disease.*

Dr. Scarmeas’ team performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on the brains of 712 New York residents. Dietary assessments administered an average of 5.8 years earlier were evaluated for Mediterranean diet adherence.

Two hundred thirty-eight subjects had at least one infarct revealed by MRI. Men and women whose adherence to a Mediterranean diet was among the top one-third of participants had a 36.1% lower probability of infarct compared to those whose adherence was lowest, and those in the middle third had a 21% lower risk.

“In this study, not eating a Mediterranean-like diet had about the same effect on the brain as having high blood pressure,” Dr. Scarmeas stated.

Editor’s note: This is one of numerous studies to suggest that a Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest eating patterns.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* American Academy of Neurology 62nd Annual Meeting. Presented by: Scarmeas N. “Mediterranean diet (MeDi) and subclinical cerebrovascular disease.”

Coenzyme Q10 Levels Reduced in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In an article published in Neuroendocrinology Letters, researchers from Belgium and Poland report that plasma coenzyme Q10 levels are significantly lower in individuals with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a chronic disease characterized by extreme fatigue and inflammatory, autonomic and neuropsychiatric symptoms.*

The study compared plasma CoQ10 levels of 58 men and women diagnosed with ME/CFS to 22 healthy control patients. A significant reduction in CoQ10 levels was observed among ME/CFS patients compared with the control group. As many as 44.8% of these patients had levels that were less than the lowest CoQ10 value detected in healthy controls. Increased CoQ10 levels predicted a reduction in CFS symptoms.

“This is the first study which shows that ME/CFS is accompanied by significantly reduced plasma concentrations of CoQ10 and that lowered plasma CoQ10 is related to specific symptoms of ME/CFS, such as fatigue, autonomic and neurocognitive symptoms,” the authors announce.

Editor’s note: As coenzyme Q10 is involved in the production of energy, the finding is not surprising. Life Extension has long suggested CoQ10 supplements to those with CFS.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* Neuroendocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4).

Multinutrient Supplement Protects Age-related Decline in Activity

Multinutrient Supplement Protects Age-related Decline in Activity

An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine reveals that administering a combination of nutrients to mice delays the decline in activity that occurs with aging.*

C. David Rollo and colleagues used a formula consisting of vitamins B1, B3, B6, B12, C, D, and E, folic acid, beta-carotene, acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, bioflavonoids, chromium picolinate, garlic, ginger root extract, Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea extract, L-glutathione, magnesium, manganese, melatonin, N-acetyl cysteine, potassium, rutin, selenium, cod liver oil, CoQ10, and flax seed oil. While mice that did not receive the nutrients experienced a greater than 50% reduction in daily movement by 24 months of age, those that received the supplements maintained youthful levels of activity. Unsupplemented mice experienced increased declines in mitochondrial function and in brain signaling chemicals related to movement.

“Dietary cocktails can powerfully ameliorate biomarkers of aging and modulate mechanisms considered ultimate goals for aging interventions,” the authors conclude.

Editor’s note: Long time Life Extension members who use Life Extension Mix have been reaping the benefits of multinutrient supplementation for years. The formula is continually updated in light of new research findings, so that those who choose to use it have the best opportunity to attain optimal health and longevity.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

Exp Biol Med. 2010 Jan;235(1).

Vitamin D Supplements May Protect Against Crohn’s Disease

Vitamin D Supplements May Protect Against Crohn’s Disease

Research published in the January 22, 2010 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry describes how vitamin D could help protect against Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that is believed to be caused by defective innate immune regulation of intestinal bacteria.*

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal discovered that vitamin D acts on the beta defensin gene, which encodes an antimicrobial peptide. The vitamin also affects the NOD2 gene, which informs cells of the presence of invading microorganisms. Defects in the NOD2 gene mean that the body cannot defend itself effectively against intestinal tract invaders.

“This discovery is exciting, since it shows how an over-the-counter supplement such as vitamin D could help people defend themselves against Crohn’s disease,” noted coauthor Marc J. Servant. “We have identified a new treatment avenue for people with Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases.”

Editor’s note: This study adds yet another disease to the growing list of conditions that could be prevented or treated with inexpensive vitamin D supplements.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

* J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan 22;285(4).

Men Who Drink Tea Have Trimmer Waistlines

Men Who Drink Tea Have Trimmer Waistlines

Men who drink more than two cups of tea daily have trimmer waistlines than men who drink coffee or no coffee or tea, according to a study presented at the First International Congress on Abdominal Obesity.* Excess fat around the midsection has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Scientists examined the relationship between coffee and tea drinking in 3,823 participants in the 2003-2004 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Coffee consumption was not associated with abdominal obesity in men or women. In men, consuming sugar in tea was associated with a 1-inch smaller waistline, while artificial sweeteners were linked with a nearly 2-inch larger waistline. Women who used milk in tea had an average two-thirds of an inch smaller waistline. Women who used artificial sweeteners had an average 1-inch larger waistline.

—Elizabeth Wagner, ND

Reference

Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20100129/drinking-tea-may-trim-mens-waistlines. Accessed February 17, 2010.

Vitamin D May Combat Asthma

Vitamin D May Combat Asthma

A new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine claims that insufficient amounts of vitamin D may make asthma worse for those suffering from the lung condition. The study, which was performed at the Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado, involved nonsmoking adult asthmatics and the relationship between asthma treatments and vitamin D levels.1

Fifty four people were enrolled in the study and it showed that vitamin D levels were related to a person’s score on a standard breathing test. The relationship was consistent throughout the tests: the lower the vitamin D levels, the lower their performance.

In an interview with E. Rand Sutherland, MD, MPH, the chief of the pulmonary division at National Jewish Health, for WebMD Health News, Dr. Sutherland states, “Our findings suggest that vitamin D levels influence a number of important features of asthma, including lung function, bronchospasm, and therapeutic response to steroids.”2

—Jon Finkel

Reference

1. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Jan 14.
2. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/asthma/news/20100128/vitamin-d-may-ease-asthma. Accessed February 15, 2010.

Green Tea Compound Reduces Fibroid Growth in Laboratory Studies

Green Tea Compound Reduces Fibroid Growth in Laboratory Studies

Researchers at Meharry Medical College report that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a flavonol contained in green tea, helped reduce the growth of cultured fibroid tumor cells, as well as fibroid tumors in female mice.*

A team led by Ayman Al-Hendy, MD, PhD administered varying concentrations of EGCG or no EGCG to rat leiomyoma (fibroid tumor) cells for up to 7 days. Cells treated with the highest concentrations grew more slowly and were less crowded than those treated with lower concentrations.

In another experiment, female mice implanted with fibroid tumor cells were given 1.25 milligrams EGCG per day or no EGCG for 8 weeks. Tumor weight was lower and tumor volume was smaller in the EGCG-treated mice compared with those that did not receive the compound.

“We conclude that EGCG and green tea extract may have potential as oral agents for the prevention or treatment of uterine leiomyoma,” the authors write.

Editor’s note: Like vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, green tea has emerged as an effective preventive or treatment for a variety of conditions.

—Dayna Dye

Reference

*Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Mar;202(3):289.