October 14-20, 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.
Forests Promote Public Health
Each year more than 170 million Americans visit US national forests for recreation. Experts estimate that the physical activity associated with these visits burns 290 billion food calories. Jeff Kline, from the US Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, and colleagues examined the extent that national forests might provide public health benefits by estimating the net energy expended for a range of outdoor activities engaged in by visitors to national forest lands. The team found that hiking, walking, downhill skiing, fishing, relaxing, camping, relaxing and driving for pleasure are among the primary activities – accounting for 68 percent of all visits to the national forests. Annual energy expenditures in national forest recreation represent 6.8 million adults and almost 317,000 children meeting the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidelines regarding regular aerobic physical activity for a year.
Dr Klatz observes: In finding that national forests help people develop a healthier lifestyle, by providing ample opportunities for recreational exercise, these researchers reveal the life-enhancing benefits of natural environmental resources.
B Vitamins Could Slow Cognitive Decline
Homocysteine is a compound for which high levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease. Some previous studies have shown that certain B vitamins can counter the levels of circulating homocysteine. Celeste A. de Jager, from the University of Oxford, and colleagues studied 133 participants with elevated homocysteine levels, each of whom received 0.8 mg folic acid, 0.5 mg vitamin B12, and 20 mg vitamin B6, for a two-year period. A similarly sized group of subjects served as controls, receiving a placebo supplement. Among those receiving the B vitamin supplement, the team observed marked improvements in both episodic memory and semantic memory. Observing that: “B vitamins appear to slow cognitive and clinical decline in people with MCI, in particular in those with elevated homocysteine,” the researchers urge for: “Further trials are needed to see if this treatment will slow or prevent conversion from [mild cognitive impairment] to dementia.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Finding that a combination of folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 may help to slow cognitive decline, this team adds to the evidence supporting nutrient-based interventions for in mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Pea Protein May Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension), defined as having a systolic and diastolic pressure greater than 140 and 90 mmHg, respectively, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death in developed nations. Rotimi E. Aluko, from the University of Manitoba in Canada, and colleagues extracted a protein from the yellow garden pea and manufactured a purified extract. The team fed rats genetically predisposed to hypertension the protein extract at doses of 100 and 200 mg per kg of body weight, which resulted in a 19-mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure. As well, the team noted that the protein extract inhibited the activity of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) by 20 percent, thereby improving blood flow and blood pressure. The researchers then conducted a human study, involving seven subjects ages 30 to 55 years, to whom 1.5 or 3 g of the protein extract was administered for three weeks. At the end of the study period, the subjects experienced an average 6-mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure.
Comments Dr Klatz: Reporting that proteins isolated from peas may reduce blood pressure, these researchers reveal an important mechanism in the activity of angiotensin converting enzyme.
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.