Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Scientists find molecular trigger that helps prevent aging and disease

Scientists find molecular trigger that helps prevent aging and disease

ScienceDaily (Nov. 23, 2009) — Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine set out to address a question that has been challenging scientists for years: How does dietary restriction produce protective effects against aging and disease? And the reverse: how does overconsumption accelerate age-related disease?...How the diet is restricted -- whether fats, proteins or carbohydrates are cut -- does not appear to matter. "It may not be about counting calories or cutting out specific nutrients," said Dr. Mobbs, "but how a reduction in dietary intake impacts the glucose metabolism, which contributes to oxidative stress." Meanwhile, a high calorie diet may accelerate age-related disease by promoting oxidative stress... Dietary restriction induces a transcription factor called CREB-binding protein (CBP), which controls the activity of genes that regulate cellular function. By developing drugs that mimic the protective effects of CBP -- those usually caused by dietary restriction -- scientists may be able to extend lifespan and reduce vulnerability to age-related illnesses...."We discovered that CBP predicts lifespan and accounts for 80 percent of lifespan variation in mammals," said Dr. Mobbs. "Finding the right balance is key; only a 10 percent restriction will produce a small increase in lifespan, whereas an 80 percent restriction will lead to a shorter life due to starvation."...The team found an optimal dietary restriction, estimated to be equivalent to a 30 percent caloric reduction in mammals, increased lifespan over 50 percent while slowing the development of an age-related pathology similar to Alzheimer's disease..."We showed that dietary restriction activates CBP in a roundworm model, and when we blocked this activation, we blocked all the protective effects of dietary restriction," said Dr. Mobbs. "It was the result of blocking CBP activation, which inhibited all the protective effects of dietary restriction, that confirmed to us that CBP plays a key role in mediating the protective effects of dietary restriction on lifespan and age-related disease."...Researchers examined mice and found that diabetes reduces activation of CBP, leading Dr. Mobbs to conclude that a high-calorie diet that leads to diabetes would have the opposite effect of dietary restriction and would accelerate aging...Dr. Mobbs hypothesizes that dietary restriction induces CBP by blocking glucose metabolism, which produces oxidative stress, a cellular process that leads to tissue damage and also promotes cancer cell growth. Interestingly, dietary restriction triggers CBP for as long as the restriction is maintained, suggesting that the protective effects may wear off if higher dietary intake resumes. CBP responds to changes in glucose within hours, indicating genetic communications respond quickly to fluctuations in dietary intake..."

Spices halt growth of breast stem cells, study finds

Spices halt growth of breast stem cells, study finds: "Spices Halt Growth of Breast Stem Cells, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Dec. 8, 2009) — A new study finds that compounds derived from the spices turmeric and pepper could help prevent breast cancer by limiting the growth of stem cells, the small number of cells that fuel a tumor's growth...when the dietary compounds curcumin, which is derived from the Indian spice turmeric, and piperine, derived from black peppers, were applied to breast cells in culture, they decreased the number of stem cells while having no effect on normal differentiated cells..."

Link between sirtuins and life extension strengthened

Link between sirtuins and life extension strengthened

ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2009) — A new paper from MIT biology professor Leonard Guarente strengthens the link between longevity proteins called sirtuins and the lifespan-extending effects of calorie restriction...sirtuins bring about the effects of calorie restriction on a brain system, known as the somatotropic signaling axis, that controls growth and influences lifespan length..."This puts SIRT1 at a nexus connecting the effects of diet and the somatropic signaling axis," says Guarente. "This is a major shot across the bow that says sirtuins really are involved in fundamental aspects of calorie restriction."...The researchers genetically engineered mice whose ability to produce the major mammalian sirtuin SIRT1 in the brain was greatly reduced. Those mice and normal mice were placed on a calorie-restricted diet. The normal mice showed much lower levels of circulating growth hormones, demonstrating that their somatotropic signaling system was impaired, but calorie restriction had no effect on hormone levels of mice that could not produce SIRT1..."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mutant genes 'key to long life'

BBC NEWS | Health | Mutant genes 'key to long life': "There is a clear link between living to 100 and inheriting a hyperactive version of an enzyme that prevents cells from ageing, researchers say. Scientists from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the US say centenarian Ashkenazi Jews have this mutant gene. They found that 86 very old people and their children had higher levels of telomerase which protects the DNA. They say it may be possible to produce drugs that stimulate the enzyme...The team at Einstein found that the centenarians and their offspring had higher levels of telomerase and significantly longer telomeres than the unrelated people in the control group and that the trait was strongly heritable... The scientists had previously shown that individuals in Ashkenazi families with exceptional longevity have generally been spared major age-related diseases, like heart disease and diabetes. The centenarians in this study had a lower average body mass index than the controls and higher levels of good (HDL) cholesterol. Yousin Suh, associate professor of medicine and genetics at Einstein and a lead author on the paper, said: "Our findings suggest that telomere length and variants of telomerase genes combine to help people live very long lives, perhaps by protecting them from the diseases of old age... "

BBC News - People who look young for their age 'live longer'

BBC News - People who look young for their age 'live longer': "People blessed with youthful faces are more likely to live to a ripe old age than those who look more than their years, work shows...Danish scientists say appearance alone can predict survival, after they studied 387 pairs of twins...Key pieces of DNA called telomeres, which indicate the ability of cells to replicate, are also linked to how young a person looks...A telomere of shorter length is thought to signify faster ageing and has been linked with a number of diseases. In the study, the people who looked younger had longer telomeres. "

Balancing protein intake, not cutting calories, may be key to long life

Balancing protein intake, not cutting calories, may be key to long life: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2009) — Getting the correct balance of proteins in our diet may be more important for healthy ageing than reducing calories, new research funded by the Wellcome Trust and Research into Ageing suggests...In fact, when the researchers studied the effect further, they found that levels of a particular amino acid known as methionine were crucial to maximising lifespan without decreasing fertility. Adding methionine to a low calorie diet boosted fertility without reducing lifespan; likewise, reducing methionine content in a high calorie diet prolonged lifespan. Previous studies have also shown that reducing the intake of methionine in rodents can help extend lifespan...Amino acids are the building blocks of life as they form the basis of proteins. Methionine is one of the most important amino acids at it is essential to the formation of all proteins. Whilst proteins are formed naturally in the body, we also consume proteins from many different food types, including meat and dairy products, soy-derived food such as tofu, and pulses. The relative abundance of methionine differs depending on the food type in question; it occurs in naturally high levels in foods such as sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, wheat germ, fish and meats..."It's not as simple as saying 'eat less nuts' or 'eat more nuts' to live longer -- it's about getting the protein balance right, a factor that might be particularly important for high protein diets, such as the Atkins diet or body builders' protein supplements."..."

Calorie intake linked to cell lifespan, cancer development

Calorie intake linked to cell lifespan, cancer development: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 18, 2009) — Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have discovered that restricting consumption of glucose, the most common dietary sugar, can extend the life of healthy human-lung cells and speed the death of precancerous human-lung cells, reducing cancer's spread and growth rate..."Our research indicates that calorie reduction extends the lifespan of healthy human cells and aids the body's natural ability to kill off cancer-forming cells."...

In particular, the researchers found that two key genes were affected in the cellular response to decreased glucose consumption. The first gene, telomerase, encodes an important enzyme that allows cells to divide indefinitely. The second gene, p16, encodes a well known anti-cancer protein."Opposite effects were found for these genes in healthy cells versus precancerous cells. The healthy cells saw their telomerase rise and p16 decrease, which would explain the boost in healthy cell growth," Tollefsbol said. "The gene reactions flipped in the precancerous cells with telomerase decreasing and the anti-cancer protein p16 increasing, which would explain why these cancer-forming cells died off in large numbers.""

Not So Sweet: Over-consumption Of Sugar Linked To Aging

Not So Sweet: Over-consumption Of Sugar Linked To Aging: ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2009)"We know that lifespan can be extended in animals by restricting calories such as sugar intake. Now, according to a study published in the journal PLoS Genetics, Universite de Montreal scientists have discovered that it's not sugar itself that is important in this process but the ability of cells to sense its presence...if they removed the gene for a glucose sensor from yeast cells, they lived just as long as those living on a glucose-restricted diet. In short, the fate of these cells doesn't depend on what they eat but what they think they're eating...The scientists found that cells unable to consume glucose as energy source are still sensitive to the pro-aging effects of glucose. Conversely, obliterating the sensor that measures the levels of glucose significantly increased lifespan..."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Babies' IQs suffer with fewer than 39 weeks in Womb

Babies' IQs suffer, study finds - The Globe and Mail (7-26-09)
"Babies born at 37 or 38 weeks are considered to be full term, but new research has found that they have slightly lower IQs and a modestly higher chance of dying in early infancy than those who arrive after closer to 40 weeks in the womb...The findings are troubling because an increasing number of births are induced after 37 or 38 weeks of pregnancy, said Michael Kramer, a McGill University epidemiologist, who is scientific director of Canada’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research...“Most doctors and mothers think that, once you reach 37 weeks, all is fine,” said Dr. Kramer, a professor of pediatrics and of epidemiology and biostatistics at McGill. But he and his colleagues have found evidence that those extra weeks can make a difference...results of study that found that babies born at 37 weeks had IQs that were 1.7 points lower than those of infants born at 39 or 40 weeks. The study involved 18,000 children who underwent cognitive testing at the age of six and a half. “There was an increase in IQ from 37 to 40 weeks. The IQ score was highest at 40 weeks of gestational age,”"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Easter Island Compound Extends Lifespan Of Old Mice: 28 To 38 Percent Longer Life

Easter Island Compound Extends Lifespan Of Old Mice: 28 To 38 Percent Longer Life

"ScienceDaily (July 9, 2009) — The giant monoliths of Easter Island are worn, but they have endured for centuries. New research suggests that a compound first discovered in the soil of the South Pacific island might help us stand the test of time, too...the Easter Island compound – called "rapamycin" after the island's Polynesian name, Rapa Nui – extended the expected lifespan of middle-aged mice by 28 percent to 38 percent. In human terms, this would be greater than the predicted increase in extra years of life if cancer and heart disease were both cured and prevented...The rapamycin was given to the mice at an age equivalent to 60 years old in humans..."I've been in aging research for 35 years and there have been many so-called 'anti-aging' interventions over those years that were never successful," said Arlan G. Richardson, Ph.D., director of the Barshop Institute. "I never thought we would find an anti-aging pill for people in my lifetime; however, rapamycin shows a great deal of promise to do just that."...Discovered in the 1970s, rapamycin was first noted for its anti-fungal properties and later was used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients. It also is used in stents, which are implanted in patients during angioplasty to keep coronary arteries open. It is in clinical trials for the treatment of cancer..."We believe this is the first convincing evidence that the aging process can be slowed and lifespan can be extended by a drug therapy starting at an advanced age," said Randy Strong, Ph.D., who directs the NIA-funded Aging Interventions Testing Center in San Antonio...Rapamycin appears to partially shut down the same molecular pathway as restricting food intake or reducing growth factors...It does so through a cellular protein called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), which controls many processes in cell metabolism and responses to stress...In 2004, a year after the launch of the NIA Interventions Testing Program, Dr. Sharp submitted a proposal that rapamycin be studied for anti-aging effects. The proposal was approved, and testing centers in San Antonio and elsewhere began to include rapamycin in the diets of mice...Dr. Strong soon recognized a problem: Rapamycin was not stable enough in food or in the digestive tract to register in the animals' blood level. He worked with the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio to improve the bioavailability of the compound through a process called microencapsulation. The reformulated drug was stable in the diet fed to the mice and bypassed the stomach to release in the intestine, where it could more reliably enter the bloodstream..."I did not think that it would work because the mice were too old when the treatment was started," Dr. Richardson said. "Most reports indicate that calorie restriction doesn't work when implemented in old animals. The fact that rapamycin increases lifespan in relatively old mice was totally unexpected."...Added Dr. Strong: "This study has clearly identified a potential therapeutic target for the development of drugs aimed at preventing age-related diseases and extending healthy lifespan. If rapamycin, or drugs like rapamycin, works as envisioned, the potential reduction in overall health cost for the U.S. and the world will be enormous."

Sirolimus - Wikipedia

Rapamycin extends life in mice, raising hopes of life-prolonging drug for humans - Times Online
"Scientists warned, however, that nobody should take rapamycin in the hope of living longer. The drug, originally identified in soil samples from Easter Island, is a powerful suppressor of the immune system, commonly given to patients to help to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs, and its dangers to healthy people would far outweigh any potential benefit...Matt Kaeberlein and Brian Kennedy, of the University of Washington, wrote in a commentary on the work: “Certainly, healthy individuals should not consider taking rapamycin to slow ageing. The potential immunosuppresive effects of this compound are sufficient to caution against this...“It may be possible to develop pharmacological strategies that provide the health and longevity benefits without unwanted side effects.” "

Antibiotic Delayed Aging in Mice - NYTimes.com
"“It’s no longer irresponsible to say that following these up could lead to medicines that increase human life span by 10, 20 or 30 percent,”"

BBC NEWS | Health | Tests raise life extension hopes
""In no way should anyone consider using this particular drug to try to extend their own lifespan, as rapamycin suppresses immunity. "While the lab mice were protected from infection, that's simply impossible in the human population."What the study does is to highlight an important molecular pathway that new, more specific drugs might be designed to work on. "

What Does a Drug That Extends Life in Mice Mean for Humans? - TIME
"Scientists think rapamycin's cellular target — called mTOR for "mammalian target of rapamycin" — helps regulate the body's response to nutrients and may also, according to Strong, "gear up responses to stress," such as the oxidative stress that damages proteins and DNA and contributes to disease development. "What we're doing with rapamycin," Strong says, "is we're actually tricking the cells into thinking that they're depleted of nutrients. Rather than the animals losing weight — we haven't noticed any weight loss — they may be just using their proteins more efficiently, and then repairing proteins more efficiently...It's this cellular efficiency, perhaps, that delays aging and helps preserve animals' good health. The findings suggest that rapamycin does not affect or prevent any one disease specifically — the mice in the study died of various causes, with no real difference between mice that received rapamycin and those that didn't — but rather that it slows aging overall...Rapamycin's life-extending effect has been demonstrated by other researchers in past studies of worms, fruit flies and yeast; the drug appears to interfere with a similar cellular process in those species too. "I think this is a big leap from those invertebrate species to mammals," says Strong, who is also a senior research scientist for Veteran Affairs. "This gives us a good idea that perhaps it would work in humans too."...Earlier human trials have shown, however, that rapamycin can have serious side effects. Because it is an immune suppressant, it can make users susceptible to opportunistic infections. It has also been linked to hyperlipidemia, or high levels of triglycerides in the blood, which can lead to heart disease. It's unclear whether these problems would counteract any longevity benefit that rapamycin might provide in humans. Says Strong, "I think more immediately, people are starting to look at [rapamycin] for age-related diseases like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease or kidney disease." The drug has also recently entered clinical trials as a human cancer treatment, while another study published last year showed that it may reverse mental retardation caused by the genetic disease tuberous sclerosis in mice..."

Two Mammals' Longevity Boosted - WSJ.com:
"'It's time to break out of our denial about aging,' said Aubrey de Grey, a British gerontologist who has drawn controversy for his suggestions on how to forestall death. 'Aging is, unequivocally, the major cause of death in the industrialized world and a perfectly legitimate target of medical intervention.'...The studies boost the notion that restricting metabolic activity -- whether through a drug or calorie restriction, which involves sharply reducing food intake -- lengthens life span...A Wyeth spokesman called it an "interesting preclinical study" and said Wyeth just became aware of the finding Wednesday..."

Hmmm, Wyeth asleep at the wheel? Doesn't inspire confidence in the company.

Secret to a longer life lies on Easter Island - Science, News - The Independent:
"Originally developed as an anti-fungal agent, rapamycin was soon found to have powerful immuno-suppressant properties and thus be valuable for preventing rejection of transplanted organs. It was also found to delay the ageing process when used experimentally with three sets of lower organisms: yeast, nematode worms and fruit flies...Also known as sirolimus, rapamycin was first discovered as a product of the bacterium Streptomyces hygroscopicus, which was found in an Easter Island soil sample..."

Cancer Drug Delays Aging in Mice | Wired Science | Wired.com:
"Gerontology itself is a youthful field, its progress having been slowed by aging’s daunting complexity and a tendency among scientists and doctors to consider diseases as entirely separate, rather than as manifestations of a common origin. But in recent years, that thinking has started to change. From diabetes to cancer to dementia, many diseases become steadily more likely with advancing age. Their common risk profile hints at common origins...“There’s no obvious way to turn this into a lifespan extension for humans,” said David Sinclair, a Harvard gerontologist not involved in this study. “But it’s clearly a milestone in the field, to be able to use one small molecule to have such a big effect in an animal. Twenty years ago, if you suggested that one small molecule could slow down aging, people would have said it was impossible.”...

More than 1,900 mice, their total genetic variation roughly comparable to that found in humans, were fed rapamycin. Treatment starting when they were around 20 months old, a stage comparable to early old age in people...The average date at which 90 percent of the mice were dead — a convenient metric for quantifying lifespan — rose from 1,078 days to 1,179 days in males, and from 1,094 days to 1,245 days in females. In proportional terms, old age lasted one-quarter longer than expected for males, and two-fifths longer for females.

When tested on nine-month-old mice, rapamycin had little effect. “It’s possible that for some agents, the most beneficial effect will only start late in life,” said Harrison."...Steven Austad, a University of Texas gerontologist who has been skeptical about resveratrol’s apparent longevity-enhancing effects, called the results “particularly significant.” He said the multi-center study design gave them “instant credibility...Some evidence suggests that mTOR’s pathway shares many functions and genes with the sirtuin pathway targeted by resveratrol. The extent of the overlap is unclear, but both appear to be involved in processes affected by caloric restriction...“There are only a handful of really crucial pathways that control lifespan,” said Sinclair. “These pathways all talk to each other. You can think of them not as separate, but as part of a larger network of pathways that are communicating and working in concert.”


Access : Rapamycin fed late in life extends lifespan in genetically heterogeneous mice : Nature


Transplant drug Rapamycin stimulates immune memory

DogVitals natural antioxidant supplement - helping dogs health from the inside out

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Plastic Brain Outsmarts Experts: Training Can Increase Fluid Intelligence, Once Thought To Be Fixed At Birth

Plastic Brain Outsmarts Experts: Training Can Increase Fluid Intelligence, Once Thought To Be Fixed At Birth: "ScienceDaily (June 6, 2008) — Can human beings rev up their intelligence quotients, or are they stuck with IQs set by their genes at birth? Until recently, nature seemed to be the clear winner over nurture...But new research, led by Swiss postdoctoral fellows Susanne M. Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl, working at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, suggests that at least one aspect of a person's IQ can be improved by training a certain type of memory.

Most IQ tests attempt to measure two types of intelligence--crystallized and fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence draws on existing skills, knowledge and experiences to solve problems by accessing information from long-term memory.

Fluid intelligence, on the other hand, draws on the ability to understand relationships between various concepts, independent of any previous knowledge or skills, to solve new problems. The research shows that this part of intelligence can be improved through memory training."

Brain-training To Improve Memory Boosts Fluid Intelligence

Brain-training To Improve Memory Boosts Fluid Intelligence: "ScienceDaily (May 6, 2008) — Brain-training efforts designed to improve working memory can also boost scores in general problem-solving ability and improve fluid intelligence, according to new University of Michigan research..."

Get Smart About What You Eat And You Might Actually Improve Your Intelligence

Get Smart About What You Eat And You Might Actually Improve Your Intelligence: "ScienceDaily (July 3, 2008) — New research findings published online in The FASEB Journal provide more evidence that if we get smart about what we eat, our intelligence can improve. According to MIT scientists, dietary nutrients found in a wide range of foods from infant formula to eggs increase brain synapses and improve cognitive abilities...In the study, gerbils were given various combinations of three compounds needed for healthy brain membranes: choline, found in eggs; uridine monophosphate (UMP) found in beets; and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in fish oils..."

Carrot Component Reduces Cancer Risk

Carrot Component Reduces Cancer Risk: "ScienceDaily (Feb. 18, 2005) — Scientists have given us another reason to eat carrots - a compound found in the popular root vegetable has been found to have an effect on the development of cancer..."

Anti cancer from whole carrots

BBC NEWS | Health | Cancer boost from whole carrots: 16 June 2009 "The anti-cancer properties of carrots are more potent if the vegetable is not cut up before cooking, research shows...Scientists found 'boiled before cut' carrots contained 25% more of the anti-cancer compound falcarinol than those chopped up first."

Multivitamins linked to younger ‘biological age’

Multivitamins linked to younger ‘biological age’: Study: "The cells of multivitamin users may have a younger biological age than cells from non-users, according to new research from the US...the telomeres of daily multivitamin users may be on average 5.1 per cent longer than in non-users...

In an attempt to identify specific nutrients that could be behind the observations, a positive relationship between telomere length and intakes of vitamins C and E from foods was observed.

“Whereas the evidence is not sufficient to conclude that these 2 dietary antioxidants mediated the observed relation, the results are consistent with experimental findings that vitamins C and E protect telomeres in vitro,” wrote the researchers."

"

Semen Quality May Depend Upon Antioxidants In Man's Diet

Semen Quality May Depend Upon Antioxidants In Man's Diet: "ScienceDaily (June 3, 2009) — A possible relationship between men's diets and the quality of their semen has long been a discussion point. Spanish researchers have now confirmed that antioxidants, molecules which are found mainly in fruit and vegetables and can delay and prevent the oxidation of other molecules, play a key role."

Red Wine Compound Resveratrol Demonstrates Significant Health Benefits

Red Wine Compound Resveratrol Demonstrates Significant Health Benefits: "ScienceDaily (June 12, 2009) — The benefits of alcohol are all about moderation. Low to moderate drinking – especially of red wine – appears to reduce all causes of mortality, while too much drinking causes multiple organ damage. A mini-review of recent findings on red wine's polyphenols, particularly one called resveratrol, will be published in the September issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research..."The breadth of benefits is remarkable – cancer prevention, protection of the heart and brain from damage, reducing age-related diseases such as inflammation, reversing diabetes and obesity, and many more," said Brown. "It has long been a question as to how such a simple compound could have these effects but now the puzzle is becoming clearer with the discovery of the pathways, especially the sirtuins, a family of enzymes that regulate the production of cellular components by the nucleus. 'Is resveratrol the only compound with these properties?' This would seem unlikely, with similar effects reported for other components of wine and for other natural products such as curcumin. However, we know much more about resveratrol relative to these other compounds."...

Key points of the review include:

  • Resveratrol exhibits therapeutic potential for cancer chemoprevention as well as cardioprotection.

"It sounds contradictory that a single compound can benefit the heart by preventing damage to cells, yet prevent cancer by causing cell death, said Brown. "The most likely explanation for this, still to be rigorously proved in many organs, is that low concentrations activate survival mechanisms of cells while high concentrations turn on the in-built death signals in these cells."

  • Resveratrol may aid in the prevention of age-related disorders, such as neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

"The simplest explanation is that resveratrol turns on the cell's own survival pathways, preventing damage to individual cells," said Brown. "Further mechanisms help, including removing very reactive oxidants in the body and improving blood supply to cells."

  • Low doses of resveratrol improve cell survival as a mechanism of cardio- and neuro-protection, while high doses increase cell death.

"The key difference is probably the result of activation of the sirtuins in the nucleus," said Brown. "Low activation reverses age-associated changes, while high activation increases the process of apoptosis or programmed cell death to remove cellular debris. Similar changes are seen with low-dose versus high-dose resveratrol: low-dose resveratrol produces cellular protection and reduces damage, while high-dose resveratrol prevents cancers."

"Resveratrol is largely inactivated by the gut or liver before it reaches the blood stream, where it exerts its effects – whatever they may be – good, bad, or indifferent. Thus, most of the reseveratrol in imbibed red wine does not reach the circulation. Interestingly, absorption via the mucous membanes in the mouth can result in up to around 100 times the blood levels, if done slowly rather than simply gulping it down. Of course, we don't know if these things matter yet, but issues like this are real and generally ignored by all.""

Sleep May Be Important In Regulating Emotional Responses

Sleep May Be Important In Regulating Emotional Responses: "ScienceDaily (June 12, 2009) — According to a research abstract that will be presented on June11, at Sleep 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, sleep selectively preservers memories that are emotionally salient and relevant to future goals when sleep follows soon after learning. Effects persist for as long as four months after the memory is created..."

Folic Acid Supplementation Provided In Utero, But Not After Birth, May Protect Offspring From Colorectal Cancer

Folic Acid Supplementation Provided In Utero, But Not After Birth, May Protect Offspring From Colorectal Cancer: "Folic Acid Supplementation Provided In Utero, But Not After Birth, May Protect Offspring From Colorectal Cancer

ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2008) — Although folic acid fortification has proven to lower rates of neural tube defects and some childhood cancers, there is a growing body of evidence that too much folic acid may increase one's risk of developing colorectal cancer. A new study suggests that folic acid supplementation provided in utero, but not postnatally, may protect offspring from developing colorectal cancer..."

Ginkgo Reduces Neuropathic Pain In Animal Studies

Ginkgo Reduces Neuropathic Pain In Animal Studies: "ScienceDaily (June 12, 2009) — An extract of ginkgo biloba shows scientific evidence of effectiveness against one common and hard-to-treat type of pain - neuropathic pain, a common pain problem associated with herpes zoster, limb injury, or diabetes"

Successful Weight Loss With Dieting Is Linked To Vitamin D Levels

Successful Weight Loss With Dieting Is Linked To Vitamin D Levels: "ScienceDaily (June 12, 2009) — Vitamin D levels in the body at the start of a low-calorie diet predict weight loss success, a new study found. The results, which suggest a possible role for vitamin D in weight loss, were presented at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C..."

Taking Folic Acid Supplements Before Conception Linked To Reduced Risk Of Premature Birth

Taking Folic Acid Supplements Before Conception Linked To Reduced Risk Of Premature Birth: "ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — Taking folic acid supplements for at least a year before conception is associated with reduction in the risk of premature birth..."

Huge Drop In Preterm Birth-risk Among Women Taking Folic Acid One Year Before Conception

Huge Drop In Preterm Birth-risk Among Women Taking Folic Acid One Year Before Conception: "ScienceDaily (Feb. 1, 2008) — New research suggests that women who take folic acid supplements for at least one year before they become pregnant can cut their risk of having a premature baby by half..."

Large Study Links Folic Acid Supplementation With Reduced Risk Of Preeclampsia During Pregnancy

Large Study Links Folic Acid Supplementation With Reduced Risk Of Preeclampsia During Pregnancy: "ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2008) — Folic acid supplementation during pregnancy has long been known to reduce the risk of birth defects in newborns, but a new study now suggests that the vitamin may also reduce the risk of preeclampsia, a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death worldwide..."

Multivitamins In Pregnancy Reduce Risk Of Low Birth Weights

Multivitamins In Pregnancy Reduce Risk Of Low Birth Weights: "ScienceDaily (June 14, 2009) — Prenatal multivitamin supplements are associated with a significantly reduced risk of babies with a low birth weight compared with prenatal iron-folic acid supplementation..."

Meditation May Be An Effective Treatment For Insomnia

Meditation May Be An Effective Treatment For Insomnia: "ScienceDaily (June 15, 2009) — Meditation may be an effective behavioral intervention in the treatment of insomnia, according to a research abstract that will be presented on June 9, at Sleep 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies..."Results of the study show that teaching deep relaxation techniques during the daytime can help improve sleep at night..."

New Piece Found In The Puzzle Of Epigenetics: Mechanism Of Fine Regulation Of RNA Synthesis Elucidated

New Piece Found In The Puzzle Of Epigenetics: Mechanism Of Fine Regulation Of RNA Synthesis Elucidated: "ScienceDaily (June 16, 2009) — A team of scientists led by Professor Dirk Eick of Helmholtz Zentrum M√ľnchen has identified the enzyme TFIIH kinase as an important factor in the epigenetic regulation of the cell nucleus enzyme RNA polymerase II. The findings, recently published in the journal Molecular Cell, constitute a further building block for understanding the pathomechanisms of cancer and other diseases...For many years scientists have known that the numerous biological functions of an organism are not regulated solely by the DNA sequence of its genes: Superordinate regulatory mechanisms exist that contribute to determining the fate of genes. Although they are not anchored in the DNA, they can even be passed on to subsequent generations to a certain extent. Intensive research in recent years has shown that these mechanisms – bundled under the term epigenetics, are very multifaceted and complex...The scientists were interested in the fine regulation of the cell nucleus enzyme RNA polymerase II. This transcribes the genetic information of the genetic substance DNA into messenger RNA - mRNA for short – which in turn is the basis for protein synthesis. At the same time RNA polymerase II is also responsible for the production of other kinds of RNA molecules, the so-called snRNA, which are not translated into proteins but take on other tasks. In prior research Eick and his colleagues had observed that a certain region of the RNA polymerase II enzyme – the carboxy-terminal domain – is involved in deciding which kinds of RNA are formed. In humans this domain consists of 52 repeats of a sequence of seven amino acids...For RNA synthesis the determining factor is whether and how specific amino acids of this region are modified biochemically. Thus, it is absolutely essential for the synthesis of snRNA that the amino acid serine at position 7 of this repeat sequence is provided with an additional phosphate group. If this is lacking, mRNA will be produced, but not any snRNA. The reason for that is presumably that this phosphorylation enables the interaction with a protein complex – the so-called integrator complex – which is necessary for snRNA formation. In other words, the modification of the enzyme RNA polymerase II at defined positions regulates whether this enzyme can produce certain kinds of RNA molecules or not.

In their latest research, the scientists led by Dirk Eick showed that the enzyme TFIIH kinase is responsible for the selective phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II. “With these findings another building block has been identified that plays a key role in epigenetic regulation by means of RNA polymerase II,” Professor Eick said. “This is of great significance because knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms is necessary in order to better understand cancer and other diseases and to be able to provide more targeted treatment.”

"

Test Detects Molecular Marker Of Aging In Humans

Test Detects Molecular Marker Of Aging In Humans: "ScienceDaily (June 16, 2009) p16INK4a is a tumor suppressor protein, cancer researchers are interested in its role in cellular aging and cancer prevention... is strongly correlated both with chronological age and with certain behaviors such as tobacco use and physical inactivity, which are known to accelerate the aging process...They found that expression of the biomarker was strongly correlated with the donor's chronological age and, in fact, increased exponentially with age. In addition, increased levels were independently associated with tobacco use and physical inactivity as well as with biomarkers of human frailty..."We found a very weak correlation between the biomarker and obesity – as measured by body mass index (BMI) – despite other data suggesting that caloric restriction slows aging. The data suggest the possibility that reduced exercise may actually be worse with regard to molecular age than a higher BMI."..."Although we don't know whether this test is a good reflection of cellular age in all types of human tissues, we believe it is a first step toward a better understanding of issues like the suitability of organs for transplantation, how well patients are likely to recover after surgery or the future toxicity of chemotherapy for cancer patients,"..."

Key Target Of Aging Regulator Found

Key Target Of Aging Regulator Found: "ScienceDaily (June 16, 2009) — Researchers at The Wistar Institute have defined a key target of an evolutionarily conserved protein that regulates the process of aging. The study, published June 11 in Nature, provides fundamental knowledge about key mechanisms of aging that could point toward new anti-aging strategies and cancer therapies...demonstrated for the first time a molecular target for a member of this class, Sir2, in regulation of aging in yeast cells. Sir2 removes an acetyl group attached to a specific site (lysine at position 16 or K16) on histone H4—histones are proteins that package and organize the long strands of DNA within the nucleus and also are central regulators in turning genes on and off. The study reveals that removal of this acetyl group by Sir2 near the chromosome ends—the telomeres—is important for yeast cells to maintain the ability to replicate. Researchers found that Sir2 levels decline as cells age, and there is a concomitant accumulation of the acetylation mark along with disrupted histone organization at telomeres. Deacetylation of H4K16 by Sir2 and consequent telomere stability play a major role in maintaining long lifespan in yeast. Since sirtuins deacetylate many different proteins, these results clarify a key role of Sir2 protein in control of lifespan. "Some modifications on histones, like this acetylation on histone H4 lysine 16, are persistent and are maintained through generations of cell divisions. This DNA-independent inheritance is called epigenetics," Berger says. "Characteristic epigenetic features have been discovered for various developmental processes in recent years. Understanding epigenetic changes associated with aging is a hugely exciting direction in aging research. It will provide insights and ideas not only for new therapies to regulate cells that have lost control of proliferation, such as 'immortal' cells found in cancers, but also for new strategies to maintain health and fitness."... "

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dark Chocolate Is More Filling Than Milk Chocolate And Lessens Cravings

Dark Chocolate Is More Filling Than Milk Chocolate And Lessens Cravings: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 23, 2008) — New research at the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at the University of Copenhagen – shows that dark chocolate is far more filling than milk chocolate, lessening our craving for sweet, salty and fatty foods. In other words, eating dark chocolate may be an efficient way to keep your weight down over the holidays."

Can Cherries Relieve The Pain Of Osteoarthritis?

Can Cherries Relieve The Pain Of Osteoarthritis?: "ScienceDaily (Mar. 21, 2009) — For the estimated 27 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis, pain relief may come with a cherry on top. According to researchers with the Baylor Research Institute, tart cherries, in pill form, may be a promising pain-reliever for this common and debilitating form of arthritis...Made from Montmorency tart cherries, this preparation is made up of ground whole cherries and given as a soft gelatin capsule (marketed under the brand name CherryFlex®)."

Frankincense Provides Relief To Arthritis Sufferers

Frankincense Provides Relief To Arthritis Sufferers: "ScienceDaily (July 31, 2008) — An enriched extract of the 'Indian Frankincense' herb Boswellia serrata has been proven to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research & Therapy has shown that patients taking the herbal remedy showed significant improvement in as little as seven days...The extract the authors used was enriched with 30% AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid), which is thought to be the most active ingredient in the plant. Raychaudhuri said, "AKBA has anti-inflammatory properties, and we have shown that B. serrata enriched with AKBA can be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee". This is a proprietary product developed by Laila Nutraceuticals...B. serrata has been used for thousands of years in the Indian system of traditional medicine known as 'Ayurveda'. This study is the first to prove that an enriched extract of the plant can be used as a successful treatment..."In this study, the compound was shown to have no major adverse effects in our osteoarthritis patients. It is safe for human consumption and even for long-term use"."

Frankincense Oil -- A Wise Man's Remedy For Bladder Cancer

Frankincense Oil -- A Wise Man's Remedy For Bladder Cancer: "ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2009) — Originating from Africa, India, and the Middle East, frankincense oil has been found to have many medicinal benefits. Now, an enriched extract of the Somalian Frankincense herb Boswellia carteri has been shown to kill off bladder cancer cells. New research demonstrates that this herb has the potential for an alternative therapy for bladder cancer...the oil suppresses cancer cell growth by arresting cell cycle progression and induces bladder cancer cell death by activating multiple cell death pathways."

Chocolate, Wine And Tea Improve Brain Performance

Chocolate, Wine And Tea Improve Brain Performance: "ScienceDaily (Dec. 24, 2008) — All that chocolate might actually help finish the bumper Christmas crossword over the seasonal period. According to Oxford researchers working with colleagues in Norway, chocolate, wine and tea enhance cognitive performance...Those who consumed chocolate, wine, or tea had significantly better mean test scores and lower prevalence of poor cognitive performance than those who did not...The largest subclass of dietary polyphenols is flavonoids, and it has been reported in the past that those who consume lots of flavonoids have a lower incidence of dementia...The effect was most pronounced for wine..."

Women Who Breastfeed For More Than A Year Halve Their Risk Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Women Who Breastfeed For More Than A Year Halve Their Risk Of Rheumatoid Arthritis: "ScienceDaily (May 13, 2008) — Women who breast feed for longer have a smaller chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis...Women who had breastfed for 13 months or more were half as likely to get rheumatoid arthritis as those who had never breast fed. Those who had breast fed for one to 12 months were 25 per cent less likely to get the disease..."