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.

Basic Lifestyle Factors Help to Prevent Diabetes Later in Life

Lifestyle factors play a critical role in diabetes prevention, even for older adults. Dariush Mozaffarian, from Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues studied 4,883 men and women ages 65+ at the study’s start, following them for a 10-year period. For each lifestyle factor considered in the study, one-third to one-half of the study participants was considered at low risk. After adjustment for potentially influencing factors, each low-risk factor was found to be a significant independent predictor of diabetes incidence:
• 26 percent lower with above average physical activity level (leisure-time activity and walking pace)
• 31 percent for a dietary score in the top two quintiles for fiber intake, polyunsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio, trans-fat intake, and mean glycemic index
• 23 percent for having never smoked, quit more than 20 years ago, or smoked fewer than five pack-years total
• 34 percent for light or moderate alcohol use versus abstinence
• 45 percent for a body mass index less than 25 kg/m2
• 46 percent for waist circumference of less than 88 cm (34.6 inches) for women or 92 cm (36.2 inches) for men
All totalled, for men and women ages 65 and older, the team found that a combination of good habits – including physical activity, healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, and not smoking, plus monitoring of weight and waist circumference, lowered the incidence of diabetes by a staggering 89 percent.

Dr Klatz remarks: This study is a prime example that it’s never too late to make healthy lifestyle choices, that is – adopt the anti-aging lifestyle. As these researchers show, modest changes in just a few lifestyle factors can dramatically reduce your odds of succumbing to diabetes as you age.

Diet Influences Alzheimer’s Disease

With the numbers of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) projected to rise in the coming decades as a direct result of the worldwide gains in life expectancy, experts estimate that by 2050, AD will afflict more than 106 million people. Yian Gu, from Columbia University, and colleagues studied 2,136 healthy elderly New Yorkers, assessing their dietary habits and onset of cognitive decline during a four-year study period.  The researchers found that a diet high in omega-3s, omega-6s, folate, and vitamin E, and low in saturated f at and vitamin B-12, was strongly associated with a lower risk of AD. The AD-protective diet employed in this study was characterized by higher intakes of cruciferous vegetables, green-leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and tomatoes, with a reduced intake of high-fat dairy products.

Dr. Goldman observes: This study provides data affirming the importance of a diet high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish, but low in fatty foods such as meat and milk. With the numbers of people afflicted by AD continuing a steady rise in the coming decades, data such as this study provides may assist us to craft an effective dietary regimen that may be protective against the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Smoking, Hypertension Lead List of Preventable Causes of Death

In the United States, smoking and hypertension are each responsible for 20 percent or more of all the preventable deaths in American adults. Majid Ezzati, from the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues analyzed mortality data from modifiable dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors as made available by the US National Center for Health Statistics, finding that the estimated number of deaths related to the risk factors annually was:
• 467,000 for smoking
• 395,000 for high blood pressure
• 216,000 for overweight and obesity
• 191,000 for inadequate physical activity and inactivity
• 190,000 for high blood glucose
• 113,000 for high LDL cholesterol
• 102,000 for high dietary salt
• 84,000 for low dietary omega-3 fatty acids from seafood
• 82,000 for high dietary trans fat
• 64,000 for alcohol use (26,000 averted from benefits for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes versus 90,000 alcohol-related deaths from injuries, violence, cancers and other diseases)
• 58,000 for low fruit and vegetable intake
• 15,000 for low dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (less than 1 percent of all deaths)
The researchers conclude that: “Smoking and high blood pressure, which both have effective interventions, are responsible for the largest number of deaths in the US. Other dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors for chronic diseases also cause a substantial number of deaths in the US.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: In April 2009, the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reported that life expectancy in the United States reached a record high in 2006, to stand at 77.7 years (up from 77.4 years in 2005). Citing declines in deaths from heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and stroke, this new CDC data must be taken in-juxtaposition with this study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers. In short, we must not become complacent. Obesity and overweight are two underlying factors to many medical diseases that, if left unchecked, will undo all the positive gains made in life expectancy. Consult an anti-aging physician who can customize a regimen of nutrition, exercise, lifestyle choices and other factors that can positively impact how long, and how well, you may live.

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.

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