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

Optimizing Vitamin D Levels to Protect Against Cancer

Researchers from Germany, who analyzed data collected from 3,200 men and women who participated in the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study, found that those who maintained higher Vitamin D levels were significantly less likely to die from a fatal cancer. Specifically, those study subjects who had 76.3 nmol/L of Vitamin D circulating in the body were 55 percent less likely to die from a fatal cancer (as compared to those with the lowest levels, at 18.1 nmol/L or less). Moreover, every increase of 25 nmol/L in the circulating levels of the “storage” form of the vitamin (25’-hydroxyvitamin D) correlated to a 34-percent risk reduction.

Dr. Klatz remarks: A number of studies by other researchers suggest that increased Vitamin D intake confers a wide range of health benefits, from strengthening bone to modulating cardiovascular risk factors. This study, which indicates a potentially significant role for Vitamin D in cancer prevention, adds to the growing body of evidence to suggest that it may be appropriate to encourage increased Vitamin D intake in most adults.

Genetic Mechanism Identified for Role of Vitamin D to Prevent Cancer

In that some scientific evidence exists to suggest that exposure to chemicals or radiation can produce high levels of free radicals that can damage cellular DNA and thus significantly increase the risk or progression of cancer, Yi-Fen Lee, from the University of Rochester Medical Center (Rochester, New York), and colleagues have elucidated a key genetic mechanism for Vitamin D in protecting against cancer. The researchers found that Vitamin D induces a gene, known as G6PD, to increase the production of an enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, which protects cells from free radical damage. In particular, the team found this approach to be particularly protective for cells of the prostate. Conclude the researchers: “Taking a [Vitamin D] supplement is especially important for senior citizens and others who may have less circulation of Vitamin D, and for people who live and work in areas where there is less sunshine.”

Dr. Goldman observes: This study is important for its elucidation of the genetic mechanism for the protective role of Vitamin D against cancer. The study is scientifically interesting in that the mechanism rests on the antioxidative effect of the nutrient, and this benefit has been otherwise cited in Vitamin D’s beneficial role in other conditions, including cardiovascular disease.

Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Slash Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Previously, a meta-analysis by researchers at Wageningen University (The Netherlands) found that regular fish consumption can cut the incidence of colorectal cancer by 12 percent, with each additional serving of fish resulting in an additional 4-percent risk reduction. This beneficial effect was attributed to the levels of omega-3 fatty acids present in the fish. Megan Hall, from Columbia University (New York), and colleagues followed 21,376 men who participated in the Physicians’ Health Study, for an average of 22 years. The team found that those men with the highest average fish consumption slashed their risk of developing colorectal cancer by 40 percent. In specific, those men with the highest omega-3 fatty acid intakes were 26 percent less likely to develop the disease.

Dr. Klatz comments: Globally, 945,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed every year, and the disease is responsible for 492,000 deaths worldwide every year. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer, yet it is among the most preventable cancers (as poor diet and smoking have been found to be leading contributing factors for the disease). This study shows that omega-3 fatty acids, consumed either as part of the daily diet or as dietary supplements, can be a powerful weapon in significantly slashing one’s risk of colorectal cancer.

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