August 20-26, 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, MD, DO, A4M President, and Dr Robert Goldman, MD, PhD, DO, FAASP, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distil these headlines and provide their insightful commentary.

Humour Promotes Health & Longevity
In examining health records on 53,000 Norwegian residents, segmented from the second Nor-Trondelag Health Study (HUNT 2), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) researchers have found that maintaining a sense of humour not only keeps people healthy, but helps to increase their longevity. Sven Svebak and colleagues evaluated people’s sense of humour with three questions that reveal a person’s ability to understand humour and to think in a humorous way, finding that mortality was reduced by about 20 percent in subjects with high scores compared to people with low scores. In addition, subjects with the highest scores were twice as likely to survive over the seven-year follow-up period compared to those with the lowest scores. Svebak concludes: “There is reason to believe that a sense of humour continues to have a positive effect on mental health and social life, even after people have become retirees, although the positive effect on life expectancy could not be shown after the age of 75. At that point, genetics and biological aging are of greater importance.”

Dr Klatz observes: “In revealing that maintaining a sense of humour not only keeps people healthy, but may also help to increase their longevity, this large-scale study reaffirms the primary importance of positive attitude in promoting quality and quantity of life.”

Exercise Helps to Minimise Risks of Falls
Kristen J. Mertz, from the University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA), and colleagues studied the characteristics of falls among adults to ascertain the link between cardio respiratory fitness resulting from physical activity and walking-related falls. The team analysed data collected on participants enrolled in the Aerobics Centre Longitudinal Study from 1970 through 1989, who responded to questions on falls on a 1990 follow-up survey. They found that regular exercise reduced the risk of falls, with two hours of aerobic exercise a week exerting the greatest protective effect. While the researchers observed that women were 2.8 times more likely than men to fall while walking, women’s fitness levels appeared to make little difference.  However, fitness levels in men were important, as men with low fitness levels were 2.2 times more likely to fall than men with high fitness levels. Mertz writes: “Falls are common throughout adulthood but activities at time of falls differ by age,” the team concludes that “Low fitness levels and physical inactivity may increase risk for walking-related falls.”

Dr Goldman remarks: “Falls are a leading cause of disability in the United States, and cause an estimated 19,000 deaths each year. In finding that two hours of aerobic exercise a week exerts a protective effect against falls, this research team underscores an important approach to minimising the risk and incidence of falls.”

Brown Rice May Slash Diabetes Risk
Brown rice differs from white rice in both its processing and nutrient profile, as the former retains the other bran and germ portion of the grain thereby retaining most of the fibre content. Qi Sun, from Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues analyzed the dietary habits of participants in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study I and II, involving a total of 39,765 men and 157,463 women, tracking for the onset of type-2 diabetes. The team found that those subjects who consumed five or more servings of white rice a week were at 17 percent increased risk for diabetes, as compared to those who ate less than one serving per month. Subjects who consumed two servings of brown rice a week were at a decreased risk of diabetes, with researchers estimating that by replacing 50 grams of uncooked white rice with the same amount of brown rice, the risk of diabetes was cut by 16 percent. The researchers conclude: “Substitution of whole grains, including brown rice, for white rice may lower risk of type 2 diabetes. These data support the recommendation that most carbohydrate intake should come from whole grains rather than refined grains to help prevent type 2 diabetes.”

Dr Klatz comments: “The incidence of diabetes worldwide is rising, due in large part to the adoption of fast foods and convenience foods.  The notion that just two servings of brown rice a week can cut type-2 diabetes risk by up to 16 percent is a potent reminder as to the role of diet in intervening against disease.”

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 Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.

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