Life Extension Spring Clearance Sale

Life Extension Magazine


LE Magazine December 1997

Medical Treasure Chest A Wealth of Beneficial Information

A new feature examining studies throughout the world that can help you live longer healthier lives.

By William Faloon

Table Of Contents




Prostate cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment

Prostate cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment Abstracts

  1. Tests to measure PSA density and percent of free PSA were performed on men with total PSA levels ranging from 4.1 to 10. In those with benign prostate disease, the median PSA density was 0.14 compared to 0.19 in prostate cancer patients. The median percent of free PSA was 18.9 in benign cases compared to 10.1 in prostate cancer cases. This study showed that the use of PSA fractionated testing could detect at least 95% of prostate cancers and reduce the need for biopsies by 26.9% in men who did not have prostate cancer. These PSA fractioned tests are expected to become more widely available in the very near future.

  2. A significant false-negative rate for initial transrectal ultrasound guided prostate was shown in a study of 130 men. Needle biopsies of the prostate gland missed 23.8% of cancer cells detected by a second needle biopsy. The doctors who conducted the study suggested that repeat biopsies be done for patients in whom the initial biopsy is negative. The Life Extension Foundation interprets this study to validate greater use of the PSA fractionated tests showing free PSA and PSA density in order to rule out men who do not need a biopsy at all.

  3. Prostate tumors that recur locally after radical prostatectomy appear to have a higher proliferative rate compared to the tumor removed during the radical surgery. Tumor proliferative rates were measured in 26 patients. Before radical prostatectomy, the mean proliferation labeling index was 2.96. After surgical removal of the prostate gland, the mean labeling index increased to 6.47---a 64% increase in cancer cell proliferation. Any one contemplating prostate cancer therapy should obtain a free copy of, The Life Extension Foundation's Prostate Cancer Protocol at: Prostate Cancer Protocols

  4. A randomized trial of 415 patient with locally advanced prostate cancer showed an 85% disease free survival after five years in patients receiving Zoladex and external beam radiation therapy compared to only a 48% disease free survival rate in patients receiving external beam radiation therapy alone. Zoladex is an FDA-approved drug that functions in a similar way as Lupron to suppress testosterone secretion. This study adds to the growing number of studies showing hormone blockade an effective mono- or adjuvant- prostate cancer therapy. The Life Extension Foundation's protocol suggests additional hormone blocking therapies be used along with Zoladex or Lupron.

  5. A total of 200 cases were analyzed to determine accuracy of staging of prostate cancer. The addition of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was shown to enhance tumor staging accuracy.

  6. 3D conformal radiotherapy was shown to cause few serious long term side effects compared to those expected from external beam radiation therapy. When 3D conformal radiotherapy was used as a primary therapy, patients with a PSA greater than 10 at diagnosis had a significantly shorter period of disease free survival compared to patients whose PSA was less than 10. Patients with a Gleason scores of 7 and above also had a significantly lower disease free survival period.

  7. Vitamin D3 was shown to induce prostate cancer cell apoptosis via several mechanisms. One newly identified action of vitamin D3 on prostate cancer cells was the translocation of the androgen receptor, thus making these cells less susceptible to proliferation stimulation by testosterone.

  8. Hormone blockade therapy was shown to reduce prostate volume by about 30%. Prostate cancer cells responded much more favorably to hormone blocking therapy than non-cancerous prostate cells. The results suggest that hormone blockade downsizes, and in some cases, down stages prostate cancer cells. Down staging of prostate cancer cells could result in a significant long-term remission.

  9. Statistically significant rises in PSA levels were observed in men who had undergone cardiac surgery. The doctors speculated that this was caused by the lack of blood flow to the prostate gland during surgery, resulting in ischemic damage to prostate cells that caused them to secrete PSA.

  10. A group of patients with a mean age of 63, and a mean PSA of 8.6 were studied. 46% were found to have organ confined prostate cancer, 25% had infiltration of cancer cells into the fatty sack containing the prostate gland, and 7% had seminal vesicle involvement. At surgery, 46% had positive margins indicating that the cancer had spread beyond the prostate gland. When these patients were sub-grouped, those with a PSA under 10 were much more likely to have organ-confined disease.

  11. There was a 27% failure rate at five years in men whose PSA was between 8-15 and Gleason Score between 2-7 who were treated with external beam radiation alone. The doctors concluded that hormone-blocking therapy may have prevented this high failure rate in these men who had a relatively early-stage of prostate cancer.

  12. When CT evaluation of prostate tumor volume is performed, an enhancement of visualization occurred in 15 of 16 patients when intravesicle contrast was used. Without the use of intravesicle contrast, significant underestimating of the tumor volume occurred, which could lead to treatment failure.

  13. The free radical-generating fatty acid called arachidonic acid was shown to stimulate prostate cancer cell growth. The molecular pathway of arachidonic stimulation involved the inflammatory enzyme 5-lipooxygenase. Lipooxgenase is also involved in the formation of abnormal blood clots (thrombosis). Nutrients that specifically inhibit 5-lipooxygenase include garlic. Drugs that are beneficial include ibuprofen and aspirin. Fish oil supplements in high doses have been shown to suppress arachidonic acid formation.

  14. Prostaglandins are synthesized from arachidonic acid by the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase. A particular dangerous prostaglandin is PGE2, which is involved in many chronic inflammatory diseases. The administration of PGE2 to prostate, breast and colon cancer cells resulted in increased cellular proliferation. An ibuprofen derivative called flurbiprofen inhibited PGE2 induced prostate cancer cell growth. Aspirin, ibuprofen and fish oil are several available agents that inhibit PGE2 synthesis.

  15. In advanced, hormone-refractory prostate cancer, the chemotherapy drug mitoantrone, in combination with a prednisone or hydrocortisone showed clinical efficacy in 35-40% of patients. Quality of life improvements where noted, with less toxicity encountered compared with traditional chemotherapy drugs. The administration of mitoantrone, however, did not result in increased survival compared to corticosteroid drugs being used alone.

  16. As many as 80% of 80 year old men were shown to have prostate cancer cells present at autopsy, but only 10% of them will every be diagnosed with it, and only 3% will ever die from it.

  17. Pygeum africanum extract, sold under the trade name Tadenan as a drug in Europe, is used to treat the urinary symptoms of BPH. In a study conducted in rats, pygeum extract was specifically shown to inhibit the benign proliferation of prostate cells. One mechanism of suppression of prostate cell growth was the inhibition of protein kinase C, an enzyme involved in both benign and malignant cell over-proliferation. Soy genistein is also a potent inhibitor of protein kinase C.

  18. Doctors report on a patient whose prostate cancer had become hormone refractory. Flutamide withdraw, plus the addition of hydrocortisone has resulted in a 46 month period of total remission. There is currently no evidence of prostate cancer in this patient. Repeat biopsies that had previously showed positive are now negative. The doctors believe that this one case, and the results of previous published studies indicates that flutamide withdraw and hydrocortisone therapy is an option for the hormone refractory disease in the advanced state prostate cancer patient.

  19. A total of 274 men completed questionnaires about their quality of life after radical prostatectomy and external beam radiation. The conclusions from the questionnaires showed that men who had undergone these radical conventional therapies experienced difficulty long after treatment. In this study, the prostatectomy group fared worse as far as sexual and urinary functions, whereas the radiation therapy group experienced more bowel dysfunction.

  20. Prostate cancer was detected in 22% of men fifty years or older whose PSA reading was between 2.6 and 4. All cancers detected were clinically localized. This study indicates that PSA readings over 2.6 may represent a 22% risk of prostate cancer. The use of a free PSA test would help determine which of these men whose PSA readings were over 2.6 had prostate cancer and reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies.

  21. In men with PSA levels over 10, and/or Gleason scores of equal or greater than 7, only 60% to 84% were free of PSA measured disease progression 3 years after conventional therapy. This study indicated the need for adjuvant therapies such as hormone blockade.

  22. Over a five year period, prostate cancer patients whose family members also had the disease had a relapse- free survival of only 29% compared to relapse-free survival of 59% in similarly staged prostate cancer patients whose family members did not have prostate cancer. These findings show that familial prostate cancer may be more aggressive than non-familial forms, and that standard clinical and pathological measurements may not adequately predict this course.

  23. In men with advanced metastasized prostate cancer (Stage D1 and D2) who were previously untreated, combination therapy utilizing lupron, flutamide, and pharmaceutically administered suramin produced an overall positive response rate of 67%. There were 3 complete responses in this trial of 48 patients. There were 18 deaths reported in this group.

  24. A new term, "antiandrogen withdraw syndrome" has been coined to deal with prostate cancer patients who become refractory to hormone blockade. It appears that upon withdraw of Flutamide, Casodex, and other similar drugs, the PSA level goes sharply down. The doctors advocate a trial of antiandrogen withdraw therapy prior to the initiation of toxic therapies.


Soy Genistein In the Prevention of Disease

Soy Genistein In the Prevention of Disease Abstracts

  1. Chinese men have lower rates of prostate cancer than Europeans and North Americans. The amount of genistein, lignans, and other soy based isoflavones was measured in the blood and prostatic fluid of Chinese, Portuguese and British men consuming their traditional diet. Chinese men had levels of soy isoflavones that were considerably higher than the Portuguese or British men. The Portuguese men had levels of lignans that were higher than British or Chinese men. The high levels of soy isoflavones (in the Chinese) and lignans (in the Portuguese) indicated a protective effect against prostate cancer compared to the very low levels found in British men. The conclusions were: "The isoflavones from soya, which are present in high concentrations in the prostatic fluid of Asian men, may be protective against prostate disease".

  2. When a diet high in soy isoflavones was fed to a strain of rats especially susceptible to developing prostate cancer, there was a statistically significant 27% delay in the rats contracted prostate cancer compared to the rats fed a diet low in soy isoflavones. This study showed a significant delay of disease onset in rats fed high soy isoflavone diet.

  3. Genistein concentrations in the urine of humans consuming a plant-based diet are 30-fold higher than people consuming a more traditional Western diet. Genistein has been shown to prevent the development and progression of chronic diseases associated with hyper proliferation of new blood vessels, including solid tumors. These findings show the value of a plant based diet in the prevention of chronic diseases.


Homocysteine Causes Diseases That Are
Not Cardiovascular Related

Homocysteine Abstracts

  1. Elevated homocysteine levels are an important risk factor for immune cell chromosome damage in aging humans. This study showed that 700 mcg a day of folic acid over a two month period only reduced plasma homocysteine levels by 11%. This study further demonstrates the value of taking multiple homocysteine-lowering nutrients such as vitamin B6, B-12, folic acid and trimethylglycine (TMG) for optimal control of arterial disease-inducing homocysteine.

  2. In a study of 70 make subjects aged 54-81 years, elevated homocysteine levels related with poorer cognitive function. Elevated homocysteine has an independent factor in cognitive deficit, as where low levels of vitamin B12, folate and vitamin B6.

  3. Less than optimal levels of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid were shown to create an S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) deficiency that can cause depression, dementia, demyelinating myelopathy. The neurotoxic effects of homocysteine may be a cause of psychiatric disturbances caused by vitamin deficiencies.

  4. Numerous new studies continue to link elevated homocysteine level with atherosclerosis (arterial clogging) and thrombosis (abnormal blood clotting inside blood vessels) LDL cholesterol oxidation and increases in tissue iron stores were shown to be associated with elevated levels of homocysteine.


Leukemia Treated With Vitamin Analogs

LEUKEMIA TREATED WITH VITAMIN
ANALOGS ABSTRACTS

  1. Vitamin D3 encased in a new liposome drug, blocked proliferation and induced differentiation in myelomonocytic leukemia cells. The liposome drug was specific to myeloid cells, enabling high concentrations of Vitamin D3 to be delivered.

  2. The Vitamin A analog drug all-trans retinoid acid produced a small transient effect on patients with advanced chronic myelogenous leukemia who had become refractory to alpha interferon therapy. Some patients did well enough for the doctors to recommend further studies.

  3. The addition of Vitamin D3 analog drugs to the standard immune boosting drug granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) produced an enhancement in leukemic cell differentiation and greater inhibition of leukemic cell proliferation, indicating potential therapeutic benefit to the combined of these drugs in the treatment of various leukemia.

  4. Excess Vitamin D3 can be produced by certain immune cells to cause hypercalcemia. Gamma interferon was shown to inhibit abnormal synthesis of vitamin D in immune cells, thus reducing the risk of hypercalcemia in the leukemia patient taking vitamin D.


Ginkgo Biloba extract has been shown to:

Ginkgo Biloba Extract Abstracts

  1. Protect brain cells against glutamate-induced neuronal damage by preventing excess calcium infiltration into brain cells.

  2. Reduce behavior manifestations in rats that suffered from laboratory-induced tinnitus. Previously, studies indicate that ginkgo extract may be helpful in suppressing tinnitus (ringing of the ears) in humans.

  3. Protect against hypoxia-induced cellular membrane breakdown in the brain.

  4. Slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct degenerative dementia. A total of 216 patients were treated for 24 weeks with 240 mg a day ginkgo extract or placebo. Compared to placebo, the patients receiving the ginkgo extract improved on average of two out of every three tests performed. These psychological tests to assessed attention, memory, behavior and activities of daily life.

  5. Protect against arterial constriction by inhibiting platelet factors that cause abnormal blood vessel clotting along with loss of arterial elasticity.


Melatonin has been shown to:

Melatonin Abstracts

  1. Protect against stress-induced gastric ulcers by 83%.

  2. Protect brain cells against DNA fragmentation caused by free radicals. DNA fragmentation is a consequence of aging that leads to the decline in neurological function.

  3. Protect against kidney damage caused by the cancer chemotherapy drug adriamycin.
    Melatonin boosted glutathione and catalase levels in the kidney which prevented adriamycin-induced free radical damage.

  4. Induce sleep partially by lowering body temperature. These findings suggest that core temperature reduction is a key mechanism for induction of sleepiness. Previous studies have shown that lowering body temperature in animals significantly extended their lifespan.

  5. Activate T-helper lymphocytes by increasing the body's production of interleukin-2 and gamma interferon. T-helper cells are a critical component of the immune cascade.

  6. Augment the anti-cancer effects of chemotherapy in the treatment of osteosarcoma and decrease the side effects of many chemotherapeutic drugs.

  7. Correct severe circadian disturbances and improve sleep patterns in blind children and young adults. Blind people suffer from severe circadian disturbances because of a lack of light-darkness stimulation to the pineal gland.

  8. Provide significant antioxidant protection to the eyes of rats so as to prevent the formation of laboratory-induced cataracts. The control group of rats (not receiving melatonin) developed cataracts in 89% of the cases, where as only 7% of the melatonin supplemented group developed observable cataract formation.

  9. Prevent DNA single and double strand breaks in response to magnetic field exposure. Brain cells of rats were examined after exposure to magnetic fields, which caused severe free radical induced breakage of cellular DNA strands. Pre-treated of rats with melatonin was shown to block DNA strand breaking in response to magnetic fields. The researchers commented that the protective effect of melatonin could possibly prevent a wide range of neurological and oncological diseases.

  10. Suppress the vasospastic effect of hydrogen peroxide to the umbilical artery. Melatonin's ability to suppress arterial spasm was attributed to its ability to scavenge the dangerous hydroxyl radical. Spasm of a coronary artery can cause a heart attack and spasm of a cerebral artery can cause a stroke.

  11. Relieve some of the acute effects of migraine headaches when administered at night in the form of an infusion that produced melatonin blood levels slightly above normal physiological ranges. Previous studies had indicated reduced incidences of migraine attacks when melatonin was taken orally every night.

  12. Protect hippocampal cells in the brain against re-perfusion-ischemic injury when administered at the time that blood flow us cut off.

  13. Protect against brain damage inducted by ischemia (no blood flow) or kainate (a free radical generating enzyme).

  14. Protect against gastroduodenal injury caused in rats by oral ethanol intake.


DHEA has been shown to:

DHEA Abstracts

  1. Be a potential treatment for atopic dermatitis by regulating certain cytokines that cause the autoimmune reactions.

  2. Reduce the incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis in mice.


Deprenyl has been shown to:

Deprenyl Abstracts

  1. Increase brain cell energy levels (cAMP) and rescue neurons from potentially lethal damage. This effect appears independent of deprenyl's well known mechanism of inhibiting cell damaging MAO B.

  2. Protect brain cells against the effects of glutamate-induced toxicity. Brain cells use glutamine for energy production, but in the process of producing energy, excess glutamate can be released that slowly damages brain cells. In addition to deprenyl, vitamin E was also shown to protect against glutatmate- induced cytotoxicity.

  3. Prolong survival time up to 200% in immuno-suppressed mice compared to control animals. This study also showed that alpha lipoic acid increased survival time by 50% compared to control animals.
(Note: Anyone taking deprenyl for anti-aging purposes should not take more than 15 mg a week. About 10 mg a week is considered ideal.)



Vitamin E has been shown to:

Vitamin E Abstracts

  1. Restore urinary filtration and flow to rats with severe kidney disease by suppressing free radicals that cause tubulointerstitial injury.
  2. Inhibit many factors thought to cause colon cancer. This study emphasized the specific protective mechanisms related to alpha tocopherol found in most vitamin supplement and gamma-tocopherol found in rice-bran oil.
  3. Protect against enhanced free radical damage caused by the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin (Mevacor).

  4. Protect immune cells against the effects of thermal stress. Thermal stress was shown to suppress immune cell production and functions, and vitamin E totally abrogated the inhibitory effects caused by high temperatures.

  5. Protect human muscle cells against ischemia and reperfusion injury caused by major surgical procedures. The doctors indicated that vitamin E may be a valuable new tool for protection against the blood flow interruptions that occur during major operations.

  6. Significantly inhibit the growth of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells when vitamin E succinate was combined with chemotherapy drugs . Vitamin E succinate allowed lower concentrations of the drugs to be used, thus reducing the potential for toxicity.

  7. Improve the symptoms of tardive dyskenesia. In an open on-off trial involving sixteen patients, significant reductions in the abnormal involuntary movements score were found when taking vitamin E. This finding, which corroborates previous studies, indicates a possible role for vitamin E in the treatment of tardive dyskenesia.

  8. Enhance the immune response to pulmonary influenza in mice. High doses of vitamin E significantly enhanced antibody titer levels in older mice exposed to the influenza virus. Younger animals did not experience a significant immune improvement in response to high doses of vitamin E. This study adds another piece of evidence to the critical importance of supplemental vitamin E in the aged.

  9. "Improve substantially the quality of human life, particularly for people of advancing years". This was the conclusion of a scientist who wrote an extensive overview about the effects of vitamin E in humans.

  10. Protect polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) from oxidizing in the body, enhance immune response, and prevent abnormal platelet adhesion that can contribute to atherosclerosis and cause an acute thrombotic heart attack or stroke.

  11. Provide a particular advantageous protective effect in diabetics against cardiovascular complications.

  12. Inhibit proliferation of estrogen-sensitive human breast cancer cells. Vitamin E succinate was shown to block a genetic transcription pathway required for breast cancer cell growth.

  13. Protect against liver and kidney free radical damage induced by perchloroethylene. Vitamin E was combined with taurine to achieve this protective effect.

  14. Possibly ameliorate the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) in certain subpopulations of ALS patients


Cancer: Statistics and Treatments

Cancer: Statistics and Treatment Abstracts

  1. Cimetidine (Tagemet) given to colorectal cancer patients dramatically improved local immune response when given one week prior to surgery. A positive immune response was seen in 21% of the control patients while 56% of the patients in the Tagemet group experienced an improved local lymphocyte immune response. Histamine showed an inhibitory effect on lymphocyte proliferation, and Tagamet antagonized the immune suppressing effects of histamine. Tagamet was also shown to increase lymphocyte infiltration into colorectal cancer cells which correlated with an improved 3-year survival.

  2. A garlic extract was shown to enhance differentiation and inhibit proliferation in leukemia, liver and breast cancer cells by inhibiting the incorporation of thymidine into the DNA of these cancer cells. Thymidine is a major growth factor that enables cancer cells to proliferate out-of-control.

  3. Green tea polyphenols were shown to inhibit DNA strand breaks in lung cells exposed to oxidants. This mechanism was identified as one of the ways that green tea may prevent lung cancer.

  4. The American Cancer Society published a study showing increased prevalence of invasive cancer occurred in the State of Connecticut increased by 40% in males and 13% in females since from 1982 to the end of 1994. Using this data, an estimated 7.7 million Americans were projected to be diagnosed in the year 2000, and 13.2 million Americans in the year 2030. The American Cancer Society said these disturbing trends indicated the need for primary prevention of cancer and for studies to determine how those diagnosed with invasive cancer became long-term survivors.(This study further substantiated The Life Extension Foundation's grim predictions made years ago about the growing cancer epidemic induced by the medical establishment.. It is the Foundation's position that bureaucratic regulations keep the findings of cancer research from getting to cancer patients.)

  5. Recent studies have shown that vitamin E inhibits cancer cell growth. Vitamin E was administered to well established cancer cell lines of the prostate, breast and red blood cell leukemia. Potent suppression of prostate and breast cell growth were observed, with less suppressive effect occurring in erythroleukemia cells. Vitamin E was shown to specifically inhibit thymidine incorporation into cancer cells which resulted in reduced DNA synthesis. The increased DNA fragmentation resulted in cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death).

  6. The drug megestrol acetate (Megace) was tested on head and neck cancer patients undergoing extensive radiation therapy. These patients normally suffer from loss of appetite and ensuing weight loss. Megace significantly decreased the loss of lean body mass and prevented the deterioration of appetite of head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.

  7. A specific mechanism by which selenomethionine induces apoptosis in cancer cells was identified. Selenomethionine was shown to inhibit the growth of ling and colon cancer cells lines by decreasing polyamine content of cancer cells, thereby initiating programmed cell death (apoptosis). Selenomethionine specifically increased the number of cancer cells in the metaphase cell cycle that signaled a termination to their hyperproliferative states. This study suggested that at least part of the anti-carcinogenic effects of selenium might be due to depletion of polyamine levels. This depletion leads to an induction of apoptosis and perturbations in the cancer cell's growth cycle.

  8. A new vitamin A analog can make cancer cells commit "suicide" by inducing apoptosis. This new cancer cell self-destructing vitamin A analog is called 4HPR. This is one of many vitamin A and D analogs receiving favorable media and scientific commentary, but is not yet available to cancer patients.

  9. The European bone cancer drug clodronate was shown to prevent osteoporosis in premenopausal women undergoing extensive chemotherapy that normally induces severe bone loss by shutting down ovarian function.

  10. A meta-analysis of the effects of the allium plants onion and garlic was conducted to assess cancer risk reduction. With only one exception, the consumption of allium plants produced a statistical reduction in the risk of cancer, especially cancers of the digestive tract.

  11. The role of protein kinases has been established as a cause of the uncontrolled cellular proliferation that is the hallmark of human malignant brain tumors. Inhibitors of protein kinases include genistein, curcumin, green tea and vitamin D3.

  12. Curcumin and genistein have been shown to inhibit cancer cell proliferation. In this study, estrogen-positive breast cancer cells were inhibited by genistein or curcumin. When genistein and curcumin were administered, a synergistic effect occurred resulting in total inhibition of breast cancer cell proliferation in response to pesticides. The scientists stated that since it is difficult to avoid pesticides in the diet, the inclusion of curcumin and genistein rich foods could prevent some hormone dependent cancers.

  13. Selenium was able to alter the p53 gene transcript that is responsible for many forms of cancer. This study concentrated on breast cancer cells that were protected against p53 mutation by selenium, and thus protected against developing cancer via this pathway.


Miscellaneous Studies

Miscellaneous Studies Abstracts

  1. A study of 2,974 males aged 53-75 revealed the following new significant risk factors for having a heart attack:

    1) Low social class2) Low serum selenium3) Low leisure time physical activity in mid-life4) Low consumption of wine or strong spirits5) Long-term occupational exposure to smoldering fumes

    • Curcumin was able to protect against bleomycin-induced lung injury in rats. Bleomycin is a particularly toxic cancer chemotherapy drug, and the scientists conducting this study stated that curcumin offers the potential for a novel pharmacological approach in the suppression of drug-induced lung injury.

    • A grape-skin polyphenol called resveratrol was shown to specifically protect LDL cholesterol against oxidation by chelating out copper, a free radical generating metal catalyst. This action of pulling out copper from LDL and the arterial wall may be a mechanisms by which red wine protects against vascular disease.

    • A wide range of coagulation factors was studied in 1562 people in Britain. Coagulations factors that cause abnormal blood clotting were evaluated as its related to cardiovascular disease risk. Prevalent cardiovascular disease was associated only with high levels of fibrinogen. Vitamin C provided a significant protective effect.

    • A novel drug is described that combines vitamin E with vitamin C. This "new" drug was shown to produce significant benefits in maintaining the stability of vitamin C and E in the body. The name of this new drug is "Vitamin CE", and the developers are quite enthusiastic about it therapeutic potential.

    • Free radicals have been implicated in the Alzheimer's disease process. In autopsy studies, the brain cells of Alzheimer's victims showed 130% more free radical induced damage compared to controls. One Alzheimer's victim who took supplemental vitamin E for four years showed significant reduction in free radical induced damage. The doctors speculated, "oral antioxidant supplementation may be protective against lipid peroxidation in the brain".

    • Vitamin C was shown to protect against cholesterol-induced microcirculatory changes in the rabbit. Blood flow was improved by all measurable parameters by vitamin C. Damage done to large arteries in response to cholesterol administration was not significantly reduced by vitamin C supplementation.

    • Both insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent diabetic patients were shown to have significantly lower levels antioxidant protection compared to age-matched controls.

    • Vitamin C by itself was shown to protect against free radical generation in iron-overloaded human plasma. This contradicts previous studies showing excess iron and vitamin C causing free radical damage if other antioxidants are not present.

    • Retinoic acid and vitamin D3 were shown to have greater cell inhibitory effects in combination than when used by themselves in treating epidermal keratincytosis.

    • Tocotrienols from rice bran oil were shown to reduce cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by about 20% over a twelve week period compared to the placebo group not receiving rice-bran oil. Other coronary risk factors such as thromboxane A2, apoplipoprtein B, lipoprotein (a) and platelet factor 4 were also decreased by rice-bran oil therapy. HDL cholesterol remained unchanged.

    • The re-growth of the thymus gland in aged animals was shown to be accomplished by:

    1) Melatonin supplementation2) Growth Hormone supplementation3) Surgical implantation of a youthful pineal gland4) Thyroid hormone replacement5) Arginine or zinc supplementation 6) Various combinations of the above

    Restoration of the thymus gland is critical to maintaining healthy immune function. The combined supplementation zinc and melatonin was especially effective in previous studies in restoring youthful thymic function.

    • Vegans and vegetarians may be at most risk from low selenium intake.

    • Hepatitis C patients only see a 20% response to interferon monotherapy. When the anti-viral drug ribavirin is combined with interferon, the response rate improves by 2-3 fold.

    • The therapeutic efficacy of biotin was evaluated on 43 Type II diabetic patients. The serum biotin levels were significantly lower than the 64 healthy control subjects. The lower the biotin levels, the greater the serum glucose level. The oral administration of 9,000 mcg a day of biotin corrected the hyperglycemia in Type II diabetics. This findings suggests that biotin administration ameliorates abnormal glucose metabolism in the diabetic patient by enhancing the activity of the biotin-dependent enzyme required for the promotion of proper glucose utilization. The administration of biotin also enhanced the effectiveness of the anti-diabetic drug glibenclamide in patients who had been resistant to the drug. Neither a relapse of clinical symptoms nor an occupance of undesirable side effects have been observed in patients taking these relatively high doses of biotin.

    • Patients with high cholesterol levels were found to have significantly lower levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). The scientists speculated that measuring serum coQ10 levels could be an effective mechanism of determining the amount of oxidative stress that would help predict those who were at greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

    • It is well documented that selenium plays an important role in the prevention of abnormal blood clots via its effects on the thromboxane/prostacyclin ratio. Selenium has an anti-clotting effect, while a selenium deficiency has a thrombotic or pro-clotting effect. In animals, an extreme selenium deficiency causes a severe hemorrhagic (bleeding) effect. Scientists have identified specific viruses that consume the body's selenium pool during their reproductive process, thus causing severe lipid peroxiation and cell membrane destruction eventually leading to death from severe hemorrhaging, as occurs with Ebola fever.

    • HIV disease progression and CD4 cell count declines occur in response to a continuing decline of selenium levels in the body.

    • An epidemiological study showed that HIV infection progressed most rapidly in areas where dietary selenium intake was low.

    • Hepatitis viruses were shown to induce liver inflammation, cirrhosis and primary liver cancer via free radical attacks on liver cells. Antioxidant supplements in addition to anti-viral therapies were thought to protect against the lethal consequences of hepatitis B and C.

    • In areas of China with high rates of hepatitis B and primary liver cancer, epidemiological surveys demonstrated that high levels of dietary selenium reduce liver caner incidence and hepatitis B infection. Animals studies showed that selenium supplementation reduced hepatitis B infection by 77.2% and precancerous liver lesions by 75.8%. In a four year trial on 130,471 Chinese, those who were given a selenium-spiked table salt to use showed a 35.1% reduction in primary liver cancer compared to the group given nonselenized salt. A clinical study of 226 hepatitis B positive people showed that a 200 mcg tablet a day of selenium reduced primary liver cancer incidences down to zero, compared to 7 out of 113 people in the placebo group. Upon cessation of selenium supplementation, primary liver cancer incidences began to rise, indicating that viral hepatitis patients should take selenium on a continuous basis.

    • Sodium selenite and glycyrrhizin (licorice extract) along with a selenium-glycyrrhizin compound was shown effective in treating hemorrhagic fever patients.

    • The role of protein oxidative damage to muscle cells was found in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients, thus supporting the specific role that free radicals play in damaging muscle in this disease.

    • A unique liquid preparation containing levodopa, carbidopa, and ascorbic acid is described that more readily passes through the stomach and provides a greater level of symptomatic relief for Parkinson's disease patients.

    • Ribavirin was shown to prevent infection and death from influenza and other viral diseases in immune compromised patients.

    • Pregnenolone was shown to improve neurological performance by increasing NMDA-induced phasic firing of supraoptic vasopressin neurons.
Abstracts from the papers containing the findings in MEDICAL UPDATES can be found in the medical abstracts section of this web site.