Research - Ageing
Testofen, a specialised Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract reduces age-related symptoms of androgen decrease, increases testosterone levels and improves sexual function in healthy aging males in a double-blind randomised clinical study.
Rao A1, Steels E2, Inder WJ3, Abraham S1, Vitetta L1,4.
This study examined the effect of Testofen, a specialised Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract on the symptoms of possible androgen deficiency, sexual function and serum androgen concentrations in healthy aging males. This was a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial involving 120 healthy men aged between 43 and 70 years of age. The active treatment was standardised Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract at a dose of 600 mg/day for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the change in the Aging Male Symptom questionnaire (AMS), a measure of possible androgen deficiency symptoms; secondary outcome measures were sexual function and serum testosterone. There was a significant decrease in AMS score over time and between the active and placebo groups. Sexual function improved, including number of morning erections and frequency of sexual activity. Both total serum testosterone and free testosterone increased compared to placebo after 12 weeks of active treatment. Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract is a safe and effective treatment for reducing symptoms of possible androgen deficiency, improves sexual function and increases serum testosterone in healthy middle-aged and older men.
Source : Sci-Hub via The Aging Well Journal
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Anti-wrinkle effects of Seungma-Galgeun-Tang as evidenced by the inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-I production and the promotion of type-1 procollagen synthesis
- Min Kyoung Kim,
- Chae Young Bang,
- Gwang Jun Yun,
- Hyang-Yu Kim,
- Young Pyo Jang
- Se Young Choung
Background Seungma-Galgeun-Tang (SMGGT), a traditional herbal medicinal formula, has been used to treat various skin problems such as inflammation and rashes in Korean traditional medicine. In order to clarify the scientific evidence for the biological efficacy of SMGGT on the prevention of skin aging and in particular wrinkle formation, molecular anti-wrinkle parameters were evaluated in cultured human dermal fibroblasts.
Methods Standard SMGGT was prepared from KFDA-certified herbal medicines and the chemical fingerprint of SMGGT was verified by HPLC-ESI-MS to insure the quality of SMGGT. To evaluate the inhibitory effects of SMGGT on the synthesis of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and type-1 procollagen, the content of MMP-1 and type-1 procollagen synthesizing enzymes in cultured human dermal fibroblasts were measured using an ELISA kit and Western Blot, respectively.
Results The treatment of SMGGT water extract significantly inhibited the production of MMP-1 and promoted type-1 procollagen synthesis concentration dependently.
Conclusions These results suggest that SMGGT has the potential to prevent wrinkle formation by down-regulating MMP-1 and up-regulating type-1 procollagen in human dermal fibroblasts.
Source : BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Association of Vitamin D Status with Dual Task Physical Performance in Older Adults1.
Johanna Lopez1, Adriana Campa1, John E. Lewis3, Fatma G. Ercanli-Huffman1, Juan P. Liuzzi1, Tan Li2, Ana H. Martinez3 and Serena M Ferris3
Objective To evaluate the association of vitamin D status with age-relatedchanges in mobility and higher order cognitive function using a single and dual task physical performance test.
Methods After consenting, participants completed the baseline assessments that included serum levels of vitamin D, vitals, anthropometrics and body composition, as well as completing surveys to evaluate physical activity, depressive symptoms and fear of falling. Participants performed in random order the physical performance tests, which included 1) walking (single gait task); 2) counting backwards from 50 by 1 (single cognitive task); and 3) walking while counting backwards from 50 by 1 (dual task). The dual task physical performance variables measured were: 1) dual task gait velocity; 2) single task gait velocity; 3) difference in dual and single task gait velocity; 4) dual task counting rate; 5) single task counting rate; 6) difference in dual and single counting rate. Paired t-tests were used to compare single and dual task variables within the whole population andeach vitamin D status group. Spearman’s correlations, independent t-tests, repeated measures ANOVAs and multiple logistic regressions were used to examine the relationship between vitamin D insufficiency (25OHD<30ng/mL) andsufficiency (25OHD≥30ng/mL) and dual task physical performance variables. The significance level was set at α≤0.05, and statistical analyzes were performed using SPSS 21.
Results The mean +/− SD of serum vitamin D levels were 30.73 +/− 8.73 ng/ml and 46% of the participants were vitamin D insufficient. Dual and single task counting rate were significantly lower in the vitamin D insufficient group compared to the sufficient group (mean difference: −0.14, P=0.018 and meandifference: −0.06, P=0.028, respectively). Using Spearman correlations, a slower single (r=0.258, P=0.011) and dual counting rate (r=0.278, P=0.006) were significantly associated with vitamin D insufficiency.
Conclusions Cognitive performance for dual or single tasking were worse in thevitamin D insufficient group. Since counting backward is a mental tracking task, which is a component of executive function, our results support a relationship between vitamin D insufficiency and executive dysfunction.
Source : The FASEB Journal
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Antiaging Effect of Inula britannica on Aging Mouse Model Induced by D-Galactose
Hui Chen, Yuanyuan Long, and Lei Guo
The antiaging effect of Inula britannica flower total flavonoids (IBFTF) on aging mice induced by D-galactose and its mechanism was examined in this study. From the results, the biochemical indexes and histological analysis of skin tissues showed that IBFTF could effectively improve the antioxidant enzyme activity of the aging mice, enhance the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) of skin tissue, and decrease the malondialdehyde (MDA) content. Besides, IBFTF could maintain the skin collagen, hydroxyproline (Hyp), dermal thickness, and moisture content. Meanwhile, IBFTF could significantly reduce the number of cells arrested in G0/G1 phase, and from the point of view of protein and mRNA expression level in skin tissue, IBFTF could significantly increase the expression of Sirt1 and CyclinD1 but decrease the expression of p16 and p21, and its effect was not less than that of the well-known vitamin E (VE). Overall, these results seem to be implying that IBFTF is a potential natural anti-skin aging agent with great antioxidant ability.
Source : Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Cocoa Flavanol Consumption Improves Facial Wrinkles and Skin Elasticity in Women with Photo-aged Facial Skin
Yoon H-S, Kim JR, Park GY, et al. Cocoa flavanol supplementation influences skin conditions of photo-aged women: a 24-week double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. J Nutr. 2016;146(1):46-50.
Cocoa products, derived from the dried, fermented fatty seeds of the cocoa (Theobroma cacao, Malvaceae) tree, reportedly have many health benefits. They are rich in polyphenolic antioxidants and flavanols such as epicatechin, catechin, and procyanidins. Clinical trials conducted for 12 weeks that investigated the effects of consuming high-flavanol cocoa products on skin photo-aging have shown conflicting results. Since finding an adequate daily dose and duration of cocoa flavanol supplementation might provide significant antioxidant photoprotection, these authors conducted a 24-week, double-blind, randomized, clinical trial to investigate whether high-flavanol cocoa supplementation would improve the moderately photo-aged facial skin of female subjects.
The subjects were healthy females aged between 40 and 86 years (mean age, 61.7 ± 13.1 years) with visible wrinkles. The study was conducted between February 2014 and March 2015 at Seoul National University Hospital in Seoul, Korea. Sixty-four subjects were randomly assigned to either the cocoa group or placebo group, with 32 subjects in each group. Of those subjects, 1 from each group did not follow the protocol and did not complete the study.
The beverage consumed daily by the cocoa group contained 4 g fat-reduced cocoa powder (Barry Callebaut Belgium N.V.; Lebbeke-Wieze, Belgium) that was processed in a manner to preserve a high amount (320 mg) of cacao bean flavanols. A nutrient-matched cocoa-flavored beverage that did not contain cocoa flavanols was consumed by the placebo group. The beverage powders were dissolved in 150-200 mL hot water.
Wrinkles were measured in the crow's feet area on the outer corner of the eye by using a Skin-Visiometer® SV 600 (Courage+Khazaka electronic GmbH; Cologne, Germany) to assess the following 5 roughness variables: skin roughness, maximum roughness, average roughness, smoothness depth, and arithmetic average roughness. As wrinkles diminish in depth, those values decrease. A Cutometer® MPA580 (Courage+Khazaka electronic GmbH) was used to measure skin elasticity on the cheek in terms of gross elasticity, net elasticity, and biological elasticity. The closer the value is to 1 on the cutometer, the more elastic the skin. Using a Corneometer® and a Tewameter® (both, Courage+Khazaka electronic GmbH), the authors evaluated skin hydration on each subject's cheek.
The facial skin of each subject was evaluated at baseline and during the study at 12 and 24 weeks. Ten subjects in each group agreed to undergo ultraviolet (UV)-B irradiation. The minimal erythema dose (MED), or the minimal UV dose causing erythema on all edges of an irradiated square of skin on the buttock, was assessed at baseline and at 24 weeks in those subjects.
Adverse effects were evaluated at 12 and 24 weeks. Blood samples were drawn at baseline and at 24 weeks to measure aspartate aminotransferase, alanine transaminase, glucose, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and hemoglobin and hematocrit concentrations.
The authors report no significant between-group differences in visiometer measurements after 12 weeks of supplementation. After 24 weeks, however, the mean percentage changes in average roughness (P=0.023) and maximum roughness (P=0.030) were significantly lower in the cocoa group than in the placebo group. "Because visiometer values decrease as wrinkle diminish, these results suggest that the cocoa group showed improvement in wrinkle severity compared with the placebo group." Changes in the other visiometer variables were not significant at 24 weeks.
The only significant between-group difference in skin elasticity after 12 weeks was in the mean percentage change in gross elasticity of the skin, which was significantly greater in the cocoa group than in the placebo group (P=0.020). After 24 weeks, significant between-group differences were observed in gross elasticity (P=0.027), net elasticity (P=0.027), and biological elasticity (P=0.032), which were all greater for the cocoa group than for the placebo group. No significant between-group differences were seen in epidermal hydration variables after 12 or 24 weeks of supplementation.
No adverse effects were reported, and no abnormal laboratory values were observed. Body weight changes were minimal; the placebo group gained more than the cocoa group after 24 weeks (P=0.021). Although cocoa flavanols have been reported to have beneficial effects on obesity, in this study, the subjects' diet and physical activity were not controlled, so this finding "can only be interpreted as indirect evidence and was an unintended outcome," write the authors.
Overall adherence rates were 97.6% at 12 weeks and 98.4% at 24 weeks.
The MED of those in the placebo group undergoing UV irradiation did not change significantly during the study. In the cocoa group, however, a significantly increased MED was observed at 24 weeks (P=0.022). Changes in MED at 24 weeks were significantly higher in the cocoa group than in the placebo group (P=0.035).
Although this study showed that cocoa flavanols can improve facial wrinkles and elasticity, the effects were not as great as those reported for direct curative therapies such as topical tretinoin, laser resurfacing, and chemical peeling. "Therefore, the main effect of cocoa flavanols on photo-aging might be preventive rather than curative," the authors state.
The authors note that their findings of changes in wrinkle severity and skin elasticity are consistent with those of previous trials.1,2 Conflicting results remain regarding changes in MED after cocoa flavanol consumption, possibly because of the variations in age, skin phototype, and race of subjects used in the trials.
The authors conclude that "in moderately photo-aged women, regular cocoa flavanol consumption had positive effects on facial wrinkles and elasticity," and that "regular cocoa flavanol consumption may be a good strategy for prevention of the progression of skin photo-aging."
Source : American Botanical Council - HerbClip
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Therapeutic effect of forest bathing on human hypertension in the elderly
- Gen-Xiang Mao, MDa,
- Yong-Bao Cao, MBa, 1,
- Xiao-Guang Lan, BAb,
- Zhi-Hua He, BAb,
- Zhuo-Mei Chen,PhDc,
- Ya-Zhen Wang, MMa,
- Xi-Lian Hu, PhDa,
- Yuan-Dong Lv, MBa,
- Guo-Fu Wang, PhDa, , ,
- Jing Yan, MMa,
To provide scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of forest bathing as a natural therapy for human hypertension.
Twenty-four elderly patients with essential hypertension were randomly divided into two groups of 12. One group was sent to a broad-leaved evergreen forest to experience a 7-day/7-night trip, and the other was sent to a city area in Hangzhou for control. Blood pressure indicators, cardiovascular disease-related pathological factors including endothelin-1, homocysteine, renin, angiotensinogen, angiotensin II, angiotensin II type 1 receptor, angiotensin II type 2 receptor as well as inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor α were detected. Meanwhile, profile of mood states (POMS) evaluation was used to assess the change of mood state of subjects. In addition, the air quality in the two experimental sites was monitored during the 7-day duration, simultaneously.
The baselines of the indicators of the subjects were not significantly different. Little alteration in the detected indicators in the city group was observed after the experiment. While subjects exposed to the forest environment showed a significant reduction in blood pressure in comparison to that of the city group. The values for the bio-indicators in subjects exposed to the forest environment were also lower than those in the urban control group and the baseline levels of themselves. POMS evaluation showed that the scores in the negative subscales were lowered after exposure to the forest environment. Besides, the air quality in the forest environment was much better than that of the urban area evidenced by the quantitative detection of negative ions and PM10 (particulate matter <10 μm in aerodynamic diameter).
Our results provided direct evidence that forest bathing has therapeutic effects on human hypertension and induces inhibition of the renin–angiotensin system and inflammation, and thus inspiring its preventive efficacy against cardiovascular disorders.
Source : European Journal of Integrative Medicine
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Keeping older muscles strong
University of Iowa scientists discover cause of and potential treatment for muscle weakness and loss due to aging
As we grow older, we lose strength and muscle mass. However, the cause of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy has remained a mystery.
Scientists at the University of Iowa have discovered the first example of a protein that causes muscle weakness and loss during aging. The protein, ATF4, is a transcription factor that alters gene expression in skeletal muscle, causing reduction of muscle protein synthesis, strength, and mass. The UI study also identifies two natural compounds, one found in apples and one found in green tomatoes, which reduce ATF4 activity in aged skeletal muscle. The findings, which were published online Sept. 3 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, could lead to new therapies for age-related muscle weakness and atrophy.
"Many of us know from our own experiences that muscle weakness and atrophy are big problems as we become older," says Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine in the UI Carver College of Medicine, and senior study author. "These problems have a major impact on our quality of life and health."
Previously, Adams and his team had identified ursolic acid, which is found in apple peel, and tomatidine, which comes from green tomatoes, as small molecules that can prevent acute muscle wasting caused by starvation and inactivity. Those studies set the stage for testing whether ursolic acid and tomatidine might be effective in blocking the largest cause of muscle weakness and atrophy: aging.
In their latest study, Adams' team found that ursolic acid and tomatidine dramatically reduce age-related muscle weakness and atrophy in mice. Elderly mice with age-related muscle weakness and atrophy were fed diets lacking or containing either 0.27 percent ursolic acid, or 0.05 percent tomatidine for two months. The scientists found that both compounds increased muscle mass by 10 percent, and more importantly, increased muscle quality, or strength, by 30 percent. The sizes of these effects suggest that the compounds largely restored muscle mass and strength to young adult levels.
"Based on these results, ursolic acid and tomatidine appear to have a lot of potential as tools for dealing with muscle weakness and atrophy during aging," Adams says. "We also thought we might be able to use ursolic acid and tomatidine as tools to find a root cause of muscle weakness and atrophy during aging."
Adams' team investigated the molecular effects of ursolic acid and tomatidine in aged skeletal muscle. They found that both compounds turn off a group of genes that are turned on by the transcription factor ATF4. This led them to engineer and study a new strain of mice that lack ATF4 in skeletal muscle. Like old muscles that were treated with ursolic acid and tomatidine, old muscles lacking ATF4 were resistant to the effects of aging.
"By reducing ATF4 activity, ursolic acid and tomatidine allow skeletal muscle to recover from effects of aging," says Adams, who also is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center and the Pappajohn Biomedical Institute, and is a staff physician with the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Source : University of Iowa
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Effectiveness of two year balance training programme on prevention of fall induced injuries in at risk women aged 75-85 living in community: Ossébo randomised controlled trial
Objective To assess the effectiveness of a two year exercise programme of progressive balance retraining in reducing injurious falls among women aged 75-85 at increased risk of falls and injuries and living in the community.
Design Pragmatic multicentre, two arm, parallel group, randomised controlled trial.
Setting 20 study sites in 16 medium to large cities throughout France.
Participants 706 women aged 75-85, living in their own home, and with diminished balance and gait capacities, randomly allocated to the experimental intervention group (exercise programme, n=352) or the control group (no intervention, n=354).
Intervention Weekly supervised group sessions of progressive balance training offered in community based premises for two years, supplemented by individually prescribed home exercises.
Outcome measures A geriatrician blinded to group assignment classified falls into one of three categories (no consequence, moderate, severe) based on physical damage and medical care. The primary outcome was the rate of injurious falls (moderate and severe). The two groups were compared for rates of injurious falls with a “shared frailty” model. Other outcomes included the rates of all falls, physical functional capacities (balance and motor function test results), fear of falling (FES-I), physical activity level, and perceived health related quality of life (SF-36). Analysis was by intention to treat.
Results There were 305 injurious falls in the intervention group and 397 in the control group (hazard ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.67 to 0.99). The difference in severe injuries (68 in intervention group v 87 in control group) was of the same order of magnitude (0.83, 0.60 to 1.16). At two years, women in the intervention group performed significantly better on all physical tests and had significantly better perception of their overall physical function than women in the control group. Among women who started the intervention (n=294), the median number of group sessions attended was 53 (interquartile range 16-71). Five injurious falls related to the intervention were recorded.
Conclusion A two year progressive balance retraining programme combining weekly group and individual sessions was effective in reducing injurious falls and in improving measured and perceived physical function in women aged 75-85 at risk of falling.
Source : BMJ
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Vitamin D deficiency down-regulates Notch pathway contributing to skeletal muscle atrophy in old wistar rats
Carla Domingues-Faria124, Audrey Chanet24, Jérôme Salles24, Alexandre Berry24, Christophe Giraudet24, Véronique Patrac24, Philippe Denis34, Katia Bouton24, Nicolas Goncalves-Mendes1, Marie-Paule Vasson15, Yves Boirie26 and Stéphane Walrand
The diminished ability of aged muscle to self-repair is a factor behind sarcopenia and contributes to muscle atrophy. Muscle repair depends on satellite cells whose pool size is diminished with aging. A reduction in Notch pathway activity may explain the age-related decrease in satellite cell proliferation, as this pathway has been implicated in satellite cell self-renewal. Skeletal muscle is a target of vitamin D which modulates muscle cell proliferation and differentiation in vitro and stimulates muscle regeneration in vivo. Vitamin D status is positively correlated to muscle strength/function, and elderly populations develop a vitamin D deficiency. The aim of this study was to evaluate how vitamin D deficiency induces skeletal muscle atrophy in old rats through a reduction in Notch pathway activity and proliferation potential in muscle.
15-month-old male rats were vitamin D-depleted or not (control) for 9 months (n = 10 per group). Rats were 24-month-old at the end of the experiment. Gene and/or protein expression of markers of proliferation, or modulating proliferation, and of Notch signalling pathway were studied in the tibialis anterior muscle by qPCR and western blot. An unpaired student’s t-test was performed to test the effect of the experimental conditions.
Vitamin D depletion led to a drop in concentrations of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D in depleted rats compared to controls (-74%, p < 0.01). Tibialis anterior weight was decreased in D-depleted rats (-25%, p < 0.05). The D-depleted group showed -39%, -31% drops in expression of two markers known to modulate proliferation (Bmp4, Fgf-2 mRNA levels) and -56% drop in one marker of cell proliferation (PCNA protein expression) compared to controls (p < 0.05). Notch pathway activity was blunted in tibialis anterior of D-depleted rats compared to controls, seen as a down-regulation of cleaved Notch (-53%, p < 0.05) and its target Hes1 (-35%, p < 0.05).
A 9-month vitamin D depletion induced vitamin D deficiency in old rats. Vitamin D depletion induces skeletal muscle atrophy in old rats through a reduction in Notch pathway activity and proliferation potential. Vitamin D deficiency could aggravate the age-related decrease in muscle regeneration capacity.
Source : Journal Nutrition and Metabolism
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Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases
Selvaraju Subash1, Musthafa Mohamed Essa Ph.D. 1, Samir Al-Adawi2, Mushtaq A Memon3, Thamilarasan Manivasagam4, Mohammed Akbar5
Recent clinical research has demonstrated that berry fruits can prevent age-related neurodegenerative diseases and improve motor and cognitive functions. The berry fruits are also capable of modulating signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cell survival, neurotransmission and enhancing neuroplasticity. The neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases are related to phytochemicals such as anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol and tannin. In this review, we made an attempt to clearly describe the beneficial effects of various types of berries as promising neuroprotective agents.
Oxidative stress and inflammation are major factors contributing to aging and the development of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Numerous natural antioxidant/anti-inflammatory compounds found in plant food matrices, like fruits, especially berries (such as strawberry, bilberry, blackcurrant, blackberry, blueberry and mulberry) can offer neuroprotective effects [Table 2] (Essa et al., 2012; Subash et al., 2014a,b,c). Furthermore, the berry fruit may exert their effects directly through alterations in cell signaling to improve/increase neuronal communication, calcium buffering, neuroprotective stress shock proteins, plasticity, antioxidant/anti-inflammatory action, stress signaling pathways and inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. These modifications, and others that are being studied, may mediate the enhancements in cognitive and motor behavioral performance by berries. Thus, nutritional interventions rich in phytochemicals (for example anthocyanins and caffeic acid) such as berry fruits may be a valuable asset in preventing against aging by reducing or delaying the development of age-related neurodegenerative diseases.
Source : Neural Regeneration Research
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Gallic Acid Regulates Skin Photoaging in UVB-exposed Fibroblast and Hairless Mice
Eunson Hwang, Sang-Yong Park, Hyun Ji Lee, Tae Youp Lee, Zheng-wang Sun,
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the primary factor in skin photoaging, which is characterized by wrinkle formation, dryness, and thickening. The mechanisms underlying skin photoaging are closely associated with degradation of collagen via upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, which is induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Gallic acid (GA), a phenolic compound, possesses a variety of biological activities including antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities. We investigated the protective effects of GA against photoaging caused by UVB irradiation using normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs) in vitro and hairless mice in vivo. The production levels of ROS, interlukin-6, and MMP-1 were significantly suppressed, and type I procollagen expression was stimulated in UVB-irradiated and GA-treated NHDFs. GA treatment inhibited the activity of transcription factor activation protein 1. The effects of GA following topical application and dietary administration were examined by measuring wrinkle formation, histological modification, protein expression, and physiological changes such as stratum corneum hydration, transepidermal water loss, and erythema index. We found that GA decreased dryness, skin thickness, and wrinkle formation via negative modulation of MMP-1 secretion and positive regulation of elastin, type I procollagen, and transforming growth factor-β1. Our data indicate that GA is a potential candidate for the prevention of UVB-induced premature skin aging.
Source :Phytotherapy Research
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Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids in Cranberry Juice Are Bioavailable and Increase Antioxidant Activity in Older, Healthy Subjects
McKay DL, Chen CY, Zampariello CA, Blumberg JB.
Flavonoids and phenolic acids from cranberry juice are bioavailable and bioactive in healthy older adults. Food Chem. February 1, 2015;168:233-240.
Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), which are rich in phenolic phytochemicals, have been associated with antibacterial, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, antiangiogenic, and antioxidant activities. Phenolic compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can modulate enzyme activity and gene expression. However, most of the evidence supporting these activities was determined from in vitro studies and animal models. Furthermore, more research is needed to understand the bioavailability and metabolism of cranberry phenolics in humans. The authors have expanded on their earlier study which examined the pharmacokinetics of cranberry anthocyanins which showed most anthocyanins appeared in plasma within 1 to 2 hours after consumption.1 In the study reported here, the authors conducted a single-dose pharmacokinetic trial to examine the bioavailability and bioactivity of a broader array of phenolics from cranberry juice.
The study evaluated the acute (24-hour) bioavailability of flavonoids and phenolic acids from a single dose (237 mL) of a double-strength (54% juice), low-calorie, low-sugar cranberry juice cocktail (CJC) (Ocean Spray; Lakeville-Middleboro, Massachusetts). The principal phenolics in the beverage were the anthocyanins peonidin-3-galactoside and -arabinoside, the anthocyanins cyanidin-3-arabinoside and -galactoside, and the flavonols hyperoside and quercetin. Total phenolic content of the single dose of CJC was 188.5 mg.
The study involved 10 healthy, nonsmoking men and postmenopausal women aged 50 to 70 years. The subjects were asked to consume foods low in phenolics for 48 hours before the trial. The day before the trial, the subjects were fed the same meal low in phenols and refrained from food and beverages except for water for the next 12 hours to provide baseline values.
After administration of CJC, blood samples were collected periodically for 10 hours and at 24 hours. Blood samples were assessed for phenolic acids, flavonoids, and total antioxidant capacity: oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and total antioxidant performance (TAP). Susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to Cu2+-induced lipid oxidation (LDL oxidation) was also measured.
The authors found the concentration of total phenolics detected in plasma reached a peak of 34.2 µg/mL between 8 and 10 hours after CJC consumption; in urine, the peak was 269.8 µg/mg creatinine, occurring 2 to 4 hours earlier. In plasma, protocatechuic acid, quercetin, and vanillic acid were the most predominant contributors to this total. In urine, protocatechuic acid and 4-OH-phenylacetic acid were the most predominant. Anthocyanins were detected in the urine samples of all subjects at widely varying concentrations. The predominant anthocyanin detected in both plasma and urine was peonidin-3-galactoside.
The authors "provide here the first observation that PAC-A2 [proanthocyanidin-A2] can be quantified in the urine of healthy volunteers following an acute dose of CJC." This finding suggests that PAC-A2 in urine could be a biomarker of cranberry intake and compliance since it does not occur in other plant foods.
Among the 3 assays measuring antioxidant capacity, the mean TAP values increased the most after CJC consumption. Correlations were observed between ORAC and protocatechuic acid (P=0.00), quercetin (P=0.00), epicatechin (P=0.001), 4-OH-3-methoxy-phenylacetic acid (P=0.018), gentisic acid (P=0.045), and 3,4-OH-phenylacetic acid (P=0.03), and between TAP and gentisic acid (P=0.01) and protocatechuic acid (P=0.036). No correlations were observed between FRAP and plasma phenolics. According to the authors, "This is the first study to correlate changes in individual cranberry metabolites, e.g., protocatechuic acid, with an array of measures of antioxidant capacity over time."
Consistent with earlier studies, the authors detected cranberry anthocyanins in plasma and urine and a marked inter-individual variation in anthocyanin pharmacokinetics. "The considerable inter-individual variability in the pharmacokinetics of these phytochemicals appears likely due to individual differences in phase II enzyme polymorphisms as well as composition of gastrointestinal microbiota," the authors write.
"In conclusion, we have demonstrated that phenolic acids and flavonoids, in CJC, are bioavailable and increase antioxidant capacity in healthy older adults. We also found that PAC-A2 is detectable in plasma and quantifiable in urine after an acute dose of cranberry juice," the authors state.
Source : American Botanical council
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Soda and Cell Aging: Associations Between Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption and Leukocyte Telomere Length in Healthy Adults From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys
Cindy W. Leung, ScD, Barbara A. Laraia, PhD, Belinda L. Needham, PhD, David H. Rehkopf, ScD, Nancy E. Adler, PhD, Jue Lin, PhD, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD, and Elissa S. Epel, PhD
Objectives. We tested whether leukocyte telomere length maintenance, which underlies healthy cellular aging, provides a link between sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and the risk of cardiometabolic disease.
Methods. We examined cross-sectional associations between the consumption of SSBs, diet soda, and fruit juice and telomere length in a nationally representative sample of healthy adults. The study population included 5309 US adults, aged 20 to 65 years, with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, from the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Leukocyte telomere length was assayed from DNA specimens. Diet was assessed using 24-hour dietary recalls. Associations were examined using multivariate linear regression for the outcome of log-transformed telomere length.
Results. After adjustment for sociodemographic and health-related characteristics, sugar-sweetened soda consumption was associated with shorter telomeres (b = –0.010; 95% confidence interval [CI] = −0.020, −0.001; P = .04). Consumption of 100% fruit juice was marginally associated with longer telomeres (b = 0.016; 95% CI = −0.000, 0.033; P = .05). No significant associations were observed between consumption of diet sodas or noncarbonated SSBs and telomere length.
Conclusions. Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging.
Source : American Journal of Public Health
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Medicinal and Edible Fungi as an Alternative Medicine for Treating Age-Related Disease
Da-wei Qin1 and Chunchao Han2
1School of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Qilu University of Technology, Jinan 250353, China
2School of Pharmacy, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan 250355, China
Age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer involve epigenetic modifications, where accumulation of minute changes in the epigenome over time leads to disease manifestation. Epigenetic changes are influenced by life style and diets. This represents an avenue whereby dietary components could accelerate or prevent age-related diseases through their effects on epigenetic modifications. Therefore, new therapeutic approaches are needed to treat them more efficiently....... The medicinal effects attributed to fungi, based mainly on uncharacterized substances or extracts, include antiviral, immunomodulatory, antitumor, antioxidant, radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidemic or antihypercholesterolemic, hepatoprotective, and antidiabetic effects.
Source : Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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(+)-Catechin protects dermal fibroblasts against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis
Tomoko Tanigawa, Shigeyuki Kanazawa, Ryoko Ichibori, Takashi Fujiwara, Takuya Magome, Kenta Shingaki, Shingo Miyata, Yuki Hata, Koichi Tomita, Ken Matsuda, Tateki Kubo, Masaya Tohyama, Kenji Yano and Ko Hosokawa
Oxidative stress has been suggested as a mechanism underlying skin aging, as it triggers apoptosis in various cell types, including fibroblasts, which play important roles in the preservation of healthy, youthful skin. Catechins, which are antioxidants contained in green tea, exert various actions such as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer actions. In this study, we investigated the effect of (+)-catechin on apoptosis induced by oxidative stress in fibroblasts.
Fibroblasts (NIH3T3) under oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide (0.1 mM) were treated with either vehicle or (+)-catechin (0-100 muM). The effect of (+)-catechin on cell viability, apoptosis, phosphorylation of c-Jun terminal kinases (JNK) and p38, and activation of caspase-3 in fibroblasts under oxidative stress were evaluated.
Hydrogen peroxide induced apoptotic cell death in fibroblasts, accompanied by induction of phosphorylation of JNK and p38 and activation of caspase-3. Pretreatment of the fibroblasts with (+)-catechin inhibited hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis and reduced phosphorylation of JNK and p38 and activation of caspase-3.
(+)-Catechin protects against oxidative stress-induced cell death in fibroblasts, possibly by inhibiting phosphorylation of p38 and JNK. These results suggest that (+)-catechin has potential as a therapeutic agent for the prevention of skin aging.
Source : BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Effectiveness of dietary interventions among adults of retirement age: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Jose Lara, Nicola Hobbs, Paula J Moynihan, Thomas D Meyer, Ashley J Adamson, Linda Errington, Lynn Rochester, Falko F Sniehotta, Martin White and John C Mathers
Background Retirement from work involves significant lifestyle changes and may represent an opportunity to promote healthier eating patterns in later life. However, the effectiveness of dietary interventions during this period has not been evaluated.
Methods We undertook a systematic review of dietary interventions among adults of retirement transition age (54 to 70 years). Twelve electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled trials evaluating the promotion of a healthy dietary pattern, or its constituent food groups, with three or more months of follow-up and reporting intake of specific food groups. Random-effects models were used to determine the pooled effect sizes. Subgroup analysis and meta-regression were used to assess sources of heterogeneity.
Results Out of 9,048 publications identified, 67 publications reporting 24 studies fulfilled inclusion criteria. Twenty-two studies, characterized by predominantly overweight and obese participants, were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, interventions increased fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake by 87.8 g/day (P <0.00001), with similar results in the short-to-medium (that is, 4 to 12 months; 85.6 g/day) and long-term (that is, 12 to 58 months; 87.0 g/day) and for body mass index (BMI) category. Interventions produced slightly higher intakes of fruit (mean 53.7 g/day) than of vegetables (mean 41.6 g/day), and significant increases in fish (7 g/day, P = 0.03) and decreases in meat intake (9 g/day, P <0.00001).
Conclusions Increases in F&V intakes were positively associated with the number of participant intervention contacts. Dietary interventions delivered during the retirement transition are therefore effective, sustainable in the longer term and likely to be of public health significance.
Source + BMC
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Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women1,2,3,4
- Maeve C Cosgrove,
- Oscar H Franco,
- Stewart P Granger,
- Peter G Murray, and
- Andrew E Mayes
Background: Nutritional factors play a key role in normal dermatologic functioning. However, little is known about the effects of diet on skin-aging appearance.
Objective: We evaluated the associations between nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance.
Design: Using data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we examined associations between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4025 women (40–74 y). Nutrients were estimated from a 24-h recall. Clinical examinations of the skin were conducted by dermatologists. Skin-aging appearance was defined as having a wrinkled appearance, senile dryness, and skin atrophy.
Results: Higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance [odds ratio (OR) 0.89; 95% CI: 0.82, 0.96] and senile dryness (OR: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.87, 0.99). Higher linoleic acid intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of senile dryness (OR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.64, 0.88) and skin atrophy (OR: 0.78; 95% CI 0.65, 0.95). A 17-g increase in fat and a 50-g increase in carbohydrate intakes increased the likelihood of a wrinkled appearance (OR: 1.28 and 1.36, respectively) and skin atrophy (OR: 1.37 and 1.33, respectively). These associations were independent of age, race, education, sunlight exposure, income, menopausal status, body mass index, supplement use, physical activity, and energy intake.
Conclusions: Higher intakes of vitamin C and linoleic acid and lower intakes of fats and carbohydrates are associated with better skin-aging appearance. Promoting healthy dietary behaviors may have additional benefit for skin appearance in addition to other health outcomes in the population.
Source : American Journal Clinical Nutrition
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Effects of Buddhism Walking Meditation on Depression, Functional Fitness, and Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation in Depressed Elderly.
Prakhinkit S1, Suppapitiporn S, Tanaka H, Suksom D.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of the novel Buddhism-based walking meditation (BWM) and the traditional walking exercise (TWE) on depression, functional fitness, and vascular reactivity. Design: This was a randomized exercise intervention study. Settings/location: The study was conducted in a university hospital setting.
Subjects: Forty-five elderly participants aged 60-90 years with mild-to-moderate depressive symptoms were randomly allocated to the sedentary control, TWE, and BWM groups. Interventions: The BWM program was based on aerobic walking exercise incorporating the Buddhist meditations performed 3 times/week for 12 weeks.
Outcome measures: Depression score, functional fitness, and endothelium-dependent vasodilation as measured by the flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were the outcome measures used.
Results: Muscle strength, flexibility, agility, dynamic balance, and cardiorespiratory endurance increased in both exercise groups (p<0.05). Depression score decreased (p<0.05) only in the BWM group. FMD improved (p<0.05) in both exercise groups. Significant reduction in plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and C-reactive protein were found in both exercise groups, whereas low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, cortisol, and interleukin-6 concentrations decreased only in the BWM group.
Conclusions: Buddhist walking meditation was effective in reducing depression, improving functional fitness and vascular reactivity, and appears to confer greater overall improvements than the traditional walking program.
Source : Journal Alternative Complementary Medicine
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Enhancement of immunity in the elderly by dietary supplementation with the probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis HN0191,2,3
- Harsharnjit S Gill,
- Kay J Rutherfurd,
- Martin L Cross, and
- Pramod K Gopal
BACKGROUND: The aging process can lead to a decline in cellular immunity. Therefore, the elderly could benefit from safe and effective interventions that restore cellular immune functions.
OBJECTIVE: We determined whether dietary supplementation with the known immunostimulating probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 could enhance aspects of cellular immunity in elderly subjects.
DESIGN: Thirty healthy elderly volunteers (age range: 63-84 y; median: 69 y) participated in a 3-stage dietary supplementation trial lasting 9 wk. During stage 1 (run-in), subjects consumed low-fat milk (200 mL twice daily for 3 wk) as a base-diet control. During stage 2 (intervention), they consumed milk supplemented with B. lactis HN019 in a typical dose (5 x 10(10) organisms/d) or a low dose (5 x 10(9) organisms/d) for 3 wk. During stage 3 (washout), they consumed low-fat milk for 3 wk. Changes in the relative proportions of leukocyte subsets and ex vivo leukocyte phagocytic and tumor-cell-killing activity were determined longitudinally by assaying peripheral blood samples.
RESULTS: Increases in the proportions of total, helper (CD4(+)), and activated (CD25(+)) T lymphocytes and natural killer cells were measured in the subjects' blood after consumption of B. lactis HN019. The ex vivo phagocytic capacity of mononuclear and polymorphonuclear phagocytes and the tumoricidal activity of natural killer cells were also elevated after B. lactis HN019 consumption. The greatest changes in immunity were found in subjects who had poor pretreatment immune responses. In general, the 2 doses of B. lactis HN019 had similar effectiveness.
CONCLUSION: B. lactis HN019 could be an effective probiotic dietary supplement for enhancing some aspects of cellular immunity in the elderly.
Source : The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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Cardio and Weight Training Reduces Access to Health Care in Seniors
Forget apples -- lifting weights and doing cardio can also keep the doctors away, according a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.
The study, published today in the online journal PLOS ONE, followed 86 women, aged 70- to 80-years-old, who were randomly assigned to participate in weight training classes, outdoor walking classes, or balance and toning classes (such as yoga and pilates) for six months. All participants have mild cognitive impairment, a well-recognized risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
The researchers tabulated the total costs incurred by each participant in accessing a variety of health care resources.
"We found that those who participated in the cardio or weight training program incurred fewer health care resources -- such as doctor visits and lab tests -- compared to those in the balance and toning program," says Jennifer Davis, a postdoctoral fellow and lead author of the study.
The study is the latest in a series of studies that assess the efficacy of different types of training programs on cognitive performance in elderly patients. An earlier study, published in February in the Journal of Aging Research, showed aerobic and weight training also improved cognitive performance in study participants. Those on balance and toning programs did not.
"While balance and toning exercises are good elements of an overall health improvement program, you can't 'down-dog' your way to better brain health," says Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an Associate Professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine and a member of the Brain Research Centre at UBC and VCH Research Institute. "The new study also shows that cardio and weight training are more cost-effective for the health care system."
Background: Exercise benefits for the brain
The new studies build on previous research by Prof. Liu-Ambrose, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, Cognitive Neuroscience and a member of the Centre for Hip Health & Mobility, where she found that once- or twice-weekly weight training may help minimize cognitive decline and impaired mobility in seniors.
The weight training classes included weighted exercises targeting different muscle groups for a whole-body workout. The aerobic training classes were an outdoor walking program targeted to participants' age-specific target heart rate. The balance and toning training classes were representative of exercise programs commonly available in the community such as Osteofit, yoga, or Tai Chi.
Source : Science Daily
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Study highlights the protective effect of berries on brain function
Adding more color to your diet in the form of berries is encouraged by many nutrition experts. The protective effect of berries against inflammation has been documented in many studies. Diets supplemented with blueberries and strawberries have also been shown to improve behavior and cognitive functions in stressed young rats.
To evaluate the protective effects of berries on brain function, specifically the ability of the brain to clear toxic accumulation, researchers from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and University of Maryland Baltimore County recently fed rats a berry diet for 2 months and then looked at their brains after irradiation, a model for accelerated aging. All of the rats were fed berries 2 months prior to radiation and then divided into two groups- one was evaluated after 36 hours of radiation and the other after 30 days.
"After 30 days on the same berry diet, the rats experienced significant protection against radiation compared to control," said investigator Shibu Poulose, PhD. "We saw significant benefits to diets with both of the berries, and speculate it is due to the phytonutrients present."
The researchers looked at neurochemical changes in the brain, in particular what is known as autophagy, which can regulate the synthesis, degradation and recycling of cellular components. It is also the way in which the brain clears toxic accumulations. "Most diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's have shown an increased amount of toxic protein. Berries seem to promote autophagy, the brain's natural housekeeping mechanism, thereby reducing the toxic accumulation," said Poulose.
The researchers are currently conducting a human study in older people ages 60-75. "We have a lot of animal work that suggests these compounds will protect the aged brain and reverse some of behavioral deficits. We are hoping it will translate to human studies as well," said Dr. Barbara Shukitt-Hale, the lead investigator conducting the human study.
Source: Medical News via Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
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Lower Risk of Photoaging Associated with Monounsaturated Fatty Acids from Olive Oil
As life expectancy increases in developed countries, concern with the condition and appearance of aging skin also rises. Chronological (intrinsic) skin aging due to genetically determined loss of cell function over time appears as fine wrinkles and dry, thin, pale skin. Concurrent aging due to environmental or lifestyle factors (extrinsic) causes solar elastosis, actinic keratosis, pigmentation, and vascular abnormalities. Extrinsic aging, especially exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays (photoaging), can cause basal and squamous cell skin cancers. UV-B rays damage DNA directly. UV-A damage occurs through generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their effects.
Skin is a major fat storage organ for humans, but there are few studies of lipid intake and skin physiology. Reduced fat intake has been proposed as protective against photoaging. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are reported to reduce oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and related inflammation. The authors explored associations between facial skin photoaging and MUFA intake by dietary source.
A cohort from the Supplémentation en Vitamines et Minéraux Antioxydants (SU.VI.MAX) study, a double-blind, placebo-controlled primary prevention trial evaluating antioxidant supplementation and incidence of ischemic heart failure in French adults, was used. The 13,017 SU.VI.MAX participants (7,876 women aged 35-60 years and 5,141 men aged 45-60 years at enrollment in 1994-1995) were followed for up to eight years. They completed 24-hour dietary records every two months, for six records/year/subject. The electronically administered record queried 900 items for three meals and up to four snacks daily. For each food or drink, participants selected a portion size. Types of oils and fats used were queried. Subjects who completed at least 10 records over 2.5 years were included in this study. Those who developed cancer or had a cardiovascular event during the same 2.5 years were excluded, as were women <45 years of age. Data from 1,264 women and 1,655 men from both placebo and intervention groups were used.
Separate analyses were undertaken for each gender. The SU.VI.MAX food composition table was used to determine total energy intake, total MUFA intake, and total intake of MUFAs from different dietary sources. Nutrient density was calculated by expressing MUFA intake as a percentage of total energy intake, then grouped into quartiles. Individual MUFA densities from major sources (vegetable oils, dairy products, meats, and processed meats) and the most frequently used oils containing MUFAs (olive [Olea europaea], sunflower [Helianthus annuus], and peanut [Arachis hypogaea] oils) were similarly grouped into quartiles. Results appear as estimated odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), with the first quartile as the reference in each case.
Photoaging was assessed at baseline by researchers on a 6-grade damage scale including slack tissue, wrinkles, and abnormal pigmentation. Because the cohort was middle-aged, those scored as grade 1 (least damage) or 6 (most damage) were scarce and were grouped, respectively, with grades 2 and 5, creating four grades of damage.
Covariates included age, geographical residence (postal code), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) use status, degree of physical activity, education, and, for women, hormonal status. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from baseline height and weight. Residence was arbitrarily divided into North and South France. Subjects also rated the intensity of their lifetime sun exposure as none/mild, moderate, or severe.
Severe photoaging was strongly age-linked in both genders. Premenopausal women had less severe damage. In men, more severe skin aging was associated with less education, more sun exposure, and residence at higher (more northerly) latitudes. For men and women, those with the least MUFA intake had the worst skin aging. After adjusting for confounders, a significant association was found between severity of photoaging and higher total MUFAs in men (OR=0.76, 95% CI: 0.57-1.00, P=0.03). For both genders, higher intake of MUFAs from vegetable oils was associated with less risk of severe photoaging (women: OR=0.63, 95% CI: 0.44-0.90, P=0.01; men: OR=0.55, 95% CI: 0.40-0.76, P=0.0004). For olive oil only, a significant association for MUFA with less risk of skin aging was found (women: OR=0.69, 95% CI: 0.50-0.95, P=0.03; men: OR=0.58, 95% CI: 0.43-0.77, P=0.0002). Olive oil was the main vegetable oil for 59% of women and 51% of men in this study. No association was found with skin aging and MUFAs from dairy products, meats, or meat products.
These findings comport with those from studies examining aspects of the relationship between MUFA intake and skin aging. One reported a negative association between total MUFAs, olive oil intake, and skin aging. Another found a positive association between MUFA intake and skin elasticity. A third found no association between oleic acid intake and wrinkling, but reported greater risk of skin dryness with higher intake. The latter two studies did not consider specific MUFA sources. Olive oil's benefits against photoaging may be due to its having a higher ratio of MUFA and less omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). MUFAs are less susceptible to peroxidation. Also, squalene and polyphenols in olive oil may be involved. Squalene, largely sequestered in skin, is thought to be a major protectant against free radical damage and dryness. Squalene and polyphenols seem to be important in benefits of the Mediterranean diet. In this study, higher intake of olive oil was positively correlated with higher intake of fruits, vegetables, fish, and tea, and negatively associated with sweets, butter, and milk.
Source : American Botanical Council via Latreille J, Kesse-Guyot E, Malvy D, et al. Dietary monounsaturated fatty acids intake and risk of skin photoaging. PLoS One. September 6, 2012;7(9):e44490. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044490.
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Human skin, aging and antioxidants
Barkat Ali Khan 1 *, Naveed Akhtar 1 , Akhtar Rasul 1 , Haroon Khan 2 , Ghulam Murtaza 3 , Atif Ali 1 ,Kamran Ahmad Khan 4 , Shahiq-uz-Zaman 1 , Adnan Jameel 1 , Khalid Waseem 1 andTariq Mahmood 1
1 Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Alternative Medicine, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur,Pakistan .
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan .
3 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad, Pakistan.
4 Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan .
All health care professionals should have basic information about the structure and function of human skin inorder to be able to determine any type of change in normal skin, diagnose present skin problems and prescribe possible treatment for risk factors. Skin is also called the cutaneous membrane or the integumentry system as it has several accessory organs. In adults the skin has a surface area ranging from 1.2 to 2.2 m² and weighs about 5 kg. The skin is about 7% of the total body weight with a thickness of 0.02 ″ to 0.16 ″ range in the average adult. This review of literature covers all the aspects of human skin. Moreover, mechanisms of skin aging are discussed as well as the role of various natural and synthetic antioxidants in protecting skin are covered in this review with sagacity of understanding
Understanding of human skin, skin aging and anti-oxidants lead to a basic knowledge of preventing various skin disorders. Sustained disclosure to UV irradiations may contribute to photoaging. From this review we concluded that it refreshes the importance of anti-oxidants in skin aging and presents new information such as human skin and vitamins especially topical Vitamin C as antioxidant in skin aging. Moreover, mechanisms of skin aging are discussed as well as role of various natural and synthetic antioxidants in protecting skin are covered with sagacity of understanding
Source : Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 6(1), pp. 1-6, 9 January, 2012
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Lavender Oil Aromatherapy Reduces Falls in Elderly Nursing Home Residents in Long-Term Trial
by Heather S. Oliff, PhD
Reviewed: Sakamoto Y, Ebihara S, Ebihara T, et al. Fall prevention using olfactory stimulation with lavender odor in elderly nursing home residents: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012;60(6):1005-1011.
Falls are a major health problem for the elderly, as they are linked to increased morbidity and mortality. Risk factors for falls include physical weakness, gait and balance instability, sedating and psychotropic medications, and cognitive impairment. The latter is a strong factor due to the multiple behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), such as pacing, wandering, aggression, anxiety, and agitation. The essential oil of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, Lamiaceae) is used in aromatherapy to treat anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, and melancholy. Studies have shown that aromatherapy using lavender can improve balance and gait performance and reduce anxiety in elderly people. The purpose of this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was to evaluate the effect of continuous lavender olfactory stimulation on the incidence and risk of falls in elderly nursing home residents.
The study was conducted in three nursing homes in Aomori, Japan. It included 175 subjects, aged 65 years or more, who had the ability to move independently — with or without assistive devices. Subjects with pica disorder (appetite for non-nutritive substances such as dirt or paper) were excluded. Lavender olfactory stimulation was provided using a commercially available 1 cm by 2 cm paper patch (Aromaseal Lavender, Hakujuji Co.; Tokyo, Japan). The placebo was an identical unscented Aromaseal paper patch. The Aromaseal lavender patch originally was developed to help busy and stressed people relax by providing continuous olfactory exposure to lavender for 24 hours. The odor is so faint that it can be sensed only by the person wearing the patch. (Note: No information was provided on the lavender raw material source [i.e., the herb from which the lavender oil was distilled], oil concentration or other chemical features of the oil, or the patch production). The head nurse prepared the patches and distributed them to the nursing home staff who affixed one patch inside each subject’s clothing near the neck. The staff replaced the patch daily for 360 days.
The primary outcome measure was the number of falls. A fall was determined in accordance with the World Health Organization’s definition: “an event which results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level.” The nursing home staff was trained to identify and record daily falls according to this definition. Behavioral measurements included the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory to quantify behavioral and psychological symptoms, the Barthel Index to assess level of functional ability, the mini-mental state exam (MMSE) to assess cognitive function, and the Vitality Index to assess activity of daily living (ADL)-related vitality. The groups did not significantly differ in age or risk factors for falls.
There were a total of 62 falls reported over the course of one year, with subjects in the lavender group falling 0-5 times and subjects in the placebo group falling 0-7 times (only 2 falls resulted in injury; one in each group). In the lavender group, 35.6% of subjects fell at least once, and 50% of the placebo group fell at least once. In the placebo group, 47% had recurrent falls, while only 24% in the lavender group had more than one fall (P=0.08). The total number of falls in the placebo group was 88 compared to 46 falls in the lavender group. The incidence rate ratio (IRR) for the lavender group was significantly lower than for the placebo group (P<0.04). After adjusting for confounding variables (such as age, sex, fall history, MMSE, tranquilizer use, etc.), the IRR significance was even greater (P<0.02).
There were no between-group differences in behavioral and cognitive measurements at baseline. At 12 months, the lavender group had a significant decrease from baseline in agitated status (P=0.04); in contrast, the placebo group did not. There was no significant difference between groups in the number of subjects who were given newly prescribed tranquilizers. However, the frequency of tranquilizer use was lower in this trial compared to other studies — a difference the authors attributed to the use of Yokukansan, a traditional Asian medicine commonly prescribed for BPSD. Yokukansan contains toki or Japanese dong quai (Angelica acutiloba, Apiaceae), cang-zhu atractylodes (Atractylodes lancea, Asteraceae), Chinese thoroughwax (Bupleurum chinense, Apiaceae), poria (Wolfiporia cocos syn. Poria cocos, Polyporaceae), Chinese licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Fabaceae), marsh parsley (Ligusticum ibukiense syn. Cnidium officinale, Apiaceae), and gambir (Uncaria rhynchophylla, Rubiaceae). No adverse events were reported.
The authors concluded that daily olfactory stimulation with lavender may prevent falls in elderly nursing home residents. Although the mechanism is unknown, the results of this study support lavender’s traditional use to soothe anxiety and agitation, which may play a role in reducing falls. Lavender’s previously demonstrated stabilizing effects on balance also may be a factor. Additionally, the authors suggested that the relationship between lavender stimulation, tranquilizers, and Yokukansan warrants further investigation.
In the final analysis, only two of the 145 subjects incurred injurious falls; this study was not large enough to detect clinically relevant reductions in injurious falls. The study also is limited by its potential lack of adequate blinding, which could have resulted in reporting biases. The nurses applied the patches to the patients, and there is the chance they could not remember which patient received which patch. Also, the possibility exists that some subjects could not detect the odor (olfactory functioning was not tested). The results cannot be generalized because people in nursing homes are subjected to different, and possibly fewer, environmental risks than the elderly dwelling outside of nursing homes. Although no adverse events were reported, the authors did not rigorously evaluate safety of long-term use.
—Heather S. Oliff, PhD
Source : Herbal Gram (ABC)
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Positive Outlook on Aging Helps Seniors Heal
Older patients with positive attitudes on aging may be more likely to fully recover from severe disability compared with those who can't see the bright side of life, researchers found.
A positive stereotype about aging was associated with a 44% greater likelihood of recovery from severe disability versus negative stereotypes (95% CI 1.01 to 2.06, P=0.04), according to Becca Levy, PhD, from the Yale School of Public Health, and colleagues.
Holding positive stereotypes in older age was also significantly associated with a slower rate of decline in activities of daily living (P=0.001), they wrote in a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association online.
"Further research is needed to determine whether interventions to promote positive age stereotypes could extend independent living in later life," the authors noted.
The researchers sampled patients through the Precipitating Events Project study and included 598 mostly female patients (63.3%), with an average age of 79, who belonged to a Connecticut health plan. All participants lived in a community, were nondisabled, and experienced at least 1 month of disability from active daily life during the follow-up period.
The participants were interviewed monthly for up to 129 months and filled out home-based assessments every 18 months over 10 years.
The researchers established age stereotypes by asking participants for five terms or phrases they associated with older individuals and coding those descriptors on a five-point scale, with 1 being most negative (such as decrepit) and 5 being most positive (such as spry). The participants scored a mean 2.12 on this scale.
Participants' severity of disability was based on the number of activities of daily living compromised by disability, including bathing, dressing, transferring, and walking. Three or four compromised activities were considered severely disabled; mild to severe disability required assistance with one to two activities, and mild to no disability required no assistance with activities of daily life.
The researchers grouped patients on whether they held positive or negative age stereotypes and compared rates of recovery from severe or mild injury to no or mild disability. Patients between groups were well-matched for age, sex, nonwhite ethnicity, frailty, education, chronic conditions, mental status, depression, and whether or not they lived alone. The nature of the disabling events was not described.
Patients were significantly more likely to recover from any state of injury to either no or mild disability if they fit positive age stereotypes, including from severe disability to no disability, severe disability to mild disability (HR 1.23, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.46, P=0.02), and mild disability to no disability (HR 1.15, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.29, P=0.02).
The researchers also noted that the positive age-stereotyped patients "showed an advantage in the absolute risk increase percentages" in likelihood of recovery, in addition to "a significantly slower rate of [activities of daily life] decline."
Source : Medpage Today
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Pomegranate and berry extracts were shown to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV exposure
In a new study published in Experimental Dermatology - Pomegranate and berry extracts were shown to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV exposure
Ellagic acid is a phytochemical, or plant chemical, found in raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, pomegranates, and other plant foods
and Korean scientists involved in the study state that this phytochemical may prevent, in human skin cells, the degradation of collagen, which would slow wrinkle formation and maintain skin structure.
Other studies showed that the phytochemical also prevented thickening of the skin when exposed to UV radiation. Topical application of ellagic acid was associated with a decrease in levels of pro-inflammatory compounds in the skin of the animals, report researchers from the Department of Food and Nutrition at Hallym University in Korea.
Below is the conclusion from the study and to see the full study please press the link below
"In conclusion, the present results demonstrate the photoprotective effects of anti-oxidant ellagic acid on skin wrinkle formation resulting from collagen breakdown through increasing MMP production. The mechanism by which ellagic acid alleviated UV-B-initiated photoageing should be further clarified in terms of cellular signalling components such as mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear transcriptional factors. Topical ellagic acid alleviated UV-Binduced dermal roughening and thickening leading to skin wrinkle. In addition, ellagic acid mitigated cutaneous accumulation of inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecule ICAM-1, and inflammatory infiltrates of macrophages in hairless mice skin. Therefore, topical or dietary interventions
with berries and pomegranate rich in ellagic acid and ellagitannins are promising strategies in curtailing skin wrinkling and cutaneous inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure leading to photoageing.
Source: Experimental Dermatology
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