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 22,000 physician and scientist members from 105 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, M.D., D.O., A4M President, and Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their commentary.
Eat Less … Remember More
In previous studies involving lab animal models, it has been found that diets low in calories and rich in unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) are beneficial for cognitive function in age. Veronica Witte, from the University of Munster (Germany), and colleagues, studied 50 healthy, normal- to overweight elderly men and women (average age 60 years old), dividing them into three groups: one that restricted daily caloric intake by up to 30 percent; the second that increased UFA consumption by up to 20 percent; and a third group that made no dietary changes and served as the control group. The team found the calorie-restricted group saw a sizeable 20-percent average increase in verbal memory scores after three months. In contrast, no significant changes in memory performance were reported in the two other groups. The researchers observed that the memory improvements in the calorie-restricted group correlated with decreases in insulin levels and markers of inflammation, including high sensitive C-reactive protein (CRP). Comments the team: “To our knowledge, the current results provide the first experimental evidence in humans that caloric restriction improves memory in the elderly.”
Dr. Klatz observes: This study is important in that the observation that memory may be beneficially impacted by reducing daily caloric intake may help to develop new prevention and treatment strategies for maintaining cognitive health as we age.
Low-Fat Dairy Beneficial for Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a leading and often preventable risk factor worldwide. Estefania Toledo, from the University of Navarra (Spain), and colleagues studied a group of 2,290 elderly men and women at high cardiovascular risk, assessing dietary intakes and measuring blood pressure for a 12-month period. The team found that systolic and diastolic blood pressures of those with the highest average level of low-fat dairy intake (631 grams per day) were 4.2 and 1.8 mmHg lower than that of study subjects with the lowest average intakes (3.1 grams per day). The researchers posit that calcium, which is found in significant levels in low-fat dairy, may inhibit the constriction of vascular smooth muscle cell, while also improving the sodium-potassium balance. Conclude the researchers: “Intake of low-fat dairy products was inversely associated with blood pressure in an older population at high cardiovascular risk, suggesting a possible protective effect against hypertension.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: Hypertension is an important public-health challenge worldwide. Experts have determined that the estimated total number of adults with hypertension in 2000 was 972 million, and by 2025 the hypertension epidemic will surge by about 60 percent, to affect a total of 1.56 billion people worldwide. Dietary habits are major determinants of blood pressure, and this study suggests a potentially important, accessible, and cost-effective dietary intervention to offset the condition.
Osteoporotic Fractures Increase Risk of Death
It is generally established that osteoporotic hip and vertebral fractures in those ages 60+ are associated with an increase in mortality risk. A new study confirms those data and adds other fracture types and subsequent fractures to the list of breaks that increase the risk of death. Dana Bliuc, from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Australia), and colleagues analyzed data from 952 women and 343 men enrolled in the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study, a longitudinal population-based study started in 1989. The team found that women had higher-than-expected absolute mortality for five years after a fracture, with increases ranging from 1.3 to 13.2 per 100 person-years, depending on the fracture type. Men also had higher-than-expected increases in absolute mortality of between 2.7 and 22.3 per 100 person-years, again depending on fracture type. Osteoporotic fractures in those 60 years and older increase the risk of death for at least five years and, in the case of hips, for up to 10 years. The researchers write that: “fracture is a signal event that heralds an increased mortality risk.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: Osteoporosis affects 75 million people in Europe, the United States, and Japan. The lifetime risk for a woman to have an osteoporotic fracture is 30-40 percent and for men the risk is 13 percent. With this study now suggesting that osteoporotic and other fractures adversely impact longevity, it is critical for physicians to engage their patients in appropriate bone-strengthening exercise regimens.
Anti-aging medicine is the fastest-growing medical specialty throughout the world and is founded on the application of advanced scientific and medical technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders, and diseases. It is a healthcare model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy lifespan in humans. As such, anti-aging medicine is based on solid scientific principles of responsible medical care that are consistent with those applied in other preventive health specialties. The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion.
Visit the A4M’s World Health Network website, at www.worldhealth.net, to learn more about the A4M and its educational endeavors and to sign-up for your FREE subscription to The Anti-Aging News Journal.