March 05-11, 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.

Fish Oil Curbs Inflammation
Patients in hospital intensive care units are at increased risk for both inflammation and infection, both of which can compromise outcome. Philip Calder, from the University of Southampton (United Kingdom), and colleagues studied 23 patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome or sepsis in a Portuguese hospital. In the 13 patients who received intraveneous fish oil, the team observes that the: “Inclusion of fish oil … increases plasma eicosapentaenoic acid, modifies inflammatory cytokine concentrations and improves gas exchange. These changes are associated with a tendency towards shorter length of hospital stay.”

Dr. Klatz observes: Among patients in hospital intensive care units, fish oil administered intraveneously improves gas exchange, reduces inflammatory chemicals and results in a shorter length of hospital stay. This study suggests a potentially important natural and non-toxic approach to ward off infection in the hospital setting.

Eye Test May Facilitate Disease Detection

In that nerve cell death is the key event in all neurodegenerative disorders, until recently researchers have found it difficult to study the processes of apoptosis and necrosis both dynamically and in real time. Francesca Cordeiro, from University College London, and colleagues have developed a new technique that enables retinal, and therefore brain cell death, to be directly measured in real time. Utilizing an animal model, the team used fluorescent markers that attach themselves to the relevant cells and indicate the stage of cell death. The retina is then observed using a customised laser ophthalmoscope. Until now, this kind of technique has only been used in cells in the lab, rather than in live animals. This research is therefore the first ever in vivo demonstration of retinal nerve cell death in Alzheimer’s Disease. It is posited that this model not only may refine diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders and help track disease progress, but may also aid the assessment and development of new treatments.

Remarks Dr. Goldman: UK researchers have devised a simple and inexpensive eye test that may aid detection and diagnosis of major neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, at an earlier stage than is currently possible. This heralds new opportunities for early detection and prevention of diseases that otherwise may grossly compromise quality of life.

Omega-3 May Promote Youthful Biological Age

Telomeres are the endcaps on chromosomes, and the number of times that telomeres divide during cellular replication has been linked to cellular aging and death. Ramin Farzaneh-Far, from the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues studied a group of 608 patients with stable coronary artery disease for a six-year period, measuring leukocyte telomere length at the study’s start and at the five-year mark. The team then modeled the association of omega-3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]) with subsequent change in telomere length. The researchers found that those subjects in the lowest quartile of DHA+EPA experienced the fastest rate of telomere shortening, whereas those in the highest quartile experienced the slowest rate of telomere shortening. Further, each unit increase in DHA/EPA levels was associated with a 32-percent reduction in the odds of telomere shortening. Speculating that omega-3s may protect against oxidative stress, or increase the activity of the telomerase enzyme, which may then decrease telomere shortening by creating more accurate telomere copies, the researchers conclude that: “Among this cohort of patients with coronary artery disease, there was an inverse relationship between baseline blood levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids and the rate of telomere shortening over 5 years.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: University of California San Francisco researchers have found that omega-3 fatty acids may slow telomere shortening, a key marker of biological age. In that omega-3s may be readily obtained from the diet, such as by increasing consumption of fatty fish from cold waters, this study offers a potentially critical approach to slow the genetic mechanisms involved in biological aging.

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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