Feb. 24-Mar. 1, 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.
Cognitive Skills Broaden Personality
Aging is not only typically associated with declines in memory, reasoning and other aspects of cognition, but changes in personality as well. Joshua Jackson, from Washington University, and colleagues asked a group of community-dwelling adults, average age 72.9 years, to complete a 16-week long cognitive training programme that included Sudoku and crossword puzzles, aimed at promoting inductive reasoning. The team observed that the participants experienced an increased in the trait of openness to new and challenging experiences. The study authors conclude that: “The study is one of the first to demonstrate that personality traits can change through nonpsychopharmocological interventions.”
Dr Klatz observes: Older adults in whom cognitive abilities are encouraged respond positively to new and challenging experiences. This is an important discovery that may lead to effective non-drug approaches to modulate personality and behaviour.
In that poor diet and lack of exercise are not sufficient to explain the worldwide rise in obesity, University of Stavanger (Norway) researchers suggest that stress is one of many other factors which could contribute to the situation. Reviewing a number of studies, the team determined that weight gain and cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are noticeably higher in people who became fatter because of stress. As well, they note that getting fatter can potentially trigger the stress response, which in turn encourages additional weight gain. Referring to this as a vicious cycle, the study authors submit that: “Our hypothesis is that stress and obesity interfere by positive feedback.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Suggesting a hormone-based mechanism by which stress may make a person fat, and being obese may create stress, these researchers offer an intriguing hypothesis to explain the worldwide rise in obesity that warrants further investigation.
Soy Protein Boosts Brain Function
A number of previous studies provide evidence that soy consumption helps to lower the risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer, as well as reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms. D. Yimit, from Xinjiang Medical University (China), and colleagues hydrolyzed soy protein isolate to produce 18 amino acids. They administer 8 g of the peptide powder as a beverage to 10 healthy subjects, ages 20 to 25 years. After these participants consumed the beverage, the researchers administered a test to determine brain cerebral blood flow. Additionally, blood samples were collected before and after, to analyze changes in neurotransmitters, as well as to monitor white blood cell levels. The researchers observed that in those subjects with higher levels of granulocytes (a type of white blood cell), the peptide powder lowered these levels while increasing lymphocytes. The opposite effect occurred in subjects with higher levels of lymphocytes. Ingestion of the peptide also resulted in a decrease of adrenaline and an increase in dopamine. Explaining that such effects may consequently impact the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, the study authors conclude that: “Soybean peptides can modulate cellular immune systems, regulate neurotransmitters, and boost brain function.”
Comments Dr Klatz: Reporting that peptides from soybeans modulate neurotransmitters and thereby promote brain blood flow, this team reveals a potentially important natural approach to boost brain performance.
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.