February 10-16, 2012
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.
Vitamin E Exerts Role in Brain Health
It is generally accepted that Alzheimer’s disease is largely a result of build-up from beta-amyloid deposits in the brain, which cause cell damage and cell death by oxidative stress. A number of studies have shown that vitamin E, an antioxidant, exerts neuroprotective properties. Francesca Mangialasche, from the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), and colleagues analyzed data from 168 Alzheimer’s patients, 166 people with mild cognitive impairment, and 187 people with normal cognitive function. The team found that people with Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment had lower blood levels of total tocopherols, total tocotrienols, and total vitamin E. Specifically, people with both forms of cognitive decline were 85 percent less likely to have the highest average levels of total tocopherols and total vitamin E. The study subjects with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment also displayed higher levels of vitamin E-related damage markers, as compared to the subjects with normal cognitive function. Writing that: “Both [Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment] were associated with increased vitamin E damage,” the study authors conclude that: “Low plasma tocopherols and tocotrienols levels are associated with increased odds of [mild cognitive impairment] and [Alzheimer’s disease].”
Dr Klatz observes: Reporting that people affected by Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to have low blood levels of vitamin E, as compared to people with normal cognitive function, these researchers reveal a potentially important therapeutic target in combating one of the most life-robbing of all diseases.
Health Hazards of Modern Living
A number of studies conducted in developed countries show a relationship between higher levels of physical activity and lower risks of cardiovascular disease. In a case-control study of 10,043 cases of first myocardial infarction (heart attack) and 14,217 controls who did not report previous angina or physical disability, Claes Held, from Uppsala University (Sweden), and colleagues assessed leisure-time and occupational physical activity. Study subjects who had a heart attack were more likely to be sedentary during leisure time and work, as compared to controls. For leisure-time activity the odds of a heart attack were lower with as little as mild-exertion exercise, with beneficial effects seen in as little as 30 minutes of exercise per week. For occupational activity, both light and moderate physical activity associated with lower odds of heart attack, as compared to being sedentary; strenuous work activity was not related to an increased risk of heart attack, in large part because such activity did not involve extended aerobic exertion. The team also explored various markers of sedentary behavior. They found that owning a car, radio or stereo and a home was significantly associated with the risk of heart attack. Owning a television was of borderline significance. Observing that: “”Leisure-time [physical activity] and mild-to-moderate occupational [physical activity], but not heavy physical labour, were associated with a reduced risk,” the study authors warn that: “ownership of a car and TV was associated with an increased risk of [myocardial infarction] across all economic regions.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Whereas both leisure-time and occupational physical activity lower a person’s risks of a heart attack, certain modern-day conveniences raise that risk. Get active at work, develop an at-home exercise routine and walk whenever and wherever possible.
Coffee May Protect Against Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes accounts for up to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the world. Previous studies have suggested that people who drink four or more cups of coffee daily have a 50-percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. And every additional cup of coffee brings another decrease in risk of almost 7 percent. B. Cheng, from Tongji School of Pharmacy (China), and colleagues have identified two categories of compounds in coffee that significantly inhibit the misfolding of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP), posited to be a primary contributor to the onset of Type-2 diabetes. Specifically, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid present in coffee were observed to exert protective effects on islet cells. The study authors conclude that: “the beneficial effects of coffee consumption on [Type-2 diabetes] may be partly due to the ability of the major coffee components and metabolites to inhibit the toxic aggregation of [human islet amyloid polypeptide].”
Comments Dr Klatz: Correlating that heavy coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes, this team elucidates a key cellular mechanism that, with further investigation, may prove to be a therapeutic target for diabetes treatment.
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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