October 15-21, 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.

Social Connections Promote Longevity
Previous studies have linked the quality and quantity of a person’s social relationships to mental as well as physical health. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, from Brigham Young University, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 148 studies that included data from 308,849 men and women who were followed for more than seven years. The team’s analysis determined that individuals with adequate social connections have a 50-percent greater likelihood of longevity compared to those with poor or insufficient social relationships. The researchers note that the overall effect remained consistent across age demographics and health status, suggesting that positive social engagement across the population may be a key to society-wide longevity.

Dr. Klatz observes: This research team reaffirms the life-extending benefits of maintaining positive social relationships, as their analysis finds that people engaged in such connections may live up to 50 percent longer, compared to people who have few or negative relationships.

Modifiable Factors Reduce Decline
A French study estimates the percentage reduction in incidence of dementia that would be obtained if specific risk factors were eliminated. Karen Ritchie, from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and colleagues assessed lifestyle data collected from 1,433 men and women, average age 72.5 years, who were followed for seven years to track the onset of dementia. The researchers found that reducing the rate of depression would slash dementia by 10.3 percent, and eliminating diabetes would result in a 5-percent reduced dementia rate. As well, completing more education was associated with an 18.1-percent reduced rate, while increasing fruits and vegetable consumption cut dementia by 6.5 percent. The team concludes that: “Increasing crystallised intelligence and fruit and vegetable consumption and eliminating depression and diabetes are likely to have the biggest impact on reducing the incidence of dementia, outweighing even the effect of removing the principal known genetic risk factor.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: This French team underscores the invaluable nature of anti-aging interventions, namely disease prevention, education and dietary habits, in mitigating the risks of dementia incidence. Their research clearly confirms the essential role that anti-aging interventions play in long-term health and wellness.

Pomegranate Compound May Protect Skin 
Previously, studies have proposed a preventative role for ellagic acid, a polyphenol compound richly present in the pomegranate fruit as well as berries, in a variety of chronic diseases. Ji-Young Bae, from Hallym University (Korea), and colleagues examined the photoprotective effects of ellagic acid on collagen breakdown and inflammatory responses in UV (ultraviolet)-B irradiated human skin cells, finding that ellagic acid attenuated the UV-B-induced toxicity of these cells, while also preventing the degradation of collagen that is associated with wrinkle formation. Additionally, in a lab animal study, the team revealed that ellagic acid reduced the production of the pro-inflammatory compounds interleukin-1beta (IL-1b) and IL-6. Proposing that: “These results demonstrate that ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV-B,” the researchers urge that: “Dietary and pharmacological interventions with [foods] rich in ellagic acid may be promising treatment strategies interrupting skin wrinkle and inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure leading to photoageing.” 

Comments Dr. Klatz: In identifying a potential protective role for polyphenol compounds present in the pomegranate fruit, these Korean researchers reveal a potentially powerful natural approach to mitigate damage to skin cells resulting from ultraviolet light exposure.

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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