Sepetember 9-15, 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.
Yoga Boosts Stress-Busting Hormone
A condition that predominantly affects women, fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain and fatigue; common symptoms include muscle stiffness, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal discomfort, anxiety and depression. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced and released by the adrenal gland and functions as a component of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in response to stress. Previous research has found that women with fibromyalgia have lower-than-average cortisol levels, which contributs to pain, fatigue and stress sensitivity. Kathryn Curtis, from York University in Canada, and colleagues enrolled 22 subjects from the community to participate in a 75 minute yoga class twice weekly for eight weeks. Questionnaires concerning pain, anxiety, depression and mindfulness were administered pre-, mid- and post-intervention. The team collected salivary cortisol samples three times a day for each of two days, pre- and post-intervention. The researchers found that a programme of 75 minutes of hatha yoga twice weekly over the course of eight weeks improved the subjects’ levels of mindfulness, whereby they were better able to detach from their psychological experience of pain. In concordance, the salivary cortisol samples revealed elevated levels of total cortisol, with the team positing that because hatha yoga promotes physical relaxation by decreasing activity of the sympathetic nervous system, thereby lowering heart rate and increases breath volume, the technique exerts a positive effect on the HPA axis.
Dr Klatz observes: Reporting that 75 minutes of yoga twice a week boosts cortisol levels in women affected by fibromyalgia, these researchers document a natural and effective approach to managing the disorder’s symptoms that otherwise impinge on quality of life.
Increased Muscle Mass Lowers Diabetes Risk
Insulin resistance, which can raise blood glucose levels above the normal range, is a major factor that contributes to the development of type-2 diabetes. In that previous studies have shown that very low muscle mass is a risk factor for insulin resistance, Preethi Srikanthan, from University of California/Los Angeles, and colleagues examined whether increasing muscle mass to average and above average levels, independent of obesity levels, would lead to improved blood glucose regulation. The researchers examined the association of skeletal muscle mass with insulin resistance and blood glucose metabolism disorders in a nationally representative sample of 13,644 individuals. Participants were older than 20 years, non-pregnant and weighed more than 35 kg. Demonstrating that higher muscle mass (relative to body size) associated with better insulin sensitivity, the team concludes that: “Across the full range, higher muscle mass (relative to body size) is associated with better insulin sensitivity and lower risk of [pre or overt diabetes].”
Remarks Dr Goldman: In revealing that the greater a person’s total muscle mass, the lower their risk of developing insulin resistance, this team has identified a major precursor of type-2 diabetes that is readily modifiable.
Supplemental Zinc May Shorten Cold
Depending on the total dosage of zinc and the composition of lozenges, zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of common cold episodes by up to 40 percent. Harri Hemila, from University of Helsinki, completed a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials that have examined the effect of zinc lozenges on natural common cold infections. Of the 13 trial comparisons identified, five used a total daily zinc dose of less than 75 mg and uniformly those five comparisons found no effect of zinc. Three trials used zinc acetate in daily doses of over 75 mg, with the average indicating a 42-percent reduction in the duration of colds. Five trials used zinc salts other than acetate in daily doses of over 75 mg, with the average indicating a 20-percent decrease in the duration of colds. Concluding that: “This study shows strong evidence that the zinc lozenge effect on common cold duration is heterogeneous so that benefit is observed with high doses of zinc but not with low doses,” the study author urges that: “The effects of zinc lozenges should be further studied to determine the optimal lozenge compositions and treatment strategies.”
Comments Dr Klatz: Finnish researchers report that zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of common cold episodes by up to 40 percent, confirming the interventive value of this mineral.
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 endeavours and to sign-up for your free subscription to Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.