March 12-18, 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.
Safety of Vitamins, Natural Supplements Verified
In publishing the “2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report,” the US National Poison Data System confirms the safety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical agents. The 174-page annual reported zero deaths caused by a dietary supplement in 2008. Sixty-one poison centres provided nationwide data for the US National Poison Data System, which was then reviewed by 29 medical and clinical toxicologists.
Dr. Klatz observes: This substantial, 174-page annual report by the US National Poison Data System confirms the safety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical agents. Zero deaths were caused by a dietary supplement in 2008.
Obesity/Overweight Link to Cancer Risk
In that previous epidemiological studies indicate that overweight and obesity are associated with increased cancer risk, Michael Karin, from the University of California-San Diego, and colleagues studied a laboratory animal model of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the common form of liver cancer whose occurrence and progression are the most strongly affected by obesity among all cancers. The team found that obesity enhanced the development of HCC by stimulating the production of tumour-promoting cytokines – interleukin-6 (Il-6) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF) – that also cause chronic inflammation. Production of these signalling molecules, which are elevated in obese mice and in humans, causes inflammation of the liver and activation of a tumour-promoting transcription factor, a protein called STAT3. This protein in turn activates the formation and growth of liver cancer. While the actual increase in cancer risk is dependent on the type of cancer and the body-mass-index (BMI), the team estimates that the largest effect of BMI higher than 25 (the recommended BMI level) is seen on HCC, with the risk of this type of liver cancer increasing by up to 4.5-fold in men with a BMI of between 35 and 40. The researchers also warn that the effect of excess body weight increases the risk of all cancers, by an estimated 1.5-fold in men and 1.6-fold in women.
Remarks Dr. Goldman: In elucidating the inflammatory pathway responsible for a nearly two-fold increased risk of tumour production in those who are obese/overweight, this team of University of California-San Diego researchers have revealed yet another potential and deleterious role that inflammation plays in the human body.
Stressed People at Risk for Heart Attack
In that psychosocial stress is a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), the mechanism has not been well understood. Avijit Lahirdi, from University College London, and colleagues studied 514 men and women, average age 62 years, none of whom had heart disease. Subjecting the study participants to stress tests, the team then measured levels of cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress, and scanned the participants’ arteries for signs of furring and narrowing. Those people who were stressed by the tests were twice as likely to have furred arteries as those who remained calm. The researchers conclude that: “In healthy, older participants without history or objective signs of [coronary heart disease], heightened cortisol reactivity is associated with a greater extent of [coronary artery calcification].”
Comments Dr. Klatz: UK researchers identify the underlying mechanism by which psychological stresses contribute to coronary heart disease. This discovery has important implications for future preventive and interventive therapies for cardiovascular incidents.
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.
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