Friday, March 30, 2007

New research on bad effects of jet lag

Frequent long-haul flights hard on the body Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/30/07 "Airplane crew and passengers who frequently fly between several time zones face a number of health problems including disruptions in a woman's menstrual cycle and even short-term psychiatric disturbances...There seems to be no getting use to long-haul flights, according to researchers who report that flight crews who regularly take long journeys are not protected from the effects of jet lag such as poor and interrupted sleep, mood changes, irritability, stomach problems, and decreased brain power...Jet lag is worse for older travelers, and its severity increases with the number of time zones crossed. "If the journey crosses fewer than about three time zones, then jet lag is unlikely to be a major difficulty for most people," ...The direction of travel also matters, Waterhouse and colleagues say, with flights to the east bringing more jet lag than flights to the west..."

And the researchers provide this handy little formula for calculating how much jet lag you'll probably encounter.

"Jet lag caused by eastbound flights lasts for several days "roughly equal to two-thirds of the number of time zones crossed, and about half the number of time zones crossed for westward flights,""

The advice on how to deal with jetlag: "For journeys that cross more than three time zones, travelers can help the body clock adjust by deliberately seeking or avoiding sunlight at the new destination...Trying to maintain alertness during the day at the new destination by exercising and/or drinking caffeinated beverages may also help. The jury is still out on the value of taking the hormone melatonin to curb jet lag, the authors say. Melatonin is secreted during sleep and has been implicated in jet lag, but Waterhouse and colleagues don't advise using melatonin until more research is conducted..."

In my experience 1.5-3mg of melatonin right before bedtime in a new time zone really does help reset the circadian faster than light exposure and other methods. Curious that the authors seem overly cautious with melatonin.

CDC offer this: "melatonin seems to be safe and well tolerated, and doses of 0.5-5 mg promoted sleep and decreased jet lag in travelers crossing five or more time zones. Five-mg doses promoted more rapid sleep than lower doses; doses >5 mg had no additional benefit. Slow-release forms were not effective. Melatonin should be taken at the target bedtime, beginning 3-4 days before departure if possible."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Nutrient Combo May Curb Hearing Loss

Magnesium and Vitamins A, C, E May Help Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss WebMD 3/30/07 "The guinea pigs were only exposed to the noise once. They got daily doses of their assigned treatment for the five days following noise exposure. Five days after noise exposure, the guinea pigs took hearing tests and had their ears examined. The guinea pigs that got the combination treatment of magnesium and vitamins A, C, and E had the least amount of noise-induced hearing loss and ear damage...The researchers speculate that the nutrient combination might reduce hearing loss even when it's only given after exposure to noise, but this study didn't test that theory. The University of Michigan has applied for patents for the nutrient combination's use in preventing noise-induced hearing loss"

In this case does applying for patent indicate unpublished but major findings in order to assure patent approval? Because this research alone doesn't seem to warrant a patent - so maybe they're sitting on other papers till the patent is approved. Or maybe the press isn't doing justice to the research. Who knows.

Other supplements that have shown promise for a variety of types of hearing loss here.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Protect Heart

EPA, a Fatty Acid in Fish Oil, May Prevent Nonfatal Heart Problems
WebMD 3/29/07 "2.8% of those taking EPA along with statins experienced a major coronary event, compared with 3.5% of those only taking statins...EPA pills weren't linked to any difference in fatal heart attacks or sudden cardiac death...When Yokoyama's team took a closer look at the data, they found the EPA advantage only applied to patients with a known history of coronary artery disease. Patients with high cholesterol but no history of coronary artery disease may also get some heart protection from EPA, but that's not certain..."EPA might affect risk only at very high levels of fish intake, such as those common in Japan," ...Lastly, the researchers note that they only tested EPA pills, not fish or fish oil."

An unusual amount of caveats coming out with this research - still, it made it to the Lancet.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Being sedentary raises blood sugar

Sedentary behavior linked to high blood sugar Reuters/Scientific American 3/28/07 "People who tend to be sedentary -- as indicated by the amount of time they spend watching television -- are likely to have high levels of glucose in their blood, even though they may not be diabetic...After accounting for physical activity time and for factors that can affect blood glucose, the investigators found that the more time women spent television viewing, the higher were their blood glucose levels two hours after they took the glucose test-drink. This was not seen in men, according to the team's report in the medical journal Diabetes Care..."The findings reinforce the case for a strong focus in diabetes and obesity research on sedentary behaviors, such as television viewing, in addition to the now well-established base of evidence on the importance of increasing physical activity,""

Higher levels of blood sugar = greater risk of a variety of diseases = increased chance of early mortality. The simple answer, although it can be hard in practice is to drag your ass out of that chair and get your heart rate up for 30+ minutes 5 days a week. Start slow and easy and gradually increase workout intensity. The benefits of this are massive - as a quick pubmed dump on the topic proves - or a more organized NIH education site. As if we haven't know this forever. And yet... obesity and type 2 diabetes are on the rise - the latter being almost totally preventable and reversible if caught early enough.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Vitamin D and calcium might help prevent colorectal cancer

Calcium, vitamin D may ward off colorectal cancer Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/28/07 "People who consume relatively high levels of calcium and dairy products and take vitamin D supplements seem to be protected to some degree against colorectal cancer...Comparing the highest calcium intakes with the lowest, the risk of developing colorectal cancer was reduced by 30 percent for men and by 36 percent for women...Total vitamin D intake was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk in men but not in women," Park and colleagues report...A high intake of dairy products also reduced the risk of colorectal cancer risk, especially for people who didn't take supplemental calcium; the risk reduction was 23 percent for men and 34 percent for women"

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blueberries might help prevent colon cancer

Blueberries May Help Curb Colon Cancer Washington Post 3/27/07 "a natural compound called pterostilbene -- found in blueberries and other fruits -- helped prevent pre-cancerous colon lesions in rats..."Pterostilbene is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent that is mostly found in blueberries and blackberries," said study leader Bandaru Reddy...Colon cancer is one of the major cancers in Western countries, and this study is one of the first to show pterostilbene's potential to fight it...the rats who were fed pterostilbene had 57 percent fewer pre-cancerous lesions in their colon...Ingesting pterostilbene also reduced colonic cell proliferation and inhibited the expression of certain genes involved in inflammation -- both of these are considered to be risk factors for colon cancer...The next step is to further test pterostilbene in animals to see if it can prevent tumors. Only then will human trials be possible...Another study from Ohio State University found that rodents whose diets were supplemented with black raspberries had up to an 80 percent reduction in colon tumors and a 60 percent reduction in tumors of the esophagus...researchers in Germany were to report on a study that found drinking two to three glasses of cloudy (or unfiltered) apple juice a day may curb colon cancer in mice..."

More on blueberries and colon cancer at ScienceDaily.

Previous post on potential health benefits of pterostilbene - cousin of resveratrol.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Grape seed extract might protect against skin cancer

Grape seed extract may protect against skin cancer 3/27/07 "Proanthocyanidin-rich extracts from grape seeds may prevent skin cancer by boosting the immune system, says a new study that used hairless mice to model human sun exposure...hairless mice supplemented with proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seed had 65 per cent fewer skin tumours than mice not supplemented with the compounds...The research adds to a small but expanding number of other studies that suggest the grape seed extracts may benefit skin "from within". Indeed, only recently researchers in Germany reported that 42 subjects randomly assigned to receive a daily supplement of Masquelier's Original OPCs (oligomeric proanythocyanidins) Anthogenol (100 mg/day) had reduced reddening of the skin by 13 per cent when exposed to UV radiation ...The new study, led by Santosh Katiyar, supplemented the diet (AIN76A) of SKH-1 hairless mice with grape seed proanthocyanidins (0.2 and 0.5 per cent, w/w) and exposed them to UVB (180 mJ/cm2) radiation to induce skin cancer ...supplementation with the grape seed extracts appeared to reduce the UVB-induced increase in the cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10), previously reported to suppress immune function...On the other hand, the proanthocyanidin-rich extracts were found to increase the production of IL-12, reported to be a stimulator of the immune system"

MSNBC has Reuters coverage of this

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Aspirin for Women: Yes or No

Fewer Deaths in Women on Aspirin WebMD 3/26/07 "new findings come from the Nurses' Health Study, a 30-year-long study of nearly 80,000 women. The study suggests that women who regularly take low-dose aspirin (81 milligrams of baby aspirin) or moderate-dose aspirin (325 milligrams of adult aspirin) are less likely to die than those who don't take aspirin...The study shows that women who took low- or moderate-dose aspirin were:

25% less likely to die of any cause
38% less likely to die of heart disease or stroke
28% less likely to die of colon cancer

Women who regularly took high-dose aspirin -- more than 14 adult-strength tablets a week -- did not get a health benefit. Instead, they were 43% more likely to die from hemorrhagic stroke compared with those who never took aspirin. Hemorrhagic stroke is stroke due to bleeding in the brain...Women got a heart benefit from aspirin after about five years of use. The cancer benefit didn't appear before 10 years of regular aspirin use...The evidence remains strong that daily low-dose aspirin cuts a man's risk of heart disease and stroke -- although the drug does increase a man's risk of ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding..."This is the infamous Nurse's Health Study that led us down the wrong path for many things like hormone replacement therapy and antioxidants because it is observational and can't control for bias. The Women's Health Study was long-term and randomized, so recommendations should be based on that."...Chan, too, agrees that women should not start taking aspirin willy-nilly. But he says the study data raise important questions."

Debate not over. I don't think the Women's Health Study is as virtuous as some proponents think, nor is the Nurse's Health Study as bad as critics think. Both have their problems of methodology. But I suspect in this case that the Women's Health Study is wrong about aspirin and that 81mg a day does have significant health benefits. The connection of inflammation to a whole host of diseases should not be so easily dismissed.

The lesson from this latest research is that there seems to be no reason to use more than baby aspirin at 81mg a day and plenty of reasons not to use more than 325mg a day - as in a complete negation of health benefits and dramatic increase in mortality via stroke.

So 81mg's a day it is.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Monday, March 26, 2007

TB variety now totally resistant to antibiotics

TB breaks free of antibiotic control ($) NewScientist March 24th 2007 Edition

NewScientist has a good editorial about how the world has ignored diseases in the developing world esp. TB - with the result being that strains of this incredibly deadly disease is now mostly, or totally resistant to all medicine. The larger lesson as they make very clear is - ignore the poor countries and their welfare at your peril. Chances are if a pandemic hits, of any disease, it will mainly be the result of our profound stupidity... not a bolt from the blue.

Here are some key points.

"REMEMBER when lots of people died of ordinary bacterial infections? Probably not, unless you were around before the 1950s. That's when antibiotics stopped the rot, at least for the world's better-off...The bad news is those days are returning. Tuberculosis has broken free of antibiotic control, a fact that could affect us all...Last year it erupted in 9 million people and killed 1.6 million, putting it among the world's biggest causes of death...TB has thrived in the mushrooming urban slums of poor countries and grown among poor communities in rich countries as those nations dismantled public health systems designed to eradicate TB...Now, some strains - known as extremely drug-resistant, or XDR - have shrugged off many of the remaining anti-TB drugs. This week we report the arrival of CDR, or completely drug-resistant, TB (see "The white plague"). Doctors cannot hammer these bacteria with new drugs or vaccines because no companies have developed any. There are few profits in diseases of the poor...TB resistant to one or two drugs grew from a few cases in the 1990s to one-fifth of cases today. XDR-TB is likely to do the same. It is now poised to rip through the millions of African people who have HIV...We thought we had beaten TB. Now it is back and we are almost defenceless. On every level this is because the world neglects diseases of the poor."

We spend billions on bogus wars and waste hundreds of millions on bogus security but when it comes to potential pandemics we spend hardly a thing? Genius. Vote out any politician that doesn't understand.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Iron deficiency lowers women's mental abilities

Treating low iron boosts women's mental abilities Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/23/07 "Iron deficiency, even to a moderate degree, can hinder women's memory and learning -- but iron supplements can turn those problems around...researchers at Penn State University found that women with even moderate iron deficiency -- not severe enough to diagnose full-blown anemia -- scored more poorly on tests of memory, attention and learning than women with sufficient iron levels. Those with anemia had the worst scores...After 4 months on iron supplements, however, women who'd been deficient in the mineral showed an improvement in their mental acuity. Those who had a significant rise in an iron-storing protein called ferritin also improved their test performance by 5 to 7 times...the effects of iron deficiency are not limited to the developing brain. Moreover, they challenge the traditional belief that iron deficiency causes no apparent problems until it progresses to full-blown anemia...The recommended iron intake for women ages 19 to 50 is 18 milligrams (mg) per day, and 27 mg during pregnancy."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Thursday, March 22, 2007

DHA linked to denser bones

Omega-3 fatty acids linked to denser bones in men Reuters/Scientific 3/22/07 "men who had the highest levels of omega-3s in their blood as 22-year-olds showed the greatest bone mineral density, and also built the most bone between their late teens and their early 20s...The amount of bone mineral people accumulate as adolescents and young adults is considered a key factor in whether or not they will develop the brittle bone disease osteoporosis later on, Hogstrom and his team note the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition...Animal studies have suggested omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish and flaxseed as well as other food sources, may promote bone formation and density...Higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), were linked to greater bone mineral density in the body and the spine at age 22. Higher levels of omega-3s were also tied to greater accumulation of spinal bone mineral density between age 16 and age 22...Omega-3 fatty acids, the authors point out, might influence bone formation by affecting calcium metabolism or the formation of collagen..."

So another study that shows why omega-3's help fight osteoporosis and other bone disorders later in life. One question I have is did these young men have fewer fractures than average due to the greater bone mineral density? If so this would be another benefit of omega 3 fatty acids.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Blood sugar 'boosts cancer risk'

Women with high blood sugar levels are at an increased risk of developing cancer BBC News 3/21/07 "The Swedish research, which looked at 64,500 people, linked raised blood sugar with pancreas, skin, womb, and urinary tract cancers in women...high blood sugar was also linked to breast cancer risk - for women under 49...women in the top 25% range of blood sugar readings after fasting had a 26% higher chance of developing cancer than those in the bottom quarter...In men, raised blood sugar levels in men appeared to protect against prostate cancer, though not to a significant degree..."And the good news is that it is possible to reduce your blood sugar levels by eating a healthy balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and maintaining a healthy weight. "We know that up to 40% of cancer cases can be prevented by this type of healthy lifestyle, so this is just another reason for people to make those small changes that could make a big difference."... "

There is a mountain of evidence that shows that daily vigorous exercise can help prevent a variety of cancers. Could it be that one of the main ways that exercise helps fight off cancer if via modulation of blood sugar levels? Anyway it is encouraging that diet, exercise and watching one's fat levels could affect blood sugar levels in a positive way and in so doing significantly reduce the chance of getting a variety of cancers.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Musical Brain Better at Language?

Music Training Boosts Sensitivity to Pitch and May Help Language Learning WebMD 3/14/07 "Music lessons may train the brain in ways that make learning language easier. So say Northwestern University researchers including Patrick Wong, PhD, and Nina Kraus, PhD...researchers graphed the brain waves in participants' brain stems as the various pitches played. They found that the brain stems of musicians were more sensitive to the pitch variations than those of the nonmusicians...musically-trained subjects were far better at tracking the three different tones than the nonmusicians...Playing music involves a different part of the brain, but it appears to tune the brain stem...may partly explain musicians' skill at learning language"

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Vitamin D in pregnancy might reduce childhood asthma

Vitamin D in pregnancy may reduce childhood wheeze Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/21/07 "Mothers in the top 25 percent of vitamin D were 61-percent less likely to have a child with recurrent wheeze compared with those in the lowest 25 percent.
For each 100-IU increase in vitamin D, the risk of having a child with recurrent wheeze fell by 19 percent...This benefit was noted whether the vitamin D came from supplements or the diet...In the second study...Compared with the group with the lowest vitamin D levels, women with the highest levels of vitamin D had a 52-percent reduced risk of wheeze and a 65-percent reduced risk of wheeze in the previous year. Vitamin D levels were also associated with reductions in bronchodilator response, which is aggravated in asthma..."Our results are of great public health significance because they could lead to relatively low cost interventions of vitamin D supplementation that would have a large effect on the future prevalence of asthma in children," "

AJCN abstract

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Plant lignans might cut breast cancer risk

Plant Compound In Diet Associated With Decreased Risk Of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer ScienceDaily 3/21/07 "Lignans, which are found in flaxseed and a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, belong to a family of compounds called phytoestrogens. Because of their hormone-like properties, phytoestrogens can bind to estrogen receptors, and some have suggested they may play a role in preventing breast cancer. Studies of Asian populations have found that women whose diets contain many foods made of soy, which are rich in another type of phytoestrogen, have a lower breast cancer risk...a 17 percent relative decrease in the risk of breast cancer..."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

To avoid colon cancer, eat more fruit, less meat

To avoid colon cancer, eat more fruit, study finds Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/21/07 "People who eat a diet high in fruit and low in meat reduce their risk of developing colon cancer...Their study supports other research showing that meat can raise the risk of getting cancer, especially colon cancer...people who recalled eating large or moderate amounts of meat were 70 percent more likely to have had a polyp than those who said they ate a lot of fruit but little meat...Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States after lung cancer, with a projected 52,000 deaths in 2007...Just 18 percent of the people who said they ate a lot of fruit but little meat had a polyp, compared to 30 percent of the moderate meat-eaters and 32 percent of people in the high meat-eating group"

More research based on memory. Not the hardiest of research, but another data point to note when considering diet and cancer.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Vitamin D linked to lower breast cancer risk

Vitamin D again linked to lower breast cancer risk 3/20/07 "Increased vitamin D levels during youth, from the sun and the diet, may reduce the risk of breast cancer later in life by over 30 per cent...The link between vitamin D intake and protection from cancer dates from the 1940s when Frank Apperly demonstrated a link between latitude and deaths from cancer, and suggested that sunlight gave "a relative cancer immunity."...Significant risk reductions were also observed for increased cod liver oil intake (24 per cent risk reduction), and drinking at least 10 glasses of milk per week was associated with a 38 per cent risk reduction. Similar exposures later in life (ages 20 to 29 while no protective effects from any vitamin D sources were observed for ages 45 to 54..."We found strong evidence to support the hypothesis that vitamin D could help prevent breast cancer. However, our results suggest that exposure earlier in life, particularly during breast development, maybe most relevant," ...The study does have several important limitations, notably being based on recall of dietary habits early in life as well as outdoor exposure, both of which are susceptible to recall errors from the participants"

The last part is important to remember since memory is notoriously faulty. Still, this is in line with previous research on vitamin D and breast cancer. But what's going on with milk? Is this true, or an artifact of false memory? Since most milk still has D2 in it and has for years and this form has recently been proven to be virtually ineffective in our bodies. Or is there something else in milk that helps prevent breast cancer?

NIH has a good site on Vitamin D

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Concord grape juice best juice for antioxidants

Scientists rank UK juices by antioxidant action 3/16/07 "lead researcher Professor Alan Crozier said his team's findings are relevant to consumers wishing to reduce their risk of age-related dementia, in the light of a study published last year that indicated long-term fruit juice consumption could help protect against Alzheimer's disease. "Phenolic antioxidants are bioactive compounds in fruits, vegetables and beverages that play an active role in the human body. By quenching free radicals they help maintain oxidative balance and are thought to play a key role in maintaining and improving health,"...The new study draws particular attention to the juice of Concord grapes, which came out on top in terms of highest overall antioxidant capacity and the highest and broadest range of polyphenols...Other top scorers were cloudy apple juice and cranberry juice. Crozier and his team assessed the total phenolic content of 13 commercially available fruit juices and juice drinks deemed to be the most popular in the UK using the Folin-Ciocalteu assay...The main components in purple grape juice were flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, and hydroxycinnamates, together accounting for 93 per cent of the total phenolic content. The results for the red grape juice were said to be equal to those for a Beaujolais red wine... "

ABC News has more on this.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

High fat diet and breast cancer

High-fat diet may increase breast cancer risk Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/20/07 "The findings, reported in the Journal of the National Cancer stem from the National Institutes of Health -AARP Diet and Health Study, in which 188,736 postmenopausal women reported detailed information on their diet in the mid-1990s...Using a more precise 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire, "we found a 32-percent increased risk of breast cancer" among women with a high level of fats in their diet, study chief Dr. Anne C. M. Thiebaut from the National Cancer Institute ...The increased risk of breast cancer associated with a high-fat diet was seen for all types of fat (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and seemed to be confined to women who were not using hormone replacement therapy at the start of the study. The suggestion that hormone therapy mediates the association between dietary fat intake and risk of breast cancer should be studied further..."other studies have also found these associations; the higher the fat intake, the higher your risk for breast cancer." ...The "modest associations" that have been observed between high-fat diets and increased breast cancer risk "stand in sharp contrast to the robust evidence for a strong link between (body fat) and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer," write Drs. Stephanie Smith-Warner and Meir Stampfer"

What does the last part mean? Exercise almost every day so that you reduce your body fat levels and you will reduce your chance of getting breast cancer to a significantly greater degree than merely watching your diet. With the contradictory information on fat and breast cancer, exercise seems the more prudent lifestyle change.

Research from last year indicates dietary fat and breast cancer are not linked. Needless to say the final verdict on this subject is far from rendered.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Monday, March 19, 2007

Zinc reduces mortality in children

Zinc Supplementation Found To Reduce Mortality In Older Children ScienceDaily 3/18/07 "A clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public concluded that daily zinc supplements reduced the risk of death among children aged 12 to 48 months by 18 percent. However, the researchers did not find any significant reduction in mortality among children 1 to 11 months of age. ...Zinc is one of the most plentiful trace elements in the body, second only to iron. It mediates many physiological functions and is believed to be essential for maintaining a healthy immune system...This large trial demonstrates that the benefits of zinc supplementation include mortality reduction in addition to the reduction in cases of pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria that we found in previous trials,” said Robert Black, MD...double-blind trial involved 42,546 is possible that infants acquire sufficient amounts of zinc in utero and through breast feeding to sustain them during the first year of life..."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Periodontal disease connected with diabetes

Periodontal Diseases May Aggravate Pre-diabetic Characteristics ScienceDaily 3/19/07 "They found that having periodontal disease can cause someone to develop pre-diabetic characteristics, and probably disturb the glucose regulation of a non-diabetic who has pre-diabetic characteristics, contributing to the progression of Type 2 diabetes. The study, conducted with rat models known to exhibit pre-diabetes characteristics, is believed to be the first to evaluate the relationship between periodontitis and pre-diabetes..."This study found that having periodontal diseases can alter the metabolic conditions which would probably lead to the progression to pre-diabetic characteristics and Type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Carla Pontes Andersen, Department of Periodontology at the University of Copenhagen. ...These findings underscore the importance of taking good care of your teeth and gums: it may be a simple way to prevent diabetes, or to prevent the progression of diabetes." ... "

Now what is the mechanism between the health of teeth and gums and how our overall metabolism works? No specifics on this in the article - I'll update post later if I can find them.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Green tea and COX-2 inhibitor slows prostate cancer

Green tea plus painkiller slows prostate cancer Reuters/Scientific American 3/14/07 "low doses of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (sold as Celebrex), given along with a green tea polyphenol slowed the growth of prostate cancer in cell cultures and in a mouse model of the disease..."Celecoxib and green tea have a synergistic effect, each triggering cellular pathways, that, combined, are more powerful than either agent alone," Dr. Hasan Mukhtar ...Prior studies have linked the COX-2 enzyme to many cancer types, including prostate cancer. Mukhtar and colleagues previously found that COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex suppress prostate cancer in animals. COX-2 inhibitors also have been shown to have adverse effects on the heart when taken at high doses for long periods of time...Mukhtar's team also previously found that the green tea polyphenol called EGCG has cancer-fighting abilities of its own; EGCG, they found, modulates key chemical pathways that fuel the death of human prostate cancer cells... in a mouse model of human prostate cancer, with the Celebrex plus green tea combination inhibiting the growth of prostate tumors by 81 percent, compared with 42 percent with green tea extract alone and 57 percent with Celebrex alone...It's worth noting that the dose of Celebrex used in the studies translates into about 200 milligrams per day, which is much lower than the typical colon cancer prevention trials where doses of up to 800 milligrams per day were used."

I hope someone does a study on curcumin, a natural COX-2 inhibitor with no noted side effects and EGCG. Studies have shown that curcumin directly blocks the enzymatic activity of COX-2 - plus curcumin seems to have other means of cancer prevention. So it would seem this might be a more preferably choice than Celebrex - but we'll need a study or two to prove it.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Different biologic strategies of aging

Aging Boosts Chances That A Family Line Will Be Long-lived EurekAlert 3/13/07 "Scientists have puzzled over just why organisms evolved aging as a strategy, and now there appears to be an answer. Allowing one individual to carry all the cellular damage inflicted over time, rather than dividing it between two organisms during reproduction, increases the chances that the individual's line will continue to reproduce for many generations to come...The earliest organisms, single-celled creatures called prokaryotes, which include bacteria, probably did not age but rather divided damaged material equally among new cells. There was not a parent cell, but rather the original cell divided into two siblings that were, in effect, the same age and shared the damage from the original cell equally...Somewhere along the way, that strategy changed so that a parent cell retained most of the damage from aging and the offspring started with a mostly clean slate..."The idea is that the damage has a constant effect on the fitness of the offspring, but if the damage is concentrated in one individual then a lot of damage will be eliminated from the lineage when that individual dies," said Carl Bergstrom, a University of Washington associate professor of biology...Aging is essentially a decline in reproductive rate and an increase in mortality over time, based on changes in tissues, cells and cellular structures. Those changes can include damage to DNA or damage to cellular material or even organs...Symmetric reproduction favors a longer life for an individual, but eventually the damage is likely to be so great that a particular line will no longer be able to reproduce. Asymmetric reproduction likely means a shorter life for an individual in exchange for the likely greater longevity of the line."

Much more in this interesting article at EurkeAlert.

lead author is Martin Ackermann

To complicate this matter this study on E-coli reveals that even "symmetric reproduction" is in a way asymmetric - "We conclude that the two supposedly identical cells produced during cell division are functionally asymmetric; the old pole cell should be considered an aging parent repeatedly producing rejuvenated offspring. These results suggest that no life strategy is immune to the effects of aging, and therefore immortality may be either too costly or mechanistically impossible in natural organisms."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Cocoa Boosts "Good" Cholesterol

Antioxidants in Cocoa May Be the Reason WebMD 3/9/07 "The men in the cocoa group showed a 24% rise in their HDL, or "good," cholesterol levels... tests included blasting samples of the men's LDL cholesterol with free radicals to trigger a process called oxidation. Oxidized LDL cholesterol may be particularly hazardous because oxidation may help LDL cholesterol build up in the arteries...LDL cholesterol of the men who drank cocoa daily for 12 weeks was more resistant to oxidation than the LDL cholesterol of men who didn't drink the cocoa...However, the study shows similar blood levels of LDL cholesterol for both groups -- including oxidized LDL -- regardless of cocoa consumption...Cocoa contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which may be responsible for the study's results...Tea, wine, fruit, and vegetables also contain polyphenols and may help heart health, note Kondo and colleagues..."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

The Benefits of Yogurt

What's tasty, easy, and has lots of health benefits? Yogurt! WebMD 3/5/07 "Benefit No. 1: Yogurt May Help Prevent Osteoporosis...''The combination of calcium and vitamin D has a clear skeletal benefit, provided the dose of vitamin D is sufficiently high,'' ...Benefit No. 2: Yogurt May Reduce the Risk of High Blood Pressure...''We observed a 50% reduction in the risk of developing high blood pressure among people eating 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy a day (or more), compared with those without any intake,'' ...Benefit No. 3: Yogurt With Active Cultures Helps the Gut...Yogurt with active cultures may help certain gastrointestinal conditions, including:Lactose intolerance - Constipation - Diarrhea -Colon cancer - Inflammatory bowel disease - H. pylori infection
That's what researchers from the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University concluded in a recent review article.The benefits are thought to be due to: Changes in the microflora of the gut -The time food takes to go through the bowel -Enhancement of the body's immune system... Benefit No. 4: Yogurt With Active Cultures May Discourage Vaginal Infections...the vaginal pH (measure of acidity or basicity) of the group eating yogurt with active cultures dropped from 6.0 to 4.0 (normal pH is 4.0-4.5)...Benefit No. 5: Yogurt May Help You Feel Fuller..."

The article on yogurt continues at WebMD.

What about probiotics for dogs? Here's one of the studies showing they benefit as well: Effects of probiotic bacteria in dogs with food responsive diarrhoea treated with an elimination diet. Of course what strains that are best for us, might not be best for them.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Long-Lived Parents = Low Heart Risk

Parents Who Live to Age 85+ Bequeath Heart Health to Descendants WebMD 3/12/07 "At about age 40, the study shows, children of long-lived parents smoke less, have lower blood pressure, and have lower cholesterol levels than similar adults whose parents died before age 85. This means they are at much lower risk of heart disease and stroke...If we could eliminate high blood pressure, eliminate high cholesterol levels, and eliminate cigarette smoking, we would eliminate about 90% of heart disease."...Levy and colleagues at Boston University found that at the average age of 40, people who had two parents survive to 85 or older had fewer heart-disease risk factors than did people with parents who died before age 85...Levy stresses that with a healthy lifestyle -- and, perhaps, a little help from your doctor -- you can have the heart disease risk profile of someone whose parents lived very long lives...But you may not be able to match these genetically gifted individuals in life span...You don't have much chance of making it to 95 or 100 unless your parents did, no matter what you do," a lot you can do to determine how long you will live. But those things will get you from 65 to 85 -- not to 95."...Both of these researches -- and many others -- are trying to pinpoint the genes and genetic factors linked to long life. That work has only just begun..."At the turn of the 20th century, the leading causes of death were infectious diseases. Tuberculosis, pneumonia, cholera -- those kinds of things claimed more lives than anything else," he says. "Since the midpoint of the 20th century, the leading cause of death has been heart disease. Our grandparents couldn't do much to change the risk factors linked to life expectancy. But for us, today, that is an easy task.""

More evidence showing that most people with a healthy lifestyle can make it to 85, but beyond that you need the luck of the gene draw. Jeanne Calmet lived to 122 most likely because of a variety of genes working in combination... not because she liked her morning constitutional.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Vitamin C reacts with chromium 6 causing strong mutagen

Cancer-causing Compound Can Be Triggered By Vitamin C ScienceDaily 3/13/07 "Chromium 6, the cancer-causing compound that sparked the legal crusade by Erin Brockovich, can be toxic in tiny doses. Brown University scientists have uncovered the unlikely culprit: vitamin C. In new research, the Brown team shows that when vitamin C reacts with even low doses of chromium 6 inside human cells, it creates high levels of cancer-causing DNA damage and mutations...vitamin C reacts inside human lung cells with chromium 6, or hexavalent chromium, and causes massive DNA damage. Low doses of chromium 6, combined with vitamin C, produce up to 15 times as many chromosomal breaks and up to 10 times more mutations – forms of genetic damage that lead to cancer – compared with cells that lacked vitamin C altogether..."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Green Tea May Fight Lung Cancer

Green Tea Extract Tweaks Lung Cancer Cells WebMD 3/12/07 "So far, the scientists have only tested green tea extract against human lung cancer cells in test tubes, not people...Lu and colleagues exposed a sample of human lung cancer cells to a decaffeinated green tea extract. The lung cancer cells marinated in the green tea extract for up to three days. The green tea extract remodeled a certain protein in the lung cancer cells. As a result, the lung cancer cells became more likely to stick together and less likely to move...Antioxidants in green tea may have tweaked the cancer cell protein, but it's not clear whether one antioxidant deserves all the credit or whether several antioxidants worked together...The study doesn’t prove that drinking green tea curbs lung cancer in people. However, it may be possible to make new lung cancer drugs based on green tea extract, Lu's team suggests. Such drugs would target the lung cancer protein remodeled by the green tea extract in the lab tests."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

EPA - omega 3 fatty acid, might boost brain power

Supplement 'boosts' brain power BBC News via QualityCounts 3/12/07

A super small non clinical study - all of 4 people. This is only notable because of Professor Basant Puri's previous work with EPA and the marked results of this study.
"Tests of VegEPA, in four overweight youngsters, showed improvement in reading, concentration, and memory. Brain scans showed three years worth of development in just three months in the children...experts warned the study was extremely small and the current evidence on the benefits of fatty acid supplements was inconclusive...Tests done at the end of the three-month study found the children showed an increase in reading age of well over a year, their handwriting became neater and more accurate and they paid more attention in class...Brain scans which identified a chemical called N-Acetylaspartate (NAA) which is linked to the growth of nerve fibres in the brain also showed dramatic changes..."In three months you might expect to see a small NAA increase. "But we saw as much growth as you would normally see in three years. "It was as if these were the brains of children three years older. It means you have more connections and greater density of nerve cells, in the same way a tree grows more branches."... Professor Puri said he believed that it was EPA specifically which conferred the benefits which was why studies of fish oil supplements which also contain a fatty acid called DHA showed confusing results..."

More on this at Timesonline.

A full clinical trial will be led by Professor Puri and maybe then we'll have a better understanding of EPA's effects on our brains. I have to say the DHA vs EPA debate which has been going on for a decade seems to have little resolution which is frustrating. I had expected that by now there would be better delineation of what each fatty acid does in the brain, whether there is an optimum ratio for prenatal, postnatal nutrition and for children, adults, men and women. Also what is best for depression and other disorders? (some answers seem to have come in the last few years - but also lots of conflicting results) Another question is to what extent do these fatty acids compete/compliment in the brain? Rest of the body?

I notice there are a couple of studies one at Harvard and one at Stanford that might help shed some light on this debate... or not. Results in 2008? Stay tuned.

Previous posts on fish oil.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Monday, March 12, 2007

Chocolate - Cocoa 'Vitamin' Health Benefits Could Outshine Penicillin

health benefits of epicatechin, a compound found in cocoa, are so striking that it may rival penicillin and anaesthesia in terms of importance to public health ScienceDaily 3/12/07 "Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told C&I that epicatechin is so important that it should be considered a vitamin...Hollenberg has spent years studying the benefits of cocoa drinking on the Kuna people in Panama. He found that the risk of 4 of the 5 most common killer diseases: stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes, is reduced to less then 10% in the Kuna. They can drink up to 40 cups of cocoa a week. Natural cocoa has high levels of epicatechin...'If these observations predict the future, then we can say without blushing that they are among the most important observations in the history of medicine,' Hollenberg says. 'We all agree that penicillin and anaesthesia are enormously important. But epicatechin could potentially get rid of 4 of the 5 most common diseases in the western world, how important does that make epicatechin?... I would say very important'..."

Most flavanols like epicatechin are taken out of chocolate products because of the bitterness they can add to flavor... guess how fast chocolate makers are trying to get these back in their products?

More on the wonders of cocoa in these earlier posts. I can't think of a supplement that is causing as much excitement in the health community. Next thing you know they'll find a flavanol or two that works more effectively on sirt1 than resveratrol. Ok maybe that's going too far, but you never know. Did Sinclair's lab test flavanols in cocoa?

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Specific CLA isomer and diabetes, heart disease etc

Food Supplement Could Prevent Development Of Diabetes And Atherosclerosis ScienceDaily 3/12/07 ""CLA seems to protect cells programmed to become diabetic against development of diabetes and it also prevents disease processes that lead to atherosclerosis, chronic inflammation and colon cancer," says Dr Roche. ...Classified as a nutraceutical or nutritional supplement, CLA is thought to change the balance between fat cells and muscle cells in the body...The problem is that commercially available supplements contain two forms of the compound known as isomers," explains Dr Paul Evans, a researcher with the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology (CSCB). "Isomers are molecules that have the same molecular formula but the atoms are arranged differently in space. In the case of CLA one isomer known as cis-9-trans-11 CLA has beneficial effects but the other form, trans-10-cis-12 CLA, can be detrimental and could induce a diabetic state.""

Again the importance of the isomer form of a supplement. Last one was on lycopene. Science on nutraceuticals almost never seems to get simpler...

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Exercise boosts brainpower

Study shows why exercise boosts brainpower Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/12/07 "Exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in a brain region linked with memory and memory loss...Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called the dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected in the age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans...people also grow new brain cells when they exercise(based on MRI scans)...Exercise generated blood flow to the dentate gyrus of the people, and the more fit a person got, the more blood flow the MRI detected, the researchers found..."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Meditation May Benefit Heart Patients

Black Patients With Heart Failure Improve Significantly After Meditation WebMD 3/7/07 "Regular meditation is known to relieve stress, and now early research suggests that it can benefit patients with congestive heart failure...Changes in a six-minute walking test at three and six months were measured by the researchers, as were changes in mood, quality of life, stress, and depression."

Small study but apparently with rather dramatic results. More at Reuters.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Soft drinks tied to diabetes

Soft drinks associated with diabetes Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/12/07 "a clear and consistent relationship between drinking sugary (non-diet) soft drinks and poor nutrition, increased risk for obesity -- and increased risk for diabetes...a study of more than 91,000 women followed for 8 years ...women who drank one or more sodas per day -- an amount less than the US national average -- were twice as likely as those who drank less than one soda per month to develop diabetes over the course of the study...When diet soda replaced regular soda in the analysis, there was no increased risk..."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Choline helps with prenatal alcohol exposure

Choline given after birth improves learning and behavior in rats exposed to alcohol during development EurekAlert 2/28/07 "Giving choline to infants who were exposed in the womb to alcohol may mitigate some of the resulting problems...research led by Jennifer Thomas, PhD, is using an animal model to assess the potential therapeutic value of choline...Choline plays a number of roles in brain development. It is also a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and cognition, among other functions. Choline is available in many foods, such as eggs and liver, and sold over the counter in well-tolerated forms such as lecithin, choline bitartrate or chloride, and phosphatidylcholine. Due to choline’s beneficial effects on nervous-system development, women are advised to consume 450 mg a day while pregnant and 550 mg a day while breast feeding (the tolerable upper limit has been set at 3.5 g per day). For infants, 125-150 mg/day is considered adequate during the first year, rising as the child grows older. Choline is added to some prenatal vitamins and baby formulas, and is now added to some children’s multivitamins and cereals...The current study of 170 rats found that giving choline to rat pups exposed to alcohol during the equivalent of the third trimester, when there’s a spurt in brain growth, significantly reduced the severity of alcohol-related over-activity and spatial learning deficits. The benefits lasted months after choline treatment, suggesting that choline’s effects are long-lasting...can alter brain development following a developmental insult. Early dietary interventions may reduce the severity of some fetal alcohol effects, even when administered after birth..."

Taking choline during pregnancy has also been associated with boosting intelligence and memory of children.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Friday, March 9, 2007

Omega 3 might build grey matter in the brain and improve mood

Omega-3 may build grey matter 3/9/07 "Sarah Conklin, PhD, and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh's Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Program conducted a study involving 55 healthy adults, and found that those who had high levels of omega-3 intake also had higher levels of grey matter in areas of the brain associated with emotional arousal and regulation...Although the finding suggests that omega-3 may promote structural improvement in areas of the brain related to mood and emotions (the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, the right amygdala and the right hippocampus), the researchers said that more research is needed to ascertain whether eating fish actually causes changes in the brain...builds on a study she presented at the same meeting last year, in which she found that people who had lower blood levels of omega-3 were more likely to have a negative outlook and be more impulsive.Those with higher blood levels were found to be more agreeable and less likely to report mild to moderate depression"

USAToday on this story - implying DHA is the fatty acid responsible for the benefit.

This coming on the heels of the meta study indicating that omega 3 fatty acids are of no help with depression. What's a person to do? Wait for the next round of studies... of which this is one. Of course there are other reasons to take omega 3 supplements.

Maybe a better bet to build grey matter is with cocoa.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Thursday, March 8, 2007

80% of Older Adults Have Chronic Ills

CDC Report Includes Tips on Preventing Those Health Problems WebMD 3/8/07 "Nearly 80% of Americans aged 65 or older have at least one chronic condition such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, or depression -- and half have at least two chronic conditions...The report, called "The State of Aging and Health in America 2007," covers 15 topics including disability, mental distress, obesity, smoking, oral health, hip fractures, vaccinations, exercise, and diet"

The findings include

  • "One in five people aged 65 and older is obese.
  • Nearly one in three (32%) is sedentary (no physical activity in the past month).
  • Only 30% eat at least five fruits and vegetables daily.
  • More than 20% don't have any of their own teeth.
  • 34% are disabled.
  • More than a third haven't been screened for colorectal cancer.
  • A quarter of women aged 65 and older haven't had a mammogram in the last two years.
  • About 6% report mental distress 14 or more days in the past month."

The advice, basic as it is:

  • Be physically active.
  • Take care of your oral health.
  • Stay up to date with your vaccinations.
  • Get screened for colorectal cancer.
  • Learn how to prevent falls.
  • Talk to your family and doctor about your wishes for end-of-life care.
  • Not smoking, eating at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and getting other medical tests and checkups are also recommended.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Calorie restriction and longevity

How Eating Less Might Make You Live Longer ScienceDaily 3/6/07 "Caloric Restriction in non-obese people translates into less oxidative damage in muscle cells, according to a new study by Anthony Civitarese, Eric Ravussin, and colleagues (Pennington Biomedical Research Center). As oxidative damage has been linked to aging, this could explain how limiting calorie intake without malnutrition extends life span... major factor in the age-related decline of bodily functions is the accumulation of "oxidative damage" in the body's proteins, fats, and DNA. Oxidants--in particular, chemicals called "free radicals"--are produced when food is converted to energy by cellular structures called mitochondria. One theory for h ow caloric restriction slows aging is that it lowers free-radical production by inducing the formation of efficient mitochondria...a 25% caloric deficit for 6 months, achieved by diet alone or by diet plus exercise, decreased 24hr whole body energy expenditure (i.e. overall calories burned), which suggests improved mitochondrial function...Both interventions also reduced the amount of DNA damage--a marker of oxidative stress--in the participants' muscles...fewer calories can improve whole body metabolism in conjunction with an increase in SIRT1 gene expression in skeletal muscle. These results raise the possibility that SIRT1 may contribute to more efficient metabolism, less oxidative stress, and increase longevity in humans as it does in lower organism..."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Modified orange tomatoes have more available lycopene

Orange tomatoes pack bigger antioxidant punch Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/7/07 "Food scientists at Ohio State University in Columbus have grown a special variety of orange tomatoes that may be healthier than garden-variety red tomatoes. The orange tomatoes contain a type of lycopene that is more readily used by the body than the type found in red tomatoes...Lycopene -- an antioxidant thought to have a number of health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and age-related eye problems -- is what gives red tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables their rich color...ycopene absorption from the orange tomato sauce was 2.5 times higher than that absorbed from the red tomato sauce. Blood lycopene levels spiked about 5 hours after the orange tomato sauce meal and at this time the levels were some 200 times higher than those seen after the red tomato sauce meal..."While red tomatoes contain far more lycopene than orange tomatoes, most of it is in a form that the body doesn't absorb well," Schwartz, a professor of food science and technology at Ohio State, ...The orange tomatoes are not readily available at grocery stores; they were grown at an Ohio State-affiliated agricultural research center. Schwartz and colleagues suggest that interested consumers could seek out orange or gold-colored heirloom tomatoes as an alternative -- although they haven't tested how much or what kind of lycopene these varieties contain"

So what is the better form of lycopene?

ScienceDaily covered this story last month. In that coverage they note "Lycopene is a carotenoid that contains a variety of related compounds called isomers. Isomers share the same chemical formula, yet differ in chemical structure. In the case of tomatoes, the different lycopene isomers play a part in determining the color of the fruit...several of these isomers, called cis- lycopenes, in human blood. But most of the tomatoes and tomato-based products we currently consume are rich in all-trans­-lycopene. “We don't know why our bodies seem to transform lycopene into cis-isomers, or if some isomers are more beneficial than others,...researchers don't know if tomatoes rich in cis-lycopene would provide greater health benefits to humans, but the study's results suggest that tomatoes can be used to increase both the intake and absorption of the health-beneficial compounds...“Our study showed that a tomato can also increase beta carotene levels in the blood,” Schwartz said. While these special tomatoes were grown just for this study, the researchers have pre-commercial lines of both varieties available..."

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Atkins diet seems best

Diet study tips scale in favor of Atkins Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/7/07 " study of four popular diets found that women put on the one with the least carbohydrates -- the Atkins plan -- lost at least twice as much weight as those on the others...The research was described as the largest and longest comparison yet done on the four diets. They were Atkins, the lowest in carbohydrates for the four; the Zone diet, also low in carbohydrates and based on a 40:30:30 ratio of carbohydrates to protein to fat; the Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships and Nutrition (LEARN) diet which follows U.S. government guidelines for low fat but higher carbohydrates; and the Ornish diet, which is very high in carbohydrates but very low in fat...Women assigned to the Atkins group lost an average of 10.4 pounds (4.7 kgs) compared to 5.7 pounds (2.5 kgs) for LEARN, 4.8 pounds (2.1 kgs) for Ornish and 3.5 pounds (1.6 kgs) for Zone...Gardner said the Atkins diet has "a very simple message. Get rid of all refined carbohydrates to lose weight," thus targeting the increasing consumption of refined sugars, such as high-fructose corn syrup...He also said the Atkins diet is best at encouraging people to drink more water, and when people replace sweetened drinks with water, they do not generally eat more food"

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Capsaicin might halt fight formation

Capsaicin, a Compound in Hot Red Peppers, May Halt Fat Formation WebMD 3/6/07 "Capsaicin, the fiery compound in hot red peppers, may make fledging fat cells self-destruct...But don’t drown your dinner in hot pepper sauce just yet. So far, the Taiwanese team has only pitted capsaicin against fat cells in test tubes, not people...focused on cells called preadipocytes, which develop into fat cells...First, they brewed a capsaicin extract in their lab. Then, they marinated preadipocytes from mice in the capsaicin extract for eight days, freshening the capsaicin extract every other day. The preadipocytes exposed to capsaicin died before becoming fat cells..."

Doesn't hurt to try. Actually capsaicin has shown other health benefits like fighting cancer. But considerably more research will be needed on capsaicin, to state the obvious.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Ginkgo could aid memory formation in those with brain ailments

At least in down syndrome model NewScientist 3/3/07 "The ginkgo extract, called bilobalide, and another drug called pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), both block GABA... In a mouse model of Down's syndrome, mice that drank PTZ in chocolate milk, or received an injection of bilobalide, once a day for 17 days did significantly better at memory tests, such as recognising which of two objects they had not seen before. The improvements lasted for up to three months after the mice stopped taking the drugs, suggesting that they had caused long-term changes in brain activity ... In a mouse model of Down's syndrome, mice that drank PTZ in chocolate milk, or received an injection of bilobalide, once a day for 17 days did significantly better at memory tests, such as recognising which of two objects they had not seen before. The improvements lasted for up to three months after the mice stopped taking the drugs, suggesting that they had caused long-term changes in brain activity "

So what about ginkgo in healthy folks? Is there a similar long term change of brain activity related to gaba?

NIH has a short primer on Ginkgo. On that site it mentions the study done by NIA where 200 healthy individuals were given ginkgo for 6 weeks and were found to have no improvement in memory. This larger study contradicted smaller studies done previously.

Mayo Clinic has a good site that rates the health use of ginkgo for various conditions.

It appears ginkgo works more effectively for some whose memory centers are ailing for a variety of reasons. More research is underway so there will be a clearer idea of the benefits of ginkgo relatively soon.

This 2007 study seems to reinforce the notion that ginkgo might not help memory in people that are healthy.

As always Ray Sahelian has a good post on ginkgo.

What are the benefits of ginkgo for healthy people? A number of studies indicated that ginkgo boosts glutathione and thus helps limit oxidative damage from a variety of environmental factors.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Monday, March 5, 2007

Whole-Grain Cereals Cut Heart Failure

Benefits Even After Taking Other Heart Risk Factors Into Account WebMD 3/2/07 "Eating seven or more weekly servings of whole-grain breakfast cereal may help men avoid heart failure...Data came from the Physicians' Health Study, which included more than 21,400 male doctors followed for 18 years..."The Physicians' Health Study shows that even in a population with overall healthy behavior, it is possible to see less heart failure in those who eat a whole-grain cereal breakfast," Luc Djousse, MD...Those who reported eating at least seven weekly servings of whole-grain breakfast cereals were 21% less likely to develop heart failure during the study, compared with those who ate no whole-grain breakfast cereals...Those findings take a host of other risk factors into consideration, including blood pressure, physical activity, smoking, BMI (body mass index, which relates height to weight), alcohol consumption, and diabetes..."

No suggested mechanism of action mentioned in the article. This looks like a very solid study - actually any research based on The Physicians Health Study is a gold standard.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Wine Drinkers May Live Longer

Men Who Drank Half Glass Daily Extended Lives 4 Years WebMD 2/28/07 "Men who drink about half a glass of wine a day over decades may outlive teetotalers by four years on average, a 40-year Dutch study shows...Men who currently drink "should do so lightly (one to two glasses per day) and preferably drink wine," says Streppel...A standard drink is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor such as rum, vodka, or whiskey...Compared with teetotalers, men who reported moderate drinking (less than two glasses per day) of any type of alcohol were 33% less likely to die of any cause and 28% less likely to die of heart problems during the study. Wine showed benefits over other forms of alcohol. Compared with men who drank no wine, those who drank about half a glass daily were 38% less likely to die of any cause and 46% likely to die of heart problems ...Light alcohol intake may boost HDL ("good") cholesterol and help prevent blood clots..."

More details at ScienceDaily.

No mention of resveratrol? Or of Sirt 1 gene?

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health