Feb. 25-Mar. 3, 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 24,000 physician and scientist members from 110 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.

Healthy Eating Is Anti-Aging Key  
In that the leading causes of death have shifted from infectious diseases to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, some science suggests a primary role for diet in disease. Amy L. Anderson, from the University of Maryland, and colleagues studied the dietary patterns of 2,582 adults, ages 70 to 79 years. The team found that diets favouring certain foods were associated with reduced mortality. By determining the consumption frequency of 108 different food items, researchers were able to group the participants into six clusters according to predominant food choices. Those eating “healthy foods” – characterized by relatively higher intake of low-fat dairy products, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and vegetables, and lower consumption of meat, fried foods, sweets, high-calorie drinks and added fat – were at 40-percent risk of mortality, as compared to those who ate a “high-fat dairy products” diet – typically including ice cream, cheese and 2 percent and whole milk and yogurt, and lower intake of poultry, low-fat dairy products, rice and pasta. As well, those in the “sweets and desserts” cluster had a 37-percent higher risk of death, compared to those in the “healthy foods” group. The researchers conclude that: “A dietary pattern consistent with current guidelines to consume relatively high amounts of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products may be associated with superior nutritional status, quality of life and survival in older adults.”

Dr Klatz observes: In finding that certain dietary patterns may reduce the risk of death, these researchers underscore the importance of healthy eating as a key anti-aging principle.

Exercise Cuts Colon Cancer Deaths 
Previous studies have suggested that physical activity lowers colon cancer risk. Kathleen Y. Wolin, from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues examined data from the American Cancer Society Prevention Study II, involving over 150,000 men and women, to determine whether physical activity influenced either the incidence of colon cancer diagnosis or the risk of death from the disease. The team compared levels of physical activity of the study subjects during a 15-year period, and linked those activity levels to both the number of subsequent colon cancer diagnoses and the number of subsequent colon cancer deaths. They found that people who were consistently active over the course of their adulthood had a lower risk of death from colon cancer, compared to those who were sedentary. The greatest benefit accrued in those who exercised for the largest percentage of their lives, suggesting that a long-term regular exercise program provides beneficial effects on the risk of colon cancer diagnosis. The researchers said: “This study suggests that long-term participation in physical activity provides the greatest reduction in risk of colon cancer death.”

Remarks Dr Goldman: People who are consistently active over the course of their adulthood have a lower risk death from colon cancer, compared to those who are sedentary. This research reminds us of the multiple and diverse health benefits of regular physical activity.

Antioxidants May Reduce Stroke Risk  
Previous studies have shown that diets rich in antioxidant foods, namely fruits, vegetables, coffee, chocolate, red wine, whole grain cereals and nuts, help to reduce the body’s inflammatory response. Nicoletta Pellegrini, from the University of Parma in Italy, and colleagues assessed the risks of stroke among 41,620 Italian men and women, none of whom had suffered a stroke or myocardial infarction at the time the study started. The team assessed dietary intake, noting that in the study group, more than half of the total antioxidants consumed came from coffee, wine and fruit. The team also monitored for incidence of stroke, for a follow-up period of nearly eight years. After adjusting for confounding factors, the researchers found that those individuals eating a diet in the highest tertile of total antioxidant capacity had a reduced risk of ischemic stroke. Specifically, the participants consuming the highest amounts of vitamin C had a reduced risk of ischemic stroke. Positing that polyphenols, the type of antioxidants found in plant foods, promote vasodilation and expression of genes that may be protective for the vascular system, the team concludes that: “Our findings suggest that antioxidants may play a role in reducing the risk of cerebral infarction.”

Comments Dr Klatz: Italian researchers report that a diet rich in antioxidant foods may protect against ischemic stroke, revealing further insights in to the cellular mechanisms that may be protective against cerebrovascular incidents.

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 endeavors and to sign-up for your free subscription to Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.

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