From: LEF Email List1 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2000 10:09 PM
Subject: Life Extension Update 5-12-00
In This Issue 5-12-00: THE VITAMIN C CONTROVERSY; What's Hot!---GINKGO
PROTECTS BRAIN FROM STROKE DAMAGE, NEW ANTIOXIDANT ASTAXANTHIN, REGION OF
TELOMERASE POSSIBLE TARGET FOR CANCER; HIV THERAPY, BLACK HOLES REDUCED BY
DRUG; Disease Therapy Protocols---FIBROMYALGIA, ATHEROSCLEROSIS ; Product
of the Week---CHROMIUM CAPSULES
THE VITAMIN C CONTROVERSY
A pilot study to ascertain carotid artery status in high potency vitamin C
supplement takers by Paul Wand, M.D. Neurologist
The news media has disseminated several articles over the last few months
implying that dietary supplements are useless and dangerous.
Negative media hype against dietary supplements is nothing new, as the
popular press has displayed a historical prejudice against dietary
supplements that dates back to the 1940s.
At a meeting of the American Heart Association held on March 2, 2000, a
presentation was made of an unpublished trial indicating that those who
consumed high amounts of vitamin C supplements had increased carotid
intima-media wall thickening over an 18-month time period. The doctors
who made this presentation described "high amounts" of vitamin C as up to
500 mg a day. This presentation contradicts previous published studies
showing that vitamin C protects against carotid atherosclerosis and
intima-media wall thickening.
In response to this unpublished American Heart Association presentation,
The Life Extension Foundation asked me to oversee a pilot study of 30
people who had been taking very high doses of vitamin C (and other
nutrients) for at least four years.
The objective of this study was to ascertain whether those who have
consumed more than 2000 mg a day of vitamin C have a greater or lesser
degree of carotid artery wall thickening and atherosclerotic plaque in
relationship to their age and other risk factors.
The results of The Life Extension FoundationTs four-pronged carotid
ultrasound test showed that in 23 out of 30 of these very high vitamin C
supplement takers, there was no evidence of carotid plaque formation,
obstruction (stenosis) or inti-mamedia thickening. Blood flow velocity
through the carotids was completely normal in these 23 subjects.
GINKGO PROTECTS BRAIN FROM STROKE DAMAGE
The annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology was the site of a
presentation of a study demonstrating the benefit of ginkgo biloba in the
prevention of stroke <http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-102.shtml> damage
in mice. The damage that follows a stroke is caused by free radicals,
unstable molecules that are responsible for much of what we call aging and
the diseases associated with aging. Ginkgo biloba is a popular herb used
for several purposes among health consumers, including enhancing memory
and learning, improving circulation and preventing blood clots. Ginkgo's
antioxidant ability led to the investigation of its ability to mitigate
some of the damaged caused by stroke.
NEW ANTIOXIDANT ASTAXANTHIN
Astaxanthin is classified as a carotenoid, the family of over 700 pigments
that includes beta-carotene, canthaxanthin and lutein. Although widely
found in nature, it is only recently that its health promoting
characteristics have been researched. Studies have demonstrated the
ability of astaxanthin to enhance energy metabolism and immune function,
increase HDL levels, protect against chemically induced cancers, reduce
macular degenertion and protect against sunburn. Even more astounding is
astaxanthin's antioxidant capability, ten times that of beta-carotene,
xeaxanthin, lutein and canthaxanthin, and up to 550 times that of vitamin
E! It is able to quench singlet oxygen as well as scavenge free radicals.
Its effectiveness is better expressed in the lower oxygen concentrations
found in tissues than higher levels associated with in vitro conditions.
REGION OF TELOMERASE POSSIBLE TARGET FOR CANCER; HIV THERAPY
Telomerase is an enzyme that replenishes telomeres, which are caps found
at the ends of chromosomes that shorten with age, signaling cells to stop
dividing. Telomerase copies the RNA within the telomeres into DNA and
assembles it on the ends of the chromosomes, thereby lengthening the life
of the cells. The May 5 issue of Science reported a study conducted at the
University of California, San Francisco in which researchers found the
area in telomerase that could be a target for regenerating damaged cells,
for killing cancer <http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-027.shtml> cells
and for attacking HIV <http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-059.shtml>. The
researchers determined that a structure within the RNA of yeast telomerase
controls how it performs its function. When this area was disrupted, the
telomerase manufactured telomeres uncontrollably, until abruptly halting,
resulting in cell death.
BLACK HOLES REDUCED BY DRUG
Those of you who hear the term "black holes" and immediately think of the
far reaches of outer space will be interested to learn that the term is
also used to describe hypointense T1 lesions found in the brains of people
suffering from multiple sclerosis
<http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-077.shtml>. At the annual meeting of
the American Academy of Neurology, Ludwig Kappos MD of University
Hospital, Basel, Swizerland reported that black holes were prevented from
developing in the brains of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis
patients by administration of the drug Betaseron(R) (Interferon beta-1b).
Disease Therapy Protocols
Fibromyalgia is one of the more common problems seen in a general family
medical practice. It is characterized by muscle pain, which may be
generalized, and tender points, which are localized to known specific
locations. Unlike arthritis, no inflammation is present and joints are not
directly affected. The associated pain may cause aching or burning and is
unpredictable in nature. In some people, the pain can be severe and
disabling; in others there is only mild discomfort.
There is currently no diagnostic or laboratory test to identify
fibromylagia. A diagnosis is made by first ruling out other conditions
that may mimic its symptoms such as thyroid disease, lupus, Lyme disease,
and rheumatoid arthritis.
One study found that 55% of FMS patients suffered from sleep disturbances,
and that these sleep disturbances were not caused by pain. Alleviating
insomnia with antidepressant medication, melatonin, and/or prescription
sleep-inducing drugs could alleviate pain.
The most common form of heart disease is caused by atherosclerosis,
generally known as coronary heart disease, hardening and/or thickening of
the arteries. It involves the slow buildup of deposits of fatty
substances, cholesterol, body cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin
(a clotting material in the blood) in the inside lining of an artery. The
buildup that results, called plaque, may partially or totally block the
blood's flow through the artery. This can lead to the formation of a blood
clot (thrombus) on the plaque's surface. If either of these occurs and
blocks the entire artery, a heart attack or stroke may result.
A study by Greenberg and Frishman found that 150 mg of coQ10 reduced the
frequency of angina attacks by up to 46%, while improving the capacity for
physical activity in those patients. That work was published in the
Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 1990.
Product of the Week
The trace mineral chromium has shown remarkable health benefits. In recent
studies chromium picolinate has lowered blood cholesterol and sugar,
burned fat and built muscle. Picolinic acid is produced in the human body,
apparently for the purpose of improving the cellular uptake of trace metal
ions. Scientists have demonstrated that minerals in picolinate form are
many times more assimilable than other forms of these minerals.
Chromium polynicotinate is an equally well assimilated form which may have
even less toxicity and more benefits for certain conditions than does the
picolinate form. A recent study on antidepressant pharmacotherapy for
dysthymic disorder in 5 patients showed that chromium polynicotinate
supplementation led to remission of dysthymic symptoms and concluded "
Preliminary observations suggest that chromium may potentiate
antidepressant pharmacotherapy for dysthymic disorder". Another study on
chromium polynicotinate in rats prevented the sucrose-induced elevation of
systolic blood pressure and decreased measures of lipid peroxidation.
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