Is Lithium Orotate about to become the hot supplement for 2016? Research says…maybe.

In a recent study, conducted on female and male Drosophila – aka fruit flies, researchers found that supplementing with lithium resulted in:

  • Increased life span
  • Improved health over the course of that increased life span
  • A reduction in triglycerides
  • An increase in resistance to stress

According to the researchers, lithium does this by inhibiting glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) and activating the transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (NRF-2).

The researchers concluded that “the discovery of GSK-3 as a therapeutic target for aging will likely lead to more effective treatments that can modulate mammalian aging and further improve health in later life”.

 

Castillo-Quan et al. Graphical abstract-2

This research builds upon a previous study that:

  1. Tested lithium supplements directly on C. elegans worms, and
  2. Observed how natural lithium consumption (water supply) affected the life span of HUMANS.

In this study, the researchers found “an inverse correlation between drinking water lithium concentrations and all cause mortality in 18 neighboring Japanese municipalities with a total of 1,206,174 individuals. They also found that exposure to a comparably low concentration of lithium chloride extends life span of C. elegans.

They concluded that when taken together, these findings indicate that long-term low-dose exposure to lithium may exert antiaging capabilities and unambiguously decreases mortality in evolutionary distinct species (aka C.elegans worms).

What does this mean to you?

Right now…not a whole lot. For two big reasons:

Reason #1

The most up to date research has been done on worms & fruit flies, and it will be a while before proper human studies have been completed…and even longer before your family doctor starts handing out scrips for lithium orotate.

Reason #2

All of the lithium / longevity research seems to use lithium chloride as it’s source of lithium. Which could be a problem when we come to doing human research.

And as with most drugs, dosage frequently means the difference between a “good” drug and a “bad” drug.

In regard to lithium, dosage for bipolar patients is a true balancing act, between managing the symptoms of mania and it’s negative effects on the central nervous & renal systems. At high enough doses, lithium can be lethal.

Here’s where it gets interesting…

There is one version of lithium that has become popular in the “alternative medicine” world – lithium orotate.

While the research is limited, a 1979 study in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology found that lower doses of lithium orotate as compared to lithium carbonate may achieve therapeutic brain lithium concentrations and relatively stable serum concentrations.

That would mean that we might be able to get all the positives (life extension, better health, etc) of lithium supplementation without the negatives that increased dosages incur.

Of course….the science looking at the safety and efficacy of lithium orotate is very, very, very limited.

Hopefully, as more researchers (and drug companies) get excited about the potential use of lithium as a minor fountain of youth, the quantity and quality of lithium orotate research will increase.

Stay tuned.

 

Reference

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Bye Bye Healthy Lifestyle : Hello Qnexa

Woooo-hoooo!!!!

No more exercise, no more vegetables, no more fish, no more paleo, no more carb/insulin control, no more protein shakes, no more mindfulness, no more healthy anything…

Qnexa is here and as soon as I get my prescription filled, I am gonna lay a beating on the nearest “all you can eat” restaurant I can find.

Because today is the day that the FDA released their review of  Vivus‘ new anti-obesity drug – Qnexa.

And in that 248 page review, the FDA notes that drug trial participants taking Qnexa lost significantly more weight than those taking a placebo, and that those taking the highest doses of Qnexa lost the most weight.

They also noted that there are concerns about Qnexa side effects – which include depression, anxiety, impact upon heart rate, increased body acids, impaired attention span, impaired memory, impaired attention span, language problems and various risks for pregnant women.

But, who cares about a few side effects?

  • I want my cake
  • I want to eat my cake
  • and I want a six pack

Who cares that Qnexa is the offspring of that old-school diet drug “fen-phen“.

Who cares that by replacing the appetite suppressant phentermine with the anti-seizure drug topiramate, Vivus is praying for a weight loss pill with the effectiveness of fen-phen but without all those pesky fen-phen side effects – pulmonary hypertension, heart valve problems and death.

  • Who cares that fen-phen passed all of the same FDA tests and trials that Qnexa is now passing with flying colors.
  • Who cares that analysts estimate that Qnexa could rake in nearly $689 million in sales by 2014.
  • Who cares that Vivus stock has already risen 20% on the news of this FDA report.

.I want my six pack and I want it now.

.Qnexa…here I come.

.Update:

As of Friday, July 16, Qnexa, the first new prescription weight-loss pill in more than a decade, failed to win backing from U.S. health advisers, who said safety concerns about the drug outweighed its ability to help obese patients shed pounds.

The FDA vote was 10 : 6 against Qnexa.

So, what happens now?

Vivus should have the results of a 2 year Qnexa study by the end of this quarter. If those results are positive, Vivus will take another run at the FDA.

However, things get a bit more complicated for Vivus.

To win FDA approval, Vivus will now have to test Qnexa in as many as 10,000 human patients, at a potential cost of $150 million. And to raise that kind of money, Vivus will probably have to partner up with one of the Big Pharma corps..

Vitamin C Puts Out the Fire of Inflammation

A new study researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, shows that vitamin C can lower your levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).

C-reactive protein is a central biomarker of inflammation that has been shown to be a powerful predictor of heart disease and diabetes. This TIME magazine article provides a good overview.

The U of C-B study, which will be published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine,  shows that for healthy, non-smoking adults with an elevated level of CRP, a daily dose of vitamin C lowered levels of the inflammation biomarker after two months compared with those who took a placebo.

The researchers said that for people with elevated CRP levels, the amount of CRP reduction achieved by taking vitamin C supplements in this study is comparable to that in many other studies of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.

They noted that several larger statin trials lowered CRP levels by about 0.2 milligrams per liter; in this latest study, vitamin C lowered CRP by 0.25 milligrams per liter.

“This finding of an effect of vitamin C is important because it shows in a carefully conducted randomized, controlled trial that for people with moderately elevated levels of inflammation, vitamin C may be able to reduce CRP as much as statins have done in other studies.”

Vitamin C / CRP / Inflammation & Obesity

This study also found a strong link between obesity and elevated levels of CRP.

The researchers found that elevated levels of CRP were found in:

  • 25% of the normal-weight people test subjects
  • 50% of the overweight subjects, and
  • A whopping 75% of the obese test subjects participants.

“The low-grade inflammation that characterizes obesity is believed to contribute to a number of disorders, including atherosclerosis and insulin resistance,” said Nina Holland, co-investigator on the study.

And it’s not just the scientists expressing concern over CRP.

The American Heart Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that clinicians measure CRP levels in patients who have a moderately elevated risk of cardiovascular problems, as determined by other established risk factors such as high cholesterol levels and smoking.

“Major studies have found that the level of CRP in the body predicts future risk of cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral artery disease, as well as diabetes. Some believe CRP to be as important a predictor of future heart problems as high levels of LDL and low levels of HDL cholesterol.”

What To Do If You’re Worried

Obviously, talk to your doctor.

But keep in mind that your doctor may not want to test for CRP. Most still just want to look at your levels of cholesterol. But it is possible to have high CRP and normal levels of cholesterol.

I would suggest that you print out this article and bring it along to your appointment, but somehow I don’t see many medical professionals listening to little ole’ me.

Instead, print out this Q & A about CRP that the Cleveland Clinic put together.

Here is a more clinical look at the CRP test itself.

How To Prevent / Reduce CRP & Inflammation

According to the Cleveland Clinic:

Inflammation should be treated by lifestyle change, such as:

  • Antithrombotic medications such as aspirin or clopidogrel may provide protection.
  • Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and ACE inhibitors may also reduce CRP.

Note: Your doctor will prescribe the correct medications and dosage to treat your condition.

And if you don’t want to go the pharma route, you can investigate dietary solutions such as:

For even more info on natural solutions to inflammation / CRP, take a look at some of the work done by Dr. James Duke. His book, “Beyond Aspirin” is a good place to start.

Related Posts

References

New Diet Drug offers an Alternative to Obesity Surgery

Tesofensine, a new diet drug being developed by the Danish drug company, NeuroSearch, had it’s coming out party at this years European Congress on Obesity.

Recent tests claimed that, with no changes to diet or lifestyle, the average test subject experienced an 11.2% average reduction in weight. In absolute terms, the average test subject lost 11.3 kg / 24.9 lbs. This weight loss took place over the course of a 24 week treatment with 0.5 mg Tesofensine tablets.

More data here.

TIPO-1 results
Placebo
Tesofensine
0.25 mg
Tesofensine
0.5 mg
Tesofensine
1.0 mg
ITT* population
52
52
50
49
Mean weight
at base line (kg)
103.2
101.7
100.1
101.3
Average relative
weight loss
2.0%
6.5%**
11.2%**
12.6%**
Average absolute
weight loss (kg)
2.2
6.7**
11.3**
12.8**

25 lbs over 6 months with no additional exercise or dietary restriction.

Sounds pretty great.

In another test, Tesofensine produced 2.2 kg/4.85 lbs of weight loss in just 2 weeks. Once again, this test required that no dietary or lifestyle changes be made by the participants.

Tesofensine
Placebo
Population (ITT)
n = 16
n = 16
Baseline average BMI
30.7
31.1
Baseline average weight (kg)
102.6
102.6
Total body weight loss (kg)
2.2
0.4
Maximum weight loss (kg)
4.7
1.5

Professor Arne Astrup, president of the International Association for the Study of Obesity said that “if doctors were to encourage users to lose weight before taking the tablets and to eat sensibly and exercise while taking them they could double their weight loss”.

“You could easily come up to 20 per cent weight loss which could offer an alternative to the surgical treatment of obesity which has become the only real cure or effective treatment that can provide a weight loss of that size”.

While I don’t agree with Dr. Astrup’s assertion that bariatric surgery is the only real cure or effective treatment for obesity, I am encouraged by the efficacy of this drug.

The Down Side

Not to be pessimistic, but how many times in the past have drug manufacturers claimed to have formulated the ultimate fat burning pill? Does anyone remember fen-Phen?

Right now, we know that there have been some promising tests. We also know that the drug has the following side effects: mild nausea, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, mood changes, and, perhaps most importantly, increased heart rate.

My Conclusion

Unless you have a very serious medical condition that requires you to lose weight as soon as possible, I would not recommend being an ‘early adopter’ of any diet drug. NeuroSearch will be running further tests to look at increasing the efficacy and minimizing the side effects.

In the mean time, improving your physical fitness and your food intake is still the best way to go.

Related Posts

alli-diarrhea

Anti-Obesity Pill for the U.K.?

 

The Daily Mail reports that “GlaxoSmithKline has applied for a licence to sell Alli in Britain and it could be available next year”.

NOTE:  For those that don’t know, Alli is the over the counter (OTC) version of Xenical.

alli-diarrhea

Xenical (generic name – Orlistat) is a prescription only drug produced by GSK designed to prevent obesity by blocking the absorption of dietary fat.

As reported in USA Today, Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston University Medical Center and a consultant for GlaxoSmithKline, has patients on Alli and Xenical. She tells them the drugs will block about 100 to 200 fat calories a day. At that rate, they would lose an extra pound every 2½ to 5 weeks.

A 2007 study printed in the Lancet showed that Orlistat reduces weight by around 3 kg on average and decreases progression to diabetes in high-risk patients; adverse gastrointestinal effects are common.

And what are the adverse gastrointestinal side effects?

NOTE:   This is taken directly from the Xenical website.

“Because XENICAL works by blocking the absorption of dietary fat, it is likely that you will experience some changes in bowel habits. These bowel changes are a natural effect of blocking the fat from being absorbed. They generally occur during the first weeks of treatment; however, for some people they may continue for 6 months or longer while on XENICAL”.

These changes may include gas with oily discharge, an increased number of bowel movements, an urgent need to have them, and an inability to control them, particularly after meals containing higher amounts of fat than are recommended.

An inability to control your bowel movements.

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…like the great Neil Peart once said “You don’t get something for nothing“.

  • Brits will just have to decide if the benefits of Alli outweigh (no pun intended) the side effects.
  • Note that in the first four months that it was available for sale in the U.S., Alli sold over two million starter packages. At $60 per package, that is $120 million in sales in only four months.
diet-soda-obesity-health-healthhabits-fitness-obesity

Everything You Need to Know About Dieting

Do a Google search of the word “diet” …and you will get approximately thirteen bazillion hits. Thirteen bazillion articles and websites created by thousands upon thousands of individuals & corporations who are trying to sell you their miracle solution to your weight loss dreams…all for the low, low price of….over $60 billion per year

In today’s post, I am going to start laying out a weight-loss framework that will…

  • tell you everything you need to know about dieting,
  • help you understand the theories behind any diet,
  • help you design a diet that works for YOU, and
  • not spend any money

To begin with, we’re going to divide ALL of the possible dieting methods into their 2 main camps.

  1. Eat Less
  2. Burn More

Then, we’re going to break down these two main dieting philosophies into their numerous sub-categories, and so on and so on…until you are a veritable expert on diets and weight loss.

Notewhile I don’t believe that an Eat Less / Burn More approach to weight loss is the correct approach, this is how the current weight loss industry is constructed…so we will stick to that format as we delve deep into the diet /weight loss industry

Eat Less

Eat less food and you WILL lose weight…This is the basis for most diets.

It’s a simple theory, based on the concept in physics that energy can neither be created nor destroyed…and as a result, if you consume less energy (food), you have to lose the exact same amount of body-fat. Unfortunately, as every seasoned dieter knows, our bodies are not as straightforward as the laws of physics and are incredibly stubborn about holding onto our fat and that unless we are willing to keep dropping caloric intake until we are literally starving ourselves, we need to build upon the Eat Less theory of dieting if we want long-term success.

To that end, here are the major sub-categories of Eat Less dieting techniques created by the weight loss industry.

Structured Diets

This category dominates the weight loss industry. In fact, when I say the word diet, structured calorie-reduction diets are what everybody thinks of. Whether it’s a soup diet or a cabbage diet or a detox diet or a juice diet or any of the other  79,o45 different types of diets that Wikipedia categorizes, the theory is the same. Eat Less. How you do it is nothing but a marketing ploy. They are all the same.

diet-booksAlmost all diet books are variations of the Eat Less theory. Save your money and re-use last years diet books before you rush out and buy the latest best-seller.

Next Page – Behaviour Modification Techniques…

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