December 17-23, 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.
Tomato Compounds ‘Promote Healthy Skin’
Lycopene, an antioxidant compound found in high concentrations in tomatoes, has been shown by previous studies to exert beneficial effects on the heart, blood pressure, prostate and bone. M. Rizwan, from The University of Manchester, and colleagues studied 20 healthy women, average age 33 years, with skin types defined as phototype I/II. Women either received either 55 grams of tomato paste (containing 16 milligrams/day of lycopene) in olive oil, or just olive oil, to consume daily for 12 weeks. The team found that the daily dose of ultraviolet light needed to cause skin reddening increased, from 26.4 mJ/cm2 at the study’s start to stand at 36.6 mJ/cm2 after lycopene supplementation, a result which shows an improved resistance of the skin to reddening among those subjects who consumed the tomato paste. Additionally, the researchers found that lycopene supplementation reduced the UVA-induction of the matrix metalloprotease enzyme MMP-1, which has a key role in the degradation of the extracellular matrix during premature skin aging. The team concludes that: “Tomato paste containing lycopene provides protection against acute and potentially longer term aspects of photodamage.”
Dr Klatz observes: Daily consumption of a lycopene-rich tomato paste reduces ultraviolet-light induced skin reddening, thereby adding to the growing body of evidence to suggest a functional health role for tomato compounds.
Adequate Sleep Leads to Lean Body
Previous studies have shown that inadequate sleep has adverse effects on energy intake and expenditure. Plamen D. Penev, MD, from the University of Chicago, and colleagues enrolled 3 overweight, non-smoking women and 7 overweight, non-smoking men, average age 41 years, in a two-week study involving moderate caloric restriction with 8.5 or 5.5 hours of night-time sleep opportunity. The team monitored for changes including loss of fat and fat-free body mass, energy expenditure, hunger and 24-hour metabolic hormone concentrations. Subjects who slept 8.5 hours nightly burned more fat than those who slept just 5.5 hours, with the latter group burning more lean muscle mass, experiencing hunger and expending less energy as a result of the lack of sleep. The subjects who slept for more than 8 hours lost an average of 1.4 kg, compared to 0.4 kg of fat loss in the sleep deprivation group. Explaining that: “The amount of human sleep contributes to the maintenance of fat-free body mass at times of decreased energy intake,” the researchers observe that: “Lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of typical dietary interventions for weight loss and related metabolic risk reduction.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Middle-aged, overweight men and women who slept 8.5 hours nightly burn more fat than those who slept just 5.5 hours. This finding reaffirms the restorative role of adequate sleep.
Walnuts ‘Improve Stress Response’
Omega-3 fatty acids – such as alpha linolenic acid found in walnuts – are a type of polyunsaturated fat that may help to reduce the body’s biological responses to stress. Sheila G. West, from Penn State University, and colleagues studied 22 healthy adults with elevated LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, supplying each subject with meal and snack foods during three diet periods of six weeks each. The three diet periods consisted of: first diet as an “average” American diet – a diet without nuts that reflects what the typical person in the US consumes each day; the second diet included 1.3 ounces of walnuts and a tablespoon of walnut oil substituted for some of the fat and protein in the average American diet; and the third diet was comprised of walnuts, walnut oil and 1.5 tablespoons of flaxseed oil. The researchers found that including walnuts and walnut oil in the diet lowered both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress in the laboratory. Results also showed that average diastolic blood pressure was significantly reduced during the diets containing walnuts and walnut oil. The team observes that: “This is the first study to show that walnuts and walnut oil reduce blood pressure during stress. This is important because we can’t avoid all of the stressors in our daily lives. This study shows that a dietary change could help our bodies better respond to stress.”
Comments Dr Klatz: Revealing that walnuts and walnut oil may help the body to better respond during times of stress, these researchers uncover a novel benefit for this food substance.
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.