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

Vitamin C for Heart Health

Marc McRae, from National University of Health Sciences (Illinois), conducted a meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials, involving a total of 405 study participants (average age 58.9 years) with elevated cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia).  Dr. McRae found that, across the study subjects, daily supplementation of Vitamin C (at 500 mg/day, for a period of 3 to 24 weeks) resulted in a 7.9 mg/dL (equivalent to 5percent) reduction of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad”) cholesterol.  Dr. McRae observes that: “It can be estimated that a [reduction in] LDL cholesterol of 7.9 mg/dL could potentially translate to a 6.6percent reduction in coronary heart disease risk.”

Dr. Klatz remarks:  An estimated 16.7 million -  or 29.2percent of total global deaths -  result from the various forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), most prominently heart disease and stroke. Previous studies have demonstrated the therapeutic value of Vitamin C supplementation in reducing total serum cholesterol, but this study definitively shows that Vitamin C exerts a beneficial effect on LDL cholesterol, which is a more reliable predictive measure of coronary heart disease risk than total cholesterol.

Mediterranean Diet Reduces Diabetes Risk

The Mediterranean diet is rich in cereals, fruits, legumes and whole grains, fish and olive oil.  Numerous previous studies have shown those who follow the Mediterranean diet live longer, have less heart disease and a reduced risk of cancers.  Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez, from the University of Navarra (Spain), and colleagues studied 11,380 University graduates with no history of diabetes, via food questionnaires administered periodically to follow dietary habits. During the study, it was generally observed that those subjects who adhered moreso to a Mediterranean diet were also found to be at the highest risk for type-2 diabetes (age, family history, previously smoked).  Over the 4.4 years of follow-up 33 new cases of type-2 diabetes were documented.  Those study participants who were found to have the highest adherence to the Mediterranean diet were 83percent less likely to develop type-2 diabetes (as compared to those with the lowest adherence).  The researchers suggest that the Mediterranean diet lowers plasma concentrations of inflammatory markets and markers of endothelial dysfunction, two biomarkers that predict the future likelihood of type-2 diabetes.

Dr. Goldman observes:  Type-2 diabetes afflicts 20 million Americans and 19 million Europeans, and is a disease that can significantly compromise both quality and quantity of life.  The Mediterranean diet is rich in key dietary components such as beta carotene, Vitamin C, tocopherols, polyphenols, and essential minerals.  This large-scale study strongly demonstrates the potential for dietary intervention to effectively reduce the onset of type-2 diabetes.

High Cholesterol Increases Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

While the role of elevated cholesterol as a contributor to heart disease is well established, the association between high cholesterol level and neurodegenerative diseases has been the subject of some debate.  A study by Gang Hu, of the National Public Health Institute (Finland), followed 24,773 Finnish men and 26,153 women (ages 25 to 74 years), of whom 321 men and 304 women developed Parkinson’s Disease (PD) during the 18-year follow-up period. Those study subjects with the highest cholesterol levels were at an 86percent increased risk of developing PD.

Dr. Klatz comments:  One million people in the United States have Parkinson’s disease, and approximately 6.3 million people are afflicted worldwide. The number of new cases increases with age, affecting 1percent of people older than 60 and up to 3percent of people older than 85.   With the global population graying in large numbers, PD is a growing public health concern.  The identification of modifiable risk factors is paramount in the ability of physicians to detect and intervene as early as possible in the disease pathology.

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