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Professor Ben-Joseph's blog

Mediterranean plants could prolong life in neurodegenerative disease

Mediterranean DietJanuary 11 2017. The January 18, 2017 issue of Neuroscience Letters reports the discovery of researchers at the University of Malta and the University of Bordeaux of a life-extending effect for two plants found in the Mediterranean region.

Niacin could help with early onset Parkinson’s disease

January 13 2017. A study reported on December 23, 2016 in Biology Open suggests a benefit for niacin (vitamin B3) in the treatment of early stage Parkinson’s disease. The research involved fruit flies with a mutation which results in a condition similar to human Parkinson’s disease. L. Miguel Martins and colleagues at the University of Leicester fed the flies a diet supplemented with niacin, which is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a coenzyme needed for the generation of energy in the cells’ mitochondria. NAD also helps protect neurons from degeneration.

More evidence for calorie restriction’s longevity effect

January 18 2017. An article published on January 17, 2017 in Nature Communications reports the conclusion of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) that calorie restriction among older rhesus monkeys results in longer life. The research, which attempted to resolve conflicting findings concerning the effect of calorie restriction on life span, is the first collaboration between the two competing research teams.


Research validates inflammaging theory

January 20 2017. Inflammaging, defined as chronic, systemic low-grade inflammation that occurs with aging in the absence of overt infection, has been hypothesized as a mechanism of age-associated disease and premature mortality. A cause of inflammaging has been attributed to lifetime exposure to a variety of antigens via the intestine.


Supplementation with vitamin D associated with improved testosterone, erectile function among middle-aged men

January 23 2017. A study reported on January 11, 2017 in The Aging Male found improvements in testosterone levels, erectile function and indicators of metabolic syndrome among men who received vitamin D over a one year period. “Given that patients with low total testosterone often have low vitamin D levels, collectively, research suggests a relationship between low vitamin D and low total testosterone, and increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus,” note Ondor Canguven of Hamad General Hospital in Doha, Qatar and colleagues.

Metabolic syndrome increases the need for vitamin E

January 25 2017. An article appearing on January 11, 2017 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provides more evidence for a higher vitamin E requirement among people with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of factors that increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The research builds on findings reported in the November 2015 issue of the journal, in which Richard S. Bruno and colleagues had determined that vitamin E was less bioavailable in subjects with metabolic syndrome than healthy subjects.

Metformin disrupts head and neck tumor growth

January 27 2017. On January 25, 2017, The Laryngoscopereported the discovery of researchers at Thomas Jefferson University of mechanisms associated with the drug metformin against cancer of the head and neck. "This study is the first step in showing how metformin acts on head and neck tumors, and we are excited that it could eventually offer patients a method of improving their outcomes with few side effects," announced senior author Ubaldo Martinez-Outschoorn.

Vitamin D supplementation helps relieve chronic back pain

testosteroneJanuary 30 2017. A clinical trial reported in the January 2017 issue of Pain Physician uncovered a benefit for supplementing with vitamin D among individuals with chronic lower back pain. The condition is the second most common pain complaint after headache and can be notoriously resistant to treatment.

Breast cancer survivors INCREASE the risk of dying prematurely when eating grilled and smoked meats

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that 230,815 women were diagnosed with this disease in 2013 alone. Now, disturbing study results show that female breast cancer survivors who ate more grilled, barbecued and smoked meats had a greater risk of dying, compared to those with lower intakes. Keep reading to discover how cooking meats at high temperatures can generate dangerous toxins – and the best way to protect your health.

Strokes Decline, But Only in Men

Strokes are a horrible, life-threatening event in which either a blockage in the brain cuts off blood flow and deprives cells in that area of oxygen or, less commonly, a blood vessel in the brain bursts spilling blood into the brain to much the same effect. They can leave victims temporarily or permanently disabled, or result in death. While overall stroke rates in the United States have been dropping over the last 20 years or so, this decline is not necessarily equal in all populations across the board.