Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 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.
Fruit, Veg Can Modify Heart Disease-Risk Gene
Research shows that it is possible to favourably modify a gene with a strong link to heart disease simply by eating a diet containing plenty of fruit and vegetables. Joint principal investigator of the study Dr. Jamie Engert, a researcher in cardiovascular diseases at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and associate member in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University, and colleagues investigated the effect of diet on the 9p21 gene – the strongest genetic marker for heart disease – in more than 27,000 people. Results showed that that participants with the high-risk genotype who consumed a diet composed mainly of raw vegetables, fruits and berries, had a similar risk of heart attack to those with the low risk genotype. “We observed that the effect of a high-risk genotype can be mitigated by consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables,” said Sonia Anand, joint principal investigator of the study, and a researcher at the Population Health Research Institute and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University. “Our results support the public health recommendation to consume more than five servings of fruits or vegetables as a way to promote good health.”
Dr Klatz observes: Identifying that diet may beneficially affect agene with a strong link to heart disease, these study authors add to the growing body of evidence suggesting a functional health role for vegetables, fruits and berries.
Supplemental Leucine May Boost Muscle Synthesis
Research suggests that drinking a leucine-enriched protein drink whist taking part in endurance exercise may boost muscle synthesis by up to a third. A team of researchers from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Tufts University, and Louisiana State University System gave eight volunteers 10 grams of a protein drink containing either 1.87 grams or 3.5 grams of leucine during a cycling test. Results showed that consumption of the drink enriched with 3.5 grams of leucine was associated with a 33-percent increase in muscle synthesis compared with consumption of the drink enriched with 1.87 grams of leucine. “These data indicate that increasing leucine availability during steady state exercise promotes skeletal muscle protein anabolism and spares endogenous protein,” wrote the authors. “Our findings indicate that increasing the leucine content of protein supplements provided for those populations susceptible to muscle loss, including proteolytic conditions – such as cachexia, sarcopenia and calorie deprivation – may warrant further exploration.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Reporting that a leucine-enriched protein drink may boost muscle synthesis by a third, these researchers suggest a potentially important nutritional approach to increase a person’s capacity for endurance exercise.
Daily Dose of Aspirin May Halve Cancer Risk
Previously, studies have reported a reduced incidence of certain cancers in people who are on a regular aspirin regimen. John Burn, from Newcastle University, and colleagues have discovered that taking regular aspirin halves the risk of developing hereditary cancers – cancers that develop as a result of a gene fault inherited from a parent. The decade-long study, which involved scientists and clinicians from 43 centres in 16 countries and followed nearly 1,000 patients, in some cases for over 10 years, focused on people with Lynch syndrome – an inherited genetic disorder that causes cancer by affecting genes responsible for detecting and repairing damage in the DNA. Around 50 percent of those with Lynch syndrome develop cancer, mainly in the bowel and womb. The study looked at all cancers related to the syndrome, and found that almost 30 percent of the patients not taking aspirin had developed a cancer compared to around 15 percent of those taking the aspirin. As well, with 1,000 people were diagnosed with bowel cancer in Northern Ireland last year – 400 of whom died from the disease, the team found that 10 percent of bowel cancer cases are hereditary and by taking aspirin regularly the number of those dying from the hereditary form of the disease could be halved. The researchers write that: “600 mg aspirin per day for a mean of 25 months substantially reduced cancer incidence … in carriers of hereditary colorectal cancer”; but they are careful to warn that people must first consult a physician prior to embarking on any regimen of aspirin therapy.
Comments Dr Klatz: Finding that an aspirin regimen (taken at your doctor’s approval) may cut the risk of hereditary cancers in half, this study furthers the science suggesting an interventive role for aspirin in a number of diseases.
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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