April 27-May 03, 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.
Good for the Planet, Good for Health
Climate change poses an immediate and grave threat to the health and security of people around the world. Efforts to achieve a low carbon economy may beneficially impact human health as well. Professor Sir Andy Haines from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom) and Dr Carlos Dora from the World Health Organization (Switzerland) argue that the benefits to health of a low carbon economy “have frequently been overlooked” yet “they offer the promise of accelerating progress towards both public health and climate goals.” For example, shifting away from burning coal for electricity will not only cut carbon dioxide emissions and health damaging pollutants; one estimate suggests it would avert around 90,000 premature deaths annually in India alone. And increasing active travel in cities will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, it also has the potential to cut rates of heart disease, obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer. Furthermore, investments in active transport are generally excellent value for money, making many of these policies highly attractive on both health and economic grounds, say the authors. “The health sector has a unique contribution to make to climate policies,” they urge. “Health professionals can promote greater accountability, and generate the evidence that can be used by a range of stakeholders to select policies that improve health whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Dr. Klatz observes: Urging that health be taken into account in climate change mitigation strategies, top-level global experts make the case that policies that are earth-friendly benefit human health and longevity as well.
Blackberries May Promote Brain Health
Wild blackberries are a rich source of phenolic compounds, which are associated with antioxidant properties. Researchers from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) analysed two specific species of wild blackberries, Rubus brigantinus and Rubus vagabundus, and found that their extracts lowered reactive oxygen species levels, while activating caspases – two mechanisms by which the team submits that wild blackberries exert neuroprotective effects.
Remarks Dr Goldman: Reporting that extracts of wild blackberries may help to protect brain cells from oxidative stress, these scientists expand the knowledge base relating to the role of polyphenol compounds as essential antioxidants.
Life-Extending Role of Vitamin D
Previously, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis, fractures, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, growing evidence suggests that vitamin D may reduce the incidence of several types of cancer as well as diabetes. James L. Vacek, from the University of Kansas (Kansas, US), and colleagues studied how vitamin D levels and supplementation may affect disease risk and mortality in 10,899 peo men and women, average age 58 years. Each subject was classified as to their vitamin D level, and categorized as deficient if the blood levels were lower than 30 ng/mL. With more than 70% of the participants classified as vitamin D deficient, the researchers noted that deficiency associated with significantly higher incidence of cardiovascular-related diseases such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. Additionally the risk of all-cause mortality was 164% higher in those subjects with vitamin D deficiency. Notably, the team observed that vitamin D supplementation associated with a 61% increase in survival, among study subjects. Whereas the study authors report that: “vitamin D deficiency was associated with a significant risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced survival,” that: “Vitamin D supplementation was significantly associated with better survival, specifically in patients with documented deficiency.”
Comments Dr Klatz: Finding that Vitamin D may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and also reduce the risk of all-cause mortality, these researchers reaffirm the broad health benefits of this supplement.
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.