June 24-30, 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.

Benefits of Tai Chi Confirmed
The Chinese wellness practice of Tai Chi has been previously associated with a number of physical and mental health benefits. Myeong Soo Lee, from the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (South Korea) and Edzard Ernst from University of Exeter completed a systematic review of 35 published studies suggesting various benefits of tai chi. Observing that: “Relatively clear evidence emerged to suggest that t’ai chi is effective for fall prevention and improving psychological health and was associated with general health benefits for older people,” the researchers submit that: “Our overview showed that t’ai chi, which combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle movements, may exert exercise-based general benefits for fall prevention and improvement of balance in older people as well as some meditative effects for improving psychological health.”

Dr Klatz observes: A systematic review of 35 published studies confirms that the Chinese wellness practice of Tai Chi confers a variety of physical and mental health benefits. This finding supports the notion that lifestyle is a primary contributor to wellness and longevity.

Protein-Rich Breakfast Aids Healthy Brain
By eating a breakfast high in protein, not only does one increase satiety and reduce hunger throughout the day, but it reduces the brain signals controlling food motivation and reward-driven eating behaviour. Heather J. Leidy, from University of Missouri, and colleagues assessed physiological hunger and satiety by measuring perceived appetite sensations and hormonal markers in combination with psychological reward-driven motivation to eat, using functional MRI imaging (fMRI) to identify brain activation in specific regions related to food motivation and reward. The researchers focused on teenagers, who often skip breakfast: breakfast skipping has been strongly associated with unhealthy snacking, overeating (especially at night), weight gain and obesity. For three weeks, the teens either continued to skip breakfast or consumed 500-calorie breakfast meals containing cereal and milk (which contained normal quantities of protein) or higher protein meals prepared as Belgium waffles, syrup and yogurt. At the end of each week, the volunteers completed appetite and satiety questionnaires. Right before lunch, the volunteers completed a brain scan, using fMRI, to identify brain activation responses. Compared to breakfast skipping, both breakfast meals led to increased fullness and reductions in hunger throughout morning. fMRI results showed that brain activation in regions controlling food motivation and reward was reduced prior to lunch time when breakfast was consumed in the morning. Additionally, the higher protein breakfast led to even greater changes in appetite, satiety and reward-driven eating behavior compared to the normal protein breakfast. The team concludes that: “The addition of breakfast led to alterations in brain activation in regions previously associated with food motivation and reward with additional alterations following the higher-protein breakfast.”

Remarks Dr Goldman: Reporting that a healthy breakfast featuring protein-rich choices increases satiety and reduces hunger, and promotes healthy brain signalling regarding food and eating, these researchers confirm the importance of making smart dietary decisions throughout the day.

Broccoli Boosts Protective Antioxidants
The tissue of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, contains high levels of plant chemicals that are metabolized by the body into antioxidant and anti-carcinogen compounds – most notably, sulphoraphane. A growing body of evidence suggests numerous health benefits of broccoli and broccoli sprouts. An Iranian team reports that powdered broccoli sprouts help to boost antioxidant defenses, among people with diabetes. Z Bahadoran, from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (Iran), and colleagues assessed the potential antioxidant activity of broccoli sprout powder to counter oxidative stress in diabetics. The team enrolled 81 diabetics who were randomly assigned to receive either five or 10?grams per day of a broccoli sprout powder that provided a dose of sulphoraphane isothiocyanates of 22.5 micromoles per gram, or placebo, for four weeks. The subjects who consumed the broccoli sprout powder showed an increase in the total antioxidant capacity of the blood, as well as reductions in malondialdehyde), a reactive carbonyl compound and levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, both of which are markers of oxidative stress. The researchers conclude that: “[Broccoli sprout powder] had favourable effects on oxidative stress status in type 2 diabetes patients.”

Comments Dr Klatz: Revealing that powdered broccoli sprouts help to boost antioxidant defenses, among people with diabetes, this team of researchers reaffirm the growing body of evidence suggesting a functional health role for this vegetable.

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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