Longevity News & Review

By 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

Coronary Artery Calcium Levels Predict Risk of Death
Levels of coronary artery calcium (CAC), or deposits of calcium in the arteries of the heart, have been found to serve as an indicator of the risk of death in aging adults. P. Raggi, from Emory University School of Medicine in Georgia, US, and colleagues assessed all-cause mortality in 35,388 study subjects after a 6-year period, and found that CAC is among “the best predictor[s] currently available to detect who is likely to suffer a heart attack and who is not.”

Dr Klatz remarks: Previous studies have found that CT heart scans to determine CAC levels are effective for determining the overall death risk in young adults, diabetics, smokers, and those suffering from renal failure. This study presents data to demonstrate that coronary arterial scans are effective in measuring overall death risk in the elderly. This diagnostic technology thus affords anti-aging physicians the opportunity to intervene with dietary and lifestyle modifications, and medications if medically necessary, to reduce promote longevity in those at-risk of cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Decline
Olivia Okereke, from Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts, and colleagues, analyzed data from 5,907 men participating in the Physicians’ Health Study II (average age 74.1 at the study’s start) and 6,326 women in the Women’s Health Study (average age 71.9 at the study’s start). The researchers found that men and women with diabetes performed more poorly on the initial cognitive tests, then also showed a more marked decline on subsequent tests. In addition, study subjects with longer-standing diabetes tended to be in worse cognitive condition at the study’s start, and showed a steeper decline over time. The team suggests that diabetes fuels mental decline because the condition can damage the blood vessels that supply the brain, diminishing blood flow. In addition, people with diabetes have chronically elevated levels of insulin, a hormone for which some studies show boosts the body’s levels of amyloid-beta protein, which is involved in the plaques formed in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Dr. Goldman observes: Diabetes has increased disproportionately among the elderly, as 25 percent of Americans age 60+ are now afflicted. Diabetes is known to raise one’s risk of major health conditions, including heart disease and kidney failure. This study now points to a potential correlation between diabetes and the loss of cognitive functions.”

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage Fight Prostate Cancer
The cruciferous family of vegetables, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, have by many studies been shown to cut the risk of prostate cancer by up to 25 percent. Maria Traka, from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, UK, and colleagues have determined that consumption of these vegetables actually exerts cellular changes that result in the risk reduction effect. In the researchers’ study, 22 men with pre-malignant prostate lesions were given either 400 grams of broccoli to eat a week, or 400 grams of peas for the week, to eat in addition to their normal diets. At 6 and 12 months, PSA (prostate specific antigen) level was measured and a needle biopsy of the prostate gland was conducted. The men who ate broccoli, and also had a gene variant known as GSTM1, present in about 50 percent of the population and which elevates the risk of prostate cancer, were found to have changes in the chemical pathways linked to cancer formation and inflammation. Conclude the researchers: “These findings suggest that consuming broccoli … result[s] in complex changes … associated with inflammation and carcinogenesis in the prostate.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: There are more than 250,000 cases of prostate and testicular cancer diagnosed annually around the world. As prostate cancer risk is strongly related to the Western lifestyle, this study reaffirms the contributing role of diet in the disease, as it provides experimental evidence to support previous observations suggesting that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

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