January 07-14, 2011

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.

Stability, Happiness ‘Increase with Age’
In that previous studies have linked aging with greater happiness, Stanford University researchers report that as people age, they become more emotionally stable, experiencing happier and more productive living. Laura Carstensen and colleagues studied a group of 184 Americans, ages 18 to 94 years at the study’s start in 1993, for a 12-year period. Periodically the subjects were surveyed to assess their level of happiness, satisfaction and comfort at various timepoints in the study period. Over the years, the older subjects reported having fewer negative emotions and more positive ones compared with their younger days. But even with the good outweighing the bad, older people were inclined to report a mix of positive and negative emotions more often than younger test subjects. The team concludes that: “Emotional experience predicted mortality: Controlling for age, sex and ethnicity, individuals who experienced relatively more positive than negative emotions in everyday life were more likely to have survived over a 13 year period.”

Dr Klatz observes: Stanford University researchers report that as people age, they become more emotionally stable, experiencing happier and more productive living, reaffirming the benefits of an anti-aging lifestyle.

Personality Contributes to Exercise Ability
Scientists now recognise that many animals exhibit personality, behavioural displays known as “consistent individual differences.”    Peter Biro, from the University of New South Wales and colleagues reviewed a wide range of recent research and posit that there is now enough evidence to suggest a link between an individual’s personality and the rate of its metabolism – the chemical process that converts food into the energy that fuels the body. The researchers investigated why individuals differ in their propensity for activity and in their personality, and why these two factors may be related. They found that behaviours often relate to the rates at which an individual acquires and expends energy through feeding or physical activity. 

Remarks Dr Goldman: Australian researchers make the intriguing discovery that an individual’s personality and their rate of metabolism are fundamentally linked. If confirmed, this may become an important insight of value in customising an individual’s fitness regimen.

Watermelon ‘Reduces Blood Pressure’
Watermelon is a rich edible natural source of L-citrulline, a compound that is closely related to L-arginine, which is crucial to the formation of nitric oxide, which helps to widen blood vessels and thereby mediate blood pressure. Arturo Figueroa, from Florida State University, and colleagues enrolled four men and five women, average age 54 years, with pre-hypertension (134/77 ± 5/3 mm Hg), randomly assigned to six weeks of watermelon supplementation or placebo, followed by a four-week washout period and then crossover. The team found that supplementation with 6 grams of L-citrulline from watermelon improved arterial function and lowered aortic blood pressure in all nine pre-hypertensive subjects. Specifically, L-citrulline supplementation significantly decreased the second systolic peak, and did not alter heart rate, reflection time or aortic pulse-wave velocity. Concluding that: “This pilot study shows that watermelon supplementation improves aortic hemodynamics through a decrease in the amplitude of the reflected wave in individuals with prehypertension,” the researchers hypothesize that L-citrulline supplementation (from watermelon) could lead to reduced doses of antihypertensive drugs being needed to control blood pressure, or could even prevent progression from pre-hypertension to hypertension.

Comments Dr Klatz: In finding that L-citrulline, a compound found in rich amounts in watermelon, helps to reduce blood pressure and other markers of pre-hypertension, these researchers discover a potentially important functional health role for a common and widely available fruit.

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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