STUDY: Elderly can think themselves into the grave, report finds
JOURNAL: the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
AUTHORS: Becca Levy
ABSTRACT: Older people can literally think themselves into the grave by feeling bad about getting old.
COMMENTARY: People who said they had more positive views about aging lived an average 7.6 years longer than those with negative perceptions.
How one feels about getting old is more important even than having low blood pressure or cholesterol.
The effect of more positive self-perceptions of aging on survival is greater than the physiological measures of low systolic blood pressure and cholesterol, each of which is associated with a longer lifespan of four years or less.
It is also greater than the independent contributions of lower body mass index, no history of smoking, and a tendency to exercise, each of these factors has been found to contribute between one and three years of added life.
The study carries two messages. The discouraging one is that negative self-perceptions can diminish life expectancy. The encouraging one is that positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy.
Let's all think positive!!!!!!
STUDY: CoQ10 and Asthma
JOURNAL: Allergy 2002;57:811-814.
AUTHORS: Dr. Frantisek Gazdik
ABSTRACT: Concentrations of coenzyme Q10 are significantly lower among patients with allergic asthma compared with controls, according to the results of a study by researchers from the Slovak Republic.
COMMENTARY: Dr. Frantisek Gazdik from the Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Bratislava, and colleagues measured the levels of the antioxidants coenzyme Q10, alpha-tocopherol, and beta-carotene in 56 men and women with allergic asthma and in 25 healthy controls.
Compared with controls, the mean level of coenzyme Q10 among asthmatics was significantly lower at 0.34 mol/L versus 0.52 mol/L in plasma and 0.33 mol/L versus 0.50 mol/L in whole blood (p < 0.001), the researchers found.
The levels of alpha-tocopherol were also significantly decreased in asthmatics compared with controls, but there were no differences in levels of beta-carotene.
Dr. Gazdik's team notes that there was a positive correlation between whole blood coenzyme Q10 and alpha-tocopherol concentrations, and conclude that "the contribution of coenzyme Q10 to antioxidative dysbalance seems to be probable and could not be excluded."
The researchers say that the finding provides a rationale for coenzyme Q10 supplementation in this population.
JOURNAL: Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2003; 23:1066-1071.
AUTHORS: Dr. Helena J. Teede
ABSTRACT: Australian researchers have discovered one reason why isoflavone-rich diets appear to lower cardiovascular risks.
COMMENTARY: A randomized crossover study in which 46 healthy men and 34 post-menopausal women between the ages of 45 and 75 years took red clover-derived isoflavones and placebo for two 6-week periods.
The treatment formulations predominantly contained either formononetin or biochanin, the isoflavones synthesized by red clover. Subjects were given a total daily dose of 80 mg.
Treatment with the formononetin-enriched isoflavones "significantly reduced arterial stiffness with improved systemic arterial compliance...attributable to a reduction in total peripheral resistance...and a corresponding reduction in central pulse wave velocity," the authors discovered.
"These effects may partly explain the lower cardiovascular risk in populations eating isoflavone-rich diets," they conclude.
Eat you soy !!!!
JOURNAL: Arch Intern Med 2003;163:1448-1453.
AUTHORS: Dr. David J. Maron
ABSTRACT: Daily use of capsules containing flavonoids found in green and black tea appears to produce a significant drop in total and LDL cholesterol levels.
COMMENTARY: Flavonoid use has been shown to lower cholesterol levels in animal studies. There is also evidence from epidemiologic studies that tea consumption can lower such levels and protect against myocardial infarction.
The findings are based on a study of 240 subjects with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia who were randomized to receive a daily capsule containing theaflavins and catechins or placebo for 12 weeks. All of the subjects were on a low-fat diet.
Treatment with the tea extracts was tied to a 11.3% and 16.4% drop in total and LDL cholesterol levels, respectively, compared with baseline values (p = 0.01 for both).
Tea extract use was also associated with a nonsignificant rise in HDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. No significant change in any of these levels was noted in the placebo group.
STUDY: Inflammation is the key
JOURNAL: American Journal of Cardiology 08 2003
AUTHORS: Dr. Hecht
ABSTRACT: The rate at which plaque builds up in the coronary arteries seems to be unaffected by how much LDL ("bad") cholesterol is lowered using so-called statin drugs such as Zocor or Lipitor.
COMMENTARY: As Dr. Harvey S. Hecht of Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, said, "the question of whether or not 'lower is better' for LDL cholesterol is unresolved."
His research suggests that "lower is not necessarily better," at least in patients who have hardening of the coronary arteries but who do not yet have symptoms.
Dr. Hecht, along with Dr. S. Mitchell Harman of Kronos Longevity Research Center, Phoenix, Arizona, came to this conclusion after studying 182 patients with "subclinical atherosclerosis."
The duo measured the amount of calcified plaque in the participants' coronary arteries, using a technique called electron beam tomography, before and after a year of lipid-lowering treatment with statins alone or in combination with niacin.
As the researchers explain in the American Journal of Cardiology, treatments that aimed to lower LDL cholesterol to 80 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less were deemed more aggressive, those with a target of greater than 80 mg/dL were deemed less aggressive.
Despite a greater improvement in LDL levels in the more aggressively treated group, the researchers found that annual rate at which plaque increased (9.3%) was no different from that in the less aggressively treated group (9.1%).