March 18-24, 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.

Positive Outlook Key for Anti-Aging  
It is generally accepted that the aging process is resultant from gradual declines in fundamental aspects of the neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems, each of which contributes to increased risks of disease incidence and death. Dr Anthony Ong, from Cornell University, studied the role of positive emotion as a mitigating factor to offset the risks of morbidity and mortality in older adults. An optimistic outlook has been shown by previous researchers to combat stress, a known risk factor for many diseases.  As well, previous studies have found that people with stronger positive emotions have lower levels of chemicals associated with inflammation related to stress. And finally, studies suggest that the adoption of a positive attitude may help to reverse some of the physical damage caused by stress. Writing that: “positive emotion [may be] a contributing factor in lowering morbidity and mortality in older adults,” Dr Ong submits that, taken collectively, the existing data suggest that positive emotions may be a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and illness.

Dr Klatz observes: Revealing that positive emotions can indeed influence health outcomes in later adulthood, this research reaffirms the life-enhancing, and potentially life-extending importance of maintaining a bright perspective and outlook.

Cherry Juice Aids Muscle Recovery  
Cherries contain high levels of polyphenolic compounds including flavonoids and anthocyanins that confer anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Joanna Bowtell, from the Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre at London South Bank University, and colleagues studied 10 well-trained men who consumed either a cherry juice, or the isoenergetic fruit concentrate beverage (control drink), for one week before and for two days after a series of single leg knee extensions. Researchers observed that the knee extension maximum voluntary contractions, a measure of muscle function, recovered significantly faster following consumption of the cherry juice, as compared with the control drink. The team posits that the muscle recovery benefits may be linked to the antioxidant activity of the juice. During intense exercise the production levels of oxidative stress rise, thus potentially causing damage to muscle tissue; this effect, however, may be attenuated with consumption of the cherry juice. 

Remarks Dr Goldman: Containing high levels of plant compounds that confer anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, the notion that cherry juice aids the recovery of muscle strength following intensive exercise heralds a functional health role for this beverage.

Berry Compounds Help Blood Pressure  
High blood pressure (hypertension), a condition where the systolic blood pressure is greater than 140 mmHg and the diastolic measurement is over 90 mmHg, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Blueberries and strawberries are rich in a type of flavonoid compound known as anthocyanin. Eric Rimm, from Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues analyzed data collected on  133,914 women and 23,043 men, surveying the subjects on their dietary intakes of flavonoids. At the close of the follow-up period of 14 years, 5,629 cases of hypertension were documented in men and 29,018 cases in women.  The team found that the highest average intakes of anthocyanins (ranging from 16.2 to 21.0 milligrams per day) were associated with an 8% decrease in the risk of hypertension. Notably, the researchers observed that a significant 10-percent reduction in the risk of hypertension was observed in subjects ages 60-plus who consumed more than one serving of blueberries per week, compared with people in the same age group consuming no blueberries. Noting that: “Anthocyanins [demonstrate] vasodilatory properties … from specific structural similarities (including the B-ring hydroxylation and methyoxylation pattern),” the team explains that the underlying biological mechanisms by which flavonoids regulate blood pressure include the effects of flavonoids on vascular blood flow, vascular reactivity and glucose uptake.

Comments Dr Klatz: Identifying a potentially important nutritional approach to one of the primary risk factors for cardiovascular disease, these researchers reveal that flavonoid compounds found in blueberries and strawberries may reduce blood pressure and aid in the prevention of hypertension.

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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