People that experienced a greater diversity in day-to-day positive emotions also had lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation.
The study included 175 participants who recorded their daily emotional experiences using a tablet. Six months later, blood samples were taken and tested for markers of inflammation (i.e., IL-6, CRP, fibrinogen). Those people with a greater diversity of positive emotions had the lowest levels of biomarkers of inflammation.
Surprisingly, those individuals that experienced negative emotions did not have higher levels of inflammation. The data were corrected for other lifestyle characteristics including body mass index, personality, medication use and medical conditions.
We know from the "placebo effect" that just having a positive attitude about a situation or circumstance can increase the production of both dopamine and serotonin which also have positive effects on the immune system. Keeping a positive attitude really is good for your health.
First direct evidence found that the immune system attacks the brain in Parkinson's disease. The aggregation of a protein called alpha-synuclein is thought to play a role in the death of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease.
In a new study, T-cells from patients with Parkinson's mounted an immune response against a protein alpha-synuclein whereas immune cells from people without Parkinson's did not. It is thought that the immune system tries to get rid of the toxic alpha-synuclein aggregates in neurons but ends up killing those neurons instead.
The researchers also think that T-cells may first identify alpha-synuclein in the nervous system of gut then enter the brain where they begin attacking dopaminergic neurons.
These findings raise the possibility for an immunotherapy-based treatment.
People that were given an insulin nose spray had improved insulin sensitivity in the body and experienced greater satiation.
The study included lean, overweight and obese people that were administered insulin or placebo intranasally. This allows the insulin to cross the blood-brain barrier. Insulin in the brain improved the functional connectivity between the hippocampus which suppressed the feeling of hunger and improved insulin sensitivity in the body.
This very interesting study shows that insulin in the brain may have an important role for satiety and insulin sensitivity in the body.
Extra-virgin olive oil protects nerve cell structure and function, improves learning and memory, and reduces the amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain in mice genetically engineered to get Alzheimer's disease.
The polyphenols in olive oil activate autophagy, which leads to the clearance of plaques and tangles in the brain.
Last week, I interviewed an expert on autophagy and we discussed how one of the most important functions of it is to clear away protein aggregates. We also discussed some of the mechanisms by which various polyphenols (such as those found in olive oil) can induce autophagy through an epigenetic mechanism. Stay tuned for that podcast (post-production edits are being made to the video now!)
Glycemic responses to bread may depend more on the composition of the gut microbiome than the composition of bread (white vs. whole wheat).
A small trial including 20 people were given either sourdough whole-grain bread or refined white bread to eat for one week. After a two-week break, each participant switched bread types for another week.
The study found very surprising results. Consuming either bread type improved cholesterol levels and improved markers of inflammation. The glycemic response was also dependent on the person's gut microbiome composition and not bread type. This was surprising considering that fiber slows digestion and normally lowers the glycemic response. The bacterial strains that affected the glycemic response were Coprobacter fastidiosus and Lachnospiraceae bacterium, the latter of which has previously been associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.
More research needs to be done before any definitive conclusions can be made but this study just highlights the potential importance of the gut microbiome in the glycemic response to food.
Here is a quick video of me talking about a daily dose of sprouts. These sprouts are exactly 3 days old starting if you start counting from the point they began their soak. On the 2nd night, shortly after the last rinse, the jar is put into the refrigerator… but only after they have dripped enough water out to prevent any possible pooling. We put aluminum foil over the top so that they don’t dry out in the fridge. By using a lot of seeds (9 tbsp in this case!) we ensure we have enough sprouts to make up for the fact that we harvest them while they are a bit younger. Sprouts should never stink while growing and these smell clean and fresh and will remain so while they are used up over the next few days. The jar will be sterilized with hot water from a tea kettle in the sink before re-use.
People who engaged in just 1 hour of resistance training per week had a 30% lower risk of metabolic syndrome. Doing both resistance and aerobic exercises provided the greatest benefits as the best exercise modality for the prevention of metabolic syndrome.
This large cohort study found that resistance exercise, independent of aerobic exercise, significantly decreases the risk of development of metabolic syndrome compared with no resistance exercise in a middle-aged relatively healthy population. The data was adjusted for other factors including aerobic exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, BMI, hypertension, diabetes, and abnormal electrocardiographic findings.
Type 2 diabetics given broccoli sprout extract containing 150 μmol sulforaphane for 12 weeks lowered blood glucose levels by 10% compared to placebo.
Broccoli sprout extract reduced HbA1c by 7.04% in obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes. It has been demonstrated that a 1% decrease of HbA1c corresponds to 37% reduced risk of microvascular complications.
Sulforaphane reduces glucose by suppressing liver enzymes that otherwise stimulate the production of glucose.
In animals, sulforaphane also attenuated exaggerated glucose production and glucose intolerance by a magnitude similar to that of metformin.
For much more detailed information on sulforaphane...I have put together a comprehensive video on sulforaphane and broccoli sprouts and well as interviewed one of the world's leading experts doing sulforaphane research, Dr. Jed Fahey (an author on this study).
Interview with expert Dr. Jed Fahey:
New podcast! This one features a conversation I had when I was in Finland with one of the world's foremost researchers of the sauna Dr. Jari Laukkanen. Jari holds a PH.D. and an M.D. What makes this conversation very interesting is that Jari not only comes to it as an actual researcher of sauna use but also as a cardiologist.
Dr. Laukkanen's lab actually makes the single most convincing case that sauna use has real benefits in humans. It is his research that has shown that long-term sauna use appears to reduce heart-related mortality, but even more surprisingly, also may have a strong effect on what is known as all-cause mortality, which literally means death from all causes.
Since this conversation was recorded, Dr. Laukkanen's lab released yet another publication which showed really strong associations with a reduction of risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease by 66% and 65% respectively at 20-year follow-up, which further strengthens the case that sauna therapy, more than being relaxing, may be a great tool for even improving healthspan.
In both the studies showing reduced memory illness and reduced all-cause mortality the effect follows a dose-response relationship with the group showing the strongest reductions in risk by frequenting a sauna at least 4 times per week for at least 20 minutes at 174 degrees Fahrenheit, or 79 degrees Celsius.
This podcast will also be available on iTunes and Stitcher shortly!
Just a single bout of aerobic exercise improves executive function, enhances mood, and decreases stress levels. It also activates widespread brain areas and brain systems.
A new review of multiple studies primarily focused on aerobic exercise but also included some studies that utilize resistance exercise. A major factor that has been shown to influence the cognitive effects of acute exercise in people is exercise intensity. The higher the intensity the better the effect.
Randomized, controlled trial finds that high dose vitamin D supplementation (4,000 IU/day) for 18 weeks improves visual memory in healthy adults but low-dose vitamin D (400 IU/day) does not.
Serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D levels increased significantly more in the high dose group (from 27 ng/ml to 52 ng/ml) than the low dose group (24 ng/ml to 34 ng/ml). What is interesting is that even though 34 ng/ml is considered sufficient, it still was not enough to improve visual memory.
It has been suggested that visual memory tasks place greater demands on cognitive processing, organization, planning, and overall executive functioning than do verbal memory tasks, and require more fluid cognitive processes.
Consuming more than one low-fat but not high-fat dairy product per day was associated with a 35-40% increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease compared to those that had less than one serving of low-fat dairy.
The overall risk of developing Parkinson's disease was still quite low. Out of the 5,830 trial participants that consumed low-fat dairy only 1% of developed Parkinson's. The 77,864 people who consumed less than one serving of low-fat dairy per day only 0.6% developed Parkinson's disease.
While this is an interesting observation (particularly since the finding was limited to low-fat dairy and not high fat), there is still much more to explore. Since this was not a controlled trial and the study did not control for other confounding factors (since it was looking at baseline characteristics) it is possible that other things associated with low-fat dairy consumption may increase Parkinson's risk. For example, people that eat low-fat dairy products also may be more likely to consume other low-fat products, many which historically have had transfats in them. More research needs to be done before any conclusions can be made.
Children (aged 6-9 months) that were given one egg per day for 6 months increased growth and reduced stunting by 47% compared to those children not given any eggs.
This study was a randomized, controlled trial in Ecuador and also found those the children given eggs were 74% less likely to be underweight. Interestingly, the children that ate the eggs were less likely to eat refined sugars compared to the children in the control group not given eggs. In fact, the prevalence of reported consumption of sugary foods, such as chocolate, sweets, candies, pastries, cakes, or cookies, was 29% lower when compared with the control group, perhaps due to increased satiety hormones.
Growth stunting is a problem for children in developing countries. This study suggests that eggs may be a viable option to reduce the risk of stunting growth in children.
Very high-intensity exercise 3x per week for 6 weeks improves beta-cell and liver function and decreased fat mass in adults with type 2 diabetes.
The high-intesnsity workouts were led by a CrossFit trainer and were only about 10-20 minutes but the participants hit greater than 85% of their maximum target heart rate.
The combination of curcumin and ursolic acid (from apple peels) shrank prostate tumors in mice by inhibiting the tumor from metabolizing glutamine.
The combination of ursolic acid and resveratrol (from grape skin) also shrank the prostate tumors in mice. Many different tumor types rely on glutamine as a carbon source for energy and as a nitrogen source for building more DNA and proteins (macromolecular synthesis). Additionally, these compounds also activated pathways involved in cell death.
Artificial Intelligent computer was able to predict patients' 5-year lifespan with ~70% accuracy by analyzing chest scans.
The AI research aims to predict medical outcomes rather than focusing on diagnosing diseases, in such a way that doctors are not trained to do, by incorporating large volumes of data and detecting subtle patterns.
A small clinical trial finds that eating later in the day (12 pm to 11 pm) increased weight gain, raised insulin, fasting glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels compared to eating earlier in the day (8 am to 7 pm).
In the small study, each of the nine healthy weight adults underwent each of the two conditions: daytime eating (three meals and two snacks between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.) for eight weeks and delayed eating (the same three meals and two snacks eating from noon to 11 p.m.) for eight weeks after a 2-week washout period.
This is a small trial and needs to be repeated but is in line with another study that showed when healthy adults eat meals that are identical for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the postprandial glucose increase is lowest after breakfast and highest after dinner even though the meals were 100% identical.
For more on meal timing and time-restricted eating...chack out my podcasts with the experts, Dr. Satchin Panda and Dr. Ruth Patterson on youtube and iTunes.
An antioxidant compound that is used in dye and has shown promise in treating Alzheimer's disease has now shown potential in reversing skin aging in human skin.
The compound is called methylene blue and is a very potent antioxidant. It was able to repair damaged skin cells, lower the rate of cell death, increase the rate of cell division, reduce reactive oxygen species, and reduce markers of cellular senescence in skin from both middle-aged donors and elderly.
Methylene blue was also tested on artificial skin, which reacts like regular skin, and found that it retained more water and increased in thickness and did not cause irritation.
The CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing technique which can replace a defective gene with a new version was just shown to cause over a thousand unanticipated mutations to the genome.
Several preclinical trials have shown that CRISPR can correct faulty genes that cause devastating diseases such as muscular dystrophy to blindness. The CRISPR/Cas9 genetic engineering technique has now entered the clinical arena with a few clinical trials in humans in-progress and on the horizon.
The problem is that whole-genome sequencing showed that while CRISPR is effective in correcting a faulty gene of interest, it also introduced up to 1,500 other mutations in other parts of the genome. While CRISPR is still very promising...more work needs to be done to understand why this technique can introduce over a thousand mutations to the genome.
A sedentary lifestyle is associated with a 77% increased risk of kidney cancer and a 73% increased risk of bladder cancer independent of obesity and other health lifestyle factors.
Several biological mechanisms have been proposed to account for an association between physical inactivity and cancer. These include an increase in circulating levels of sex hormones, increased chronic inflammation, impaired insulin sensitivity, impaired immune surveillance and responsiveness, increased adiposity, and a dysregulated adipokine milieu.
While this study found the association between physical inactivity and increased cancer risk to be independent of obesity, many other studies have found that obesity increases cancer risk as well. There are many lifestyle factors that can modulate cancer risk including diet, obesity, exercise, smoking, and excess alcohol consumption.
New clinical trial finds that pregnant women taking 4,400 IU of vitamin D daily during the second and third trimesters improved the immune systems of newborn babies compared to women taking 400 IU daily.
Other studies have shown that better immune function of newborns could help to protect against asthma and respiratory infections, a known risk factor for developing asthma in childhood.
By mimicking movements detected in the brain, a mechanical glove re-trains movement in stroke victims.
The device detects the user's intention to open or close their paralyzed hand, and moves it accordingly. Over time, the brain starts to link the signal to movements in the hand and forms new connections so that the process can happen without the brace.
A one hour walk 3 times per week for 6 months improved executive function and made the brain work more efficiently in patients with vascular dementia.
The randomized controlled trial found that moderate aerobic exercise for 6 months was able to improve behavioral performance and executive function and that this was associated with reduced activity in certain brain regions.
The reduction in brain activity in regions of the brain required for attention and rapid decision-making but they correlated with improvements on the cognitive tests. The less someone’s brain had to work to maintain attention and make quick decisions, the better that person typically performed on the tests of general thinking ability.
The much-requested transcript for my recent Q&A podcast on the Tim Ferriss Show (episode #237) has just been released on Tim's website.
You can also listen to the original episode by downloading it from Tim's iTunes or visiting the original post:
3-D printed bioprosthetic ovaries restored fertility in infertile mice and produced healthy offspring. The mothers also were able to nurse their pups.
The ovaries are constructed of 3-D printed scaffolds that house immature eggs and were successful in boosting hormone production and restoring fertility.
This research is targeted to try and help women whose cancer treatments impaired their fertility and hormone production.
Air pollution was associated with shorter telomeres in children and adolescents in a dose-dependent manner.
The small study found that the more concentrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (which are from car exhaust) were in the air, the shorter telomeres were in children and adolescents.
Telomeres get shorter with each year during the aging process but also with increased DNA damage which can be caused by a variety of factors including compounds in air pollution.
This was a correlative study so causation can not be established. However, a strength of this study is that the telomere shortening was more aggressive with increasing concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the air. Demonstrating that an effect occurs in a dose-dependent manner strengthens any correlation.
Gut bacteria linked to the formation of brain blood vessel lesions which can cause strokes and seizures.
A study in mice showed that removing gram-negative bacteria in the gut decreased the number of brain lesions in mice that were genetically susceptible to them. These type of bacteria release endotoxin (also called LPS) and this stimulates a very strong immune response leading to uncontrolled inflammation. When mice were injected with LPS alone this caused an increase in the brain lesions.
This is further evidence that gut bacteria can affect brain integrity through inflammatory-mediated processes. The lead researchers in this study plan on looking at the gut microbiome in patients that are susceptible to these kinds of strokes and seizures.
People with stage 3 colon cancer who consumed two ounces or more of tree nuts per week had a 42% lower chance of cancer recurrence and 57% lower chance of death than those who did not eat tree nuts.
The study did not find any lower risk of cancer recurrence for those who ate peanuts which are a legume and not a tree nut. Nuts are great sources of many micronutrients and both fermentable fiber (which feeds the gut microbiome) and non-fermentable fiber.
The benefit of eating nuts was consistent after adjusting the data for other factors that can influence cancer recurrence, including patient age, body mass index, gender, and genomic changes in the tumor. This study was not a clinical trial so it does not prove causation but it is an interesting finding that provides a framework for future studies.
Omega-3 fatty acid levels in plasma phospholipids linked to improved fluid intelligence and increased gray matter volume in older adults.
As with any correlation study, this link does not prove causation. However, correlation studies fit into a larger body of evidence so it is important to never look at one study in isolation. Other clinical trials have shown that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids increases gray matter volume in healthy, older adults and improves cognitive function.
Other study links: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23796946?dopt=Abstract
30% of infants gut bacteria may come from the mother’s breast milk and another 10% has been traced to the skin around the mother’s nipple.
There is a specific type of prebiotic found exclusively in breastmilk called human milk oligosaccharides that have been shown to set up the early infant microbiome. The bacteria around the skin of the nipple also appears to be important for seeding the infant microbiome. While this study did not examine health consequences of breastfeeding, other studies have found that it is important for immune system development and may protect against obesity.
To learn more about the role of breastfeeding in setting up the infant microbiome and more generally about how to have a healthy microbiome during adulthood listen to (or watch) my podcast (video/audio) with microbiome experts Drs. Justin and Erica Sonnenburg.
Students that gained weight and fat mass over the course of a year had 15-fold higher levels of erythritol in their blood compared to those that did not gain weight or lost weight.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol and is used as a sugar substitute low-calorie sweetener. This study also found that it was metabolized through a metabolic pathway (pentose phosphate pathway) important for the production of NADPH which is used to produce fatty acids and subsequent triglycerides, The energy can then be efficiently stored in the form of fat.
Edit: Here is another link to the paper since the link did not work for some people.
High levels of exercise linked to nine years of less cellular aging by slowing telomere shortening. Telomeres are tiny caps on the ends of chromosomes that protect our DNA from damage. They get shorter every year and are a biological marker for aging. Exercise is one of the most robust ways to slow telomere attrition and someone that is very physically active may have a biological age that is even 10 years younger than their chronological age.
In this study, a high level of exercise was defined as 30 minutes of jogging per day for 5 days a week for women and 40 minutes per day for men. Get out there and sweat!
Taking common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for only a week may increase heart attack risk by as much as 50% compared to those that do not take them.
Multiple studies have now linked chronic use of these painkillers with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. They mechanisms appear to be mediated through the inhibition of an enzyme known as Cox 2. There have been a couple of mechanisms investigated in animal studies. First, NSAIDs have been shown to inhibit the production of a molecule called prostacyclin that relaxes blood vessels and "unglues" platelets. Second, they have been shown to inhibit the production of nitric oxide (which cox 2 also regulates to some degree).
Other studies have shown that people taking 2 grams of phytosomal curcumin (called Meriva) had pain reduction equivalent to 800 mg of ibuprofen.
I have talked about NSAIDs and heart attack risk as well as phytosomal curcumin on JRE#773 and recently on the Tim Ferriss Show #237.
Almost one-third of drugs cleared by the FDA have safety risks that are identified only after their approval. Safety risks are defined as those that lead to withdrawal from the market due to safety concerns, a boxed warning, or FDA issuance of a safety communication. The median time for an FDA action to pose new safety risks or withdraw a drug after the drug already hit the market was 4.2 years after approval.
The problem is that many clinical trials used for FDA approval involve fewer than 1,000 participants with follow-up of 6 months or less! Long-term side effects often crop up years later after drugs have been used by much larger numbers of people. Another part of the problem is that clinical trials often cherry-pick participants likely to produce the best results, which is not representative of the entire population.
One out of three drugs posing safety concerns after they have been deemed safe is alarming. It seems as though the process of approving drugs needs to be revised including more comprehensive clinical trials with a longer follow-up and more participants.
Runners have 30-45% lower risk of "dying early" compared to non-runners. Every hour people spent running added 7 hours to a person's lifespan.
This study was a review of other large studies and found that runners live on average 3 years longer than non-runners. The data was adjusted for lifestyle factors including CVD, smoking, overweight/obesity, heart health, diabetes, high cholesterol and more.
The greatest benefit, a 43% lower risk of death, was found from in runners who also engaged in other forms of physical activity.
The increased longevity among runners is similar to that observed in other, more broadly categorized types of physical activity.
Low dose THC from cannabis reverses the aging process in the brain. 12-and 18-month old mice that were given a low dose of THC daily for 4 weeks performed as well as 2-month old control mice on learning and memory tests. The THC treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals.
The mechanism is still unclear. Other studies have found that THC helps clear away amyloid beta plaques from the brain. Additionally, cannabinoids bind to specific receptors called cannabinoid receptors in neurons as well as on immune cells. It is possible that there are multiple mechanisms at play.
Tim Ferriss's newest podcast episode features none other than… me! In this “round 2” episode of Tim’s podcast, I answer questions from guests. This may be some of the most comprehensive coverage I’ve ever done on my general thoughts on lifestyle, health, diet, fasting and time-restricted eating, nootropics, sauna and cold stress, and so much more. It is over 2-hours and 45-minutes long!
HUGE thanks to Tim Ferriss for giving me the generous opportunity to come back on and to all of his fans for sending in some really great questions.
If you’re curious what the episode is about, Tim has put together really impeccable show notes on his blog at http://tim.blog. They’re beyond good, so make sure to check that out.
#podcast #nootropics #fasting #diet #sauna #hormesis #supplements #sulforaphane #probiotics #aging #longevity #metformin #alcohol #nutrigenomics #cancer #microbiome
Gut link to Parkinson's disease? Removing sections of the nerve that connects the gut to the brain (vagus nerve) lowering the risk of Parkinson's disease by 40%.
Another study showed that injecting clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein into mice’s stomachs and intestines. Days later the mice had aggregates of alpha-synuclein in their intestines that had spread via the vagus nerve to the brain. Months later their brains had many alpha-synuclein aggregates in their brains that negatively affected their motor function.
Additionally, gut bacteria have been shown to be significantly different between healthy people and individuals with Parkinson's disease.
In a preclinical study in mice and human cells, selectively removing old or senescent cells from joints could stop and even reverse the progression of osteoarthritis.
Learn all about not only how clearing away senescent cells can improve osteoarthritis but how it can extend healthspan up to 25% from one of the authors of this study on my new podcast! She also talks about different strategies of removing senescent cells such as fasting.
You can find the podcast on YouTube and iTunes/Stitcher. The video has helpful annotations that help define and explain complex terms and also shows references to studies discussed!
A new meta-analysis found no link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease but did find that a Mediterranean diet (41% fat) supplemented with at least 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or a handful of nuts lowered the risk of cardiovascular events by 30% compared to a low-fat (37% fat) diet.
A Mediterranean diet consists of extra virgin olive oil, vegetables, oily fish, and nuts which contain polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids which are known to attenuate inflammation and thought to prevent coronary thrombosis.
New podcast! Dr. Judy Campisi talks about the role of cellular senescence in the aging process and cancer, what causes senescence, and how viable lifestyle interventions (ie. fasting) and certain compounds (ie. rapamycin) that can clear senescent cells may be plausible life extension strategies.
Cellular senescence is so important when we discuss aging and cancer because as our cells accumulate damage, which naturally happens as we age (even as a consequence of the energy generating processes and immune cell activation), there's only so many outcomes that we can expect. The first possibility is that the cells can die. The next is that they can become senescent where they stop dividing but stay alive all-the-while secreting molecules that influence surrounding tissue… or the worst of all possible outcomes, the cells can really go off the rails and become malignant.
What's interesting is that, while accumulating senescent cells is inevitable, there are varying strategies of how to tackle senescence and this is of great interest to the field of aging. There are ways to clear out senescent cells with drugs or even dietary and lifestyle interventions.
Not only are there ways to kill senescent cells, there are also ways to influence what sort of molecules they produce, possibly limiting the inflammatory ones… even without killing them.
Finally, of course, we can also try to prevent them, which poses the question of what causes them in the first place. As we'll learn from Judy, there's more than one so-called phenotype exhibited by senescent cells and they arrive at these different cellular phenotypes as a consequence of different types of cellular stress or dysfunction.
Judy is a professor of biogerentology at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and a co-editor in chief of the AGING Journal.
Having read many of her publications and listened to her speak publicly, what excites me about her work is that she is exploring some of the central features of aging, especially when it comes to the role of cellular senescence in the aging process and development of cancer.
You can also find this episode on iTunes (where it should be showing up shortly) under the podcast name "foundmyfitness."
#senescence #aging #mitochondria #cancer #longevity
Premature lambs were kept alive and appeared to develop normally for weeks using an artificial womb that looks like a plastic bag.
The artificial womb contains a mixture of warm water and added salts, similar to an amniotic fluid with a machine hooked to the umbilical cord to deliver oxygen. After 28 days, when their lungs had matured enough, the lambs were released so they could start breathing air.
This system is designed to closely mimic the womb in order to help very premature newborns develop their lungs and other organs since ventilators can damage lung development.
Spermidine, a compound very high in fermented soybeans called natto, prevented liver cancer and extended lifespan by 25% in mice. Spermidine is also pretty high in fermented cheeses and mushrooms.
Spermidine causes damaged cells to be cleared through a process known as autophagy which has itself been shown to extend healthspan of animals.
In this study, mice had to be fed spermidine from weaning in order to get the 25% lifespan extension. Those mice that were fed spermidine starting in early adulthood only had a 10% increase in lifespan.
Drinking beetroot juice prior to exercise makes brains of older adults perform more efficiently and similar to a younger brain. Beets are high in nitrate which gets converted into nitric oxide and is thought to increase blood flow to the brain.
The study included people over the age of 55 with high blood pressure that took a beetroot juice containing 560 mg of nitrate or placebo three times a week for six weeks.
Learning and memory problems were reversed in aged mice after infusion with a protein found in human umbilical cord blood.
Human umbilical cord blood has high levels of a protein called TIMP2 whereas old people do not have high levels of it. When this protein was injected into old mice, it increased the activity of a group of genes that improved neuronal activity within the hippocampus and made it more able to adapt to new information.
Only future clinical studies will illuminate whether this new research will have any relevance to aging humans.
People that drank two or more sugary beverages of any kind per day were more likely to have poorer memory, smaller overall brain volume, and a significantly smaller hippocampus. Researchers also found that higher intake of diet soda, at least one per day, was associated with smaller brain volume.
In a second study, researchers looked at whether participants had suffered a stroke or been diagnosed with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. Interestingly, there was no association between sugary beverage intake and stroke or dementia. But people who drank at least one diet soda per day were nearly 3 times as likely to develop stroke and dementia.
While none of this data proves causation, there is a growing body of research showing that excess refined sugar does increase inflammation which crosses the blood-brain barrier and acceleration brain aging. Regarding the diet soda, there have been studies linking artificial sweeteners to disruption of the gut microbiome which also causes inflammation which may lead to brain aging.
A new study found that people that biked around 30 miles per week because they rode a bike to work had a 41% lower risk of dying from any cause, a 45% lower incidence of cancer and 46% lower heart disease risk over a 5-year period.
Walking more than 6 miles per week was also associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
This study shows an association and does not prove causation. However, the study did adjust for a wide range of health, demographic, and behavioral factors and still found the significant association between cycling and lower risk of death.
Disruption of the gut microbiome and gut barrier may be the primary cause of age-related inflammation which accelerates the aging process.
This study showed that older mice have imbalances in the bacterial composition in the gut which then leads to the breakdown of the gut barrier and the release of bacterial products that trigger inflammation and impair immune function.
We know that inflammation has recently been identified as the key driver of aging in 4 different age groups including elderly, centenarians, semi-supercentenarians, and supercentenarians. We also know that lack of fermentable fiber starves the gut microbiome and causes the bacteria to eat the gut barrier which is made of carbohydrates and this results in the breakdown of the barrier and inflammation.
For more information on why fermentable fiber is so important for the gut microbiome and what good sources are...listen to my podcast with gut experts, Drs. Justin and Erica Sonnenburg.
Komodo dragon blood contains a compound called DRGN-1 that contains antimicrobial activity against drug-resistant bacteria such as MRSA and promotes wound healing by promoting the migration of skin cells to close the wound.
So far, these studies have only been done in mice but DRGN-1 is a potential candidate for clinical studies in humans.
Timing medications to the body’s internal clock could improve their effectiveness and reduce side effects.
Just one example...patients with ovarian, endometrial, or metastatic bladder cancer who received treatment with one drug at 6:00 a.m. and another drug 12 hours later experienced less toxicity and greater tumor response and survival than those who received the drugs in the reverse sequence.
We know that circadian rhythm regulates metabolism, hormone production, neurotransmitter production and more. This article covers another area that circadian rhythm also regulates: drug metabolism. Interesting read!