May 18-24, 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.
Brain Exercises Help to Preserve Memory
Researchers from Rush University Medical Center (Illinois) completed a study suggesting a cause and effect relationship: namely, that being mentally active leads to better cognitive health in old age. Robert S. Wilson and colleagues studied the mental activities of 1,076 men and women, average age 80 years, who were free of dementia. Participants underwent yearly memory exams for about five years. They reported how often they read the newspaper, wrote letters, visited a library and played board games such as chess or checkers. The results showed that people’s participation in mentally stimulating activities and their mental functioning declined at similar rates over the years. The researchers also found that they could predict participants’ level of cognitive functioning by looking at their level of mental activity the year before but that level of cognitive functioning did not predict later mental activity. The study authors conclude that: “The results suggest that more frequent mental stimulation in old age leads to better cognitive functioning.”
Dr Klatz observes: Keeping mentally fit through board games or reading may be the best way to preserve memory during late life. This finding suggests a role for brain exercises in the prevention of age-related cognitive decline.
Exercise Essential to Reduce Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of symptoms – including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and extra weight around the middle part of the body – which, when present together, increase the risk for coronary disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. Paul Loprinzi, from Oregon State University, and colleagues studied the correlation between physical activity, depression, and metabolic syndrome. Analyzing data collected on 1146 men and women, the team found that women were getting only about 18 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily, compared to men who, on average, were getting 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily. As result, the women were at greater odds of developing depression, elevated cholesterol, and Metabolic syndrome. The study authors conclude that: “Active individuals were … less likely to have metabolic syndrome … [and] less likely to simultaneously have all three morbidities … [with] greater strengths of associations occurred for women compared to men.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Reporting that regular physical activity associates with positive health outcomes, particularly for women, these researchers reaffirm the life-enhancing role of regular exercise.
Vitamin C Helps to Regulate Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, with more than 1 billion people worldwide suffering from the condition. Stephen P Juraschek, from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Maryland), and colleagues completed a meta-analysis of 29 clinical trials, in which the median dose of vitamin C supplementation was 500 mg per day for a median duration of eight weeks. Across study subjects, the researchers found that vitamin C supplementation reduced systolic blood pressure by 3.84 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.48 mm Hg. Further, when the team looked at hypertensive patients only, vitamin C supplementation exerted and even greater benefit – reducing systolic pressure by 4.85 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by 1.67 mm Hg. cap the study authors conclude that: “In short-term trials, vitamin C supplementation reduced [systolic blood pressure] and [diastolic blood pressure].”
Comments Dr Klatz: Finding that supplementation with vitamin C may reduce blood pressure, particularly among people with hypertension, this team adds to the body of scientific literature suggesting a wide range of health benefits of vitamin C.
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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