Longevity News & Review

By Dr. Robert Goldman
For The Bali Times

Longevity News and Review provides readers 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

Aspartame Compromises Brain Health

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener commonly found in prepared or processed foods aimed at diet-conscious individuals. A group of South African researchers from the University of Pretoria and the University of the Limpopo have found that excessive consumption of aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in the brain to function properly. Specifically, the team found that aspartame disturbed the metabolism of amino acids, protein structure and metabolism, the integrity of nucleic acids, neuronal function and endocrine balances. Additionally, they found aspartame causes nerves to fire excessively, and changes the brain’s concentrations of the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. The South African researchers observe that: “We propose that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders, and also in compromised learning and emotional functioning.”

Dr. Klatz observes: Previous studies have found that aspartame consumption can cause neurological and behavioral disturbances such as seizures, headaches, and insomnia, in sensitive individuals. Studies in lab animals have also liked aspartame to cancer. The findings by this team add to this long list of reasons to be concerned with the long-term health effects of aspartame.

Wine and Tea Compounds Beneficial for Type-2 Diabetes

Dietary phenolic compounds, found in high concentrations in red wine and certain teas, may play a role in slowing the passage of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. Kalidas Shetty, from the University of Massachusetts, and colleagues have found that red wine inhibits the activity of alpha glucosidase, an enzyme responsible for triggering the absorption of glucose by the small intestine, by almost 100 percent; black tea extracts produce a 90-percent inhibitory effect. State the researchers: “It is clear that [red] wines and [some] teas have high antioxidant activity and good inhibitory profiles on carbohydrate … absorption in the intestine.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: Type-2 diabetes is a leading cause of long-term dependence and disability. In the United States, the disease affects 7 percent of the population; in the EU, it affects 4 percent. Around the world, experts predict the numbers of cases of type-2 diabetes to rise as the global population ages. This study is the promising in that it suggests a dietary-based approach to modulate type-2 diabetes.

The Promise of Caffeine as a Neurological Therapy

A lab study conducted by Jonathan Geiger, from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and colleagues has identified a potential therapeutic role for a daily dose of caffeine in neurological diseases. Specifically, the team found tat the equivalent of one cup of coffee daily can help protect the blood-brain barrier from damage caused by a cholesterol-rich diet.

Comments Dr. Klatz: High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease, which currently afflicts about 13 million people in the United States and cases of which are projected to triple by 2050. This study, in that it identifies that caffeine blocks the disruptive effects of cholesterol which cause the blood-brain barrier to become leaky, suggests a future therapeutic role for the compound to prevent or treat a variety of neurological disorders, perhaps the most critical of which is Alzheimer’s.

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