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Linus Pauling Meeting Notes   May, 2007 About the Linus Pauling Institute

Here is a summary of my notes from the Linus Pauling Meeting, held 17-20 May 2007.  The Linus Pauling Institute is a great source for nutrition information, http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/.  Their meeting every two years provides updates on the latest exciting nutrition research, featuring invited speakers from around the world.

ANTIOXIDANTS
90% of the US knows about the benefits of antioxidants (AO). Polyphenols is a major AO group that includes the flavonoids, that block seven steps in metabolism that olead to poor health. Polyphenols are so good they could be taken as supplements if not obtained in your diet.  Quercetin, found in yellow but not white onions, blocks amylase preventing blood high glucose.  Hesperidin found in oranges inhibits bone loss. The speaker recommended 1-30 mg flavonones/day, 3mg of isoflavones and flavones/day

Helferich spoke on phytoestrogens (PE) and breast cancer. In Asia breast cancer rates are very low, and this may be linkd to soy consumption that provides 25 mg PE/day.  Some US supplements provide 150mg PE/day, and that may be hazardous.  A major PE, genistein, promotes tumor growth at high levels.

LIPOIC ACID
80% of the US over 65 have at least 1 chronic disease.  Now 30 million people are over 65; in 2030 it will be 70 million.  Our blood level of glutathione, an antioxidant we produce naturally, declines by nearly 50% as we age.  Lipoic acid reverses glutathione decline.

Of 31,000 DNA genes tested, 800 gene expression levels changed substantially from young to old age.  Expression of genes for coping with  the stress response went down, antioxidant and pro-inflammatory factors went up.  Lipoic acid restored gene expression to youthful levels for 25% of those genes.  100 genes are regulated by the Antioxidant Response Element (ARE), and lipoic acid restores the signal to aid ARE.

Alpha Lipoic acid (ALA) and exercise both are important to endurance.  The combination is better than either alone, and the speaker suggested 600 mg lipoic acid daily. I have begun taking 100 mg ALA daily. MDR CardioTone contains 50 mg ALA and 100 mg Carnitine which is the basis of a remarkable discovery that turns old tired creatures who have impaired learning ability into frisky juveniles with wonderful learning ability...and MDR patented it in combination with 50 mg Coenzyme Q10 and other heart beneficial ingredients. Pat Riley wrote "I think it is a vital antiaging formula extra valuable for those with heart or diabetes concerns..and for all of us for longevity." As this section on the Linus Pauling meeting reflects, there is a strong basis for the formulation of Cardiotone.

VITAMIN E
Tocotrienols (TTEs) are forms of vitamin E that have unsaturated tails.  They protect neurons in culture much better than vitamin E.  People get about 77 mg/day in diet.  But Maret Traber (Chair of the latest Vitamin E panel for the US) points out that the half life of TTEs is only 4 hr, so they are especially important to get in the diet.

URIC ACID
 Uric acid is highly protective against Parkinson's disease and progression of Parkinson's  Alcohol, fructose, meat and seafood increase urate. While some studies indicated vitamin C and E were not protective against brain disorders, another showed vitamin E was very protective.

CARNITINE
Carnitine is a useful supplement. It causes BMI, weight, and waist circumference to decrease, LDL and Triglyceride (TG) levels to go down.  HDL stays constant, and LDL oxidation decreases.

MOTHER AND DIET GENETICALLY IMPRINT A BABY FOR ITS ENTIRE LIFE
A Series of talks covered imprinting, the mechanism during pregnancy and first 4 years of life when gene expression levels are permanently turned on or off for a newborn's lifetime, without any change in the person's DNA.  Methylation of genes is key to this process, so folate, vitamin B12, choline, and betaine levels are extremely important during pregnancy and for newborns to age 4. 

David Williams spoke about Indole-3-carbinol, available as a supplement.  That and phytochemicals are important to maintain the transplacental barrier during pregnancy, protecting fetuses from cancer caused by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons produced in the air by burning hydrocarbons.

Zeisel pointed out that choline is very important for the fetal brain, and can be obtained as a supplement as phosphatidyl choline.  2-4 eggs per day provide enough choline during pregnancy.  The current daily value is 450 mg, but it would be useful to set the level at 850 mg.   It is like fish oil, having lifelong effect on an infant's early brain development.  Note that DEA in sunscreen blocks the function of choline, so pregnant women must not use sunscreen with DEA.

ANTICARCINOGENS
 29% of cancer in men is prostate cancer; 70% of men over 65 years old have prostate cancer; it is the #1 cancer in the US but low in China.  Sulfuraphane (SFN) in cruciferous vegetables is the key to prevention. SFN  induces detoxification enzymes. It substantially reduces tumor growth rate, and is a potential cancer prevention supplement.  Broccoli sprouts (BS) have 50x SFN compared to broccoli. Bioavailability of the purified compound is unclear, so it may be wiser to use BS powder or whole sprouts.  SFN is also a potent cyclooxygenase inhibitor.  SFN found in broccoli and ginger.  Use them instead of aspirin for headaches.  Tumeric is the gold standard of spices. The active component is curcumin (CCM), which prevents colon cancer.

EXERCISE
Acute exercise improves learning (Winter, 2007).  Physically active adults survive stroke damage much better than those who are sedentary. Exercise changes gene expression levels.  This requires at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise - fast walking - per week. Exercise increases neurogenesis, cerebral blood flow, and sexual function.  Endurance exercise induces mitochondria formation necessary for energy and good health, while sedentary aging decreases mitochondrial function leading to chronic disease.  Endurance exercise increases all beneficial physiological functions, however, sprinting has almost no value.  There is almost no benefit in sports relying on fast twitch muscles such as sprinting, while endurance activities develop slow twitch muscles and long term health.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS
Antidepressants (ADs) have been shown in many studies to be much less effective than exercise for treating and curing depression.  ADs have many side effects, suppress sexual function and are associated with obesity

CALORIC RESTRICTION It has been suspected that cutting caloric intake to 30% below normal while maintaining vitamin and mineral intake could dramatically extend life and reduce chronic disease. But this process appears to be useful only when done for entire lifetime.  Starting in old age does not appear promising. Weight control and exercise are essential to good health and longevity, but starvation no longer appears useful.

So there's the highlights of the meeting of the Linus Pauling Institute for May, 2007. Remember – you are what you eat! Till next time  ********Doc Roc

 

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