September 16-22, 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.
Spices Help Boost Metabolism
Spices have shown antioxidant properties in-vitro, and they have high hydrophilic oxygen-radical-absorbance capacity (ORAC) values, a rating of antioxidant activity. Sheila West, from Penn State University, and colleagues enrolled six healthy but overweight men (body mass index 25 to 27 kg/m2), ages 30 to 65 years, in a crossover trial. First the men ate a control meal consisting of coconut chicken, a white-rice dish, cheese bread and a dessert biscuit. After at least a week, the men ate a second, spicy meal, in which the chicken was transformed into chicken curry via 14 grams of a high-antioxidant spice blend including turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder and paprika, with a side of Italian herb bread and a cinnamon biscuit. Sampling participants’ blood before each meal and at 30-minute intervals for 3.5 hours afterward, the team found that the addition of spices significantly attenuated postprandial insulin and triglyceride responses to the meal, although there were no effects on glucose. Compared with the plain meal, insulin levels were reduced 21 percent and triglyceride levels fell 31 percent after the spicy meal. As well, hydrophilic ORAC levels were 13 percent higher across all time points after the spicy meal, and ferric reducing antioxidant power – another marker of plasma antioxidant activity – was doubled after the spicy meal. The researchers submit that: “The incorporation of spices into the diet may help normalise postprandial insulin and [triglycerides] and enhance antioxidant defenses.”
Dr Klatz observes: Post-meal insulin and triglyceride levels can be markedly reduced by the introduction of spices to an otherwise plain meal. These researchers make a strong case to add turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, paprika and other savory spices to everyday meals.
Light Exercise Promotes Circulatory Health
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque, made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue and other substances in the blood, builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs and limbs. PAD most often affects the arteries in the legs, and the condition increases a person’s risk of coronary heart disease (CHD, also called coronary artery disease), heart attack and stroke. John P. Cooke, from Stanford University Medical Center, and colleagues reviewed lifetime recreational activity in subjects enrolled in the Genetic Determinants of Peripheral Arterial Disease study. Among 1,381 patients who came in for elective coronary angiography at two centres in the study, 30 percent reported being entirely sedentary with no lifetime recreational activity. Inactive individuals were nearly twice as likely overall to have peripheral arterial disease as participants who reported the most active lives (25.6 percent versus 13.7 percent). Prevalence of peripheral arterial disease was intermediate in the three intermediate quartiles of activity, with little difference among them at 15.8 percent to 17 percent. After adjustment for other risk factors, lifetime recreational activity significantly predicted prevalence of peripheral arterial disease overall (13.7 percent versus 25.6 percent no activity), and a better ankle-brachial index (1.02 versus 0.94). Observing that: “Recalled [lifetime recreational activity] is positively correlated to [ankle-brachial index] and associated with [peripheral arterial disease],” the researchers submit that: “[Lifetime recreational activity] may be a useful clinical screening tool for [peripheral arterial disease] risk,” urging that “strategies to increase adult recreational activity may reduce the burden of PAD later in life.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Reporting that a lifetime of light exercise not only protects the heart, but reduces a person’s risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), these researchers reaffirm the importance of routine physical activity – throughout life.
Vitamin D May Reduce Diabetes Risk
In that Vitamin D deficiency has previously been linked to impaired insulin secretion in animals and humans, and has also been linked to insulin resistance in healthy, glucose-tolerant subjects, some research suggests that Vitamin D may modify the risk of type-2 diabetes. J Mitri, from Tufts Medical Center, and colleagues completed a meta-analysis of 8 observational cohort studies and 11 randomised controlled trials measuring vitamin D and diabetes. The team found that Vitamin D intakes greater than 500 International Units (IU) per day were associated with a 13% reduction in the risk of type-2 diabetes. As well, they observed that people with the highest blood levels of vitamin D, measured as more than 25?nanograms per milliliter, had a 43-percent lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes compared to people with the lowest blood levels. Writing that: “Vitamin D may play a role in type-2 diabetes,” the researchers urge further studies “to better define the role of vitamin D in the development and progression of type 2 diabetes.”
Comments Dr Klatz: Increased intakes of vitamin D associate with a 13-percent reduction in the risk of type-2 diabetes. These data add to the ever-growing body of evidence suggesting the importance of Vitamin D in disease prevention.
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.
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