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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 8/24/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Toxicity of aromatase inhibitors may explain lack of overall survival improvement - Science Daily, 8/22/11 - "compared to tamoxifen, longer use of AIs was associated with increased heart disease and bone fractures, but lower rates of blood clots and cancer of the womb. There were no differences in the risk of stroke or other types of cancer. Furthermore, use of AIs for 2-3 years after initial treatment with tamoxifen was associated with a lower risk of death unrelated to breast cancer compared to the use of either AIs or tamoxifen alone. The authors therefore concluded that the toxicity of AIs when used for longer periods of treatment may explain the lack of overall survival benefit while still having a positive effect on breast cancer recurrence"

Effects of prenatal smoking on infant neurodevelopment may be worse than feared - Science Daily, 8/22/11 - "babies born to mothers who smoke while pregnant face substantial delays in early neurological development, and the effects may be stronger than researchers had previously thought ... smoking may cause as much as a 40 percentage point increase in the probability of being at risk of developmental problems in babies between 3 and 24 months old"

Dark chocolate/cocoa effective for cholesterol improvements: Meta-analysis - Nutra USA, 8/22/11 - "Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston report that short-term consumption of dark chocolate was associated with a reduction of total cholesterol of 6.23 milligrams per dl, while LDL was reduced by, on average, 5.9 ml/dl ... The degree to which LDL and [total cholesterol] levels were reduced in this analysis reflects some measure of potency of the cocoa regimen ... cocoa may also affect gut microflora and possess prebiotic potential ... Dr Djoussé and his co-workers performed a detailed literature search and identified 10 clinical trials of flavanol-rich cocoa products or dark chocolate involving 320 participants. Five of the studies used daily flavanol doses of less than 500 mg, while the other five used doses exceeding 500 mg per day" - [Abstract]

Metabolic syndrome may cause kidney disease - Science Daily, 8/19/11 - "A patient is diagnosed with the syndrome when he or she exhibits three or more of the following characteristics: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat in the waist/abdomen, low good cholesterol, and higher levels of fatty acids (the building blocks of fat) ... People with metabolic syndrome have a 55% increased risk of developing kidney problems, especially lower kidney function, indicative of kidney disease"

Treatment with vitamin C dissolves toxic protein aggregates in Alzheimer's disease - Science Daily, 8/18/11 - "The brains of people with Alzheimer's disease contain lumps of so-called amyloid plaques which consist of misfolded protein aggregates. They cause nerve cell death in the brain and the first nerves to be attacked are the ones in the brain's memory centre ... When we treated brain tissue from mice suffering from Alzheimer's disease with vitamin C, we could see that the toxic protein aggregates were dissolved ... The notion that vitamin C can have a positive effect on Alzheimer's disease is controversial, but our results open up new opportunities for research into Alzheimer's and the possibilities offered by vitamin C" - See vitamin C products at Amazon.com.

Brain-eating amoebas blamed in three deaths - CNN, 8/17/11 - Note:  A germ that kills by eating your brain?  This is just one more example of why I'm a germaphobe with things like a no shoe house.

FDA Approves Skin Cancer Drug Zelboraf - ABC News, 8/17/11 - "The drug, known as Zelboraf, could offer hope for patients with metastatic melanoma that cannot be removed with surgery ... Approval of this drug is extremely significant because the treatments we have had up until this year were well known to have no effect on overall survival ... The drug specifically targets tumors with the genetic mutation known as BRAF V600E. The agency also approved a diagnostic test that will determine whether someone has the mutation ... Unlike chemotherapy, which only stops mutated cells from dividing, Zelboraf shuts down the abnormal signals of the tumor cells that are caused by the genetic mutation and stops the cells from dividing, without affecting healthy cells"

Fish oil's impact on cognition and brain structure identified in new study - Science Daily, 8/17/11 - "Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital's Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center have found positive associations between fish oil supplements and cognitive functioning as well as differences in brain structure between users and non-users of fish oil supplements ... compared to non-users, use of fish oil supplements was associated with better cognitive functioning during the study. However, this association was significant only in those individuals who had a normal baseline cognitive function and in individuals who tested negative for a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease known as APOE4. This is consistent with previous research ... The unique finding, however, is that there was a clear association between fish oil supplements and brain volume ... In other words, fish oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI study compared to those who didn't report using them" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Confirmation that vitamin D acts as a protective agent against the advance of colon cancer - Science Daily, 8/16/11 - "A study conducted by VHIO researchers confirms that a lack of vitamin D increases the aggressiveness of colon cancer ... In light of these findings, chronic vitamin D deficiency represents a risk factor in the development of more aggressive colon tumours. Patients in the initial stages of colon cancer, the time when the VDR still has a substantial presence in the cells, could benefit from being treated with vitamin D3. However, this would not be useful in the advanced stages of the disease when the presence of the VDR is very much reduced" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

New drug aids gout patients not helped by standard treatments - Science Daily, 8/16/11 - "Injections of pegloticase, a modified porcine enzyme, can produce significant and sustained clinical improvements in 2 out of 5 patients with chronic gout that is resistant to conventional therapies"

Cigarette smoking implicated in half of bladder cancers in women; Bladder cancer risk from smoking is higher than previously estimated, study confirms - Science Daily, 8/16/11 - "While previous studies showed that only 20 to 30 percent of bladder cancer cases in women were caused by smoking, these new data indicate that smoking is responsible for about half of female bladder cancer cases -- similar to the proportion found in men in current and previous studies ... The majority of the earlier studies were conducted at time periods or in geographic regions where smoking was much less common among women ... Current smokers in our study had a fourfold excess risk of developing bladder cancer, compared to a threefold excess risk in previous studies. The stronger association between smoking and bladder cancer is possibly due to changes in cigarette composition or smoking habits over the years" - Note:  I don't know if they ever did but France was going to ban Actos because of a 22 to 40% (depending on the study) increase in bladder cancer when hair dye causes a 600% increase and smoking causes a fourfold increase.  Maybe they need to rethink their priorities.  Plus Actos has been linked to lower incidence of other cancers so it may average out.

Abstracts from this week's Doctor's Guide Nutrition/Dietetics plus abstracts from my RSS feeds (Click here for the journals, the PubMed ones at the top):

Accumulation of Dietary Docosahexaenoic Acid in the Brain Attenuates Acute Immune Response and Development of Postischemic Neuronal Damage - Stroke. 2011 Aug 18 - "We show that a 3-month DHA treatment prevented microglial activation after ischemic injury, reduced the ischemic lesion size, and increased levels of the antiapoptotic molecule Bcl-2 in the brain. Additional analysis revealed a significant decrease in the levels of COX2 and IL-1β, but not in other proinflammatory cytokines. Importantly, long-term DHA supplementation significantly changed the n-3:n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio in the brain ... Collectively, these data indicate that diet-induced accumulation of DHA in the brain protects against postischemic inflammation and injury. Because DHA is widely available at low cost and has an excellent safety profile, our data suggest that increased DHA intake may provide protection against acute immune response/brain damage in ischemic stroke" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Population-Based Study of Competing Mortality in Head and Neck Cancer - 2011 Aug 15 - "The 5-year cumulative incidences of all-cause mortality, HNC-specific mortality, and competing mortality were 51.3% (95% CI, 50.8% to 51.9%), 23.8% (95% CI, 23.3% to 24.2%), and 27.6% (95% CI, 26.8% to 28.3%), respectively"

The Relationships between Sex Hormones and Sexual Function in Middle-Aged and Older European Men - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug 17 - "The aim of the study was to investigate the relationships between serum testosterone (T), estradiol (E2), and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and sexual function in a multicenter population-based study of aging in men ... Total and free T, but not E2 or DHT, was associated with overall sexual function in middle-aged and older men. E2 was the only hormone associated with sexual function-related distress such that higher levels were related to greater distress. Free T levels were associated with masturbation frequency and erectile dysfunction in the fully adjusted models, such that higher T was associated with less dysfunction and greater frequency. Moreover, there was a T threshold for the relationship between total T, sexual function, and erectile dysfunction. At T concentrations of 8 nmol/liter or less, T was associated with worse sexual functioning, whereas at T levels over 8 nmol/liter, the relationship came to a plateau. Conclusions: These findings suggest that different hormonal mechanisms may regulate sexual functioning (T) vs. the psychological aspects (E2) of male sexual behavior. Moreover, there was a T threshold for overall sexual function such that at levels greater than 8 nmol/liter the relationship between T and sexual function did not become stronger"

Consumption of Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup Increase Postprandial Triglycerides, LDL-Cholesterol, and Apolipoprotein-B in Young Men and Women - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug 17 - "The American Heart Association Nutrition Committee recommends women and men consume no more than 100 and 150 kcal of added sugar per day, respectively, whereas the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, suggests a maximal added sugar intake of 25% or less of total energy ... To address this discrepancy, we compared the effects of consuming glucose, fructose, or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) at 25% of energy requirements (E) on risk factors for cardiovascular disease ... Twenty-four-hour triglyceride area under the curve was increased compared with baseline during consumption of fructose (+4.7 +/- 1.2 mmol/liter × 24 h, P = 0.0032) and HFCS (+1.8 +/- 1.4 mmol/liter × 24 h, P = 0.035) but not glucose (-1.9 +/- 0.9 mmol/liter × 24 h, P = 0.14). Fasting LDL and apoB concentrations were increased during consumption of fructose (LDL: +0.29 +/- 0.082 mmol/liter, P = 0.0023; apoB: +0.093 +/- 0.022 g/liter, P = 0.0005) and HFCS (LDL: +0.42 +/- 0.11 mmol/liter, P < 0.0001; apoB: +0.12 +/- 0.031 g/liter, P < 0.0001) but not glucose (LDL: +0.012 +/- 0.071 mmol/liter, P = 0.86; apoB: +0.0097 +/- 0.019 g/liter, P = 0.90). Conclusions: Consumption of HFCS-sweetened beverages for 2 wk at 25% E increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease comparably with fructose and more than glucose in young adults"

Does Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy Reduce Mortality in Adults with Growth Hormone Deficiency? Data from the Dutch National Registry of Growth Hormone Treatment in Adults - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug 17 - "Adults with GH deficiency (GHD) have a decreased life expectancy. The effect of GH treatment on mortality remains to be established ... In the treatment group, 95 patients died compared to 74.6 expected [SMR 1.27 (95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.56)]. Mortality was higher in women than in men. After exclusion of high-risk patients, the SMR for CVD mortality remained increased in women. Mortality due to malignancies was not elevated. In the control groups mortality was not different from the background population. Univariate analyses demonstrated sex, GHD onset, age, and underlying diagnosis as influencing factors. Conclusions: GHD men receiving GH treatment have a mortality rate not different from the background population. In women, after exclusion of high-risk patients, mortality was not different from the background population except for CVD. Mortality due to malignancies was not elevated in adults receiving GH treatment. Next to gender, the heterogeneous etiology is of influence on mortality in GHD adults with GH treatment"

Systematic review of the effect of telmisartan on insulin sensitivity in hypertensive patients with insulin resistance or diabetes - J Clin Pharm Ther. 2011 Aug 17 - "Telmisartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) originally developed for the treatment of hypertension. It can also partially activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ, which may improve insulin sensitivity. This effect may prove useful in hypertensive patients with insulin resistance or diabetes mellitus. Such activity is more marked than that observed with other ARBs ... Eight trials involving a total of 763 patients met the inclusion criteria. Telmisartan was superior to other ARBs in reducing FPG level (mean difference, -8.63 mg/dL; 95% CI -12.29 mg/dL to -4.98 mg/dL; P < 0.00001) and increasing adiponectin level (mean difference, 0.93 μg/dL; 95% CI 0.28 μg/dL to 1.59 μg/dL; P = 0.005). At 80 mg dose, telmisartan may reduce FPI level and HOMA-IR. What is new and Conclusions: The available evidence suggests a beneficial effect of telmisartan in improving insulin sensitivity in hypertensive patients with insulin resistance or diabetes as demonstrated by the decrease in FPG and increase in adiponectin levels. The effect in decreasing FPG was greater with 80 mg dose than with the 40 mg dose. FPI and insulin resistance may be improved with 80 mg of telmisartan" - See telmisartan at  OffshoreRx.com.

Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and quality of life in the SUN Project - Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug 17 - "Health-related quality of life (HRQL) ... Multivariate-adjusted models revealed a significant direct association between adherence to Mediterranean diet and all the physical and most mental health domains (vitality, social functioning and role emotional). Vitality (β=0.50, 95% CI=0.32-0.68) and general health (β=0.45, 95% CI=0.26-0.62) showed the highest coefficients. Mean values for physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, general health and vitality domains were significantly better with increasing adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Those having improved their initial high diet scores have better scores in physical functioning, general health and vitality. Conclusions: Adherence to the Mediterranean diet seems to be a factor importantly associated with a better HRQL" - Note:  For me, quality of life has always been more important mortality.  For example, you may live longer (that's debatable) with calorie restriction but is it worth being cranky your entire life?

Vitamin, mineral, and specialty supplements and risk of hematologic malignancies in the prospective VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Jul 29 - "After adjustment, high use of garlic supplements (≥4 days/week for ≥3 years; HR=0.55 [95% confidence interval: 0.34-0.87]; p=0.028 for trend) and ever use of grape seed supplements (HR=0.57 [0.37-0.88]) were inversely associated with hematologic malignancies in our models. In addition, high use (8-10 pill-years) of multivitamins was suggestive of an inverse association (HR)=0.80 [0.64-1.01]). In contrast, no associations were observed for the remaining supplements ... These data indicate that use of garlic and grape seed may be associated with reduced risk of hematologic malignancies.Impact: This is the first cohort study to suggest a possible role of these supplements in the chemoprevention of hematologic malignancies"

  • Hematological malignancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Hematological malignancies are the types of cancer that affect blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes"

Health Focus (Pomegranate):

Specific Recommendations:

News & Research:

  • Pomegranate juice components could stop cancer from spreading - Science Daily, 12/12/10 - "Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have identified components in pomegranate juice that both inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken their attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone ... the researchers identified the following active groups of ingredients in pomegranate juice that had a molecular impact on cell adhesion and migration in metastatic prostate cancer cells: phenylpropanoids, hydrobenzoic acids, flavones and conjugated fatty acids"
  • Pomegranate juice reduces damage to tissues, inflammation and infections, study suggests - Science Daily, 11/19/10 - "[dialysis] patients who drank pomegranate juice experienced reduced inflammation and the damage of oxidative stress caused by free radicals, was minimized. Furthermore, pomegranate juice drinkers were less likely to be hospitalized due to infections ... those who drank pomegranate juice also showed an improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, such as reduced blood pressure, improvement in lipid profile and fewer cardiovascular events, suggesting that they had better heart health"
  • Pomegranate compounds show skin health potential - Nutra USA, 8/10/10 - "ellagic acid may prevent the degradation of collagen in human skin cells, which would maintain skin structure and slow the formation of wrinkles ... Topical or dietary interventions with berries and pomegranate rich in ellagic acid and ellagitannins are promising strategies in curtailing skin wrinkling and cutaneous inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure leading to photoageing" - [Abstract]
  • Pomegranates May Stall Breast Cancer - WebMD, 1/5/10 - "Eating pomegranates or drinking pomegranate juice may help prevent and slow the growth of some types of breast cancer ... Researchers say the ellagitannins in pomegranates work by inhibiting aromatase, which is a key enzyme used by the body to make estrogen and plays a key role in breast cancer growth"
  • Pomegranate’s prostate protection potential grows - Nutra USA, 10/27/09 - "Pomegranate juice consumption, thus, may be of considerable advantage in prostate cancer chemoprevention, not only in patients with a genetic predisposition toward prostate cancer but also in patients undergoing cancer therapy"
  • Pomegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer - WebMD, 4/26/09 - "All of the men drank 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily, and that slowed down the time it took for their PSA levels to double ... Fifteen of the patients stayed with the study for up to 64 months (a little more than five years), and it typically took four times longer for their PSA levels to double when they were drinking pomegranate juice, compared to their PSA doubling time at the study's start" - See pomegranate at Amazon.com.
  • Taking Statins? Five Ways to Boost Your Energy - ABC News, 4/14/09 - "It's a cruel irony that if statins make patients more lethargic, it could impair their ability to exercise or make dietary changes that would help them address their high cholesterol ... some studies have found that patients' energy levels increased while using CoQ10 and statins together ... Try pomegranate juice or a small chunk of dark chocolate, both of which have beneficial antioxidants ... Skimping on sleep has been found to increase calcium deposit build-up in your arteries"
  • Pomegranate’s anti-inflammatory effects strengthened - Nutra USA, 4/10/09
  • Study supports pomegranate’s anti-prostate cancer potential - Nutra USA, 1/6/09 - "the average doubling time increased from an average of 15 months to 54 months for the men drinking the pomegranate juice" - [Abstract]
  • Dietary Agents for Chemoprevention of Prostate Cancer - oncologystat.com, 6/16/08 - "In this review, we have summarized the findings from clinical and preclinical studies on dietary agents including green tea, pomegranate, lupeol, fisetin, and delphinidin that are currently being investigated in our laboratory for their chemopreventive potential against CaP" - Click here for the review but it is 172 pages in the .pdf format.
  • Pomegranate extract may stop inflammation, says Bugs - Nutra USA, 6/13/08 - "COX-1 and COX-2 activity was significantly reduced in the pomegranate-fed animals, compared to control, particularly for COX-2. Indeed, COX-1 activity was reduced by about seven per cent following ingestion of the extract, while COX-2 activity decreased by about 26 per cent"
  • Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Pomegranate In Rabbits: A Potential Treatment In Humans? - Science Daily, 6/12/08
  • Pomegranate extract shows joint health potential - Nutra USA, 6/5/08 - "The severity of arthritis was significantly decreased in the animals receiving POMx, with a reduction of 69.2 and 76 per cent in the groups consuming 13.6 and 34 mg per kg of POMx" - [Abstract]
  • Finding the Right Prostate Cancer Diet - WebMD, 2/15/08 - "the men's overall PSA doubling time was nearly four times slower after they began drinking pomegranate juice"
  • Berries and pomegranate - the ultimate Valentine's combo? - Nutra USA, 2/14/08 - "The results of this study demonstrated, for the first time, that daily consumption of PJ for seven weeks caused increased spermatogenic cell density, epididymal sperm concentration, sperm motility and decreased abnormal sperm rate related with decreased lipid peroxidation in male rats ... Forty-seven per cent of subjects reported erections improvements as a result of pomegranate juice, compared to only 32 per cent in the placebo group"
  • Pomegranates beat apples for antioxidant boost: study - Nutra USA, 2/13/08

Abstracts:

  • Pomegranate Juice Protects Macrophages from Triglyceride Accumulation: Inhibitory Effect on DGAT1 Activity and on Triglyceride Biosynthesis - Ann Nutr Metab. 2011 Jan 6;58(1):1-9 - "pomegranate juice (PJ) ... PJ (0-50 μM) significantly and dose-dependently decreased the triglyceride content and triglyceride biosynthesis rate in J774A.1 macrophages or in C57BL/6 MPM by about 30%. Similarly, punicalagin, the major PJ polyphenol, inhibited the MPM triglyceride biosynthesis rate by 40%. The triglyceride hydrolytic rate, however, was not significantly affected by PJ or punicalagin. The activity of diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1; the rate-limiting enzyme in triglyceride biosynthesis) was significantly inhibited, by 54%, in C57BL/6 MPM that were treated with 50 μM PJ or punicalagin, with no significant effect on DGAT1 mRNA or protein expression. Both PJ and punicalagin increased (1.7-fold) MPM PON2 mRNA expression, and PON2 was previously shown to inhibit DGAT1 activity. However, the addition of PJ or punicalagin (50 μM) to microsomes from PON2-deficient MPM still resulted in a significant reduction (50-58%) in DGAT1 activity"
  • Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation - Exp Dermatol. 2010 Aug;19(8):e182-90 - "Ellagic acid, a polyphenol compound present in berries and pomegranate, has received attention as an agent that may have potential bioactivities preventing chronic diseases ... These results demonstrate that ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV-B. Therefore, dietary and pharmacological interventions with berries rich in ellagic acid may be promising treatment strategies interrupting skin wrinkle and inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure leading to photoageing"
  • Pomegranate polyphenols down-regulate expression of androgen-synthesizing genes in human prostate cancer cells overexpressing the androgen receptor - J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Dec;19(12):848-55 - "A twofold suppression of gene expression was considered statistically significant. Pomegranate polyphenols inhibited gene expression and AR most consistently in the LNCaP-AR cell line (P=.05). Therefore, inhibition by pomegranate polyphenols of gene expression involved in androgen-synthesizing enzymes and the AR may be of particular importance in androgen-independent prostate cancer cells and the subset of human prostate cancers where AR is up-regulated"
  • Consumption of hydrolyzable tannins-rich pomegranate extract suppresses inflammation and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis - Nutrition. 2008 May 17 - "collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) ... Consumption of POMx potently delayed the onset and reduced the incidence of CIA in mice. Severity of arthritis was also significantly lower in POMx-fed animals. Histopathology of the arthritic joints from POMx-fed mice demonstrated reduced joint infiltration by the inflammatory cells, and the destruction of bone and cartilage were alleviated. Levels of IL-6 were significantly decreased in the joints of POMx-fed mice with CIA. In mouse macrophages, POMx abrogated multiple signal transduction pathways and downstream mediators implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis" - [Nutra USA]
  • Comparison of Antioxidant Potency of Commonly Consumed Polyphenol-Rich Beverages in the United States - J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jan 26 - "pomegranate juice (PJ) ... PJ had the greatest antioxidant potency composite index among the beverages tested and was at least 20% greater than any of the other beverages tested. Antioxidant potency, ability to inhibit LDL oxidation, and total polyphenol content were consistent in classifying the antioxidant capacity of the polyphenol-rich beverages in the following order: PJ > red wine > Concord grape juice > blueberry juice > black cherry juice, açaí juice, cranberry juice > orange juice, iced tea beverages, apple juice. Although in vitro antioxidant potency does not prove in vivo biological activity, there is also consistent clinical evidence of antioxidant potency for the most potent beverages including both PJ and red wine" - See pomegranate at Amazon.com.
  • Ellagitannin-rich pomegranate extract inhibits angiogenesis in prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo - Int J Oncol. 2008 Feb;32(2):475-80 - "pomegranate extract standardized to ellagitannin content (POMx) ... POMx decreased prostate cancer xenograft size, tumor vessel density, VEGF peptide levels and HIF-1alpha expression after 4 weeks of treatment in SCID mice. These results demonstrate that an ellagitannin-rich pomegranate extract can inhibit tumor-associated angiogenesis as one of several potential mechanisms for slowing the growth of prostate cancer in chemopreventive applications"

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