April 30-May 6, 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.

Multi-Benefits of Multivitamins
In that obese individuals are more likely to have either lower blood concentrations or lower bioavailability of minerals and/or vitamins, C.H. Sun, from Harbin Medical University in China, and colleagues investigated the effects of multivitamin/mineral supplementation on fat mass, energy expenditure, and lipid profiles.  The team enrolled 96 obese Chinese women (body mass index [BMI] of 28 kg/m2), ages 18n to 55 years, for a 26-week-long study. The subjects were randomized into three groups, receiving either one tablet of multivitamin/mineral supplement, calcium (162 mg), or placebo, daily. At the end of the study period, the researchers found that the women who took the multivitamin/ mineral supplement had significantly lower body weight, body mass index, fat mass, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, while also demonstrating higher resting energy expenditure and HDL cholesterol. Respiratory quotient and waist circumference also beneficially improved. The researchers conclude that: “The results suggest that, in obese individuals, multivitamin and mineral supplementation could reduce body weight and fatness and improve serum lipid profiles, possibly through increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation.”

Dr. Klatz observes: Adding to the established body of evidence attesting to the benefits of multivitamins and minerals, this Chinese study reveals that such supplements can beneficially modify body weight and blood fat levels.

Forgetting May Enhance Learning
While learning activates key biological processes by which new memories can be formed, Yi Zhong, from Tsinghua University (China), and colleagues have identified a chemical in the brain that deliberately removes short-term memories, to enhance the brain’s capacity to learn.  Using an insect model, the researchers elucidated the mechanisms underlying Rac, a protein. When Rac is blocked, the the brain retains information for far longer than it would normally. But Rac is released at a faster rate when the brain is attempting to process large amounts of information, clearing more space as it is needed. Reporting that: “Endogenous Rac activation is evoked on different time scales during gradual memory loss in passive decay and during acute memory removal in reversal learning,” the researchers propose that: “Rac’s role in actin cytoskeleton remodeling may contribute to memory erasure.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: Chinese researchers identify a chemical in the brain that deliberately removes short-term memories, to enhance the brain’s capacity to learn. It is an intriguing finding that reaffirms the concept that the brain responds in an ever-changing response to incoming stimuli.

Calcium Slashes Men’s Risks of Death
Previous studies have reported a heart health-promoting effect of calcium, with researchers finding that the mineral may lower blood pressure and thereby reduce the risk of hypertension. Joanna Kaluza, from Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), and colleagues examined the association of dietary calcium and magnesium intake with all-cause cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality among 23,366 Swedish men, ages 45 to 79 years, who did not use dietary supplements. The team found that those men with the highest average intakes, almost double the recommended levels, of calcium were at a 25-percent less risk for all-cause mortality and death by heart disease, as compared to those men with the lowest average intakes. The researchers conclude that: “This population-based, prospective study of men with relatively high intakes of dietary calcium and magnesium showed that intake of calcium above that recommended daily may reduce all-cause mortality.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: This large-scale Swedish study finds that men with higher intakes of calcium are at markedly reduced risks of death from heart disease, adding to the body of evidence suggesting a wide range of benefits to consumption of the mineral.

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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