April 16-22, 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.
Happy Disposition May Promote Heart Health
In that positive affect, a measure of happiness, is believed to predict cardiovascular health independent of negative affect, Karina W. Davidson, from Columbia University Medical Center, and colleagues examined the association between positive affect and cardiovascular events in 1,739 adults (862 men and 877 women) in the 1995 Nova Scotia Health Survey. The team found that those subjects with higher levels of positive affect were at a significantly lower risk of having a cardiovascular event over a 10-year period, even after adjusting for negative emotions. The researchers conclude that: “In this large, population-based study, increased positive affect was protective against 10-year incident [coronary heart disease], suggesting that preventive strategies may be enhanced not only by reducing depressive symptoms but also by increasing positive affect.”
Dr. Klatz observes: Finding that people who find joy, excitement and contentment in their daily lives may be protected from cardiovascular disease, this research team reveals an important connection between mental health and physical health.
Green Tea Protects Against Glaucoma
Catechins are antioxidant compounds present in high concentrations in green tea. Chi Pui Pang, from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and colleagues have found that laboratory rats fed green tea absorbed significant amounts of tea catechins into the retina and aqueous humor tissue of the eye. The team observed that green tea catechins reduced oxidative stress in the eye for up to 20 hours after consumption. By establishing that green tea catechins do penetrate into tissues of the eye, the researchers raise the potential for these compounds to beneficially impact glaucoma and other common eye diseases.
Remarks Dr. Goldman: Hong Kong researchers report that antioxidant compounds in green tea are absorbed in significant amounts in the retina and other tissues of the eye. This is a significant finding that may lead to possibilities for dietary substances to confer a functional health role in vision.
Midday Nap ‘Boosts Brain Power’
Expounding on their hypothesis that sleep is needed to clear the brain’s short-term memory storage and make room for new information, Matthew Walker, from University of California/Berkeley, and colleagues have found that an hour-long nap in the early afternoon can improve the capacity to learn. The team recruited 39 healthy young adults and randomly assigned them to take a 90-minute early afternoon nap, or stay awake for the same duration. Whereas both groups performed at comparable levels on a learning task completed prior to the nap time, another mental challenge after the naptime was completed markedly better by those who napped than those who stayed awake. The findings support the notion that fact-based memories are temporarily stored in the hippocampus before being sent to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, but this memory transfer is optimized with Stage 2 non-REM sleep.
Comments Dr. Klatz: In reporting that a short nap can improve learning capacity, these researchers reaffirm the potent rejuvenative role of sleep.
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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