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B Vitamin Confers DNA Protection

Posted Jul 31 2013 10:09pm

Previous studies link a higher vitamin B status with a lower risk for cancer.  To elucidate the exact mechanism by which this may occur, Keisuke Kuwahara, from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (Japan), and colleagues studied 500 subjects (293 men and 207 women), ages 21 to 66 years, employed at two municipal offices in Japan. Observing that pyridoxal – one of three forms of vitamin B6 – associated with lower urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker of oxidative DNA damage, in men, the study authors write that: “The results suggest that vitamin B6 plays a role against oxidative DNA damage.”

Keisuke Kuwahara, Akiko Nanri, Ngoc Minh Pham, Kayo Kurotani, et al. “Serum vitamin B6, folate, and homocysteine concentrations and oxidative DNA damage in Japanese men and women.” Nutrition, 24 June 2013.

  
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Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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