New research suggests that oleocanthal found in olive oil may possess the ability to help the body rid itself of amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s Disease (the brain-degenerative disease). Amyloid plaques are thought to build up over time and cause irrevocable damage. A research team from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, led by Amal Kaddoumi, gave groups of mice oleocanthal from olive oil and found a consistent pattern of producing two proteins and key enzymes that are believed to be critical in the removal amyloid plaques, thereby preventing Alzheimer’s from occurring in the first place.
The team stated: “We provide in vitro and in vivo evidence for the potential of oleocanthal to enhance beta-amyloid clearance from the brain via up-regulation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and LDL lipoprotein receptor related protein-1 (LRP1), major beta-amyloid transport proteins, at the blood-brain barrier.”
While traditionally noted for its high concentration of healthful monounsaturated fats, this research suggests that oleocanthal may be the actual protective agent. Researchers noted the results with certainty: “Our results demonstrated significant increase in beta-amyloid degradation as a result of the up-regulation of AB degrading enzymes following oleocanthal treatment,” they said.
Abuznait, et al. (2013). Olive-Oil Derived Oleocanthal Enhances B-Amyloid Clearance as a Potential Neuroprotective Mechanism Against Alzheimer’s Disease. Chemical Neuroscience.
- From: Epidemiology and Prevention.
- Title: Long-Term Effects of Changes on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Body Mass Index on All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men
- Author: Duck-chul Lee
- The Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study
Background—The combined associations of changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index (BMI) with mortality remain controversial and uncertain.
Methods and Results—We examined the independent and combined associations of changes in fitness and BMI with all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in 14 345 men (mean age 44 years) with at least 2 medical examinations. Fitness, in metabolic equivalents (METs), was estimated from a maximal treadmill test. BMI was calculated using measured weight and height. Changes in fitness and BMI between the baseline and last examinations over 6.3 years were classified into loss, stable, or gain groups. During 11.4 years of follow-up after the last examination, 914 all-cause and 300 CVD deaths occurred. The hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of all-cause and CVD mortality were 0.70 (0.59–0.83) and 0.73 (0.54–0.98) for stable fitness, and 0.61 (0.51–0.73) and 0.58 (0.42–0.80) for fitness gain, respectively, compared with fitness loss in multivariable analyses including BMI change. Every 1-MET improvement was associated with 15% and 19% lower risk of all-cause and CVD mortality, respectively. BMI change was not associated with all-cause or CVD mortality after adjusting for possible confounders and fitness change. In the combined analyses, men who lost fitness had higher all-cause and CVD mortality risks regardless of BMI change.
Conclusions—Maintaining or improving fitness is associated with a lower risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in men. Preventing age-associated fitness loss is important for longevity regardless of BMI change.
dr. Tucker’s thoughts: I think it is important to keep your weight at a healthy level, this study found that weight loss (defined as lowering a person’s body-mass index) was not associated with a reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality (dying from anything) or cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.
What the researchers did find is that those men who keep their fitness level stable significantly reduced their risk of all-cause and CVD death. Men who were able to increase their fitness level as they got older saw even greater reductions in their risk of death.
I say stay physically fit doing regular exercise, including cardio, flexibility, balance and resistance training. Eat well and stay within a healthy body composition range and you will have even more benefits.
Journal PLoS One provides evidence that vitamin C, when ingested orally, can prevent bone loss (osteoporosis) and stimulate the formation of new bone (in mice).
The medical world has known for some time that low amounts of vitamin C can cause scurvy and brittle bones, and that higher vitamin C intake is associated with higher bone mass in humans.
Large doses of vitamin C, when ingested orally by mice, actively stimulate bone formation to protect the skeleton. It does this by inducing osteoblasts, or premature bone cells, to differentiate into mature, mineralizing specialty cells.
This data provides compelling evidence for a therapeutic potential for vitamin C. Mice with ovariectomies were divided into two groups, one of which was given large doses of vitamin C over eight weeks. The team then measured the bone mineral density in the lumbar spine, femur and tibia bones. The lead researcher Zaidi revealed that mice who received an ovariectomy without vitamin C had a much lower bone mineral density than those that received a “sham” operation. Mice with no ovaries but given large doses of vitamin C had roughly the same bone mineral density as the controls, suggesting vitamin C prevented bone density losses in this group.
Could simple inexpensive dietary supplements versus expensive drugs help prevent osteoporosis? I think so! I also like to use Ostera from Metagenics.
Omega-3 fatty acids may improve the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and slow a key biological process linked to aging. Data published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity indicated that four months of supplementation with omega-3s was associated with longer telomeres in immune system cells. Telomeres are DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate and age.
The aging and lifespan of normal, healthy cells are linked to the so-called telomere shortening mechanism, which limits cells to a fixed number of divisions. During cell replication, the telomeres function by ensuring the cell’s chromosomes do not fuse with each other or rearrange. Most researchers liken telomeres to the ends of shoelaces, without which the lace would unravel. With each replication the telomeres shorten, and when the telomeres are totally consumed, the cells are destroyed.
Some experts have noted that telomere length may be a marker of biological aging.
This information suggests the possibility that omega 3 supplements might actually make a difference in aging.
A previous observational study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010 (Vol. 303, Pages 250-257) showed high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids may slow cellular aging in people with coronary heart disease.
Professor Kiecolt-Glaser and co-workers recruited 106 healthy, sedentary, overweight, middle-aged and older adults to participate in their double-blind four-month trial. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: The first group received 2.5 grams per day of omega-3, the second group received 1.25 grams per day of omega-3 and the third group received placebo capsules.
After four months of supplementation, results showed that omega-3 supplementation significantly decreased measures of oxidative stress, with F2-isoprostane levels found to be 15% lower in the two supplemented groups compared to placebo.
There were no significant differences in telomerase and telomere length between the groups. However, a decreased ratio of omega-6:omega-3 was associated with longer telomeres, which suggested that lower omega-6:omega-3 ratios “can impact cell aging,” the researchers said.
Inflammatory markers also decreased by between 10% and 12% as a result of omega-3 supplementation, while levels increased by 36% in the placebo group.
“This finding strongly suggests that inflammation is what’s driving the changes in the telomeres,” said Kiecolt-Glaser.
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity; Published online ahead of print.
I don’t worry as much about people’s cholesterol level, I worry about their overall risk of heart disease. Too many practitioners are fixed on just LDL cholesterol and this leads to the overuse of statin drugs.
There are two common treatment approaches:
1) “Treat-to-target”–an approach that uses statins to force LDL cholesterol to less than 70 for high-risk patients and no higher than 130 for people not at risk
2) “Tailored treatment”–an approach that gives far less importance to LDL level, while weighing multiple risk factors to develop a variety of treatments including exercise, diet modification, etc.
Tailored treatment will prevent more coronary artery disease events while treating fewer people with high-dose statins.
Years ago, the Framingham Heart Study showed that total cholesterol levels below 160 caused heart disease problems to RISE! So it’s been well known for decades that low lower lowest is not good better best.
There is research on subjects in their 70′s that found elevated levels of total cholesterol were linked with REDUCED dementia risk in their later 70s. And elevated cholesterol throughout their 70s was associated with reduced dementia risk throughout their 80s.
Let’s talk about natural alternatives to the high cholesterol issue and reducing the risk of dementia as we age.
Posted by DrTucker in Arthritis, Blog, Female issues, Healthy Aging, Heart Health, Inflammation, Nutrition on 11 15th, 2012 | no responses
Daily supplements of curcumin may benefit cardiovascular health to the same extent as exercise for postmenopausal women (data from a clinical trial conducted in Japan and published in the journal Nutrition Research Nov 2012).
Vascular health, as measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), improved equally in groups of women receiving the curcumin supplements and those receiving aerobic exercise training.
Another study, published recently in the British Journal of Nutrition indicated that decreased FMD is reported to be a predictor of future adverse cardiovascular events, with every one percent decrease in FMD associated with a 12% increase in risk.
I recommend regular ingestion of curcumin to my patients with spinal stenosis, numbness and tingling, spinal degeneration, and now with this report I’ll suggest it as a preventive measure against cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. If a women can’t exercise curcumin is an alternative.
Curcumin has been linked to a range of health benefits, including potential protection against Alzheimer’s and protection against heart failure, diabetes and more.
The new study suggests that endothelial function may also be added to the list of potential benefits from curcumin.
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba recruited 32 post-menopausal women and assigned them to one of three groups: The first group acted as the controls, the second group underwent an aerobic exercise training regimen and the third group received a daily dose of 25 mg of curcumin.
The study lasted for eight weeks, after which the results showed that FMD increased significantly and equally by about 1.5% in both the exercise and curcumin groups, compared with no changes in the control group.
“The mechanism responsible for the curcumin-ingestion-induced improvement in endothelial function is unclear,” the researchers said.
“Curcumin exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), suggesting that its effect on endothelial function may be mediated by the suppression of inflammation and/or oxidative stress via down-regulation of TNF-alpha. However, TNF-alpha levels were not assessed in this study.
1. Elevated waist circumference:
Men – equal to or greater than 40 inches (102 cm)
Women – equal to or greater than 35 inches (88 cm)
2. Elevated triglycerides:
Equal to or greater than 150 mg/dL
3. Reduced HDL (“good”) cholesterol:
Men – less than 40 mg/dL
Women – less than 50 mg/dL
4. Elevated blood pressure:
Equal to or greater than 130/85 mm Hg
5. Elevated fasting glucose:
Equal to or greater than 100 mg/dL
ScienceDaily (July 16, 2012) — The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, of vitamin C is less than half what it should be.
The RDA of vitamin C should be raised to 200 milligrams per day for adults, up from its current levels in the United States of 75 milligrams for women and 90 for men. It’s appropriate to seek optimum levels that will saturate cells and tissues. Vitamin C could help prevent chronic disease — heart disease, stroke, cancer, and the underlying issues that lead to them, such as high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, poor immune response and atherosclerosis.
A 200 milligram intake of vitamin C on a daily basis poses absolutely no risk. Smokers and older adults are at significant risk because they may not be getting this small amount.
Even marginal deficiency can lead to malaise, fatigue, and lethargy, researchers note. Healthier levels of vitamin C can enhance immune function, reduce inflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis, and significantly lower blood pressure.
• A recent analysis of 29 human studies concluded that daily supplements of 500 milligrams of vitamin C significantly reduced blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and directly attributes to an estimated 400,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
• A study in Europe of almost 20,000 men and women found that mortality from cardiovascular disease was 60 percent lower when comparing the blood plasma concentration of vitamin C in the highest 20 percent of people to the lowest 20 percent.
• Another research effort found that men with the lowest serum vitamin C levels had a 62 percent higher risk of cancer-related death after a 12-16 year period, compared to those with the highest vitamin C levels.
Posted by DrTucker in Blog, Female issues, Healthy Aging, Nutrition, Weight loss on 07 12th, 2012 | no responses
Older women with low levels of vitamin D, may be more likely to gain weight, a new study indicates.
Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, OR said their findings are significant since most women aged 65 and older do not have enough vitamin D in their blood.
The researchers followed more than 4,600 women aged 65 and older over the course of nearly five years. The study found the women with low levels of vitamin D gained about two more pounds during that time than those with normal levels of the vitamin.
Low levels of vitamin D were found in 78% of the women. These women generally weighed several pounds more to begin with. In the group of women that did gain weight, those with insufficient vitamin D levels gained 18.5 pounds over five years. In comparison, the women with normal vitamin D levels gained 16.4 pounds during that time frame.
The author said “Nearly 80% of women in our study had insufficient levels of vitamin D”. Older women may need higher doses of vitamin D to keep their bones strong and prevent fractures.
Journal of Women’s Health.
Posted by DrTucker in Blog, Daily Exercises, Fitness & Exercise, Healthy Aging on 04 24th, 2012 | no responses
This single-blinded, randomized study found that older women with mild cognitive impairment displayed improved executive function after twice-weekly resistance training compared to a control group that worked on balance and toning.
Doing aerobic training only showed improved balance and cardiovascular capacity, but no change in memory function.
This was published in the April 23, 2012 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
Exercise continues to be the most promising anti-aging strategy.