Mar. 26-Apr. 1, 2010
By Dr Robert Goldman
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.
Breaks Enhance Learning and Memory
Taking a coffee break at work or school may be a simple approach to provide the brain with an opportunity to process new information and optimize memory. Lila Davachi, from New York University, and colleagues conducted a study of 16 adults, showing each subject assorted pairs of images and permitting a wakeful restful break immediately following. Utilising functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity before, during and after the test, the team found that there was an increase in brain activity between the hippocampus and neocortex, two key brain areas involved in memory and processing, both while the participants were shown the images as well as during the break. Additionally, the subjects who had greater increases in activity between these two areas while resting and seeing the images performed better on associative memory tests than those who had weaker responses. The team concludes that: “These results demonstrate the importance of post-experience resting brain correlations for memory for recent experiences.”
Dr. Klatz observes: In that this team of New York University researchers finds that wakeful rest periods, such as coffee breaks or meditation, may help improve learning and memory, their study suggests that the brain needs downtime to process newly learned information.
You Are What You Eat – After Exercise
In that the content of meals consumed after exercise can impact metabolic responses for hours and even days after the exercise session, Jeffrey F. Horowitz, from the University of Michigan, and colleagues compared the effect of low dietary carbohydrate versus low energy intake in meals after exercise on insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism the next day. Enrolling nine healthy sedentary men, ages 28-30 years, each spent four separate sessions in the study, prior to which they fasted overnight before attending each session. The four visits each involved varied combinations of exercise and post-exercise meals. In the three sessions involving exercise, the researchers found a trend for an increase in insulin sensitivity. However, when participants ate less carbohydrate after exercise, this enhanced insulin sensitivity significantly more. The team concludes that: “Carbohydrate deficit after exercise, but not energy deficit, contributed to the insulin-sensitising effects of acute aerobic exercise. Whereas maintaining an energy deficit after exercise augmented lipid mobilization.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: These findings reinforce the notion that we truly “are what we eat.” In that many of the health benefits of aerobic exercise may be profoundly affected by the food we eat afterwards, it is essential to make healthy food choices, particularly to maximize the gains brought by physical activity.
Chemicals Linked to Thyroid Disease
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, “C8”) and perfluoroctane sulphonate (PFOS) are industrial chemicals found in many consumer products. Low-level chronic exposure occurs with everyday exposure to cookware, carpets and fabrics for which these chemicals are used for production purposes. Tamara S. Galloway, from University of Exeter, and colleagues analyzed blood serum levels of these two chemicals in 3,974 adult American men and women enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The researchers found that those women whose blood levels of perfluorooctanoic acid was in the highest quartile were more than twice as likely to report having thyroid disease as those in the lowest two quartiles. Among men, the study revealed an increased risk of thyroid disease among those who had high levels of perfluoroctane sulphonate (PFOS) in their blood. Concluding that: “Higher concentrations of serum PFOA and PFOS are associated with current thyroid disease in the US general adult population,” the team urges for: “More work is needed to establish the mechanisms involved and to exclude confounding and pharmacokinetic explanations.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: This study links low-level chronic exposure to industrial chemicals found in consumer products to an increase in thyroid disease. While further investigation is warranted to better elucidate causal circumstances, this finding reminds us to be vigilant about our knowing and unknowing exposures to chemicals on an everyday basis.
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.