LE: Life Extension Foundation update 2001.05.25

From: Technotranscendence (neptune@mars.superlink.net)
Date: Fri May 25 2001 - 22:31:39 MDT


IN THIS ISSUE, MAY 25, 2001:

LIFE EXTENSION UPDATE EXCLUSIVE: Further advances in resuscitation - AMA
briefing proposes cooling patients;


FEATURED PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK: No-flush Niacin, Artichoke Extract,

Further resuscitation advancements: AMA briefing proposes cooling patients

At a Heart Disease Media Briefing held by the American Medical Association
on May 10, Lance B Becker, MD, Director of the Emergency Resuscitation
Research Center at the University of Chicago and Argonne National
Laboratory in Argonne Illinois, announced that cooling the heart and brain
of heart attack patients could prevent up to half of their fatalities. Dr
Becker's research arose from his observation that restarting stopped
hearts may be effective if attempted within a few minutes of cardiac
arrest, but after a longer period reperfusion injury results. Precursors
to free radicals build up in the heart and brain, and after resuscitation,
oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the tissues, resulting in a large
amount of damaging free radical activity. Dr Becker commented,
"Restarting hearts is what I try to do every day in the emergency room and
it works fantastically well if it is accomplished in 3 to 4 minutes after
the patient collapses. But the patients we typically see are not so lucky
- they have had too long a time period without blood flow; about 90
percent of those patients die even after I've successfully restarted their
hearts. They die from an injury that is different than the cardiac arrest
that originally stopped the heart. We are just beginning to learn that the
cause of death appears to be a form of injury that is, in some part, due
to the way we resuscitate the person. It appears that significant
additional damage takes place during the time when we rapidly reintroduce
oxygen and nutrients back into the cells and stimulate the heart to beat.
This is called reperfusion injury - and it may be possible to avoid this
and still eventually restart the heart. But we may need to give the heart
a rest."

That rest is accomplished by rapidly cooling the heart and brain. One of
the treatments being developed puts patients into stasis, described as a
state of lowered heart rate and body function accomplished by decreasing
the core body temperature instead of immediately attempting to restart the
heart. Artificial circulation is then maintained by a cardiac bypass
machine. Allowing a regeneration period would permit a return to normal
physiology when the patient is rewarmed and the heart restarted, and
provide greater tissue recovery due to the cells being able to devote
their energy toward repair.

Dr Becker described the process: "A new technology for human cooling is
being developed at the University of Chicago and Argonne National
Laboratory based on a new phase-change microparticulate ice slurry
technology that looks promising at least in the theoretical sense. One of
the coolant slurries we are working with is based on perfluorocarbon, a
liquid that can deliver oxygen to the lungs. . . . We aim to make these
coolants biologically compatible and we have done some preliminary animal
testing which suggests we are on the right track. In the future,
paramedics might administer this slurry coolant through a breathing tube
to patients in cardiac arrest to cool the heart and brain rapidly. If we
can introduce something cold and non-toxic into the lungs of sudden death
victims, then when you do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the blood
cooled in the lungs is pumped first to the heart and then into brain."

"I predict that in the future we will simply not immediately restart the
heart when a person has suffered prolonged lack of blood flow. Instead,
our paramedics will rapidly cool patients and put them into a stasis
state. . . . Most importantly, with research funding these methods can be
developed right now and I cannot imagine how we can fail to invest in
science to save people's lives. We lose approximately 1,000 lives a day in
our country to sudden unexpected death, and the true tragedy is that with
the appropriate therapy, we could save around 50 percent of those people.
Right now our national survival rate is below 5 percent. We are all guilty
of tolerating a lot of unnecessary deaths."


Many people who need a heart transplant fail to receive one because there
is only a limited number of hearts available. One reason for this is the
limited time that a heart can remain viable after it is removed from the
donor. The Life Extension Foundation is funding two research projects at
the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York to develop better
methods of organ preservation so that more hearts will be available for
transplant. The Foundation is also funding similar research to improve
kidney preservation at 21st Century Medicine laboratory in Southern

A breakthrough made at The Foundation's Critical Care Research laboratory
is an Automated Liquid Ventilation System that lowers whole-body
temperature extremely rapidly by introducing cooled liquid perflurocarbon
into the lungs without causing lasting injury. The kind of rapidly-induced
hypothermia that's possible with this liquid ventilation system could save
the lives of large numbers of people who suffer heart attacks, strokes or
severe closed head injuries. The system could also be used in-hospital to
give doctors extra time to perform heavy-duty surgical procedures without
risking permanent brain damage.

At The Foundation's 21st Century Medicine laboratory, advanced methods are
being developed to supercool and vitrify cells, tissues and organs for
medical uses, such as kidney, heart, cornea and liver transplantation. The
leader of this project is Dr. Gregory M. Fahy, the world's foremost
cryopreservation expert, who formerly worked in the American Red Cross
research laboratory in Maryland. Dr. Fahy and Dr. Brian Wowk are the
leading experts on ice control. Using research funding provided by The
Foundation, Drs. Fahy and Wowk have found agents that block the formation
of ice in concentrations as low as one part per million. The main goal of
this research is to demonstrate that it is possible to cool entire organs
to cryogenic temperatures, store them as long as may be desired, warm them
back up, and show that they can function properly in the body.


Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of death and impairment in America
today. It is estimated that 1,100,000 new or recurrent coronary attacks
occur per year in America. It affects close to 60 million Americans. To
better place this disease in perspective, every 20 seconds a person in the
United States has a heart attack, and one third of these attacks lead to
death. Moreover, 50% of Americans have levels of cholesterol that place
them at high risk of coronary artery disease, and cholesterol is only one
factor that causes the occlusion of arteries that is technically known as

The B vitamin niacin, also known as nicotinic acid, has been used for many
years in relatively high doses (e.g., 1 to 4.5 grams/day) as an
inexpensive treatment for hyperlipidemia, a condition characterized by
elevated blood levels of cholesterol and/ or triglycerides (fats). High
concentrations of these fatty compounds are associated with increased risk
of coronary heart disease (CHD). Recent research indicates that, in
addition to reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, nicotinic acid
treatment also significantly increases the concentration of high-density
lipoproteins (HDL), the "good" form of cholesterol associated with reduced
risk of CHD.

As early as 1939 scientists discovered that artichoke may have favorable
effects on arteriosclerosis and heart disease in general. Subsequent
studies in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s supported the possible benefits of
artichoke extract. In a 1996 double-blind study conducted by Petrowicz,
the cholesterol-lowering effect of artichoke leaf extract was studied on
44 healthy individuals under strictly controlled conditions, resulting in
a significant decrease in cholesterol levels in those individuals who had
the highest starting levels of cholesterol, further documenting the
potential benefits of artichoke extract relative to lowering of


No Flush Niacin

Niacin is a member of the B-complex that:

Aids in promoting a healthy digestive system

Is important for the health of the skin

Increases circulation and helps reduce blood pressure

Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides

Promotes relaxation

Acts as a mild growth hormone releaser

No-Flush Niacin contains a special form of niacin, inositol
hexanicotinate, an ester compound formed from a six-to-one (6:1) molecular
ratio (4:1 by weight) of niacin and inositol. Its unique properties allow
for true niacin activity without niacin's characteristic flush that is so
unacceptable to many people.

Artichoke Leaf Extract

Historically, artichoke was used as a medicinal plant to aid in the
prevention and treatment of a host of illnesses.

Artichoke leaf extract is a phytopharmaceutical that may:

Lower serum cholesterol

Improve digestion

Provide liver protection

Suppress free radicals

Contains potent phytonutrients, such as chlorogenic acid and luteolin,
that may help prevent certain cancers.


Members of The Life Extension Foundation acquire "inside" information
about breakthrough research from medical centers and universities
throughout the world. This includes the latest findings on therapies to
slow down and reverse the aging process, and to prevent and treat lethal

Foundation membership entitles you to obtain supplements from the Life
Extension Buyers Club at substantially lower prices than commercial
companies charge. Proceeds from the sale of these pharmaceutical-grade
products are used to support research to extend your life span. The first
year's membership fee is $75.00. New members receive free books to bring
them up to date on what The Foundation has been publishing since 1980.

Life Extension Update now has over 17,000 subscribers. Help spread the
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If you have any questions or comments concerning this issue or past issues
of Life Extension Update, or on any other life extension topics, please
send them to ddye@lifeextension.com We wish to thank all who have emailed
their comments and suggestions, and especially those who have sent letters
of appreciation.

For longer life,

Dayna Dye
Editor, Life Extension Update
Life Extension Foundation

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