December 10-16, 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.
Probiotics May Ward Off Common Cold
The common cold is a viral infection primarily caused by rhinoviruses. Previous studies have shown that probiotics, alone or in combination with prebiotics, have reduced the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections. Swedish researchers enrolled 272 men and women in a 12-week study, during which subjects were supplemented daily with supplemented either with 109 cfu (colony forming units) of probiotics or placebo. The team found that the probiotics reduced the incidence of one or more episodes of the common cold. Among those who received the probiotics, both the total symptom score and number of symptom days among were markedly reduced. The researchers conclude that: “Intake of the probiotic strains Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei reduces the risk of acquiring common cold infections.”
Dr Klatz observes: Daily supplementation of Lactobacillus probiotics may significantly reduce the incidence of acquiring the common cold, and slash the duration and extent of symptoms. This finding expands the evidence suggesting immunoprotective properties of probiotics.
Exercise Helps Protect Against Fractures
Falls are responsible for 90 percent or more of all hip fractures, which are injuries that are associated with high mortality rates. Raija Korpelainen, from Oulu Deaconess Institute in Finland, and colleagues followed 160 women who participated in a trial aimed at reducing risk factors for fractures in elderly women with osteopenia (a reduction in bone mass, or low levels of bone calcium): 84 women were assigned to an exercise group, while the remaining 76 women served as controls. Women in the exercise group attended supervised balance, leg strength and impact training sessions once a week for a six-month period annually or four years. During the 7.1-year follow-up period, 17 women in the exercise group were hospital-treated for fractures, while 23 fractures occurred in the control group. Additionally, the total incidence rate of fractures in the exercise group was 0.05 per 1,000 women per year versus 0.08 in the control group. The authors found that: “Fractures were proximal in 52.2 percent of the control group and 17.6 percent of the exercise group. Moderate lifelong physical activity decreased the overall risk of having any fractures during the total follow-up period.” Additionally, no hip fractures occurred in the exercise group during the follow-up period, while five hip fractures occurred in the control group. The researchers also report that the exercise group also “demonstrated a significant gain compared with the control group in mean leg strength during the trial.” The researchers report that: “30 months of supervised, mainly home-based exercises followed by voluntary home training had a positive long-term effect on balance and gait in high-risk elderly women,” and that “life-long physical activity was associated with reduced risk of fractures.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: A regular, long-term program of home-based exercises beneficially improves balance and gait, thereby helping to protect high-risk, elderly women from hip fractures.
Antioxidants May Reduce Cancer Risk
Previous studies have shown that dietary supplementation of certain vitamins, such as Vitamins A, C, and E and folic acid, reduces the risks of colon cancer, likely because of their high anti-oxidant capacities. A team from Harvard Medical School, has completed a large-scale study that reports strong association between supplementation of Vitamins A, C, and E with lower levels of colon cancer. Led by Stephanie Smith-Warner, the team assessed data collected from 676,141 men and women involved in 13 separate studies. The researchers found that total intakes of Vitamins A, C, and E were associated with 24 to 30 percent lower risk of colon cancer. Writing that: “Multivitamin use was significantly inversely associated with colon cancer risk,” the team concludes that: “Modest inverse associations with vitamin C and E intakes may be due to high correlations with folate intake, which had a similar inverse association with colon cancer.”
Comments Dr Klatz: A Harvard Medical School team reports strong association between supplementation of Vitamins A, C, and E with lower levels of colon cancer, reaffirming the role of antioxidants for disease prevention.
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.