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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine October 2010
In The News

Long-Term Antioxidant Supplementation Improves Arterial Health

Long-Term Antioxidant Supplementation Improves Arterial Health

An article in Nutrition and Metabolism reports the outcome of a trial which found that supplementing with four antioxidants improved arterial elasticity and HDL cholesterol while reducing hemoglobin A1c in men and women at risk of cardiovascular disease.*

Reuven Zimlichman and colleagues enrolled 70 patients who had at least two of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, diabetes, low HDL cholesterol, or cigarette smoking. Participants were randomized to daily supplementation with vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and coenzyme Q10, or a placebo for 6 months.

HDL-cholesterol increased and blood pressure and HbA1c were reduced compared to baseline levels among those who received antioxidants while remaining unchanged in those who received a placebo. Arterial elasticity also improved in the antioxidant-supplemented group.

“The findings of the present study justify investigating the overall clinical impact of antioxidant treatment in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors,” Dr. Zimlichman concluded.

Editor’s note: Life Extension members have been taking these nutrients for years, if not decades.

—D. Dye

Reference

* http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/7/1/55.
Accessed July 22, 2010.

High Antioxidant Diet Improves Insulin Sensitivity

High Antioxidant Diet Improves Insulin Sensitivity

The Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting was the site of a presentation of the results of a study involving adults with metabolic syndrome which found an improvement in insulin resistance among participants who received a diet enriched with antioxidant nutrients.*

The study included 16 men and 13 women aged 18 to 66 years with insulin resistance and obesity. All participants received 1,500 calories per day for three months. Half of the participants’ diets contained fruits and vegetables that provide high amounts of antioxidant nutrients. The subjects were further divided into groups that received or did not receive 1,000 milligrams per day of the drug metformin, which improves insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes.

While all participants experienced similar decreases in body mass index, only those that received the antioxidant-enriched diet had significant reductions in insulin resistance, with the greatest benefits observed in those who also received metformin.

Editor’s note: The ability of antioxidants to help reduce oxidative stress may help protect against a number of conditions, including metabolic syndrome.

—D. Dye

Reference

* Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting. June 19-22, 2010.

New Research Contributes to the Understanding of How I3C Blocks Cancer Cells

New Research Contributes to the Understanding of How I3C Blocks Cancer Cells

An article published online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research clarifies the role of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a compound metabolized from broccoli and Brussels sprouts, in preventing several types of cancer.*

Xianghong Zou and colleagues at Ohio State University describe the results of experiments with three human breast cancer cell lines which determined that I3C destroys Cdc25A, a molecule essential for cell division and proliferation. In another experiment, Dr. Zou’s team tested the effect of oral I3C supplementation in mice implanted with breast cancer tumors and found a 65% average reduction in tumor size.

“I3C can have striking effects on cancer cells, and a better understanding of this mechanism may lead to the use of this dietary supplement as an effective and safe strategy for treating a variety of cancers and other human diseases associated with the overexpression of Cdc25A,” Dr. Zou concluded.

Editor’s note: Cdc25A is also increased in prostate, liver, esophagus, endometrial and colon cancer, in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and in Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

—D. Dye

Reference

* http://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2010/06/24/1940-6207.CAPR-09-0213.abstract. Accessed July 22, 2010.

Healthy Diet Lowers Cataract Risk in Women

Women who eat healthier have a lower chance of developing nuclear cataracts, according to new results from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.* Nuclear cataracts are the most common type of cataract for which surgery is performed in the United States.

Julie Mares, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues followed nearly 2,000 women aged 55 to 86 and compared their answers on a food questionnaire to their development of nuclear cataracts. Higher food scores went to those participants who ate more grains, vegetables, fruit, milk, meat, beans, fish, and eggs. Lower scores were given to those who consumed more total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

The researchers found that being above the 20th percentile for diet scores that reflect adherence to the US dietary guidelines at the time of the study (1995), had a 37% lower risk for nuclear cataracts after adjusting for other nondietary risk factors.

“In conclusion, this study adds to the body of literature suggesting that healthy diets are associated with lower risk for cataract,” the authors concluded. “Diet was the strongest risk factor related to reduced risk of nuclear cataract in this sample of postmenopausal women. Smoking and obesity were also contributors. Lifestyle improvements that include healthy diets, smoking cessation, and avoiding obesity may substantively lower the need for an economic burden of cataract surgery in aging American women.”

—Marc Ellman, MD

Reference

* Arch Ophthalmol. 2010 Jun;128(6):738-49.

Meta-Analysis Confirms that Eating Nuts Lowers Cholesterol

A meta-analysis of 25 previously published studies confirmed the positive effects of eating nuts on blood lipids.* The studies encompassed more than 500 participants in seven countries. All the studies compared a control group to a group assigned to consume nuts and none of the participants were taking cholesterol-lowering medications.

Combining the findings, the researchers found that eating an average of 2.3 ounces of nuts daily (67 g, about 1/3 cup) produced the following results: total blood cholesterol was lower by 5.1%, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol was lower by 7.4%, the LDL/HDL (“bad to good”) cholesterol ratio was lower by 8.3%, and the total cholesterol/HDL ratio was lower by 5.6%. In those participants with higher than normal blood triglycerides (greater than 150 mg/dL), nut consumption reduced triglyceride levels by 10.2%.

“The effects of nut consumption were dose related, and different types of nuts had similar effects on blood lipid levels,” the authors wrote. “Increasing the consumption of nuts as part of an otherwise prudent diet can be expected to favorably affect blood lipid levels (at least in the short term) and have the potential to lower coronary heart disease risk.”

—Marc Ellman, MD

Reference

* Arch Intern Med. 2010 May 10;170(9):821-7.