April 29-May 5, 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.
Multi-Language Fluency Aids Longevity
People who speak more than two languages may lower their risk of developing memory problems. Magali Perquin, from the Public Research Center for Health in Luxembourg, and colleagues studied 230 men and women, average age 73 years, who had spoken or currently spoke two to seven languages. Of the participants, 44 reported cognitive problems; the rest of the group had no memory issues. Researchers discovered that those people who spoke four or more languages were five times less likely to develop cognitive problems compared to those people who only spoke two languages. People who spoke three languages were three times less likely to have cognitive problems compared to bilinguals. In addition, people who currently spoke more than two languages were also four times less likely to have cognitive impairment.
Dr Klatz observes: Reporting that multilingualism is protective against cognitive impairment in seniors, with more languages spoken affording greater protection, these researchers reaffirm the notion of the health benefits of ongoing mental engagement.
Exercise Builds the Brain
Since the 1960s, scientific research has revealed that adult brain cells can regenerate – a process known as neurogenesis. Suk-Yu Yau, from China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues have discovered that neurogenesis in linked to the benefits of exercise as a stress reducer. In that previous research has shown that exercise can improve mood and cognition and has also demonstrated that a deficit in adult neurogenesis may result in depressive disorders, the team’s examined the relationship between exercise as a way of combating stress and the possibility that exercise may promote neurogenesis. According to the researchers, one important adult brain area that is a “neurogenic zone” is the hippocampus, an area involved in memory and emotional regulation. The role of new neurons in hippocampal functions is not well defined, but the team reports that: “Recent findings suggest that hippocampal neurogenesis plays a role in the beneficial effects of exercise in countering stress.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Chinese scientists report that the regrowth of key adult brain cells is linked to the benefits of exercise as a stress reducer, suggesting another benefit of engaging in regular physical activity.
Pecans Promote Heart Health
Pecans contain different forms of the antioxidant vitamin E (known as tocopherols), plus numerous phenolic substances, many of them with antioxidant abilities. The nuts are especially rich in one form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherols. Ella Haddad, from Loma Linda University in California, and colleagues enrolled 16 men and women, ages 23 to 44 years, in a study in which the subjects ate a sequence of three diets composed of whole pecans, pecans blended with water, or a control meal of equivalent nutrient composition. The pecan meals contained about three ounces of the nut. Blood and urine samples were collected prior to meals and at intervals up to 24 hours after eating, then analyzed for key biomarkers. Following the test meals composed of whole pecans and blended pecans, researchers found that amounts of gamma-tocopherols (vitamin E) in the body doubled eight hours after both meals, and oxygen radical absorbance capabilities (ORAC—a scientific method for measuring antioxidant power in the blood) increased 12 and 10 percent respectively, two hours after the meals. In addition, following the whole-pecan meal, oxidized LDL cholesterol decreased by 30 percent (after two hours), 33 percent (after three hours) and 26 percent (after eight hours). The team concludes that: “These results show that bioactive constituent of pecans are absorbable and contribute to postprandial antioxidant defences.”
Comments Dr Klatz: Finding that anti-oxidant-rich pecans may help to reduce LDL (“bad” cholesterol) oxidation, this team reveals a potentially important functional health role for this widely available nut.
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.