April 2-8, 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.
Med Diet May Help Avert Silent Stroke Damage
The Mediterranean Diet is characterized by high daily intakes of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, a restricted consumption of red meat, low to moderate intakes of dairy products, fish and poultry and liberal use of use of olive oil. Nikolas Scarmeas, from Columbia University Medical Center, and colleagues studied 712 adults living in New York, analysing their diets and categorising how closely they followed a Mediterranean diet. After six years, the team used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of the study participants and look for any areas of brain tissue damage related to silent stroke. The team found that those subjects who most closely followed a Mediterranean-style diet were 36 percent less likely to have fewer infarcts, which are areas of stroke-related brain damage (as compared to those who least closely followed the diet). Further, those who were moderate followers of Mediterranean style diet had a 21-percent lower risk of brain damage (compared with the lowest group).
Dr. Klatz observes: This study finds that people who most closely follow a Mediterranean-style diet are 36 percent less likely to suffer brain infarcts, areas of brain damage linked to silent strokes. It serves as potent evidence for the impact of diet on disease.
Healthy Adults May Need Less Sleep with Age
Derk-Jan Dijk, from the University of Surrey, and colleagues investigated whether age impacts slow-wave sleep and sleep continuity, and whether aging men and women experience increased daytime sleepiness. The team enrolled 110 healthy adults without sleep disorders or sleep complaints; 44 were ages 20 to 30 years, 35 were ages 40 to 55 years and 31 were ages 66 to 83 years. During a night of eight hours in bed, total sleep time decreased significantly and progressively with age. Older adults slept about 20 minutes less than middle-aged adults, who slept 23 minutes less than young adults. The number of awakenings and the amount of time spent awake after initial sleep onset increased significantly with age, and the amount of time spent in deep, slow-wave sleep decreased across age groups. Yet even with these decreases in sleep time, intensity and continuity, older adults displayed less subjective and objective daytime sleep propensity than younger adults. The team concludes that: “Healthy aging is associated with a reduction in daytime sleep propensity, sleep continuity and slow-wave sleep … [which] may reflect a lessening in homeostatic sleep requirement. Healthy older adults without sleep disorders can expect to be less sleepy during the daytime than young adults.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: UK researchers find that healthy older adults can expect to have a reduced “sleep need” and are less sleepy during the day than healthy young adults. This finding is important in that it elucidates changes in sleep as we age.
Tea May Slim Men’s Waistlines
In that some previous studies have examined the coffee and/or tea consumption but have revealed little about how those habits affect obesity, Danielle R. Bouchard, from Queen’s University (Ontario, Canada), and colleagues studied the associations between the frequency of coffee and tea consumption, and the use of additives in coffee and tea, with waist circumference. Assessing data collected on 3,823 adults who participated in the 2003-2004 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the team found that men who frequently drank tea had smaller waist circumference values than men who were occasional tea drinkers or men who never drink tea. No such pattern was observed in women. The use of a sweetening agent factored into male abdominal obesity as well. In men, the use of sugar in tea was associated with a nearly 1-inch smaller waist measurement, but the use of artificial sweeteners was linked to a nearly 2-inch larger waistline. The researchers conclude that: “This study suggests that frequent consumption of tea (2 [or more] cups/day) is associated with a lower waist circumference in men.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: A Canadian team finds that men who drink two or more cups of tea a day have slimmer waistlines, providing further evidence of a functional role for the beverage in health and wellness.
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.