Longevity News & Review

By Dr. Robert Goldman
For The Bali Times

Longevity News and Review provides readers of The Bali Times with the latest information in breakthroughs pertaining to the extension of the healthy human lifespan. These news summaries are compiled by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; www.worldhealth.net), a non-profit medical society composed of 20,000 physician and scientist members from 90 nations, united in a mission to advance biomedical technologies to detect, prevent, and treat aging related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimize the human aging process. Dr. Ronald Klatz, A4M president, and Dr. Robert Goldman,A4M chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their commentary

Poor Dietary Choices Contribute to Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is a group of health risk factors that are associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Factors include enlarged waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol and high fasting glucose levels. Lyn Steffen, from the University of Minnesota, and colleagues analyzed dietary intake data of more than 9,500 men and women, ages 45 to 64 who enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. The team assessed food intake and categorized people by their dietary preferences: Western, which is heavy on refined grains, processed meat, fried foods, red meat, eggs and soda, and light on fish, fruit, vegetables, and whole grain products; or prudent, which favored vegetables, fruit, fish and seafood, poultry, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. After nine years of follow-up, 40 percent of the study participants had three or more risk factors for Metabolic Syndrome, and (after adjusting for other factors) the researchers found this to be correlated to a Western dietary pattern. Specifically, the researchers found that eating just two servings of meat a day can increase the risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome by 25 percent, as compared to eating meat only twice a week. In addition, fried foods and diet soda were significantly associated with an increased risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome

Dr. Klatz observes: This study warns of the hazards of the Western diet. For a healthy alternative, we can look to the Okinawan diet. Okinawa, a prefecture in the Japan, has the highest proportion of centenarians in the world, with more than 33 percent aged 100 years or older. Okinawans have 80-percent fewer heart attacks than Americans, and 75-percent fewer cancers, including breast cancer and cancer of the ovaries in women and prostate cancer in men. The Okinawan diet is rich in complex carbohydrates and plant-based foods, and low in fat, as compared to the average Western diet. For these reasons, the Okinawan diet reflects key anti-aging principles for longevity.

Breakfast Curbs Middle-Age Weight Gain

Nita Forouhi, from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the United Kingdom, and colleagues followed more than 6,700 men and women, ages 40 to 75 for a period of nearly four years, to establish the role of breakfast in weight gain. The researchers found that people who ate a greater proportion (22 to 50 percent) of their total daily calories at breakfast time gained 0.79 kilograms of weight over time. By contrast, those who consumed 11 percent or less of their total day’s worth of calories at breakfast gained an average of 1.23 kilograms. The team notes that each 10-percent increase in calorie consumption at breakfast equated to approximately 210 to 320 grams less weight gain on-average over a four-year period.

Remarks Dr. Goldman: This study is one of the latest to support the adage that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Simply by shifting a greater proportion of a day’s total calorie intake to breakfast may be beneficial to lower weight gain over time among middle-aged men aged women. This effect can be further reinforced by initiating a regular exercise regimen and by making healthy lifestyle choices (don’t smoke, drink alcohol in moderation and similar).

Omega-3 Supplements Slow Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

Qiu-Lan Ma, from the University of California/Los Angeles, and colleagues, have found that supplements of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid, can increase levels of LR11, a protein that is key in clearing enzymes that produce beta amyloid plaques implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The team’s research suggests that DHA may be most useful for early intervention and prevention of late-onset AD, with DHA inducing increases in LR11 in a lab model of Alzheimers.

Comments Dr. Klatz: Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and currently afflicts over 13 million people worldwide. Late-onset AD is the most common form of the disease and has no obvious family inheritance pattern. This study adds to a growing body of evidence linking DHA to brain health, and indicates a potential therapeutic benefit for the supplement in reducing the risk for a devastating neurological disease.

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