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.
High Blood Glucose Identified as Predominant Cause of Deaths in US
Previously, prospective studies have shown significant associations between fasting plasma glucose and mortality, and underlying metabolic dysfunction has often complicated a clear assessment of the role of high blood glucose levels on the risk of death. Goodarz Danaei, from Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues scoured data on risk factor exposures in the US population from nationally representative health surveys and disease-specific mortality statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics. The team assessed a set of 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors in causes of preventable death, and found that high blood glucose levels were more perilous than high HDL cholesterol, high intakes of dietary salt, low omega-3 levels, high trans-fat intake, alcohol use and low levels of fruit and vegetable consumption. By the group’s calculations, up to 217,000 mortalities in 2005 were attributable to elevated blood glucose, and these deaths could have been avoided by proper lifestyle interventions.
Dr Klatz remarks: This study is significant for its identification of a direct, causal role of elevated blood glucose on the risk of preventable death. This study paves the way for identification of effective lifestyle, nutritional and pharmacological therapies to combat high blood glucose levels.
Weight Gain Later in Life Raises Disability Risk
Luca Busetto, from the University of Padova in Italy, and colleagues studied 2,910 men and women, ages 65+, all of whom reported excess weight at age 50 (but were not disabled at that age). Between the age of 50 and the time they entered the study, 30.6 percent of the male participants and 38.7 percent of the female subjects gained more than 10 percent of their original body weight. The study found that those people with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) at age 50, those men and women who gained 5 to 10 percent of their original weight, were 1.46 times more likely to become disabled when they entered the study, while people who gained more than 10 percent were at 1.61 times’ greater risk. Among those study subjects who were obese at age 50, the disability risk was even more pronounced: gaining 5 to 10 percent of one’s original weight increased the disability risk 1.65-times, and a 10-percent weight gain resulted in 2.59 times’ more risk. Concludes the team: “Weight gain after middle age was associated with late disability, particularly in participants who were already obese.”
Dr. Goldman observes: Previous studies have delivered strong evidence suggesting that being obese in old age is associated with a greater likelihood of being disabled, and this study elucidates how weight gain in seniors adversely affects their abilities to function independently on a daily basis.
Chemical Exposure Contributes to Rising Death Rates due to Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
Nitrosamines, nitrates and nitrites are chemical substances present in the food supply, commonly added in food as preservatives or flavour enhancers and found in agriculture fertilizers as well. There is evidence to suggest that these compounds may induce DNA damage, oxidative stress, cell death and cancer. Suzanne M. de la Monte, from Brown University on Rhode Island, and colleagues have found that nitrosamines, nitrates and nitrites may contribute to insulin resistance, a factor in the onset of diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The researchers tracked mortality trends from 1968 to 2005. Over that time period, death rates for AD jumped 150-fold in individuals ages 75 to 84, and 800-fold in those ages 85+. For PD, for the timeframe from 1980 to 2005, the team found that death rates in 75- to 84-year-olds tripled, and increased six-fold among those ages 85+. Death rates for diabetes were found to reach a low in 1980 through the end of the study period, with some evidence of a plateau in three of the last four years. The researchers then compared this disease data with indirect measures of exposure to nitrosamines, including fast food consumption, use of nitrite-containing fertilizers, and consumption of grain, from 1955 to 2005. The team found strong parallels between increases in nitrosamine exposure and disease mortality, leading them to conclude that: “Exposures to nitrates and nitrosomaines through food, water and agriculture have increased just prior to, and within, the same interval as increasing mortality rates. Sincere efforts should be made to significantly curtail or eliminate human exposure to nitrates and nitrites, and refine biotechnology to monitor cellular and tissue injury linked to nitrosamine-mediated insulin resistance-related diseases.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: Rates of diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease have skyrocketed in recent decades, such that genetics alone is insufficient to explain the new cases. This study provides compelling evidence to support the notion that environmental and dietary exposures may be partly to blame.
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 endeavours and to sign-up for your FREE subscription to The Anti-Aging News Journal.