October 22-28, 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.
Meditation Boosts Brain Function
Previously, studies have shown that mental training, based on the traditional Chinese medicine form of meditation known as integrative body-mind training (IBMT), improves regulation of emotions and behaviour by raising the activity of the anterior cingulate cortex region of the brain. Yi-Yuan Tang, from Dalian University of Technology, and colleagues studied 45 university students, who were randomly assigned to either engage in IBMT or relaxation training (control group). A comparison of scans taken of the students’ brains before and after the training showed that those in the IBMT group had increased brain connectivity. The boost in brain connectivity, which was strongest in connections involving the anterior cingulate, began after six hours of IBMT and became more prevalent after 11 hours of practice. The researchers conclude that: “[Integrative body-mind training] could provide a means for improving self-regulation and perhaps reducing or preventing various mental disorders.”
Dr Klatz observes: In revealing that brain connectivity improves with integrative body-mind training, these researchers reaffirm the value of traditional medical approaches that are time-tested.
Muscle-Building Strategy Revealed
A team from McMaster University in Canada reveals a strategy to muscle building that counters the prevailing notion that holds that to build muscle size you need to lift heavy weights. Nicholas Burd and colleagues assessed the effect of resistance exercise intensity (1 percent repetition maximum—1RM) and volume on muscle protein synthesis, anabolic signaling and myogenic gene expression, enrolling 15 men (average age 21 years, BMI 24 kg/m2) to lift light weights that represented a percentage of what the subjects could maximally lift. At 30 percent, the team observed that subjects could lift that weight at least 24 times before they felt fatigue. The researchers report that: “These results suggest that low-load high volume resistance exercise is more effective in inducing acute muscle anabolism than high-load low volume or work matched resistance exercise modes.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Canadian researchers find that muscle building can be achieved by using lighter weights and exercising to fatigue. This reinforces the notion that muscle building need not rely on heavy weightlifting.
Chocolate May Reduce Heart-Failure Risks
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood sufficiently to the rest of the body, and occurs most frequently in the aging population. Murray Mittleman, from Harvard Medical School, and colleagues studied data collected on 31,823 middle-aged and elderly Swedish women, assessing the relationship of the amount of high-quality (cocoa-rich) chocolate the women ate, compared to their risk for heart failure. The team found that those women who consumed an average of one to two servings of the high-quality chocolate per week were at a 32-percent lower risk of developing heart failure, and those who ate one to three servings per month had a 26-percent lower risk. Noting that high concentration of flavonoids, potent antioxidant compounds, in chocolate may lower blood pressure, the researchers conclude that: “Moderate habitual chocolate intake was associated with a lower rate of [heart failure] hospitalization or death.”
Comments Dr Klatz: In revealing that middle-aged and elderly women who consumed one to two servings of cocoa-rich chocolate slashed their risks of heart failure by 32 percent, this team extends the growing body of evidence that suggests a functional health role for chocolate.
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.