Saturday, November 29, 2008

Telomerase takes us a step closer to eternal youth - 19 November 2008 - New Scientist

Enzyme takes us a step closer to eternal youth - 19 November 2008 - New Scientist: "One of the latest studies confirms that at least one type of human cell can indeed be restored to a youthful state by boosting telomerase levels. The other suggests that boosting telomerase can result in longer life in animals... turned to a drug called TAT2, developed by Geron of Menlo Park, California, that boosts telomerase production without altering anyone's DNA. When killer T-cells from people with HIV were exposed to TAT2, it enhanced the cells' ability to fight the virus, suggesting that TAT2 might be used to supplement existing anti-retroviral drugs by boosting the immune systems of people with HIV...TAT2 also increased the cells' ability to divide and stopped their telomeres from shortening, which raises the possibility that it might be used to wind back the clock of other ageing cells and provide more general treatments for ageing...when TAT2 was added to tumour cells it did not affect the amount of telomerase they produced. Nor did it change the growth characteristics of immune cells that were cultured with a virus that can trigger cancer. "We are fairly confident at this point that TAT2 won't enhance cancer development,"...Telomerase is extracted from the Astragalus plant, which is used in Chinese medicine without any obvious adverse effects...Blasco's team bred mice engineered to be resistant to cancer with mice engineered to produce 10 times the normal levels of telomerase in epithelial tissue, which lines the cavities and surfaces of the body. These animals lived up to 50 per cent longer than normal mice...Blasco's mice also had less subcutaneous fat, healthier epithelial tissue and improved neuromuscular coordination and glucose tolerance, which are all signs of youth. Boosting telomerase also seemed to have beneficial effects on the animals' brains and muscles, even though the enzyme was not expressed in these tissues..."

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

IP6 articles

Antioxidants Could Provide All-purpose Radiation Protection: "ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2007) — Two common dietary molecules found in legumes and bran could protect DNA from the harmful effects of radiation, researchers from the University of Maryland report. Inositol and inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) protected both human skin cells and a skin cancer-prone mouse from exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, the damaging radiation found in sunlight, the team reported November 5 at the American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine..."Both of these potent antioxidants have been shown to have broad-spectrum anti-tumor capabilities, and now our studies confirm the degree to which these molecules protect against the DNA-damaging effects of ionizing radiation"...While both inositol and IP6 are related to B vitamins, they are not considered essential dietary nutrients. In the 1980s, however, researchers discovered that these molecules, abundant within the hulls of seeds and grains, had definitive protective effects against colorectal cancer...According to Shamsuddin, IP6 could also offer protection against accidents or purposeful incidents involving nuclear material. "It could also be advisable to use IP6 plus inositol as a cautionary treatment following a nuclear disaster or dirty bomb,""

New Research On Cancer-fighting Foods, Supplements: ScienceDaily (Mar. 26, 2007)"The compound, inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), was fed to animal models of prostate cancer and resulted in up to a 66 percent reduction in tumor size in comparison to control animals"

Natural Substances Shows Promise In Cancer Prevention, Treatment: ScienceDaily (June 8, 1998)"cancer-fighting properties of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) in colon, liver, breast and soft-tissue cancers in human cell-lines transplanted into mice..."The number of tumors and their size was reduced three-fold," Shamsuddin said. "The rate of cell division was cut in half. IP6 also normalizes cell division and up-regulates the product of the P53 gene, one of the body’s most powerful tumor-suppressor genes." ..."

Nutrition - IP6 - M. D. Anderson Cancer Center: "Precautions
IP-6 reduces platelet activity; therefore, people with low blood cell counts, or who are taking aspirin or other blood thinning medications, may want to avoid using IP-6. Because of its antioxidant properties, IP-6 may not be appropriate for patients receiving radiation or chemotherapy. Supplemental forms of IP-6 may also bind with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc and should therefore not be taken with food...
Although Dr. Shamsuddin indicates that further research must be completed before making more specific dosage recommendations, he gives the following guidelines: 1-2 g of IP-6 daily for cancer prevention, 4 g daily for people with an increased cancer risk, and up to 8 g daily for those with cancer. Patients who are considering an IP-6 supplement should consult with their physician or dietician.

IP-6 : by Ray Sahelian, M.D., inositol hexaphosphate IP-6 and cancer IP6: "Inositol hexaphosphate ( IP-6, phytic acid, or phytate ), is a naturally polyphosphorylated carbohydrate found in cereal grains, beans, brown rice, corn, sesame seeds, wheat bran, and other high fiber foods. It aids in the metabolism of insulin and calcium, hair growth, bone marrow cell metabolism, eye membrane development, and helps the liver transfer fat to other parts of the body. IP-6 in the diet may even help reduce the risk for kidney stones. Many researchers believe that some of the health benefits may be due to the antioxidant, immune enhancing, and cardiovascular supporting activities of IP-6. In-vitro and animal research has shown IP-6 to have significant protective and growth regulating effects on various cells and tissues including those of the colon, breast, and prostate...IP-6 has been reported to have in vivo and in vitro anti- cancer activity against numerous tumors, such as colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, pancreatic cancer, and rhabdomyosarcomas. Significant human trials are lacking and hence we do not currently know for certain whether taking IP-6 supplements are helpful in cancer prevention or therapy, but the early data look promising. "

Protection against cancer by dietary IP6 and inosi...[Nutr Cancer. 2006] - PubMed Result: "Protection against cancer by dietary IP6 and inositol."

IP6 and Inositol Product Info: FAQ "Why combine IP6 with Inositol?
Dr. Shamsuddin theorized that when Inositol was properly combined with IP-6 it formed two molecules of IP-3 in the body. Although IP-6 gets all the attention, it is really the IP-3 that is doing all the work. IP-3 plays an important role in cells by helping them grow, mature, replicate and communicate with other cells. Cells that are low in IP-3 can become out of control, dividing uncontrollably. Studies confirm that the combination of IP-6 with Inositol yields much greater effects than IP-6 alone..
IP6 plus Inositol as an Antioxidant and NK-Cell Stimulant. Recognized as a potent antioxidant, IP6 acts to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals on body cells and has been shown to enhance immunity by boosting the activity of natural killer (NK) cells.* These immune system cells (also called lymphocytes) are the body’s first line defense mechanism. Additional research indicates IP-6 & Inositol may support healthy renal function,* promotes heart health,* and helps maintain healthy glucose metabolism.* IP6 Gold is a rich source calcium, phosphorus and magnesium that supports and maintains strong, healthy bones...Developments from laboratory data suggest IP6 and Inositol play an important role in DNA functions such as cell division, repair and maturation.* Enhancing DNA function helps maintain a healthy genetic profile. Millions of dollars are currently being spent in research related to DNA profiling and alteration. Here we see a very natural compound plays an important role in this complex mechanism.

Can IP6 plus Inositol be used alongside conventional treatments? IP6 and Inositol has undergone extensive animal and human studies. No negative side-effects have been found, either when IP6 and Inositol is used on its own or in combination with other dietary supplements or conventional allopathic treatments. Indeed, Dr. Shamsuddin states that IP6 & Inositol may actually potentiate these treatments.

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Potentially Universal Mechanism Of Aging Identified

Potentially Universal Mechanism Of Aging Identified: "ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2008) — Researchers have uncovered what may be a universal cause of aging, one that applies to both single cell organisms such as yeast and multicellular organisms, including mammals. This is the first time that such an evolutionarily conserved aging mechanism has been identified between such diverse organisms...The mechanism probably dates back more than one billion years. The study shows how DNA damage eventually leads to a breakdown in the cell's ability to properly regulate which genes are switched on and off in particular settings...Researchers have discovered that DNA damage decreases a cell's ability to regulate which genes are turned on and off in particular settings. This mechanism, which applies both to fungus and to us, might represent a universal culprit for aging...scientists have know that a group of genes called sirtuins are involved in the aging process. These genes, when stimulated by either the red-wine chemical resveratrol or caloric restriction, appear to have a positive effect on both aging and health...Sinclair and colleagues in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lab of Leonard Guarente found that a particular sirtuin in yeast affected the aging process in two specific ways—it helped regulate gene activity in cells and repair breaks in DNA. As DNA damage accumulated over time, however, the sirtuin became too distracted to properly regulate gene activity, and as a result, characteristics of aging set in..."For ten years, this entire phenomenon in yeast was considered to be relevant only to yeast," says Sinclair. "But we decided to test of this same process occurs in mammals."...Oberdoerffer found that a primary function of sirtuin in the mammalian system was to oversee patterns of gene expression (which genes are switch on and which are switch off). While all genes are present in all cells, only a select few need to be active at any given time. If the wrong genes are switched on, this can harm the cell. (In a kidney cell, for example, all liver genes are present, but switched off. If these genes were to become active, that could damage the kidney.) As a protective measure, sirtuins guard genes that should be off and ensure that they remain silent. To do this, they help preserve the molecular packaging—called chromatin—that shrink-wraps these genes tight and keeps them idle...The problem for the cell, however, is that the sirtuin has another important job. When DNA is damaged by UV light or free radicals, sirtuins act as volunteer emergency responders. They leave their genomic guardian posts and aid the DNA repair mechanism at the site of damage.During this unguarded interval, the chromatin wrapping may start to unravel, and the genes that are meant to stay silent may in fact come to life...For the most part, sirtuins are able to return to their post and wrap the genes back in their packaging, before they cause permanent damage. As mice age, however, rates of DNA damage (typically caused by degrading mitochondria) increase. The authors found that this damage pulls sirtuins away from their posts more frequently. As a result, deregulation of gene expression becomes chronic. Chromatin unwraps in places where it shouldn't, as sirtuin guardians work overtime putting out fires around the genome, and the unwrapped genes never return to their silent state...

"We then began wondering what would happen if we put more of the sirtuin back into the mice," says Oberdoerffer. "Our hypothesis was that with more sirtuins, DNA repair would be more efficient, and the mouse would maintain a youthful pattern gene expression into old age."That's precisely what happened. Using a mouse genetically altered to model lymphoma, Oberdoerffer administered extra copies of the sirtuin gene, or fed them the sirtuin activator resveratrol, which in turn extended their mean lifespan by 24 to 46 percent...

"According to this specific mechanism, while DNA damage exacerbates aging, the actual cause is not the DNA damage itself but the lack of gene regulation that results," says Oberdoerffer. "Lots of research has shown that this particular process of regulating gene activity, otherwise known as epigenetics, can be reversed—unlike actual mutations in DNA. We see here, through a proof-of-principal demonstration, that elements of aging can be reversed.""

But is the picture of sirtuins more complicated?
Deleting 'Anti-Aging' Gene From Yeast Greatly Lengthens Life Span: "ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2005) — A counterintuitive experiment has resulted in one of the longest recorded life-span extensions in any organism and opened a new door for anti-aging research in humans...The result was a dramatically extended life span - up to six times longer than normal - when the SIR2 deletion was combined with caloric restriction and/or a mutation in one or two genes, RAS2 and SCH9, that control the storage of nutrients and resistance to cell damage..."

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Children of centenarians live longer, healthier

Children of centenarians live longer, healthier - Yahoo! News: "People who make it to the age of 100 may indeed have some 'good genes' that they pass on their children...children of centenarians tend to retain a "cardiovascular advantage" over their peers as they age..."

No surprise here. Most of the stories on this are remarkably light on details.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

'Love handles' raise death risk

BBC NEWS | Health | 'Love handles' raise death risk:
"Carrying extra fat around your middle dramatically increases your risk of early death, even if your overall weight is normal...Each extra 2ins (5cm) raised the chance of early death by between 13% and 17%. with waists exceeding 47ins (119cm) had a doubled rate of death compared with those with waists under 31.5ins (80cm), and a similar statistic was found when women with waists over 39ins (99cm) were compared to those under 25.5ins (64.7cm)...An increase in risk of death could be plotted every time the belt was let out by another two inches - for two people with the same BMI, every additional 2ins (5cm) on their waistband added up to a 17% increase in risk for men, and 13% for women...abdominal fat was not like other fat reserves, but could directly influence the development of chronic disease by releasing "messenger substances"..."

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Child's sleep linked to adulthood obesity risk

Child's sleep linked to adulthood obesity risk - Yahoo! News:
"Consistently getting a good night's sleep may help protect children from becoming obese as adults... those who got too little sleep as children were more likely than their well-rested counterparts to become obese adults... early sleep habits have a direct effect on weight in the long term...A number of studies have found that sleep-deprived adults and children are at greater risk of being overweight. However, this is the first study to show a long-term relationship between sleep and obesity risk...The study involved 1,037 men and women who had been followed since their birth, between 1972 and 1973, up to the age of 32. When the participants were 5, 7, 9 and 11 years old, their parents reported on their usual bed time and wake-up time...In general, Hancox and his colleagues found, as childhood sleep time declined, adulthood body mass index, or BMI, climbed...Experts generally recommend that children between the ages of 5 and 12 sleep for about 11 hours each night, while teenagers should get 8.5 to 9.5 hours...One theory, based on research in the sleep lab, is that sleep deprivation alters the normal balance of appetite-stimulating and appetite-suppressing hormones. Sleepy children may also be too tired for physical activity during the day..."

This is important, on the level of prenatal diets changing genes. Alas it comes at a time when it will get negligible attention.

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Kids mimic parents' diets from an early age s

Kids mimic parents' diets from an early age - Yahoo! News:
"Parents who want their preschoolers to eat their vegetables may need to take a hard look at their own eating habits...Children who stocked up on sweets, sugary drinks and salty snacks generally had parents whose typical grocery list featured such items. Similarly, children with the healthiest shopping habits seemed to be following their parents' lead as well..."The data suggest that children begin to assimilate and mimic their parents' food choices at a very young age, even before they are able to fully appreciate the implications of these choices,"..."

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Even a little caffeine may harm fetus

Even a little caffeine may harm fetus, study finds - Yahoo! News:
"Pregnant women who consume caffeine -- even about a cup of coffee daily -- are at higher risk of giving birth to an underweight baby...linked any source of caffeine, including that from tea, cola, chocolate and some prescription drugs, to relatively slower fetal growth...Babies born underweight are more likely to develop a range of health conditions when they grow older, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems...Women who drank one to two cups of coffee daily, or between 100-199 milligrams, had a 20 percent increased risk of having a baby of low birth weight, the study found. This was compared to women who consumed less than 100 milligrams daily...The impact was about the same as from alcohol and the association with low birth weight was maintained throughout a woman's pregnancy...reduce caffeine intake to a minimum..."

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