January 08-14, 2010

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 optimise 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, distil these headlines and provide their commentary.

Low Vitamin D May Raise Risk of Death

Austrian researchers find that low blood levels of Vitamin D are linked to increased risk of death from all causes, and in-specific, cardiovascular disease. Stefan Pilz, from Medical University of Graz (Austria), and colleagues studied data collected on 614 men and women, average age of 69.8 years, following them for a six-year period.  The team found that those subjects with the lowest average vitamin D levels (30.6 nanomoles per litre) were found to be at a 124-percent increased risk of death from all causes, and at 378-percent increased risk of cardiovascular mortality.  The researchers conclude that:  “Low [vitamin] D levels are associated with all-cause mortality and even more pronounced with cardiovascular mortality… intervention studies are warranted to evaluate whether vitamin D supplementation reduces mortality and cardiovascular diseases.”

Dr. Klatz observes: Previously, studies of aging adults have shown that Vitamin D deficiency may precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases, as well as raise the risk of cancers and diabetes.   This Austrian study advances the notion that Vitamin D supplementation may beneficially alter the risk of death from all causes, and from cardiovascular diseases in-particular.

Home Environment Strong Factor in Weight

In that understanding the factors that influence successful weight control is critical for developing interventions, Suzanne Phelan, from California Polytechnic State University, and colleagues surveyed 167 men and women who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight and kept the weight off for at least five years, comparing their data to two other groups of people who were overweight or obese.  The team found that those who lost weight and kept it off were about three to four times more likely to exercise than those who were obese or overweight.  They also were also about 1.4 to 1.6 times more likely to exercise dietary restraint.   Home environment variables, such as fewer televisions, more pieces of exercise equipment and fewer high-fat foods in the pantry, also factored into successful, long-term weight control.  The researchers urge that:  “Obesity treatment should focus on increasing conscious control over eating, engaging in physical activity and reducing disinhibition. Changes in the home environment may help facilitate these behavioural changes.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: Finding that the home environment is indeed a contributing factor for successful, long-term weight control, this study suggests key ways to help consumers conduct their daily exercise programme in a focused manner in the comfort of their home.

Skip Salt, Diet Soda to Save Kidneys
Individuals who consume a diet high in sodium or artificially sweetened drinks are more likely to experience a decline in kidney function.  Julie Lin, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Massachusetts, US), and colleagues studied data collected on more than 3,000 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study, finding that “in women with well-preserved kidney function, higher dietary sodium intake was associated with greater kidney function decline, which is consistent with experimental animal data that high sodium intake promotes progressive kidney decline.”  In a second study by the same researchers involving the same study subjects, the team found “a significant two-fold increased odds, between two or more servings per day of artificially sweetened soda and faster kidney function decline; no relation between sugar-sweetened beverages and kidney function decline.”  The team urges that possible mechanisms for kidney decline in the setting of high intake of artificial sweeteners have not been previously studied and deserve further investigation.

Comments Dr. Klatz: As this study supports the notion that diets high in sodium and artificially sweetened soda linked to kidney function decline, it reminds us to be vigilant in making healthy food choices. Beverages can be an overlooked part of one’s dietary regimen.

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 Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.

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