Sep. 30-Oct. 6, 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.
Antioxidant Vitamins May Reduce Death Risks
Antioxidants are compounds that are capable of neutralising free radical damage in cells, and may help to prevent oxidative-stress related diseases. Researchers involved in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition analysed data collected on 23,943 participants without pre-existing cancer and myocardial infarction/stroke at baseline, with vitamin/mineral supplementation assessed at baseline and during follow-up. After an average follow-up time of 11 years, 1,101 deaths were documented (cancer deaths = 513 and cardiovascular deaths = 264). The team observed that subjects who consumed antioxidant vitamin supplements had a significantly reduced risk of cancer mortality, as well as all-cause mortality. The researchers submit that: “This cohort study suggests that supplementation of antioxidant vitamins might possibly reduce cancer and all-cause mortality.”
Dr Klatz observes: Finding that people who take antioxidant vitamin supplements may be at reduced risk of death due to cancer, as well as reduced risk of premature death in-general, this confirms previous evidence reporting the life-extending benefits of a daily vitamin/mineral supplement.
Fifteen Minutes of Daily Exercise May Add Years
Researchers from Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes report that doing just 15 minutes of moderate exercise a day may add three years to a person’s life. Chi Pang Wen and colleagues tracked over 416,000 participants for 13 years, analysing their health records and reported levels of physical activity each year. After taking into account differences in age, weight, sex and a range of health-related indicators, they found that just 15 minutes of moderate exercise a day increased life expectancy by three years, compared to those who remained inactive. Daily exercise was also linked to a lower incidence of cancer, and appeared to reduce cancer-related deaths in one person in 10. The researchers conclude that: “15 [minutes] a day or 90 [minutes] a week of moderate-intensity exercise might be of benefit, even for individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Whereas many people struggle to meet the recommendation to engage in 30 minutes a day of exercise, five days a week, this team of researchers reports that just 15 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise delivers gains in lifespan, even for individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease. This finding clearly reaffirms the life-enhancing, life-extending benefits of regular physical activity.
TV Watching May Shorten Life Expectancy
In that sedentary behaviour is associated with a higher risk of death, particularly from heart attack or stroke, some previous studies have suggested that prolonged television watching is associated with an increased risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease. J Lennert Veerman, from The University of Queensland, and colleagues used previously published data on the relationship between TV viewing time and death from analyses of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab), a national survey involving 11,000+ adults, ages 25 years and older; as well as Australian national population and mortality figures for 2008, to construct a lifetime risk framework. The team then constructed a risk framework for the Australian population in 2008, based on the answers the survey participants had given, when quizzed about the total amount of time they had spent in the previous week watching TV or videos. In 2008 the authors estimated that Australian adults aged 25 and older watched 9.8 billion hours of TV, which led them to calculate that every single hour of TV watched after the age of 25 shortened the viewer’s life expectancy by just under 22 minutes. Based on these figures, and expected deaths from all causes, the authors calculated that an individual who spends a lifetime average of six hours a day watching TV can expect to live just under five fewer years than someone who does not watch TV. These figures compare with the impact of other well known lifestyle factors on the risk of death from cardiovascular disease after the age of 50, including physical activity and obesity. For example, other research has shown that lifelong smoking is associated with the shortening of life expectancy by more than 4 years after the age of 50, with the average loss of life from one cigarette calculated to be 11 minutes – equivalent to half an hour of TV watching, according to the authors’ risk framework. The researchers conclude that: “TV viewing time may be associated with a loss of life that is comparable to other major chronic disease risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.”
Comments Dr Klatz: Reporting that by watching TV for six hours a day may shorten a person’s life expectancy by almost five years, these researchers resoundingly convey the health hazards of a sedentary lifestyle.
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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