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Matti Narkia

Blueberry juice enhances memory in older adults - Life Extension Update - 1 views

    In an article published online on January 4, 2010 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Robert Krikorian of the University of Cincinnati, along with his colleagues from the US and Canadian Departments of Agriculture, report that consuming blueberry juice was associated with improvements in learning and memory in individuals with age-related memory decline.

    The trial enrolled five men and four women over the age of 70 who reported forgetfulness and memory lapses characteristic of early memory decline. Participants were given the equivalent of 2 to 2 ½ cups of a commercially available blueberry juice daily for 12 weeks. Cognitive assessments were conducted at the beginning of the study and during the final week of the trial.

    At the study's conclusion, learning and recall were improved, and depressive symptoms and glucose levels tended to be reduced. When subjects who received blueberry juice were compared with a demographically matched sample who received a placebo beverage in a companion trial, test scores for learning ability were significantly better.
Matti Narkia

MedWire News - Lipidology - High serum selenium associated with elevated LDL and total ... - 4 views

    "High serum selenium associated with elevated LDL and total cholesterol
    By Helen Albert
    21 January 2010
    Atherosclerosis 2009; Advance online publication

    MedWire News: High levels of serum selenium are associated with elevated total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, report US researchers.

    The results add weight to those of a previous UK study, reported by MedWire News, that reported an association between high plasma selenium and an adverse lipid profile.

    Eliseo Guallar (Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland) and colleagues carried out a cross-sectional analysis of 1159 individuals aged 56.8 years on average who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004."
Matti Narkia

MedWire News - Diabetes - Very low HbA1c values may be as harmful as very high values - 2 views

    "Lancet 2010; Advance online publication

    MedWire News: There is a U-shaped relationship between glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels and mortality in people with diabetes, say researchers, meaning that intensive glucose-lowering therapy could be as harmful as uncontrolled hyperglycemia.

    Writing in The Lancet, Craig Currie (Cardiff University, UK) and team say that if their findings are confirmed then diabetes guidelines may need to be revised to include a lower as well as an upper HbA1c threshold.

    Currie's team used the UK General Practice Research Database from November 1986 to November 2008 to obtain data on two cohorts of patients aged 50 years and older with Type 2 diabetes.

    The patients comprised 27,965 individuals whose treatment had been intensified from oral monotherapy to combination therapy with oral blood-glucose lowering agents, and 20,005 who had changed to insulin-containing regimens."
Matti Narkia

Thyme oil can inhibit COX2 and suppress inflammation - 1 views

    "ScienceDaily (Jan. 13, 2010) - For those who do not drink, researchers have found that six essential oils -from thyme, clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel and bergamot -- can suppress the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme, in a manner similar to resveratrol, the chemical linked with the health benefits of red wine. They also identified that the chemical carvacrol was primarily responsible for this suppressive activity."
Matti Narkia

Mango effective in preventing, stopping certain colon, breast cancer cells - 2 views

    "COLLEGE STATION - Mango. If you know little about this fruit, understand this: It's been found to prevent or stop certain colon and breast cancer cells in the lab.

    That's according to a new study by Texas AgriLife Research food scientists, who examined the five varieties most common in the U.S.: Kent, Francine, Ataulfo, Tommy/Atkins and Haden.

    Though the mango is an ancient fruit heavily consumed in many parts of the world, little has been known about its health aspects. The National Mango Board commissioned a variety of studies with several U.S. researchers to help determine its nutritional value.

    "If you look at what people currently perceive as a superfood, people think of high antioxidant capacity, and mango is not quite there," said Dr. Susanne Talcott, who with her husband, Dr. Steve Talcott, conducted the study on cancer cells. "In comparison with antioxidants in blueberry, acai and pomegranate, it's not even close."

    But the team checked mango against cancer cells anyway, and found it prevented or stopped cancer growth in certain breast and colon cell lines, Susanne Talcott noted.

    "It has about four to five times less antioxidant capacity than an average wine grape, and it still holds up fairly well in anticancer activity. If you look at it from the physiological and nutritional standpoint, taking everything together, it would be a high-ranking super food," she said. "It would be good to include mangoes as part of the regular diet."

    The Talcotts tested mango polyphenol extracts in vitro on colon, breast, lung, leukemia and prostate cancers. Polyphenols are natural substances in plants and are associated with a variety of compounds known to promote good health."
Matti Narkia

Unexpected Perks of Coffee Consumption - The Early Show - CBS News - 0 views

    "(CBS) Your daily cup of java may deliver some unexpected health benefits. Studies have shown it may lower your risk for Type II diabetes and certain types of cancer (colon, mouth and throat), and protect against heart disease and cavities.

    Dr. Alanna Levine, a primary care physician, said on "The Early Show" researchers aren't sure exactly why coffee has these benefits, but speculated that perhaps the coffee has antioxidant properties. "
Matti Narkia

Ginkgo Biloba Doesn't Slow Mental Decline - 0 views

    "Dec. 29, 2009 - The hot-selling herbal supplement ginkgo biloba doesn't slow age-related mental decline, a six-year clinical study shows.

    The study has already shown that ginkgo does not prevent dementia or Alzheimer's disease in the elderly.

    Now study leader Steven T. DeKosky, MD, and colleagues have sifted through the data to look for some sign that ginkgo might slow mental decline in healthy, aging individuals -- or, perhaps, in those already showing the first signs of cognitive impairment.

    No such sign was found.

    "Compared with placebo, the use of Ginkgo biloba, 120 mg twice daily, did not result in less cognitive decline in older adults with normal cognition or with mild cognitive impairment," the researchers conclude."
Matti Narkia

Drug from mushroom may help treat cancer - - 0 views

    "NOTTINGHAM, England, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A drug derived from a mushroom -- cordycepin -- may be used to treat some cancers, British researchers say.

    Dr. Cornelia de Moor of The University of Nottingham in England and colleagues are investigating the drug originally extracted from a rare parasitic mushroom called cordyceps that grows on caterpillars.

    The researchers say low-dose cordycepin seems to inhibit the uncontrolled growth and division of cells and at high doses it also inhibits growth by stopping cells from sticking together. Both of these effects, they say, probably have the same underlying mechanism -- interfering with the production of cell proteins.
Matti Narkia

Calorie restriction: Scientists take important step toward 'fountain of youth' - 0 views

    "ScienceDaily (Dec. 26, 2009) - Going back for a second dessert after your holiday meal might not be the best strategy for living a long, cancer-free life say researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. That's because they've shown exactly how restricted calorie diets -- specifically in the form of restricted glucose -- help human cells live longer.

    They found that the normal cells lived longer, and many of the precancerous cells died, when given less glucose. Gene activity was also measured under these same conditions. The reduced glucose caused normal cells to have a higher activity of the gene that dictates the level of telomerase, an enzyme that extends their lifespan and lower activity of a gene (p16) that slows their growth. Epigenetic effects (effects not due to gene mutations) were found to be a major cause in changing the activity of these genes as they reacted to decreased glucose levels.

    "Western science is on the cusp of developing a pharmaceutical fountain of youth" said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "This study confirms that we are on the path to persuading human cells to let us to live longer, and perhaps cancer-free, lives.""
Matti Narkia

Omega-3s help stave off age-related vision loss | Reuters - 1 views

    "NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Want to keep your eyesight sharp as you age? Eating lots of fish packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids could help, new research suggests.

    Among 1,837 people who had early signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), those with the highest consumption of omega-3 fatty acids were 30 percent less likely to progress to the advanced form of the disease over a 12-year period than those with the lowest omega-3 intake, researchers found."
Matti Narkia

Dr. Joe's E-News - A Diabetes Newsletter: East German Infants Taking Vitamin D - 0 views

    "From 1955 to 1990, all infants in East Germany received 600,000 IU of Vitamin D every three months for a total of 3,600,000 IU at age 18 months.

    With the 400 IU/day recommendation of the American Pediatric Association in mind, I ran across this amazing paper while surfing Medline for Vitamin D. According to this paper, all infants in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) received dangerously high doses of Vitamin D every three months in their doctors office. The policy was in place for 35 years. The first 600,000 IU dose was given at three months and then every three months until the child was 18 months of age. This works out to an average of 6,000 IU per day (actually, for several technical reasons it is not equivalent) for 18 months. The authors collected blood before the dose and then 2 weeks after the quarterly dose to obtain 25(OH)D, 1,25(OH)D, and calcium levels on a total of 43 infants.

    Before the first dose, at 3 months of age, the average infant was extremely deficient (median 25(OH)D of 7 ng/ml). Two weeks after the first dose the average 25(OH)D level was 120 ng/ml, the second dose 170 ng/ml, the third dose, 180 ng/ml, the fourth dose, 144 ng/ml, the fifth dose, 110 ng/ml and after the sixth and final dose, 3.6 million total units, at age 18 months, the children had mean levels of 100 ng/ml. That is, by the 15 and 18 month doses, the children were beginning to effectively handle these massive doses.

    The highest level recorded in any of the 43 infants was 408 ng/ml at age 9 months, two weeks after the third 600,000 IU dose. Thirty-four percent of the infants had at least one episode of hypercalcemia but only 3 had an elevated serum 1,25(OH)D. The authors reported that all the infants appeared healthy, even the infant with a level of 408 ng/ml, that is, no clinical toxicity was noted in any of these infants."
Matti Narkia

Coffee, Tea May Stall Diabetes - Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1, and Metabo... - 2 views

    "Dec. 14, 2009 -- Every cup of coffee a person drinks per day may lower the risk of diabetes by 7%.

    A new review of research on the link between lifestyle factors, like coffee and tea consumption, and diabetes risk suggests that drinking regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea all lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    Researchers say the number of people with type 2 diabetes is expected to increase by 65% by 2025, reaching an estimated 380 million people worldwide.

    "Despite considerable research attention, the role of specific dietary and lifestyle factors remains uncertain, although obesity and physical inactivity have consistently been reported to raise the risk of diabetes mellitus," write researcher Rachel Huxley, DPhil, of the George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    They say several studies have suggested that drinking coffee may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and others have shown that decaffeinated coffee and tea may offer similar benefits, but there has not been a recent review of the research on the issue."
Matti Narkia

Green Leafy Veggies, Coloured Fruits Boost Vision - 0 views

    "Carotenoids, found in green leafy vegetables and colored fruits, boost visual performance and may prevent age-related eye diseases, says a new study.

    The study has been published in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

    To reach the conclusion, authors from the University of Georgia compiled the results of multiple studies on the effects of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin on visual performance. These carotenoids play an important role in human vision, including a positive impact on the retina.

    After reviewing the various studies, the authors concluded that macular pigments, such as lutein and zeaxanthin do have an effect on visual performance. Lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce disability and discomfort from glare, enhance contrast, and reduce photostress recovery times. They can also reduce glare from light absorption and increase the visual range. "
Matti Narkia

Fat Hormone May Protect Against Alzheimer's - 0 views

    "High blood levels of leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, may guard against Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.

    "Hopefully, in 10 or 15 years this may be one of many agents that we use to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease," said senior study author Dr. Sudha Seshadri, an associate professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. "Or it may be one of many markers that we measure in combination to predict risk."

    But many more studies of different population groups are needed to determine whether leptin can play such a pivotal role in predicting the risk of Alzheimer's, Seshadri said.

    The research, which was reported in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, was done because "there has been some data relating body weight to the risk of Alzheimer's disease," Seshadri said. "When we looked at animal studies, we found some data to indicate that leptin not only produces a feeling of satiety but also has a beneficial effect on the hippocampus. It was important to see if that was true in humans."

    The hippocampus is a portion of the brain that plays a role in important aspects of memory."
Matti Narkia

Milk Thistle May Limit Liver Damage From Chemo - ABC News - 0 views

    "NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - An herb used since ancient times to treat liver ailments may help reduce the liver damage caused by some cancer drugs, a study published Monday suggests.

    In a study of 50 children undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), researchers found that an herb called milk thistle appeared to reduce treatment-related liver inflammation.

    The study, published online in the journal Cancer, is the first clinical trial to test the herb in children undergoing chemotherapy, and the investigators caution that more research is still needed.

    However, the findings are "promising" -- particularly since there is currently no way to help protect the liver from chemotherapy-induced damage, said senior researcher Dr. Kara M. Kelly, a pediatric oncologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York."
Matti Narkia

Coffee May Reduce Risk of Deadly Prostate Cancer (Update1) - - 0 views

    "Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Drinking coffee may lower the risk of developing the deadliest form of prostate cancer, according to a Harvard Medical School study.

    In research involving 50,000 men over 20 years, scientists led by Kathryn Wilson at Harvard's Channing Laboratory found that the 5 percent of men who drank 6 or more cups a day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the advanced form of the disease than those who didn't consume any. The risk was about 20 percent lower for the men who drank 1 to 3 cups a day, and 25 percent lower for those consuming 4 or 5 cups.

    The study is the first to associate coffee with prostate cancer, contradicting previous research that's found no link. The difference may be because Wilson and colleagues looked for the first time at the link between coffee and different stages of the disease, instead of grouping them all together. More research is needed to confirm the findings, she said. "
Matti Narkia

Cox-2 inhibitor celecoxib might blunt effects of baby aspirin - - 0 views

    "Ann Arbor, MI - New laboratory research suggests that the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex, Pfizer), might impede the action of "baby" aspirin [1]. Dr Gilad Rimon (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and colleagues found evidence that this was the case in a dog model and say that "it will be important to determine" whether the same is true in humans.

    The report was published online December 1, 2009 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Medicine.

    Celecoxib is the only COX-2 inhibitor to have remained on the market in the US, and doctors who recommend this painkiller often coprescribe a daily low dose of 81 mg of aspirin (known as a "baby" dose) to counteract any possible prothrombotic effects of the coxib, while minimizing potential gastrointestinal toxicity of the aspirin.

    Senior author of the new work, Dr William L Smith (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), explained to heartwire that previous studies in humans have shown that celecoxib does not interfere with the effect of a standard dose of aspirin (325 mg), but any potential interaction of celecoxib with the lower dose has not been examined.

    Stagger dosing to avoid any potential problems

    First, Smith explained that he and his colleagues looked in vitro at celecoxib and found that it binds to one of two available sites on the COX-1 enzyme. "This surprised us," he commented. "It appears to interfere with the ability of some other drugs to affect COX-1, most notably aspirin."

    Second, in beagles, they administered the dog-equivalent of a baby dose of aspirin in humans and then gave some of the animals the equivalent of 100 mg of celecoxib twice daily in addition. "Celecoxib plus aspirin interfered with the normal effect of low-dose aspirin on platelets," he notes.

    Smith says this observation obviously requires confirmation in humans, but in the meantime he suggests "getting around the problem" by patients taking the low-dose aspirin at least 15 to 30 minutes before the celecoxib is taken, "because
Matti Narkia

Largest-ever meta-analysis finds CRP is unlikely to be causal for CVD - - 0 views

    "Largest-ever meta-analysis finds CRP is unlikely to be causal for CVD
    December 21, 2009 | Lisa Nainggolan

    Cambridge, UK - In the largest and most comprehensive meta-analysis to date looking at C-reactive-protein (CRP) levels and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, British researchers conclude that CRP is unlikely to be a causal factor for cardiovascular disease [1].

    Although CRP concentration was linearly associated with CHD, stroke, and vascular mortality, as well as nonvascular mortality, statistical adjustment for conventional cardiovascular risk factors "resulted in considerable weakening of associations," note the scientists of the Cambridge-based Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (ERFC), who report their findings online December 21, 2009 in the Lancet.

    In an editorial accompanying the paper [2], Drs S Matthijs Boekholdt and John JP Kastelein (Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) say the UK authors "are to be commended for this impressive data set." Although the findings "add weight to the evidence of noncausality" for a role of CRP in the development of cardiovascular disease, "the debate can be resolved only by randomized trials with agents that specifically target CRP, and such compounds are currently under development," say the Dutch doctors.

    Commenting on the new meta-analysis for heartwire, Dr Paul Ridker (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA), a long-time advocate of CRP and the lead investigator of the JUPITER trial, said: "Whether or not CRP is 'causal' for heart disease is neither the crucial issue at hand nor relevant for public health. What is crucial is getting international agreement that CRP identifies higher-risk individuals who would not otherwise qualify for a life-saving therapy, and then showing that such individuals clearly benefit from treatment. The new meta-analysis demonstrates the former, and JUPITER demonstrates the latter." "
Matti Narkia

Quality of HDL differs in diabetics but improves with niacin therapy - - 1 views

    "Quality of HDL differs in diabetics but improves with niacin therapy
    December 22, 2009 | Michael O'Riordan

    Hannover, Germany - A small study published this week hints that the effects of HDL cholesterol differ in healthy patients from those with diabetes mellitus [1]. HDL cholesterol in individuals with diabetes has impaired endothelial protective functions compared with the HDL from healthy subjects, although treatment with extended-release niacin can improve these endothelial protective effects, according to researchers.

    Publishing their findings online December 21, 2009 in Circulation, lead investigator Dr Sajoscha Sorrentino (Hannover Medical School, Germany) and colleagues write that because recent HDL-raising intervention studies have yielded mixed results, "circulating HDL-cholesterol levels alone likely do not represent an adequate measure of therapeutic efficacy, and indexes of HDL functionality are urgently needed for assessment of the potential of HDL-targeted therapies to exert vasoprotective effects."

    Speaking with heartwire, senior investigator Dr Ulf Landmesser (University of Zürich, Switzerland), said the results have implications for clinical research.

    "We have to understand that we can't look only at the HDL levels in the plasma, but we need to look at the quality," he said. "The quality of the HDL is not the same in different patients. This is very important for targeting HDL as a treatment. Second, niacin therapy is a promising way not only to raise HDL but also to improve the quality; it is a good treatment option, especially if the larger outcomes data are positive.""
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