LIFE EXTENSION UPDATE, AUGUST 3 2001
IN THIS ISSUE, AUGUST 3 2001:
LIFE EXTENSION UPDATE EXCLUSIVE: Two hundred-fifty million year old living
WHAT'S HOT: Low DHEA levels predict death in male smokers
PROTOCOL: DHEA replacement therapy
FEATURED PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK: DHEA 15 milligram and 25 milligram capsules
LIFE EXTENSION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2001 ISSUE NOW ONLINE
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LIFE EXTENSION UPDATE EXCLUSIVE: News exclusive to our ezine readers
Two hundred-fifty million year old living organism found
The finding of a viable bacteria spore trapped within an ancient rock
crystal, has caused scientists to question whether some bacteria are
immortal. In a letter published in the October 2000 issue of the journal
Nature, scientists announced the finding of a bacteria spore within a brine
inclusion in a salt crystal which was dated at 250 million years old or
older. In an accompanying "News and Views" commentary entitled,
"Microbiology: A case of bacterial immortality?" author R John Parks of the
University of Bristol asked, "If bacteria can survive for this length of
time, why should they die at all?"
Spores are resistant structures formed by bacteria that are known to survive
for long periods. Although researchers have found and cultured live spores
from ancient rocks and coal, the possibility of contamination of the sample
with bacteria from an outside source has rendered these results
questionable. In the 1990s, scientists found bacteria inside a bee
preserved in amber that was between 25 and 40 million years old. The
surface of the amber was sterilized prior to removing the spores to
eliminate the possibility of outside contamination. The spores were
subsequently cultured and found to be viable.
In this latest finding, the bacteria push back the age of the longest-lived
organism on earth to ten times that of the previous discovery. Researcher
Russell H Vreeland and colleagues utilized stringent sterilization
procedures on the surface of the sample and on the drill apparatus, and
drilled into the fluid inclusion. The bacteria (of the genus Bacillus) was
inoculated into a growth medium, where it then grew. Because of the extent
of sterilization procedures used, Vreeland estimates the chance of
contamination as one in one billion.
In the Nature commentary, replication of these results is urged to ensure
their full acceptance. However, the author admits that the implications of
the finding are profound. The discovery of a 250 million year old life form
has prompted the speculation that immortality could be possible for at least
one species. It remains for researchers to discover what it is that enables
them to survive.
Low DHEA levels predict death in male smokers
DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, whose levels may be
correlated with longevity. Levels of the hormone are higher in men than in
women and have been negatively correlated in men with increased short term
mortality in one study. In another study, published in the July 3 2001 issue
of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers utilized
data from the PAQUID program, a prospective cohort study of 3,777 elderly
individuals living in southern France. Six hundred twenty-two participants
in the current study had their blood tested for DHEA sulfate at a one year
follow-up, and 346 were tested after eight years, with 290 of these used in
the statistical analysis. Participants were interviewed in order to obtain
sociodemographic information, smoking status, wine consumption, physical
activity and medical parameters such as current medication use, personal
history of disease, physical function disability and subjective health
perceptions. Cognitive function and depression were also assessed.
Interestingly, DHEA Sulfate levels were found to increase in one third of
the subjects while declining in two thirds. The rise in DHEA in this
minority could possibly be due to subclinical impairment of kidney and liver
function, but this was not explored. The researchers found no correlation
with health parameters collected initially and DHEA levels. However for men,
the risk of death at ten year followup was doubled when the initial DHEA
sulfate level was low. This risk increased for male smokers, with low DHEA
sulfate levels emerging as a reliable predictor of death in this group. The
authors question if tobacco could lower DHEA sulfate or if low DHEA sulfate
levels are an indicator or potentiator of cardiovascular disease related to
DHEA replacement therapy
In 1981 the Life Extension Foundation introduced DHEA
(dehydroepiandrosterone) through an article that described the multiple
antiaging effects this hormone might produce. The general public learned
about DHEA in 1996, as the benefits of DHEA were touted by the news media
and in several popular books. DHEA obtained credibility in the medical
establishment when the New York Academy of Sciences published a book
entitled DHEA and Aging and summarized in their journal, Aging (Dec. 29,
1995, 774:1-350). This highly technical book provided scientific validation
for the many life extension effects of DHEA replacement therapy.
DHEA replacement therapy involves the supplementation of the hormone to
restore serum levels to those of a 21-year-old. DHEA is a precursor building
block that allows our bodies to more easily create hormones that may be in
decline because of age, disease, prescription medications, or other factors.
Hormones such as testosterone and estrogen as well as serum DHEA levels
begin to decline between 25 and 30 years of age and may be reduced by 95% of
youthful peak levels by age 85.
In the journal Drugs and Aging (Oct. 1996), an analysis of previous studies
on DHEA showed that:
In both humans and animals, the decline of DHEA production with aging is
associated with immune depression, increased risk of several different
cancers, loss of sleep, decreased feelings of well being, and increased
DHEA replacement in aged mice significantly improved immune function to a
more youthful state.
DHEA replacement has shown a favorable effect on osteoclasts and lymphoid
cells, an effect that may delay osteoporosis. (Editor's note: DHEA has been
shown in other studies to promote the activity of bone-forming osteoblasts.)
Low levels of DHEA inhibit energy metabolism, thus increasing the risk of
heart disease and diabetes mellitus.
Studies in humans show essentially no toxicity at doses that restore DHEA to
youthful levels. DHEA deficiency may expedite the development of some
diseases that are common in the elderly.
FEATURED PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK
DHEA 15 mg capsules
The Life Extension Foundation has been investigating DHEA for more than 20
years. Only The Life Extension Foundation publishes a DHEA Protocol that
enables people to use DHEA safely by providing specific dosing and blood
testing schedules. In more than 2,000 published studies, DHEA has been shown
to have a role in improving neurologic function, immune function, stress
disorders, hormonal modulation and numerous diseases associated with normal
The most remarkable finding about DHEA comes from a human study by S.S.C.
Yen and associates at the University of California, San Diego, in which 50
mg a day of DHEA over a 6-month period restored serum levels of DHEA in both
men and women to youthful ranges. DHEA replacement was associated with an
increase in perceived physical and psychological well-being for both men
(67%) and women (84%). Increases in lean body mass and muscle strength were
reported in men taking 100 mg a day, but this dose appeared to be excessive
DHEA (50 or 100 mg per day) was also shown to significantly elevate insulin
growth factor (IGF). Aging causes a decline in IGF levels that contributes
to the loss of lean body mass, as well as to excess fat accumulation,
neurological impairment and age-associated immune dysfunction.
DHEA 25 mg capsules
The Life Extension Foundation sells DHEA that conforms to the following
99.9% purity (European-derived DHEA)
Micronized (for maximum absorption and utilization)
Manufactured under GMP conditions.
A DHEAS (dihydroepiandrosterone sulfate) blood test should be taken 3-6
weeks after beginning DHEA therapy to help determine optimal dosing. Some
people neglect to test their blood levels for DHEA and wind up chronically
taking the wrong dose. When having your blood tested for DHEA, blood should
be drawn three to four hours after the last dose. DHEA testing may save you
money if it shows that you can take less DHEA to maintain youthful DHEA
The standard blood test to evaluate DHEA status is one that measures DHEAS.
The DHEAS is calculated in micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) of blood.
The youthful ranges of DHEA sulfate are as follows:
Men 400-560 mcg/deciliter
Women 350-430 mcg/deciliter
LIFE EXTENSION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2001 ISSUE NOW ONLINE
As we see it
Are dietary supplements causing people to live longer?
DHEA: Antiaging hormone
Battling heart disease with B vitamins
An innovative approach to cancer therapy: one physician's perspective
In the News
Curcumin protects against tumors, folate counteracts breast cancer, et
The essence of well being
Questions and answers
The importance of blood testing, safe melatonin dosing, and more
DHEA dosing and precautions
August 2001 Medical Updates: The impact of stroke, Bioavailability of
nutrients in the elderly, and more . . .
August 2001 Abstracts
TUNE IN TO LIFE EXTENSION'S RADIO TALK SHOW!
Saturday, August 4 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm eastern time, will be the first
live radio talk show featuring the Life Extension Foundation's Scientific
Directory, Ron Keys PhD and Life Extension senior advisor Elizabeth
Weinstock. Life Extension Foundation will bring its listeners up to date
on breakthroughs in the field of longevity and nutrition and offer them a
chance to call in with their questions. The show will be webcasted at
http://www.lef.org/radio/ If you are in south Florida, tune into WJNA 1040
AM. Saturday's show will overview the Life Extension Foundation.
Also, Dr Andrew Baer's next live chats are Wednesday, August 8 at 7:00 pm
eastern time and at 7:00 pm pacific time. Go to http://www.lef.org/chat/ to
find out more.
Visit our website at www.lef.org and take part in our weekly poll. This
week's question: Where do you purchase your supplements?
For longer life,
Editor, Life Extension Update
Life Extension Foundation
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