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.
Omega-3 Rich Fish Beneficial in Warding off Alzheimer’s
Many studies of omega-3 fatty acids, found in high concentrations in oily fish such as salmon, have focused on the identification of a potential therapeutic role in maintaining cardiovascular health, with a few small-scale studies suggesting the benefits of omega-3s to prevent age-related cognitive decline. Emiliano Albanese, from King’s College London, and colleagues completed a large-scale survey of 14,960 men and women, ages 65 and over, living in China, India, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Peru. After adjusting for confounding factors and pooling the data from all seven countries, the researchers observed a dose-dependent inverse association between dementia and fish consumption. Specifically, the team found that increased intake of oily fish reduced the risk of dementia by 20 percent. Meat consumption, however, was found to increase dementia risk. The team observes that their research confirms the “neuroprotective actions of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids commonly found in fish.”
Dr. Klatz observes: Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia and currently affects more than 13 million people worldwide. By the sheer scale and geographical breadth of this study, its finding that increased consumption of oily fish to deliver more omega-3 fatty acids to the body and potentially ward off Alzheimer’s Disease cannot be ignored.
Excess Weight in Midlife May Increase Risk of Impaired Memory, Thinking Skills
Although an increasing body of evidence links being overweight in midlife with an increased risk for dementia in late life, there has been no study elucidating the association between being overweight in midlife and cognitive ability in late life. Anna Dahl, from Jönköping University in Sweden, and colleagues proceeded to study participants in the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study Aging to examine the association between being overweight in midlife as measured by body mass index (BMI) and cognitive ability assessed over time. They found that those subjects with higher midlife BMI scores had significantly lower general cognitive ability and significantly steeper longitudinal decline than their thinner counterparts. The team concludes that: “Higher midlife BMI scores precede lower general cognitive ability and steeper cognitive decline in both men and women.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: Being overweight or obese at any age has a broad range of health ramifications, and this study demonstrates that excess weight in mid-life compromises one’s memory and thinking skills later in life. This study should serve as a strong motivator for maintaining a healthy normal weight and fitness level, regardless of age.
Single People at Risk for Dementia Later in Life
Previously, researchers have identified physical activity, education, mentally challenging work, working in higher managerial positions and participating in certain hobbies as ways to reduce the odds of developing dementia in old age. Some studies have found social activities, volunteering and having a large network of friends to also be beneficial in warding off dementia. Miia Kivipelto, from Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and colleagues studied 2,000 residents of eastern Finland, tracking them for 21 years, to assess whether mid-life marital status is related to cognitive function in later life. The team found that people without a partner in their middle years, or whose partner dies, are three-times more likely to develop dementia, as compared to those who are married or living with someone. The researchers also found that people of the same age who live alone have twice the risk of developing dementia. The team speculates that: “Living in a relationship with a partner may imply cognitive and social challenges that have a protective effect against cognitive impairment in later life.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: With the numbers of cases of dementia projected to swell as a result of a globally aging population, this study offers a compelling reason for people to maintain healthy, stable relationships.
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.