Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Flavonols seem to lower chance of getting pancreatic cancer

Flavonols may help ward off pancreatic cancer Reuters/Yahoo!News " look at the eating patterns of 183,518 California and Hawaii residents has found evidence that a diet high in flavonols might help ward off pancreatic cancer...Flavonols are found in plant-based foods with onions, apples, berries, kale, and broccoli having the highest concentrations...People who had the largest amount of flavonols in their diet -- measured with a "food frequency" questionnaire -- had a 23-percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared with people with the lowest levels, Dr. Ute Nthlings from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke reported...Smokers benefited most, presumably because they are at high risk for pancreatic cancer already. Smokers who ate the most flavonols reduced their risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 59 percent...Of the three individual flavonols studied (kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin), kaempferol, abundant in spinach and some cabbages, was associated with the largest risk reduction (22 percent) among all study subjects... the anti-cancer effects of these compounds, in general, have been attributed to their ability to inhibit cell growth and oxidative stress, and induce detoxification enzymes and programmed cell death..."

A major rethink of the way certain antioxidants work needs to happen. To cause apoptosis, or to limit blood flow to cancers is not merely a function of limiting free radical damage in the body. Certain "antioxidants" are obviously much, much more than antioxidants. They redirect the functioning of specific parts of the body, often in a beneficial way. Just take a look at the myriad functions of EGCG, or curcumin in the human body and it becomes apparent that their antioxidant ability appears to be only a small part of their function. It seems we need another word for such compounds. But what? At least we can agree to rule out adaptogen right? Something more grounded in science and with a specific definition that refers to specific functioning of such compounds. We can dress it in old, latiny roots. The anti-rolemodel is... "An adaptogen produces a nonspecific response in the body..." lovely.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dogs lives extended by calorie restiction

Dogs Lived 1.8 Years Longer On Low Calorie Diet: Gut Flora May Explain It ScienceDaily 4/20/07 "Changes caused to bugs in the gut by restricting calorie intake may partly explain why dietary restriction can extend lifespan, according to new analysis from a life-long project looking at the effects of dietary restriction on Labrador Retriever dogs...Those with a restricted intake of calories lived, on average, about 1.8 years longer than those with a greater intake and they had fewer problems with diseases such as diabetes and osteoarthritis, plus an older median age for onset of late-life diseases...differences in the makeup of gut microbes between the two sets of dogs could partly explain their metabolic differences. The dogs that were not on a restricted diet had increased levels of potentially unhealthy aliphatic amines in their urine. These reflect reduced levels of a nutrient that is essential for metabolising fat, known as choline, indicating the presence of a certain makeup of gut microbe in the dogs. This makeup of gut microbes has been associated in recent studies with the development of insulin resistance and obesity...Professor Jeremy Nicholson from Imperial College London said: "This fascinating study was primarily focused on trying to find optimised nutritional regimes to keep pet animals such as dogs healthy and as long-lived as possible. However these types of life-long studies can help us understand human diseases and ageing as well, and that is the added bonus of being able to do long-term non-invasive metabolic monitoring."...The team believes that one important outcome of this work will be the ability to improve the design of products' nutritional properties that mimic the health benefits of dietary restriction in pet dogs."

Huge study here, doesn't seem to be getting much press elsewhere. Maybe in time.

If I can get the original study I'll post more details.

Imperial College London release.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Cut Heart Risk by Eating Less Salt

A Lower-Salt Diet Lowers Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke WebMD 4/19/07 "Even modest reductions in salt intake can dramatically lower heart disease risk...people who reduced their dietary sodium while participating in the studies saw 25% reductions in heart disease and stroke risk 10 to 15 years later, compared with people who ate their usual diets...Ten to 15 years after the end of the original trials, participants in the intervention arms of the two studies were found to have lower cardiovascular risk and a slightly lower risk of death from all causes than participants who ate their usual diets...Most people eat much more salt than they realize, he says, because restaurant meals and processed foods have replaced home cooking in the American diet. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults should not exceed 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. This is equal to about 1 teaspoon of table salt, but sodium is found in many processed and pre-packaged foods..."The average American is eating three times as much salt as is healthy every day -- the equivalent of 2 to 3 teaspoons instead of no more than 1," he says. "The assumption tends to be, 'If I don't use my salt shaker much, I'm probably OK,' but that just isn't true.""

Cutting back on salt, ughh, this is a hard one. I think it might be easier to cut back on sugar. Salt makes almost everything taste better, sugar only some things. So it's virtually official, the dietary axis of evil is salt, (bad)fats and sugar. At least dark chocolate with small amounts of sugar seems to be the health oasis of dietary indulgence.

I also have to wonder now about the Charlie Roses of the world that eat out almost every night. Did his heart disease stem in large part from eating extremely sodium rich restaurant food almost every day?

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

H. pylori linked to asthma prevention and other benefits

A New Study Links A Stomach Microbe To Asthma Prevention ScienceDaily 4/23/07 "The stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which causes stomach cancer and peptic ulcers, may not be all bad. According to a new study, it may help protect kids from asthma...The study, based on an analysis of a health survey of 7,663 adults, showed that a virulent strain of H. pylori was especially associated with being asthma-free before the age of 15. People who carry the strain were 40 percent less likely to have had asthma at an early age than those who didn't carry the strain. The study also found that the microbe was associated with protection against ragweed and other allergies due to pollens and molds particularly among younger adults..."These properties point toward a much more complex view of the organism--not just as ulcer-pathogen or cancer-pathogen, but as an organism that has its costs and benefits to us," says Dr. Blaser. "The relative costs and benefits clearly differ among individuals...H. pylori lives in the mucous layer lining the stomach where it persists for decades. It is acquired usually before the age of 10, and is transmitted mainly in families. Dr. Blaser's previous studies have confirmed the bacterium's link to stomach cancer and elucidated genes associated with its virulence, particularly a gene called cagA...Over recent years, Dr. Blaser began to suspect that the organism, the dominant bacteria in the stomach, may play a role in human health as well as disease. This observation, he says, is consistent with a theory called the hygiene hypothesis. It suggests that exposure to microbial infections in early childhood prevents or diminishes the development of allergies and asthma...H. pylori may protect against diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), "

Well this muddies the waters on H. pylori. A very interesting article - far more at ScienceDaily - more than I can include in a "summary."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Monday, April 23, 2007

EGCG might fight and help prevent autoimmune diseases

Green Tea And EGCG May Help Prevent Autoimmune Diseases ScienceDaily 4/20/07 "...The group treated with green tea had significantly fewer lymphocytes, Dr. Hsu says. Their blood also showed lower levels of autoantibodies, protein weapons produced when the immune system attacks itself...EGCG – helps suppress inflammation, according to Dr. Hsu. "So, we suspected that green tea would suppress the inflammatory response of this disease. Those treated with the green tea extract beginning at three weeks, showed significantly less damage to those glands over time.”...EGCG in green tea can turn on the body’s defense system against TNF-alpha – a group of proteins and molecules involved in systemic inflammation. TNF-alpha, which is produced by white blood cells, can reach out to target and kill cells.“The salivary gland cells treated with EGCG had much fewer signs of cell death caused by TNF-alpha,” Dr. Hsu says. “We don’t yet know exactly how EGCG makes that happen. That will require further study...Further study could help determine green tea’s protective role in other autoimmune diseases, including lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis"

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Friday, April 20, 2007

CREB protein key to memory storage

Researchers Unlock Key To Memory Storage In Brain ScienceDaily 4/20/07 "...a protein called CREB controls the odds of a neuron playing a role in memory formation..."Making a memory is not a conscious act," explained Alcino Silva, principal investigator ... "Learning triggers a cascade of chemicals in the brain that influence which memories are kept and which are lost..."Earlier studies have linked the CREB protein to keeping memories stable,"..."We discovered that the amount of CREB influences whether or not the brain stores a memory," said Silva. "If a cell is low in CREB, it is less likely to keep a memory. If the cell is high in CREB, it is more likely to store the memory."..."A memory is not a static snapshot," he said. "Memories serve a purpose. They are about acquiring information that helps us deal with similar situations in the future. What we recall helps us learn from our past experiences and better shape our lives.""

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Black rasberry extract might help prevent skin cancer

Black Raspberries Yield Possible Skin Cancer Treatment ScienceDaily 4/19/07 "Researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Center say a topical compound made of black raspberries significantly slows the growth of squamous cell carcinomas of the skin in mice exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, the most dangerous light in the solar spectrum...“In terms of shutting down the inflammatory response, we’ve never seen anything like it,” says Dr. Anne VanBuskirk...Many studies have demonstrated a link between inflammation and cancer. Normally, inflammation – the reddened area from a sunburn, for example – is tightly managed by a complex network of repair and growth factor mechanisms. VanBuskirk and others say that when these signals are mistakenly left on or shut off, perhaps as a result of DNA damage or oxidative stress, cancer can take root and grow... She says an extract of black raspberries (freeze-dried, ground up and suspended in KY jelly in their experiment) may be a good countermeasure because they contain anthacyanins, powerful antioxidants that give the fruit its rich, dark color. “In our experiments, the black raspberry treatment significantly reduced inflammatory damage and reduced tumor growth and spread.”...In the acute setting, the UVB rays produced significant edema and increased skin thickening by 67 percent in the mice treated with the gel alone. The myeloperoxidase levels rose 500 percent in that group. In the mice treated with the black raspberry gel, the scientists found that the skin thickened only 20 percent, and myeloperoxidase levels rose only 37 percent...“If repeated studies bear out these findings, it could mean that one day we may be seeing a topical gel that could be used after you get sunburned – one that not only eases pain, but also lessens any sun damage you might have already suffered.” ...“The berry extract is a natural product – it had no discernible side effects.” And not to worry about purple skin, either. VanBuskirk says the amount of raspberry extract needed for therapeutic benefit is so small it didn’t even stain the animals’ skin."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Broccoli, soy anti-cancer benefits suggested

Broccoli, soy anti-cancer benefits suggested 4/17/07 "Consumption of broccoli and soy has been linked to lower risk of certain cancers, and researchers have now proposed a mechanism to explain how such foods may offer protection...Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles report that diindolylmethane (DIM), a digestive product from cruciferous vegetable digestion, and genistein, a major isoflavone in soy, may interfere with the "CXCR4/CXCL12 axis," known to play a central role in the spread of breast cancer and is also thought to play a role in the development of ovarian cancer...the doses used are comparable to use of a high dose of supplements, said researchers Erin Hsu and Oliver Hankinson from UCLA, but is unlikely to be achievable through consumption of food alone."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Low vitamin D and cancer risk

Low vitamin D levels again linked to cancer risk 4/17/07 "Vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of cancer, researchers have told attendees at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, with results from a clinical trial hoped to show benefits of high-dose vitamin D replacement in individuals with high risk of lung cancer...Preclinical studies have demonstrated an anti-proliferative and pro-differentiative effects of high-dose 1,25(OH)2D in vitro and in vivo, said Trump, with all tumour models sensitive to vitamin D...Calls to increase vitamin D intake have been growing. Indeed, only recently fifteen experts from universities, research institutes, and university hospitals around the world called for international agencies to "reassess as a matter of high priority" dietary recommendations for vitamin D because current advice is outdated and puts the public at risk of deficiency (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, pp. 860-868)...A recent review of the science reported that the tolerable upper intake level for oral vitamin D3 should be increased five-fold, from the current tolerable upper intake level (UL) in Europe and the US of 2000 International Units (IU), equivalent to 50 micrograms per day, to 10,000 IU (250 micrograms per day)..."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cruciferous vegetables and cancer

Nutrients In Certain Vegetables May Provide Cancer-fighting Benefit ScienceDaily 3/17/07 "Chemicals in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, watercress, cabbage and cauliflower, appear to not only stop human prostate cancer cells from growing in mice but also may cut off the formation of blood vessels that "feed" tumors, says a University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute study...Dr. Singh's study is based on phytochemicals, called isothiocyanates (ITCs), found in several cruciferous vegetables and generated when vegetables are either cut or chewed. His laboratory has found that phenethyl-ITC, or PEITC, is highly effective in suppressing the growth of human prostate cancer cells at concentrations achievable through dietary intake..."Angiogenesis is a major issue in cancer metastases," said Dr. Singh. "Our results provide promising preliminary evidence that constituents of many edible cruciferous vegetables may slow down, or even halt, this process.""

Quite amazing that at dietary levels these vegetables can have a strong antiangiogenesis effect.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

DHA might fight Alzheimers

Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help Prevent Alzheimer's Brain Lesions ScienceDaily 3/17/07 "This study with genetically modified mice is the first to show that DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, can slow the accumulation of tau, a protein that leads to the development of neurofibrillary tangles. Such tangles are one of two signature brain lesions of Alzheimer's disease. DHA also was found to reduce levels of the protein beta amyloid, which can clump in the brain and form plaques, the other Alzheimer's lesion..."We are greatly excited by these results, which show us that simple changes in diet can positively alter the way the brain works and lead to protection from Alzheimer's disease pathology," said Frank LaFerla, professor of neurobiology and behavior and co-author of the study...Mice in three test groups were given food with a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids...only mice on the DHA diet had lower levels of both proteins. These results suggest that DHA works better on its own than when paired with omega-6 fatty acids...DHA, they found, leads to lower levels of presenilin, an enzyme responsible for cutting beta amyloid from its parent, the amyloid precursor protein. Without presenilin, beta amyloid cannot be generated. When clumped into plaques, beta amyloid disrupts communication between cells and leads to symptoms of Alzheimer's disease..."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life
FDA OKs 1st Bird Flu Vaccine WebMD 3/17/07 "The FDA today announced the first approval in the U.S. of a vaccine for humans against the H5N1 influenza virus, commonly called avian flu or bird flu...The vaccine won't be for sale. Instead, the government has bought the vaccine for its strategic national stockpile...About 45% of those who got the two 90-microgram doses about a month apart had an immune system response that is expected to reduce the risk of getting influenza, according to the FDA"

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life
Cervical Cancer Vaccine Benefit Lasts WebMD 3/17/07 "Two vaccines for preventing cervical cancer, one that is already available and another that is undergoing FDA review, continue to offer nearly 100% protection five years following administration, new research shows..."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ginkgo for longevity?

"Memory" herb ginkgo may boost survival Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/16/07 "A study conducted in France provides preliminary evidence that older people who take Ginkgo biloba may be extending their lives, but are not reducing their risk of dementia...Among 3,534 men and women 65 and older, those who used the herb were 24 percent less likely to die over a 13-year period than their peers who didn't take ginkgo, Dr. Jean-Francois Dartigues at the University of Bordeaux ...The researchers found that while the effect of the herb on mortality risk remained significant, it had no effect on the likelihood of developing dementia. People taking other memory treatments were actually at increased risk of dementia, but did not have a greater risk of dying..."it cannot be excluded that Ginkgo biloba may have a beneficial effect on survival in the elderly population"..."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Vegetables reduce cancer risk

Study adds data that vegetables reduce cancer risk Reuters/Yahoo!News 3/15/07 "A large study of 500,000 American retirees has found that just one extra serving of fruit or vegetables a day may reduce the risk of developing head and neck cancer...Cancer experts now believe that up to two-thirds of all cancers come from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet and lack of exercise...Tobacco and alcohol use increase the risk of head and neck cancers, which affect the mouth, nose, sinuses and throat...eating six servings of fruit and vegetables per day per 1,000 calories cut the risk of head and neck cancer by 29 percent compared to eating one and a half servings..."Increasing consumption by just one serving of fruit or vegetables per 1,000 calories per day was associated with a 6 percent reduction in head and neck cancer risk, said Neal Freedman...A second study of food consumption in more than 183,000 residents of California and Hawaii found that a diet high in flavonols might help reduce pancreatic cancer risk, especially in smokers...Flavonols are common in plant-based foods but are found in highest concentrations in onions, apples, berries, kale and broccoli. The study found that people who ate the largest amounts of flavonols had a 23 percent reduced risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to those who ate the least."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Friday, April 13, 2007

How curcumin might fight cancer

Curcumin's anti-cancer mechanism proposed 4/13/07 "The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, adds weight to the growing body of science linking consumption of the spice to decreased risk of certain cancers, like colorectal and prostate cancer...The anti-cancer effects of spices from curcumin to red chili pepper capsaicin have been consistently researched. The lowest incidence of both colorectal and prostate cancers is observed in Asia and the Far East, in particular India and China, and this has been linked to high dietary intake of compounds like turmeric...curcumin decreased the expression of a protein associated with malignant tumor formation called MDM2. The turmeric extract was also found to increase the expression of a protein that increases programmed cell death (apoptosis) of the cancer cells....Curcumin inhibited growth of PC3 xenografts and enhanced the antitumor effects of gemcitabine and radiation. In these tumors, curcumin reduced the expression of MDM2," wrote the researchers. "Down-regulation of the MDM2 oncogene by curcumin is a novel mechanism of action that may be essential for its chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic effects," ..."

In our bodies MDM2 usually acts as a brake on the p53 protein. P53 is a cancer preventing protein. The ratio between these two is crucial. Obviously we know what happens when the ratio tips in favor of MDM2, but what happens when it tips toward P53? It appears longevity is decreased. It's an interesting balance. On the one hand longevity, the other protection from mutations.

Half of all cancers have the p53 protein inactivated.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Obesity gene discovered

Obesity is not just gluttony - it may be in your genes Guardian Unlimited 4/13/07 "· Half of population carry a copy of 'problem' version· Scientists insist diet and exercise still important ...Scientists have discovered the first clear genetic link to obesity that is carried by significant numbers of people...One copy of the gene leads to a 1.2kg (2.6lb) weight increase while those with two copies are on average 3kg heavier...The finding is significant because the changed version of the gene is relatively common, at least in the European populations studied so far. The researchers report in the journal Science that around half of people have one copy of the offending version while 16% have two copies. Those with two copies are 67% more likely to be obese - defined as a body mass index of 30 or more...The research team predicts that other genetic causes will emerge. "This is still only one player out of many," said Mark McCarthy ..."[Three kilogrammes is] a lot in some respects, but that doesn't explain why some people are 50kg heavier than others."...According to figures from the National Audit Office, being obese can take up to nine years off a person's lifespan. It makes them more likely to develop a range of health-related problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, gallstones, infertility and depression."

What's the gene called? FTO. What does FTO stand for? Any guesses? Fatso. I kid you not. Now you know why so many wire stories do not tell you what it stands for. Those news organizations are WMP's - Wimps. Forget the hurt feelings, the gene has a name. It is unfortunate, but there it is. It probably seemed cute to call it that for mice. Not so cute for people. But that's no excuse to skimp on the reporting.

Also, remember that meta-study a year or so back that said that obesity had no effect on longevity? Seemed like bunk then and more and more evidence comes out to make those researchers look a tad bit sloppy.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fish oils delay cognitive decline

Fish Oils Delay Cognitive Decline, Studies Find HealthDay Yahoo!Health 4/10/07 "In one study...The researchers concluded that consumption of approximately 400 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day (equivalent to eating six servings of lean fish per week or one serving of fatty fish per week) protects against cognitive decline...In the other study...The study found no association between baseline levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the men and overall cognitive decline. However, an analysis of specific types of cognitive decline did find that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with protection against loss of verbal fluency. This association was particularly strong in men with high blood pressure and dyslipidemia (disruption in the amount of lipids in the blood) but was not evident in men with major depression..."

Fish oil and Curcumin are both compounds that show promise with cognitive decline and Alzheimer's. Curcumin has been shown to break down beta amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's - in half of patients studied.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Quit-Smoking Diet: Veggies, Milk

Some Foods Make Cigarettes Taste Terrible; Others Boost Tobacco Taste Reuters/Yahoo!News 4/5/07 "A Duke University study shows that fruits, vegetables, and dairy foods make cigarettes taste terrible. But meat, coffee, and alcoholic beverages make smoking much tastier, find Duke University psychologist F. Joseph McClernon, PhD...Nearly 70% of the smokers said some foods made their cigarettes taste better. These foods tended to be caffeinated beverages, alcoholic beverages, and meat. Surprisingly, just under half of the smokers -- 45% -- said some foods made their cigarettes taste worse. These foods tended to be fruits and vegetables, noncaffeinated beverages such as water and juice, dairy beverages, and dairy foods..."We were surprised that smokers would say anything would make their cigarettes taste worse,""

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Less Sleep May Lower Testosterone

Poor Sleep Tied to Declining Testosterone Levels Among Older Men WebMD 4/2/07 "results showed that the amount of sleep the men got was a significantly related to the amount of testosterone in morning blood samples. The more sleep the men got, the higher their testosterone level, and those with less sleep had lower testosterone levels (the range of sleep was four hours to eight hours with an average of six hours)..."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

100-Year-Olds' Secret: Stay Aware

Keeping Up With the Times Is Key to Long Life, Centenarians Say WebMD 4/3/07 "The key to long life is a vivid interest in the world around you, a survey of 100-year-olds suggests...That means people born when Teddy Roosevelt was president are watching music videos, ordering at Starbucks, and even listening to iPods...Evercare's second annual telephone poll of 100 people aged 99 and older isn't a scientific study -- it's a snapshot of the attitudes of American 100-year-olds. Eighty-seven percent of survey respondents were white; 70% still lived at home; 95% were 100 or older; and 70% were women...
  • 31% of centenarians have watched reality TV shows.
  • 27% of centenarians have watched MTV or music videos.
  • 1 in 7 centenarians has played video games.
  • 68% of centenarians get their news from television, although 40% read newspapers.
  • 11% of centenarians have ordered from Starbucks.

When asked whom they most trust to tell the truth, 34% of centenarians chose their minister, rabbi, or priest -- just ahead of their doctor or nurse at 28%. The most poignant finding is that 100-year-olds value their memories more than their physical comfort. When asked what they would like to change the most, 34% said "better memory" while 27% said "less aches and pains.""

Definitely not scientific, just a survey, but not without a kernel of truth I think.

From wind up phonographs to iPods, it's fascinating to ponder the massive changes in life in the industrialized world in the last 100yrs. What I'd like to know is whether these centenarians have awe at the modern world, or do the changes merely blend into one another and seem rather blase over time?

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Ibuprofen Risky for Heart Patients?

Common Pain Drug May Cut Aspirin Lifeline in People at High Risk for Heart Disease WebMD 4/4/07 "the study provides a clear warning sign that ibuprofen is risky for people who need the blood-clot-reducing effect of daily low-dose aspirin...“Those taking aspirin in the ibuprofen arm of the study had a ninefold excess of heart attacks," Farkouh says...The whole Vioxx thing was based on 64 heart events among 21,000 patients studied," Farkouh says. "Here we are talking about potentially a higher magnitude of impact. The interaction of ibuprofen with aspirin is a bigger public health concern than Vioxx was."...Farkouh and Nissen say there is strong evidence that ibuprofen blocks the blood-clot-preventing effects of aspirin. Both agree that the drugs do not interact if a person takes aspirin two hours before taking ibuprofen..."

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

vitamin supplements can reduce risk of having underweight or undersized baby

Vitamin pills prevent low-weight babies Reuters/Yahoo!News 4/4/07 "The study, conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, involved 8,468 pregnant women who were free of the AIDS virus and who received iron and folic acid supplements, both proven prenatal treatments. Half were given supplements containing vitamins C, E and a mix of B vitamins. The rest got placebos...The fetal death rate stayed around 5 percent and the rate of premature delivery was nearly 17 percent regardless of whether mothers got the vitamins, the team, led by Wafaie Fawzi of Harvard University's School of Public Health, reported...But the risk of having a low birth-weight baby dropped from 9.4 percent among the placebo recipients to 7.8 percent for the babies whose mothers took the supplements...About 20 million low birth-weight babies are born each year, 96 percent of them in developing countries. Babies of low birth weight, defined as less than 5.5 pounds (2,500 grams), are more likely to die young, have growth and learning difficulties and may later be prone to diabetes and heart disease...Adding the extra vitamins, they said, would probably increase that cost by just 20 cents, "and scaling up prenatal multiple micronutrient supplementation could be a highly cost-effective approach to improving both outcomes among pregnant women in developing countries"

Here's an amazingly cheap and effective way to lower death rates of children and better the chances of healthier babies and healthier adults in the developing world. Let's hope foreign aid includes money for such soon - also maybe a few billionaires will see fit to invest in this, to get a program off the ground faster. Add choline (another very cheap supplement) to the mix and improve health further and fill the world with more intelligent folks.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Red meat vastly increases breast cancer risk

Older women who eat even small amounts of red meat are at significantly greater risk of developing breast cancer Guardian Unlimited 4/4/07 "Post-menopausal women who ate as little as 57g (2oz) of beef, pork or lamb a day had a 56% increased risk compared to those who ate none, according to researchers at the University of Leeds...also found that those who ate large amounts (more than 103 grams or 3.6 ounces) of processed meat a day, such as bacon, sausages or pies, had a 64% greater risk of developing the disease...also found that younger women slightly increased their risk if they ate red meat every day...the information on women's diets was collected nearly 10 years ago it was likely that many women had already improved their eating habits..."

Not a perfect study but another data point in the red meat causes cancer debate.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Plastics and our health

What's Toxic In Toyland Time 1/3/06 Worth revisiting in light of the current BPA fight - also here. "The controversy centers on a family of chemicals called phthalates (pronounced "thalates"), which are used to soften vinyl, and on bisphenol A (BPA), a substance used to make clear and shatterproof plastic. Most are known to be so-called endocrine disrupters, capable of interfering with the hormones that regulate masculinity and femininity. Several hundred animal studies have linked phthalates to prostate and breast cancers, abnormal genitals, early puberty onset and obesity. More recently, they've been shown to affect humans as well. In a paper published last year in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several universities found that boys born to mothers with higher phthalate levels are far more likely to show altered genital development, linked to incomplete testicular descent. Harvard School of Public Health studies report that men with higher phthalate levels have lower sperm counts and damaged sperm DNA...The focus on BPA is new. Its use is widespread--it's found in dental sealants and the epoxy linings on food cans as well as in baby bottles. Studies in animals over the past five years have found that the substance, which mimics the human hormone estrogen, alters brain structure and chemistry as well as the immune system and reproductive organs. Some of these effects show up at extremely low doses, in some cases 2,000 times below the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safety guideline, according to Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri endocrinologist. Chemical companies say the findings are not applicable to humans, but the federal National Toxicology Program has launched a reassessment of the safety standard. "The literature around BPA is very controversial," warns EPA scientist Earl Gray. "Next year's review should clarify things."..."

Our Stolen Future site - book on endocrine disruptors.

DogVitals dog supplement - helping dogs live a younger life

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Vitamin K may reverse arterial calcification

Vitamin K may reverse arterial calcification study 4/3/07 "Arterial calcification, a process of hardening of the arteries, may be inhibited and even reversed with supplementation with vitamin K2, suggests an animal study..."high-vitamin K intake (both K1 and K2) not only blocked the progress of further calcium accumulation but also lead to a greater than 37 per cent reduction of previously accumulated arterial calcium precipitates within six weeks."..."In this study, we provide evidence that warfarin-induced medial vascular calcification in rats is preventable or even reversible by high vitamin K intake, with a putative role for the vitamin K-dependent protein MGP"...Although it is well known that MGP (matrix Gla protein) is important in the prevention of calcification, its contribution to regression of arterial calcification is a novel finding."...Our study shows that in an animal model vitamin K can actually regress preformed calcifications. The health implications for humans are significant, and we have previously published research showing that the highest vitamin K2 intake from dietary sources has been linked to significant reductions in vascular calcification compared to those with the lowest K2 intake,"..."

Linus Pauling Inst. has a good primer on vitamin k

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Monday, April 2, 2007

A little deuterium for 10% increase in lifespan?

Meat And Two Neutrons: The Key To A Longer Life ScienceDaily 4/2/07 "Indulging in an isotope-enhanced steak or chicken fillet every now and again could add as much as 10 years to your life. Scientists have shown for the first time that food enriched with natural isotopes builds bodily components that are more resistant to the processes of ageing. The concept has been demonstrated in worms and researchers hope that the same concept can help extend human life and reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases of ageing...A team led by Mikhail Shchepinov, formerly of Oxford University, fed nematode worms nutrients reinforced with natural isotopes (naturally occurring atomic variations of elements). In initial experiments, worms' life spans were extended by 10%, which, with humans expected to routinely coast close to the centenary, could add a further 10 years to human life...Food enhanced with isotopes is thought to produce bodily constituents and DNA more resistant to detrimental processes, like free radical attack. The isotopes replace atoms in susceptible bonds making these bonds stronger. 'Because these bonds are so much more stable, it should be possible to slow down the process of oxidation and ageing...Ageing experts are impressed with the isotopic approach. Aubrey de Grey, the Cambridge-based gerontologist, says it could be very relevant to the rates of several chemical and enzymatic processes relevant to ageing 'It is a highly novel idea,' he says. 'But it remains to be seen whether it can be the source of practicable therapies, but it is a prospect that certainly cannot be ruled out.'...Charles Cantor, a professor of biomechanical engineering at Boston University, said: 'Preliminary data indicates that this approach can potentially increase lifespan without adverse side effects. If this is borne out by further experiments the implications are profound.'...Deuterium, a natural isotope of hydrogen (with 2 protons rather than one) could be used routinely"

Just when you think there's nothing new under the sun regarding longevity research, up pops something like this. Isotopes? Who knew. Now lets hope that research cruises along to prove that adding deuterium to food is safe (doesn't mess with mitosis) and efficacious for us.

Site on deuterium. "Deuterium is a stable isotope of hydrogen, meaning that it is not radioactive and has a very long life span"

The biological effects of deuterium oxide (1998)- in the oxide form it is nasty at higher doses.

The PubMed abstract.

NY Sun article on this. "Every chemical element comes in different forms, called isotopes. And scientists have for the first time shown that food enriched with isotopes whose atoms contain extra neutrons seems to slow down the process of ageing..."What we are seeing is pretty amazing. But we expect to do better than that in the future."..."

Royal Society of Chemistry 3/22/07 "Food containing heavy isotopes of hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen could slow down the aging process. That's the claim1 of Oxford-based researcher Mikhail Shchepinov, who suggests that seeding key biological molecules with deuterium or carbon-13 could drastically reduce oxidative damage or even avert it altogether...Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a staple of ageing research, as they are believed to cause cumulative damage to biomolecules such as DNA, proteins, and lipids. Typically, breaking a carbon-hydrogen bond is the rate-limiting step of these reactions. But if the carbon or hydrogen atoms involved were replaced by a heavier version of the same element (13C or D), the reaction will be slowed down due to a well-established phenomenon known as the kinetic isotope effect...These isotopes could be smuggled into the cell in essential nutrients that the body cannot synthesise from scratch, such as certain amino acids. Nucleic acids are a more difficult target, however, as their building blocks can be synthesized in the body. However, Shchepinov argues that fasting could boost the uptake of isotope labelled building blocks of DNA...Shchepinov, who is an academic visitor at the department of biochemistry at the University of Oxford, has already filed several patents on the idea. He is confident that this is the way towards a longer and healthier human life span...Heavy water (D2O) is toxic to higher organisms, but Shchepinov argues that isotopes would only be incorporated in the sites that need to be protected from oxidation. 'Ideally, they will slow down the oxidation reaction so much that they will never be released to take part in other reactions. If some of them do break free, they will only occur in small concentrations...David Meredith, who investigates the metabolism of amino acids at the University of Oxford, warns that some of the heavy isotopes could get into general circulation. 'It would be impossible to ingest exactly the right amount and mix of amino acids that the body required for protein synthesis...Knud Nierhaus, who routinely uses organisms grown in heavy water for neutron scattering experiments on ribosomes at the Max Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany, thinks that small amounts of deuterium would be tolerated in the body. 'D2O is modestly toxic for animals at around 25 per cent concentration, and typically lethal at around 50 per cent,' he told Chemistry World. 'But if only a small proportion of the food hydrogen atoms are replaced by deuterium and only a small proportion of those leaked into the body, the resulting concentrations would be unlikely to cause any damage..."

Doesn't sound like the research is very far along yet and there still seems to be an active debate about the safety in higher mammals. So no deuterium buffalo wings and no deuterium tofurkey anytime soon.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health

Bacteria in dirt might boost mood and immune system

Dirt exposure 'boosts happiness' BBC News 4/1/07 "Exposure to dirt may be a way to lift mood as well as boost the immune system...Lung cancer patients treated with "friendly" bacteria normally found in the soil have anecdotally reported improvements in their quality of life. Mice exposed to the same bacteria made more of the brain's "happy" chemical serotonin, the Bristol University authors told the journal Neuroscience...more work is now needed to determine if the bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae has antidepressant properties through activation of serotonin neurons...Lead researcher Dr Chris Lowry said: "These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health...The work could also help experts' understanding of why an imbalance in the immune system leaves some individuals vulnerable to mood disorders like depression...Canadian researchers have also been exploring the links between serotonin, mood and immunity...A team at Georgetown University Medical Center recently discovered serotonin is passed between key cells in the immune system, and that the chemical can activate an immune response...This suggests that serotonin may restore a healthy immune function in people who are depressed and prone to infections. On the flip side, it is also possible that serotonin, and serotonin-boosting antidepressants, end up bolstering immunity to the point that they trigger autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself. Gerard Ahern, lead researcher on the study, explained: "At this point we just don't know how these drugs might affect immunity, so we really need to clarify the normal role of serotonin in immune cell functioning.""

There's been plenty of anecdotal evidence that the immune system can play a key role in mood and depression but I hadn't realized that serotonin is apparently so crucial to the immune system. Very interesting research all. So do you think this story will boost gardening? Hey if it boosts mood you might even find popular competitive gardening shows on FOX. That'll be the day.

DogVitals antioxidant supplement for your dogs health