April 8-14, 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 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.
Anti-Aging Lifestyle May Profoundly Extend Lifespan
In that previous studies have correlated a number of factors as contributors to disease, researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have completed a large-scale, long-term study suggesting that such disease factors also are predicative of longevity. Lars Wilhelmsen and colleagues analysed data from The 1913 Men epidemiological study, which began in 1963, when one-third of all the 50-year-old men residing in Gothenburg had a cardiovascular check-up. Every 10 years since, a new group of 50-year-olds has been called in, and those who were already taking part in the study have been given another check-up. The men born in 1913 were examined when they were 50, 54, 60, 67, 75 and 80 years of age. Of the 855 men who took part in the study from the start, 111 (13 percent) were still alive at the age of 90. The researchers found the following factors enabled the greatest chances of living to age 90:
• Do not smoke
• Consume moderate amounts of coffee
• At a good socioeconomic status at the age of 50 (measured in terms of housing costs)
• Engaged in good physical working capacity at the age of 54
• Low cholesterol at age 50
As well, the team reports that: “Variables of greatest importance at higher ages were low blood pressure and measures related to good cardiorespiratory function,” leading them to conclude that: “Low levels of cardiovascular risk factors, high socioeconomic status and good functional capacity, irrespective of parents’ survival, characterise men destined to reach the age of 90.”
Dr Klatz observes: Finding that disease factors also are predicative of longevity, this Swedish team reinforces the notion that following the tenets of the anti-aging lifestyle may be a predominant factor in prolonging how long, and well, you live.
Physical Activities Promote Wellbeing
Revitalising one’s mental and emotional health may be just a few footsteps away. Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (United Kingdom) researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 11 clinical studies involving 833 adult subjects, each of which assessed the effects of outdoor exercise initiatives against indoor activities and reported at least one physical or mental wellbeing outcome. The team found that most of studies involving outdoor-located activities correlated to improvements in mental wellbeing: compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalisation, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and stated that they were more likely to repeat the activity at a later date. The team observes that: “[These findings add] significant weight to the case for spending more time in the natural environment as members of the public and their clinicians fight to counteract the negative outcomes of modern living, such as obesity and depression.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: People who engage in physical activities in the outdoor setting reduced feelings of tension, confusion, anger and depression. It is a simple and no-cost way to revitalize physical and mental health.
Tomato Compound Boosts Heart Health
Responsible for giving tomatoes their characteristic red colour, lycopene is a compound that has been shown by previous studies to exert beneficial effects on the heart, blood pressure, prostate and skin. Jong Ho Lee, from Yonsei University in South Korea, and colleagues enrolled 126 healthy men, average age 34 years and average body mass index of 24 kg/m2, in an eight-week study during which each subject received either a daily 6 milligram or 15 milligram supplement of lycopene, or placebo. At the end of the study period, among the participants who received the lycopene supplement, researchers observed a significant increase in super oxide dismutase activity – a potent antioxidant enzyme, as well as reductions in measures of DNA damage in white blood cells. In addition, those subjects who received the daily lycopene also experienced reductions in systolic blood pressure and decreased levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP); CRP is a marker of inflammation and is suspected to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular-related events. The team concludes that: “An increase in serum lycopene after supplementation can reduce oxidative stress which may play a role in endothelial function.”
Comments Dr Klatz: Reporting that lycopene boosts the body’s natural antioxidant defences and protects against DNA damage, this team of Korean researchers reveals an important functional health role for this 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 endeavors and to sign-up for your free subscription to Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.