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IN THIS ISSUE, MARCH 30 2001: LIFE EXTENSION UPDATE EXCLUSIVE: Stem cells
"holy grail" in restoring damaged hearts;
WHAT'S HOT: Fitness predicts all-cause mortality risk, Vitamin E and oats
prevent detrimental effects of high fat meals;
PROTOCOL: Exercise enhancement and risk avoidance;
FEATURED PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK: Gamma E tocopherol, McDougall Program
LIFE EXTENSION DAILY NEWS;
LIFE EXTENSION 2001 CATALOG NOW AVAILABLE
Stem cells "holy grail" in restoring damaged hearts
In an article to be published in the April 5 2001 issue of the journal
Nature, research involving the implantation of bone marrow stem cells into
the hearts of mice who had undergone heart attacks found that stem cells
were able to form new heart muscle in 68% of damaged tissue nine days
after transplantation. Heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when
one of the vessels supplying blood to the heart becomes narrowed or
blocked by the formation of plaque, known as atherosclerosis, or when a
blood clot blocks an area of a vessel. The resultant lack of blood flow to
the heart muscle causes tissue death, or what is known as an infarction.
Until now, there was no known way to regenerate this damaged tissue.
Researchers at New York Medical College harvested stem cells from the bone
marrow of male mice who were genetically engineered to express a
fluorescent protein. These stem cells were injected into the hearts of
female mice in whom myocardial infarction had been experimentally induced.
The fluorescent protein and the presence of the Y chromosome in the
male-derived cells enabled the researchers to identify the cells when
examining the transplant recipients. The researchers speculated that the
mice who rejected the transplants may have done so because of the Y
chromosome or because of the difficulty in transplanting cells into
rapidly beating tissue. Nonetheless, the transplants were successful in
twelve of the thirty-one mice who received them. These mice formed new
heart muscle cells, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells, which led
to the formation of new blood vessels in the restored areas.
Bone marrow is proving to be an ideal source of stem cells, eliminating
patient rejection when harvested from the patient to be treated, and
avoiding the ethical concerns of embryonic stem cell usage. This is the
first time that bone marrow derived stem cells have been used in vivo to
regenerate dead heart muscle. Research team leader Piero Anversa has
predicted that stem cells will be used clinically to to restore heart
function in as little as three years.
In a News and Views article in the same issue of Nature, Mark Sussman of
Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati commented, "Cardiac stem
cells have been the Holy Grail of cardiovascular researchers working to
find a way to replace damaged heart tissue."
Fitness predicts all-cause mortality risk
Cardiorespiratory fitness has proven to be a reliable indicator of risk of
death from cardiovascular causes and to a smaller extent, from cancer, in
several prospective studies, comparable to that of such risk factors as
high cholesterol and smoking. A study of 1,294 Finnish men revealed that
not only is cardiorespiratory fitness a reliable indicator of heart
disease death, it as a good predictor of all cause mortality.
The study, published in the March 26 2001 issue of Annals of Internal
Medicine, utilized middle-aged men who were participants in the Kuopio
Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study in Finland. Men who had any heart
or respiratory conditions were excluded. Participants were enrolled
between 1984 and 1989. Researchers measured maximal oxygen uptake as a
measure of cardiovascular fitness at the beginning of the study. This is a
quantification of the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise, which
provides an assessment of cardiac, circulatory and respiratory function.
Exercise endurance was also measured.
During follow-up, which concluded at the end of 1997, there were
eighty-two deaths from noncardiovascular causes and forty-two deaths from
cardiovascular causes. After adjustment for other risk factors such as age
and smoking status, low cardiorespiratory fitness as determined by low
maximal oxygen uptake was associated with a 2.76-fold increase in overall
mortality during the study period compared with those with a high maximal
oxygen uptake. Short exercise duration was associated with a slightly
lower risk, when the group with the lowest results was compared to that
with the highest. Additional adjustment for other risk factors such as
serum triglycerides, HDL, LDL, blood pressure, fibrinogen, diabetes, and
insulin levels did not significantly change these associations. The risk
of mortality during this time period associated with low maximal oxygen
uptake and exercise duration were similar when noncardiovascular mortality
was examined separately, and was higher when cardiovascular mortality
alone was studied.
The study suggests thirty minutes a day of moderate physical activity to
promote health and prevent chronic disease.
Vitamin E and oats prevent detrimental effects of high fat meals
In a study published in the February 2000 issue of the American Journal of
Preventive Medicine, both vitamin E and oats were demonstrated to prevent
one of the undesirable effects of consuming a high fat meal. Consuming
high fat foods is known to cause constriction of the arteries, restricting
Researchers at Yale University recruited twenty-five men and twenty-five
women to participate in a randomized, crossover study. The participants
were nonsmokers, free of known vascular disease, but were chosen from
different age groups most likely to be at risk for subclinical
atherosclerosis for each sex. All of the women in the study were
postmenopausal. Subjects were asked to consume a high-fat meal on three
occasions one week apart. Each meal was randomly followed by 800 iu
vitamin E, oatmeal containing beta-glucan or a wheat cereal. Prior to
consuming the high-fat meal, and following the meal, the participants
received brachial artery reactivity studies by ultrasound to measure
arterial endothelial function. While consumption of wheat cereal was found
to do nothing to halt the decline in endothelial function following a
high-fat meal, both the ingestion of oats and vitamin E were associated
with no change in brachial artery flow. The authors conclude that the
consumption of oats or vitamin E, but not wheat prevent the endothelial
dysfunction induced by acute fat ingestion in healthy adults, and stress
the importance of nutrient distribution and meal composition in
For more of "What's Hot", go to
Exercise enhancement and risk avoidance by Will Brink
Many people have turned exercise into an intensive daily routine, as there
are enormous benefits associated with a nonsedentary lifestyle. While
exercise can improve our lives, health, outlook and functional life span,
there are potential negative consequences if one fails to protect against
the known side effects of excess physical exertion.
Despite mountains of data documenting the benefits of safe exercise, the
public is largely ignorant of the molecular effects that overexertion
places on the body in the short and long-term. This protocol will
enlighten the physically active enthusiast about how to enhance the
effects of exercise, protect against its negative effects, and increase
energy levels so that longer workout periods are possible.
Where do we even start to explain the total benefits of exercise? Several
studies have shown that regular exercise can extend life span by an
average of 2 years. Much more important perhaps, exercise greatly
increases functional life span. Getting older does not have to be the
downward spiral of lost functionality in every day life, and any older
person who has incorporated exercise into their schedule throughout their
life can attest to that.
Moderate exercise has been shown to improve immunity, reduce body fat, and
improve mood states. Regular exercise can greatly improve glucose
metabolism and insulin sensitivity, reduce cholesterol levels, and help to
prevent so many diseases it would take an entire book to even list them
all! What else do we need to say?
FEATURED PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK
Gamma E tocopherol
If you take vitamin E, you're probably not getting its full benefits!
Almost all vitamin E supplements contain alpha tocopherol, but not gamma
tocopherol. It doesn't matter whether you take natural or synthetic
vitamin E, the form used is almost always alpha. There's nothing wrong
with alpha tocopherol, but if you expect to obtain optimal antioxidant
protection, you should take gamma tocopherol.
A study in Proceedings of the National Academy if Sciences (April 1997)
suggests that it could be dangerous to take high doses of alpha tocopherol
without also consuming gamma tocopherol. What made this study interesting
was that it showed that high doses of alpha tocopherol can displace gamma
tocopherol in tissues. While alpha tocopherol inhibits the production of
free radicals to some degree, it is gamma tocopherol that is required to
trap and neutralize existing free radicals.
McDougall Program Sampler Package
John McDougall, MD, has developed a program that enables you to
conveniently and economically follow a delicious disease preventing diet.
Discover the easy way to lose weight and enjoy dynamic health right in
your own home. Through this special introductory offer, you can read Dr
McDougall's best selling book, watch his Right Foods video, listen to his
informative cassette describing his wellness program that has helped so
many people, and sample all twelve of Dr McDougall's delicious, low fat
meals in a cup.
An impressive part of the sampler packet is the video tape. Unlike most
eductional videos, Dr McDougall's presentation is both entertaining and
informative. You'll see actual microscopic footage of blood cells flowing
through capillaries, and what happens to these blood cells after a high
fat meal is consumed. You'll learn how you can eat healthily, even in fast
food restaurants, and how consuming the proper foods can enable you to
lose significant body fat and never be hungry.
LIFE EXTENSION DAILY NEWS
Go to Life Extension's front page www.lef.org and scroll to the bottom
right Monday through Friday for a look at daily news items that are of
relevance to life extenders. From today's headlines:
Health Tips: Appendicitis, Website on Genetics and Aging, Soy
How to Reduce Your LP(a) and Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Healthy Gums Help Control Diabetes, Study Shows
Hormone Discovery May Help Weight Control
Last Interview with Dr Pauling
LIFE EXTENSION 2001 CATALOG NOW AVAILABLE
If you have not received one yet, order your free copy of The Directory of
Life Extension Technologies 2001 edition, Life Extension's newest and
biggest catalog, by sending your name and mailing address to
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-544-4440.
If you have questions or comments concerning this issue or past issues of
Life Extension Update, or on any life extension topics, email
For longer life,
Editor, Life Extension Update
Life Extension Foundation
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