July 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.

Green Tea May Promote Weight Loss
Several researchers have studied green tea and its potential as a weight management beverage, focusing on epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound in green tea that has been found to increase energy metabolism and fatty acid oxidation. A team of Swiss and German researchers enrolled ten healthy overweight/obese males (body mass index 31.3+/- 0.8?kg/m2). The men were randomly assigned them to one of five groups: placebo, low-dose EGCG (300?mg), high-dose EGCG (600?mg), caffeine (200?mg) or EGCG plus caffeine (300?mg/200?mg). The men took the supplements for three days, followed by a seven-day washout, then changed over to another of the five groups. By the end of the study, all the men had participated in each group. The researchers found that during two hours after a meal, the low-dose EGCG supplementation was associated with a 33-percent increase in fat oxidation, whereas the high-dose EGCG supplementation resulted in a 20-percent increase (compared to placebo). While caffeine alone was associated with a 34.5-percent increase, the combined EGCG/ caffeine supplement boosted fat oxidation by 49 percent. The team concludes that: “Low EGCG increases postprandial fat oxidation in obese men … Fasting fat oxidation is increased only by caffeine (with or without EGCG).”

Dr. Klatz observes: Among a group of overweight men, scientists find that a purified extract of green tea increased energy expenditure and promoted weight loss, increasing the evidence suggesting a functional role for the nutrient in weight management.

Gene Implicated in Obesity, Alzheimer’s
A recently discovered variant of the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene carried by nearly 50 percent of those of western European descent is not only associated with higher weight and greater waist circumference but has now been found to be expressed in the brain. Paul M. Thompson, from University of California/Los Angeles, and colleagues compared brain scans of more than 200 people and found that people with the obesity variant of the FTO gene had 8 percent less tissue in their frontal lobes and also had 12 percent less tissue in their occipital lobes. By reducing the amount of brain reserve available to compensate after brain plaques typifying Alzheimer’s Disease form, these reduced brain volumes may put those with the FTO gene variant at particularly susceptible risk of succumbing to Alzheimer’s. The team warns that: “These brain maps reveal that a commonly carried susceptibility allele for obesity is associated with structural brain atrophy, with implications for the health of the elderly.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: Elucidation of the role of genetics in disease is paramount to our better understanding disorders and dysfunctions that affect the human body. The discovery that a variant of an obesity gene is potentially contributes to Alzheimer’s Disease is a breakthrough concept that warrants further investigation.

Carbs Raise Heart Disease Risk
In that dietary glycemic load and glycemic index have been postulated as contributors to cardiovascular disease, researchers at Italy’s National Cancer Institute investigated dietary patterns of 15,171 men and 32,578 women who were followed for nearly eight years. The researchers found that those women who consumed the most carbohydrates were at a two-fold greater incidence heart disease, as compared to those who consumed the least carbs. Further detailed analysis showed that the risk was specifically associated with higher intake of high-glycemic foods, that is – simple carbohydrates. The team concludes that: “High dietary [glycemic load] and carbohydrate intake from high-[glycemic index] foods increase the overall risk of [coronary heart disease] in women.” 

Comments Dr. Klatz: In revealing that women who consume a diet rich in simple carbohydrates, which are quickly transformed into sugar in the blood, may be at increased risk of heart disease, these Italian researchers remind us of the principles of the glycemic index, and uncover its role as a contributor to heart disease risk.

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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