May 11-17, 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.

Active Life Helps Capacities
Australian researchers examined the relationship between physical activity and mental and physical functions. Gregory S. Kolt, from the University of Western Sydney, and colleagues studied data collected on 91,375 Australian men and women, ages 65 years and older, enrolled in the 45 and Up Study. Information was sought on self-reported physical activity engagement, physical function, psychological distress, age, smoking history, education, height, and weight. Psychological distress scores determined by researchers indicated that 8.4% of all older adult participants were experiencing some level of psychological distress, and older adults who experienced a moderate level of psychological distress were the most likely group to experience a functional limitation—almost seven times more likely than those who did not report psychological distress. Observing that: “Higher levels of physical activity were associated with better physical function in older adults,” the study authors conclude that: “There is a significant, positive relationship between physical activity and physical function in older adults, with older adults who are more physically active being less likely to experience functional limitation than their more-sedentary counterparts. Level of engagement in physical activity is an important predictor of physical function in older adults.”

Dr Klatz observes: Reporting that older adults who remain physically active experience less psychological distress and fewer functional limitations, this team underscores the impact of maintaining an active lifestyle on longevity and quality of life.


Tai Chi Yields Cardiovascular Benefits
Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese mind-body exercise, is well known for its aerobic benefits. Previous studies have shown that the exercise improves cardiopulmonary function and lowers blood pressure. William WN Tsang, from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and colleagues studied 29 older Tai Chi practitioners, average age 73.7 years, who engaged in the activity for at least 1.5 hours a week for three years; and 36 healthy control subjects, average age 71.4 years, with no Tai Chi experience. The subjects who practiced Tai Chi showed healthier blood pressure, vascular resistance, and pulse pressure, as well as greater arterial compliance and average muscle strength in knee joints. The study authors conclude that: “The findings of better muscle strength without jeopardizing arterial compliance suggests that Tai Chi could be a suitable exercise for older persons to improve both cardiovascular function and muscle strength.”

Remarks Dr Goldman: In finding that older men and women who regularly practice Tai Chi demonstrate improved expansion and contraction of arteries, as well as improved knee muscle strength, these researchers add further evidence to the growing body of science to support the health effects of this ancient mind-body exercise.

Soy Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Individuals who ingest the highest amounts of soy protein in a day appear to see a significant lowering of their systolic blood pressure, as compared to those who ingest the least amounts. Specifically, Safiya Richardson, from Columbia University, and colleagues analyzed data collected on 5,115 Americans, ages 18 to 30 years, enrolled in the CARDIA trial, collected over a 20-year period. Subjects who consumed 2.5 mg per day or more of dietary isoflavones demonstrated a 5.52 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure. Noting that “there is no particular detriment to taking soy protein in the diet,” the study authors suggest that: “consuming soy protein, for example, in combination with a DASH diet – one that is high in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole grains – could lead to as much as a 10 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure for pre-hypertensives, greatly improving their chances of not progressing to hypertension.”

Comments Dr Klatz: Researchers report that systolic blood pressure is lower in individuals who consume high amounts of soy protein daily. This suggests a potentially important functional health role for this widely consumed protein source.

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.


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