September 3-9, 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 Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, and Dr Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., A4M President, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distil these headlines and provide their commentary.
Tai Chi, Qigong ‘Boost Health’
Tai Chi and Qigong, two Chinese wellness practices, have been previously associated with a variety of physical and mental health benefits. Linda Larkey, of Arizona State University, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 77 peer-reviewed journal articles that reported on the results of Tai Chi and Qigong interventions. Assessing data on the 6,410 men and women involved in the 77 studies, the team found that subjects were significantly improved on the health parameters of cardiopulmonary fitness, immune function, bone density and quality of life, compared to sedentary counterparts. The researchers write that: “Research has demonstrated consistent, significant results for a number of health benefits in [clinical trials], evidencing progress toward recognizing the similarity and equivalence of Qigong and Tai Chi.”
Dr. Klatz observes: In finding that the Chinese wellness practices of Tai Chi and Qigong have positive effects on cardiopulmonary fitness, immune function, bone density and quality of life, these researchers broaden the diversity of today’s armament of anti-aging therapeutics.
Vitamin D ‘Improves Mental Agility’
In that a growing body of evidence suggests a broad range of health benefits of Vitamin D, Katherine Tucker, from Tufts University, and colleagues studied the association between blood levels of Vitamin D (measured as 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D) and cognitive function. The team studied more than 1,000 men and women, ages 65 to 99 years, receiving home care, assessing vitamin D blood levels and conducting neuropsychological tests. Grouping the subjects by their Vitamin D status, which was categorized as deficient, insufficient, or sufficient, the researchers determined that only 35 percent had sufficient Vitamin D blood levels. These subjects scored higher on tests of cognitive performance, particularly on measures of “executive performance,” such as cognitive flexibility, perceptual complexity and reasoning, compared to those in the deficient and insufficient categories. Noting that metabolic pathways for Vitamin D have been found in the hippocampus and cerebellum areas of the brain involved in planning, processing and forming new memories, which may suggest that Vitamin D may be implicated in cognitive processes, the researchers conclude that: “[blood level of Vitamin D] was positively associated with cognitive performance, particularly with measures of executive function in this elderly population.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: Seniors with sufficient blood levels of Vitamin D perform better on tests of cognitive performance, suggesting one of a number of wide-ranging benefits to dietary supplementation of Vitamin D.
Tea, Coffee Promote Heart Health
Teas and coffees both have high antioxidant profiles, with the former rich in flavonoids and the latter in phenolic compounds. Yvonne T. van der Schouw, from the University Medical Center Utrecht, and colleagues studied beverage habits of 37,514 participants of the Dutch cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, collecting data on the incidence of cardiovascular events during the 13-year study period. The team calculated that between three and six cups of tea a day may reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 45 percent, compared to those people who drank one cup or less per day. Additionally, they found that between two and four cups of coffee daily yielded a 20-percent lower risk, compared to those who drank less than two or more than four cups daily. The researchers conclude that: “High tea consumption is associated with a reduced risk of [coronary heart disease] mortality. Our results suggest a slight risk reduction for [coronary heart disease] mortality with moderate coffee consumption and strengthen the evidence on the lower risk of [coronary heart disease] with coffee and tea consumption.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: In finding that tea may slash heart disease death risk by 45 percent, coffee by 20 percent, this Netherlands team of scientists provides a powerful confirmation of the potent functional health role of two widely accessible beverages.
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.