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

Mediterranean Diet Protective against Many Leading Causes of Death
The Mediterranean Diet is characterized by high daily intakes of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, a restricted consumption of red meat, low to moderate intakes of dairy products, fish and poultry, and liberal use of use of olive oil. In a study that reviewed data from 12 international studies (a meta-analysis), Francesco Sofi, from the University of Florence, and colleagues assessed information on dietary habits and health for more than 1.5 million study subjects. The team found that the participants who most strictly followed a Mediterranean diet had a 9-percent reduction in overall mortality, a 9-percent drop in death from cardiovascular diseases, a 13-percent reduction in the incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases, and a 6-percent reduction in cancer. Concludes the team: “Greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a significant improvement in health status,” who also “encourag[e] a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern for primary prevention of major chronic diseases.”

Dr Klatz remarks: Previously, research on the Mediterranean Diet has established its protective role in cardiovascular disease and cancer. This meta-analysis study now establishes a direct association between a strict adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and the reduced occurrence of both chronic diseases and premature death in the general population.

Lifestyle Choices Boost Enzyme Regulating Cellular Aging
Telomerase is an enzyme that controls cellular aging. Telomerase repairs and lengthens telomeres, a component of chromosomes that shorten as we age: a process thought to mark disease risk and premature death in many types of cancer. Dean Ornish, from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in California, and colleagues followed a group of 30 men diagnosed with prostate cancer as they changed their dietary habits, took supplements, engaged in moderate aerobic exercise, and reduced stress levels. After a three-month period of these lifestyle changes, the men’s telomerase levels were increased by 29 percent.

Dr Goldman observes: This is the first longitudinal study to show that comprehensive lifestyle changes are significantly associated with increases in cellular telomerase activity levels in a cohort of people affected by cancer. It has significant implications in that such lifestyle modifications may prove to be beneficial to a general population as well.

Healthy Living Cuts Premature Death Risk in Half
The benefits to longevity of multiple positive lifestyle choices have been validated by Rob van Dam, from the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues. The researchers analyzed data from 80,000 women nurses spanning two decades. Over the study period, 1,790 women died from heart disease and 4.527 from cancer. In analyzing the study participants’ records of diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, weight, smoking and disease history, the team determined 55 percent of the deaths could have been avoided if the women had never smoked, exercised regularly, eaten a healthy diet (low in red meat and trans fats), and maintained a healthy weight. Smoking was by far the factor to play the biggest role in premature deaths, with the team estimating that it was directly responsible for 28 percent of the deaths.

Dr Klatz remarks: This study validates the anti-aging lifestyle, to both extend lifespan as well as prolong healthspan – the length of time that we are able to live productively and independently. The physician members of the A4M submit that healthy lifestyle choices can bridge our longevity sufficiently such that next-generation biomedical technologies can be effectively implemented and further lengthen the healthy human lifespan by 30+ years.

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