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Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine January 2012
In The News

Egg Consumption Sharply Increases Prostate Cancer Risk

Egg Consumption Sharply Increases Prostate Cancer Risk

In a recent study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that eggs may increase men's risk of developing the more lethal form of prostate cancer.*

Using dietary data from 27,607 men who were followed from 1994 to 2008 who had no cancer at the start of the study, the scientists sought to find a correlation between egg consumption and prostate cancer. To analyze the risk, they compared the number of observed cancer events (199) with the total number of person-years (306,715) in the study.

They found that men who ate 2.5 eggs or more a week had an 81% higher risk of developing lethal prostate cancer compared to men who ate fewer than 0.5 eggs a week on average. This is not the first study to associate egg consumption with increased cancer risk.

Editor's Note: Eggs are a rich source of arachidonic acid. High dietary intake of arachidonic acid induces formation of 5-LOX and COX-2 enzymes, both that promote tumor formation and progression. Life Extension® has previously written about how arachidonic acid causes prostate cancer. Members take curcumin, fish oil, and highly absorbable boswellia extract to impede conversion of arachidonic acid to leukotriene B4 via 5-LOX. Aspirin and other nutrients like gamma tocopherol impede COX-2.

- J. Finkel

Reference

* Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Sep 19.

Dual Plant Extract Promotes Weight Loss

Dual Plant Extract Promotes Weight Loss

A combination of two plant extracts reduced body weight by an average of 11.5 pounds after 8 weeks in obese adults, according to two clinical trials recently presented at the 29th Annual Scientific Obesity Meeting in Orlando, Florida.*

In randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, 100 subjects received placebo or 400 mg twice daily of an extract prepared from Sphaeranthus indicus flower heads and mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) fruit rind. All participants were placed on a 2,000 cal/day diet and instructed to perform moderate walking exercise 5 times weekly.

After 2 weeks, the plant extract group lost 4.5 pounds - 2.7 times more than the placebo group. At 8 weeks, the plant extract group had significantly reduced waist and hip circumference, by 4.7 inches and 2.5 inches, respectively. In addition to loss of weight and inches, the plant extract group experienced improvements in blood glucose and serum lipid profiles. Increased adiponectin levels in the plant extract recipients indicate that the dual plant extract works by enhancing fat metabolism.

Editor's Note: Life Extension members have had access to this dual combination of Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcina mangostana since June 2011.

- Elizabeth Wagner, ND

Reference

* Poster Number 590-P. Presented at: Obesity 2011. 29th Annual Scientific Obesity Meeting. Orlando, Florida. October 1-5, 2011.

Green Tea Protects Against Weight Gain in Mice

Green Tea Protects Against Weight Gain in Mice

An article published in Obesity reports the finding of a team from Penn State University of a benefit for epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound that occurs in green tea, in reducing weight gain in a mouse model of obesity.

Joshua D. Lambert and his associates utilized a breed of mice susceptible to the development of diet-induced obesity, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. The mice were allowed to eat as much as they wanted of a high-fat diet, and half were supplemented with EGCG. After six weeks, mice that received EGCG-enhanced diets were found to have gained weight 44% less rapidly than those that did not receive the compound. The group that received EGCG also had a 29.4% increase in fecal lipids, indicating a reduction in fat absorption. In an in vitro experiment, epigallocatechin-3-gallate was shown to inhibit the pancreas' production of lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fat.

Editor's Note: One capsule of Life Extension's Mega Green Tea Extract provides more polyphenols than drinking the equivalent of three cups of green tea. Although the human equivalent of the amount of EGCG used in this study would be found in ten cups of green tea per day, Dr. Lambert remarked that, "Human data - and there's not a lot at this point - shows that tea drinkers who only consume one or more cups a day will see effects on body weight compared to nonconsumers."

- D. Dye

Reference

* Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Jun 2.

How Resveratrol Helps Combat Breast Cancer

How Resveratrol Helps Combat Breast Cancer

FASEB Journal reports the finding of Italian and US researchers of an ability for resveratrol to inhibit the growth-promoting effects of estrogen in breast cancer cells.* Resveratrol occurs in red grapes and wine, and it is believed to be one of the compounds responsible for the benefits associated with consuming these foods.

Sebastiano Ando and colleagues evaluated the effects of resveratrol in several estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cell lines, including cells that are resistant to treatment with the estrogen receptor antagonist drug tamoxifen. They observed a reduction in the proliferation of treated cells compared to cells that were not treated with resveratrol. Further experimentation revealed that resveratrol significantly lowered the cells' estrogen receptor levels in addition to acting via other mechanisms to inhibit their growth.

"Resveratrol is a potential pharmacological tool to be exploited when breast cancer becomes resistant to hormonal therapy," stated Dr. Ando.

Editor's Note: While FASEB Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerald Weissmann, MD, does not recommend that breast cancer patients drink wine in an attempt to treat their disease, he predicted that, "Scientists haven't finished distilling the secrets of good health that have been hidden in natural products such as red wine."

- D. Dye

Reference

*FASEB J. 2011 Oct;25(10):3695-707.

Vitamins B6 and B12 May Protect Against Depression in Older Adults

Vitamins B6 and B12 May Protect Against Depression in Older Adults

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined a long-hypothesized link between depression and B vitamin deficiency.* Scientists from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, examined diet and supplement questionnaires of 3,503 adults age 65 or older. The focus of the examination was on vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid intake.

The scientists controlled for use of depressants, age, race, and other variables. Each additional 10 mg of B6 and 10 mcg of B12 derived from both food and supplement form was associated with a 2% reduction per year in the odds of developing symptoms of depression. Food intake alone was not associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms.

These results support the scientists' hypothesis that high total intakes of vitamins B6 and B12 are protective of depressive symptoms over time.

- J. Finkel

Reference

* Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug;92(2):330-5.

Melatonin Prolongs Life in Animal Model of Huntington's Disease

Melatonin Prolongs Life in Animal Model of Huntington's Disease

An article published in the Journal of Neuroscience reveals the discovery of a protective effect for melatonin against disease progression and premature death in a mouse model of Huntington's disease, an inherited disorder that results in involuntary movement and other effects stemming from the loss of neurons in the brain due to a mutant protein.*

The team injected mice bred to develop Huntington's disease with melatonin or a placebo. Animals that received the hormone experienced a 19% delay in the onset of disease, a reduction in disease progression, and an 18% longer life span compared with the placebo group. When normal animals' brain tissue was studied, type 1 melatonin (MT1) receptors were found on the cells' mitochondria, which produce energy. The researchers observed that the receptors were depleted in animals with Huntington's - a finding that was also detected in brain tissue derived from humans afflicted with the disease.

Editor's Note: Melatonin is a hormone involved in sleep and immune function that has been found to be reduced in other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

- D. Dye

Reference

* J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 12;31(41):14496-507.

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Symposium

As a leading pioneer in preventive cardiology, Michael Ozner, MD, a member of Life Extension's Scientific Advisory Board, has long advocated prevention over intervention and the use of lifestyle, diet, and nutrient management with the judicious use of medication to avoid entering the cardiac disease downward spiral of stents, bypass, and other surgical procedures. Dedicated to helping both physicians and patients achieve heart-healthy longevity, Dr. Ozner's tenth "Cardiovascular Disease Prevention International Symposium" will be held February 23-26, 2012, at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Topics of discussion by noted physicians include "The Regression of Atherosclerosis, Vitamin D, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk," "What You Should Know About Insulin Resistance, Adiposopathy and Sick Fat," "The MARINE Trial: The Impact of a Pure-EPA Omega-3 Fatty Acid on Lipids and Inflammation," "The Role of Aspirin in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease," among other compelling topics. For further information, please visit: http://cme.baptisthealth.net/CVDPrevention.

Study Finds Significant Potential for Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Prevention and Treatment of Arthritis

Study Finds Significant Potential for Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Prevention and Treatment of Arthritis

Writing in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, British researchers report the results of an animal experiment which found that omega-3 fatty acids reduced many of the signs of osteoarthritis.*

John Tarlton of the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences and his associates compared the effect of a standard high omega-6 diet containing corn oil or a diet enhanced with fish oil that is high in omega-3 fatty acids in a breed of guinea pigs that naturally develop arthritis. An arthritis-resistant breed of guinea pigs was used as controls. The animals received the diets for 20 weeks, after which cartilage, bone, and blood factors were examined for signs of the disease. Among the arthritis-prone guinea pigs given omega-3, the majority of disease indicators were reduced in comparison with animals that received diets that did not contain fish oil.

Editor's Note: "Most diets in the developed world are lacking in omega-3, with modern diets having up to 30 times too much omega-6 and too little omega-3," Dr. Tarlton observed. "Taking omega-3 will help redress this imbalance and may positively contribute to a range of other health problems such as heart disease and colitis."

- D. Dye

Reference

* Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011 Sep;19(9):1150-7.

CoQ10 May Combat Chronic Tinnitus

CoQ10 May Combat Chronic Tinnitus

A recent study by German scientists sought to determine the short-term effects of coenzyme Q10 on tinnitus expression in patients with chronic tinnitus aurium.* Chronic tinnitus is often simply described as an unexplained buzzing or ringing inside a person's ear, when there is no cause for the noise from an external source.

The scientists performed a 16-week clinical trial comparing the presence of tinnitus with CoQ10 levels and total antioxidant status in individuals. The participants were then evaluated using a TQ score, which is a questionnaire designed to measure a person's level of experiencing tinnitus.

In a subgroup of 7 patients with low initial CoQ10 concentration in their system and significant increase in the CoQ10 level following the trial, a clear decrease in the TQ score was observed. The scientists concluded that in patients with a low plasma CoQ10 concentration, CoQ10 supply may decrease the tinnitus expression.

- J. Finkel

Reference

* Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Jan;136(1):72-7.

Eliquis™ May Be Superior, Not Just Equivalent to Warfarin

A recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine titled "Apixaban versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation," studied the effects of the vitamin K antagonist apixaban (trade name Eliquis™) on preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.1 For more than 50 years, warfarin has been the primary medication used to reduce the risk of thromboembolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation, but warfarin has numerous interactions with other drugs and requires the need for regular blood monitoring and dose adjustments.

In an accompanying editorial, Jessica L. Mega, MD, MPH, says that for the above reasons, "...Clinicians and patients have been eager to embrace alternative oral anticoagulants that are equally efficacious but easier to administer."2 One such alternative involves the direct factor Xa inhibitor apixaban.

In a randomized, double-blind trial, doctors at the Duke Clinical Research Institute compared apixaban (at a dose of 5 mg twice daily) with warfarin in 18,201 patients with atrial fibrillation and at least one additional risk factor for stroke. The primary outcome was ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke or systemic embolism. The trial was designed to test for noninferiority, with key secondary objectives of testing for superiority with respect to the primary outcome and the rates of major bleeding and death from any cause.1

The results confirmed that in patients with atrial fibrillation, apixaban was superior to warfarin in preventing stroke or systemic embolism, caused less bleeding, and resulted in lower mortality.1

Editor's Note: An exciting new age has dawned in the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in the context of atrial fibrillation. New, oral anticoagulant options vs. warfarin are available that offer an improved safety profile. The ARISTOTLE trial involving 18,201 patients who were randomly given either warfarin or Eliquis™ (apixaban) showed a reduced rate of stroke or systemic embolism by 21%, and mortality was reduced by 11%. By comparison, Pradaxa® (dabigatran) reduced deaths by 12% in RE-LY (major registrational trial), and Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) in the ROCKET AF trial by 8%, but these results were not statistically significant. However, these were all different trials, and additional studies will need to be conducted to identify which of these drugs is best.

- J. Finkel

Reference

1. N Engl J Med 2011 Sept 15;365(11):981-92 .
2. N Engl J Med 2011 Sept 15;365(11):1052-4 .