Author: Club Director

Machine Learning Identifies Potential Anti-Cancer Molecules in Food

The internet is rife with myths and articles making dubious claims about certain foods and their anti-cancer properties. We have all seen the articles of questionable scientific merit gracing social media suggesting that such-and-such foods can cure cancer, the majority of which are highly questionable. A new study offers a unique kind of insight into the potential true effectiveness of food in fighting cancer.

Investigating molecules in food with machine learning

There is no doubt that there are many foods that contain a myriad of active molecules, and perhaps some of these food myths may have a grain of truth to them. A team of researchers decided to do some real myth-busting and put a variety of bioactive molecules found in foods to the test to see if they might potentially help to combat cancer.

The research team chose to use the power of machine learning to help assess a total of 7,962 biologically active compounds encountered in dietary sources. These molecules were compiled into a database and fed into a machine learning algorithm, which determined that of these compounds, there were 110 molecules that appeared to have anti-cancer properties.

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Source: Life Extension Advocacy Foundation

 

Walking For Longevity

Walking is one of the best ways to enjoy outside while firming thighs, lifting the bum, that helps lower risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Research suggests every hour spent walking may add two hours to lifespans.

Aerobic doctrine has dominated exercise discussions and health since the 70s. Outdated no pain, no gains slogans hold that benefits of exercise depend upon working hard enough to boost the heart rate to 70-85% of maximum sustained for 20 to 60 minutes at least 3 times a week. Such intense workouts carry risk for injury, and discourage many.

Running is the poster boy for aerobics, that with preparation and precaution is great for health and fitness, but it is not the only way to exercise for health. Maybe seeing the sweat drenched, hard breathing runners counting pulse rates can make others assume less intensive exercise is a waste of time, but in fact that is far from the truth as moderate exercise is excellent for overall health; walking is the poster boy for moderate exercise.

Benefits of any exercise depends on 3 elements: duration, frequency, and intensity of exercises. Walking is less intensive than running, meaning longer periods of time are required or getting out more often to match the benefits of running. Current American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine standards suggest all able bodied adults to participate in moderate intensity exercise including brisk walking for at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week, or intense aerobic exercises including running for at least 20 minutes a day 3 days a week. One can mix and match to suit health, personal abilities and preferences, and daily schedules with walking, swimming, biking, gardening, dancing, golfing, whatever it is to keep/get the body moving. Add up all the things it takes to do most activities and walking just seems like the perfect anywhere, anytime, free, activity.

Literally hundreds of studies show the benefits of regular exercise on health. Walking has been shown to decrease risks of cardiovascular events by 31%, and decrease risks of dying by 32%, benefits which were equally robust in both sexes. Protection from risks was evident even at shorter distances of 5.5 miles per week at a casual pace of 2 miles per hour; subjects walking faster for longer distances had the greatest benefits.

Cardiovascular benefits are biologically plausible, as with all forms of regular moderate exercises walking improves cardiac factors such as blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol, mental stress, diabetes, respiratory disease, and vascular stiffness and inflammation. Should cardiac protection and lower death rate not be motivation enough walking can help to protect against dementia, peripheral artery disease, colon cancer, and erectile dysfunction.

Walking is not slow running, some speedwalkers can zip past joggers. At any speed walkers have one foot on the ground at all times, runners become entirely airborne at some point during each stride; what goes up must come down which is what makes running high impact, subjecting the body to stresses.

Walking on trails and streets is great for health as it gets the body outside, walking stairs can help up cardiopulmonary function, and can be twice as taxing as a brisk walk on the level, and 50% harder then walking on a steep incline or lifting weights. Even at slower paces climbing stairs will burn calories 3 times faster. A Harvard study showed men who averaged at least 8 flights of stairs a day enjoyed 33% lower mortality rates, men who walked 1.3 miles a day at a level incline had 22% lower mortality rates.

80 steps per minute represents a leisurely pace; 100 steps per minute represents a moderate pace; 120 steps per minute represents a fast pace. 12 average city blocks are one mile, and an average stride length can count approximately 2000 steps in about a mile, a pedometer can help better track progress.

Research shows that walking 7 hours spread throughout the week can help get 3-5 times the recommended amount of leisure time physical activity levels which can help to reduce risk of death by 39%. Achieving minimum recommended amounts of physical activity of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise can lower risk of death by 31%, as published in JAMA International Medicine. Walking just 30 minutes a day has been shown to lower risk of premature death by 20%.

Ready, set, steady, walk your way to better health, happiness, well being, and longevity.

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Source: WorldHealth.net

Read More Books to Increase Longevity

Despite the recent popularity of the Kindle and other e-readers, sales of printed books are increasing. In 2015, there were 571 million units sold in the United States, compared to 559 million the previous year. Reading books is a popular way of relaxing and escaping stressful thoughts, as well as passing the time. Reading can also preserve structural integrity in the brain, as people age. Now, it is believed to have the added benefit of helping us to live longer.

Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale University of Public Health, and her colleagues, analyzed data provided by the Health and Retirement Study (a nationally representative sample of American adults, 50 years of age or older). 3,635 men and women were included in the study, and all self-reported their reading habits. For approximately 12 years, they were followed-up, and their survival was monitored. Those who read books for up to 3.5 hours weekly were 17% less likely to die over the 12 year follow-up, compared to those who did not read books. Those who read for over 3.5 hours per week were 23% less likely to die. Over the course of the 12 years, the adults who read books survived almost 2 years longer than the adults who did not read.

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Source: WorldHealth.net

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Reverses Aging

The Mayo Clinic has determined that intense aerobic exercise has the potential to reverse the aging process in adults. Though everyone knows exercise is beneficial, there are plenty of questions regarding which types of exercises are the best and what age groups benefit the most from specific exercises. According to the Mayo Clinic, high intensity cardio can reverse some cellular aspects of aging.

The Study’s Aim

The purpose of the study described above was to pinpoint evidence that would assist in the development of exercise recommendations and targeted therapies for people of varying ages. Researchers monitored molecular and metabolic alterations in individuals of varying ages across a period of about three months. They collected data 72 hours after those in randomized groups performed an array of different exercises.

Study Details

Mayo Clinic researchers tested high-intensity interval training (HIIT) against combined training and resistance training. Each style of training boosted lean body mass as well as insulin sensitivity. However, HIIT and combined training heightened aerobic capacity as well as mitochondrial functionality for skeletal muscle. This is especially important for senior citizens who often endure declines in mitochondrial content and functionality.

HIIT even boosted muscle protein content that improved energetic functions and spurred the enlargement of muscles. This bolstering of muscle protein was common in older adults who engaged in high-intensity intervals. The research team keyed in on one of their most important findings: exercise boosted the cellular machinery necessary for the construction of new proteins. Protein creation and synthesis reverse some of the problematic effects of the aging process.

The take-home message is that HIIT is ideal for aging adults as it benefits the body at the molecular level as well as metabolically. HIIT reverses certain manifestations of the aging process within the human body’s protein function. Engaging in resistance training is also advisable as it allows for the establishment of considerable muscle strength. HIIT is certainly beneficial yet a strict reliance on this style of exercise won’t significantly boost muscle strength unless combined with resistance training.

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Source: WorldHealth.net

Key Mechanisms of Cancer, Aging and Inflammation Revealed

Body.OldAge1A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, lead by Patricia Opresko, Ph.D have discovered crucial new information about telomeres, the end caps of DNA. Telomeres (repeated sequences of DNA) are shortened each time a cell divides, thus becoming smaller with age. When telomeres become too short, they send a signal to the cell to cease dividing permanently – this impairs the ability of tissues to regenerate, contributing to various age-related diseases.

In cancer cells, on the other hand, levels of the enzyme telomerase (which lengthens telomeres) are elevated. This enables them to divide indefinitely. “The new information will be useful in designing new therapies to preserve telomeres in healthy cells and ultimately help combat the effects of inflammation and aging. On the flip side, we hope to develop mechanisms to selectively deplete telomeres in cancer cells to stop them from dividing,” said Dr. Opresko.

Previous studies have shown that oxidative stress accelerates telomere shortening. Oxidative stress is a condition where free radicals build up inside the cell, causing damage. Free radicals can damage the DNA that makes up the telomeres, as well as the DNA building blocks used to extend them. Oxidative stress also plays a role in various other health conditions, including cancer and inflammation. Free radical damage, which is often caused by inflammation in the body, as well as environmental factors, is believed to build up throughout the aging process.

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Source: WorldHealth.net.

High Levels of Exercise Linked to Nine Years of Less Aging at the Cellular Level

Despite their best efforts, no scientist has ever come close to stopping humans from aging. Even anti-aging creams can’t stop Old Father Time. But new research from Brigham Young University reveals you may be able to slow one type of aging – the kind that happens inside your cells. As long as you’re willing to sweat.

“Just because you’re 40, doesn’t mean you’re 40 years old biologically,” Tucker said. “We all know people that seem younger than their actual age. The more physically active we are, the less biological aging takes place in our bodies.”

The study, published in the medical journal Preventive Medicine, finds that people who have consistently high levels of physical activity have significantly longer telomeres than those who have sedentary lifestyles, as well as those who are moderately active. Telomeres are the protein endcaps of our chromosomes. They’re like our biological clock and they’re extremely correlated with age; each time a cell replicates, we lose a tiny bit of the endcaps. Therefore, the older we get, the shorter our telomeres.

Exercise science professor Larry Tucker found adults with high physical activity levels have telomeres with a biological aging advantage of nine years over those who are sedentary, and a seven-year advantage compared to those who are moderately active. To be highly active, women had to engage in 30 minutes of jogging per day (40 minutes for men), five days a week.

“If you want to see a real difference in slowing your biological aging, it appears that a little exercise won’t cut it,” Tucker said. “You have to work out regularly at high levels.”

Although the exact mechanism for how exercise preserves telomeres is unknown, Tucker said it may be tied to inflammation and oxidative stress. Previous studies have shown telomere length is closely related to those two factors and it is known that exercise can suppress inflammation and oxidative stress over time.

“We know that regular physical activity helps to reduce mortality and prolong life, and now we know part of that advantage may be due to the preservation of telomeres,” Tucker said.

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Source: ScienceDaily

Scientists Unveil a Giant Leap for Anti-Aging

University of New South Wales, UNSW, researchers have made a discovery that could lead to a revolutionary drug that actually reverses ageing, improves DNA repair and could even help NASA get its astronauts to Mars.

In a paper published in Science today, the team identifies a critical step in the molecular process that allows cells to repair damaged DNA. Their experiments in mice suggest a treatment is possible for DNA damage from ageing and radiation. It is so promising it has attracted the attention of NASA, which believes the treatment can help its Mars mission.

While our cells have an innate capability to repair DNA damage –  which happens every time we go out into the sun, for example – their ability to do this declines as we age.

The scientists identified that the metabolite NAD+, which is naturally present in every cell of our body, has a key role as a regulator in protein-to-protein interactions that control DNA repair. Treating mice with a NAD+ precursor, or “booster,” called NMN improved their cells’ ability to repair DNA damage caused by radiation exposure or old age. “The cells of the old mice were indistinguishable from the young mice, after just one week of treatment,” said lead author Professor David Sinclair of UNSW School of Medical Sciences and Harvard Medical School Boston.

Human trials of NMN therapy will begin within six months. “This is the closest we are to a safe and effective anti-ageing drug that’s perhaps only three to five years away from being on the market if the trials go well,” says Sinclair, who maintains a lab at UNSW in Sydney.

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Source: ScienceDaily

Benchmark Database of Lifespan-Extending Drugs Announced

Scientists from the Biogerontology Research Foundation (BGRF) and University of Liverpool have announced a landmark database of lifespan-extending drugs and compounds called DrugAge. The database has 418 compounds, curated from studies spanning 27 different model organisms including yeast, worms, flies and mice. It is the largest such database in the world at this time. Significantly, the study found that the majority of age-related pathways have not yet been targeted pharmacologically, and that the pharmacological modulation of aging has by and large focused upon a small subset of currently known age-related pathways. This suggests that there is still plenty of scope for the discovery of new lifespan-extending and healthspan-extending compounds.

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Source: Yael.

No More Excuses – Hit the Stairs

Everyone knows the health benefits that come with physical activity, but when asked, most people use one of two common excuses. The first is time, as in “I just don’t have enough time in my day”, and the second is place, as in, “There’s no gym near me”.

Researchers have put both of those excuses to rest. A study at McMaster University conducted two separate protocols with female participants, divided into two groups. All the women were healthy but admittedly not active. Each group was asked to exercise in short 10 minute sessions three times a week for a period of six weeks. Each session included a warm up and cool down.

In the first experiment one group was asked to climb stairs aggressively in 20 second intervals, while the second group was asked to simply ride an exercise bike for the same length of time. Results showed that the short 20 second bursts of stair climbing were more effective than the exercise bike.

In the second experiment the women were asked to climb stairs for 60 second intervals. As in the first experiment, participants showed an increase in respiratory fitness.

It would appear that the excuses for not exercising have just gone out the window. Short (10 minutes) intense periods of stair climbing will improve cardiovascular and respiratory health which leads to additional benefits derived from a healthy active lifestyle.

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Source: WorldHealth.net

Stronger Muscles for Improved Brain Function

Workout.Female.DumbellIn Australia, a University of Sydney study has linked improved cognitive function with stronger muscles using a steady regime of weightlifting exercises. Published in the Journal of American Geriatrics, the study used a system known as SMART (Study of Mental and Resistance Training). A trial was done on a group of patients age 55 to 68, suffering MCI (mild cognitive impairment). This condition is not as serious as full-blown dementia, as people affected only have mild cognitive symptoms not severe enough to disable them from normal daily life.

The aim of the study was to measure the effects of different physical and mental activities on the human brain. Researchers examined 100 people affected by MCI. They were divided into four groups, and assigned the activities as seen below:

  • Weightlifting exercises
  • Seated stretching exercises
  • Real cognitive training on a computer
  • Placebo training on a computer

The weightlifting trial lasted for 6 months with exercising done twice a week. As the participants got stronger, they increased the amount of weight for each exercise. The exercises were done while trying to maintain 80% or greater at their peak strength.

Surprisingly, only the weight training activity demonstrated a measured improvement in brain function. The stretching exercises, cognitive training, and placebo training did not yield any results. This proved a link between muscle strength gained through physical training and the improved cognitive functions. According to Doctor Yorgi Mavros, lead author of the study, there was a clear relationship between mental functions and increased muscular strength. And the stronger the muscles got the greater the mental improvement.

Doctor Mavros is a strong advocate for encouraging resistance exercises as people start to grow older. The result could be a much healthier aging population. Mavros stressed the need for exercising at least 2-3 time per week at a high enough intensity in order to get the maximum cognitive benefits.

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Source: WorldHealth.net.