June 1-7, 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.

Fibre Confers Cardiovascular Protection
A number of previous studies have suggested a broad variety of health benefits to consuming foods high in fibre content. Swedish researchers analyzed data involving 8,139 men and 12,535 women, ages 44 to 73 years, all of whom were enrolled in the Swedish population-based Malmo Diet and Cancer study. Peter Wallstrom and colleagues specifically analyzed the importance of 13 nutrient variables (aspects of fibre, fats, proteins and carbohydrates). The team found that women who ate a diet high in fibre were at a 25% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, as compared to women who ate a low-fibre diet. In men, the effect was less pronounced; however the results confirmed that a high-fibre diet is protective from stroke among men. The study authors conclude that: “a high fibre intake was associated with lower risk of [ischemic cardiovascular disease].”

Dr Klatz observes: Reporting that foods in fibre provide good protection against cardiovascular disease, with the effect particularly pronounced among women, this data suggests a potentially vital protective effect for both heart and brain health.

Watercress Lessens Oxidative Stress
Reactive oxygen species are produced as a normal by-product of a range of body functions, and are produced in greater quantity as a result of high-intensity exercise. Watercress is a green leafy vegetable that is high in antioxidant compounds. Mark C. Fogarty, from Edinburgh Napier University (United Kingdom), and colleagues enrolled 10 healthy men, average age 23 years. Subjects were given 85 g of watercress to consume daily for eight weeks; they also participated in an eight-week long segment of the study, with no watercress consumption, to act as controls. Exercise tests showed that exercise during the no-watercress period led to an increase in DNA damage, as well as increases in lipid peroxidation – a marker of oxidative stress. However, no such increases were observed during the watercress period. Further, serum levels of hydrogen peroxide, a pro-oxidant compound, decreased following exhaustive exercise during the watercress period. The study authors conclude that: “These findings suggest that short- and long-term watercress ingestion has potential antioxidant effects against exercise-induced DNA damage and lipid peroxidation.”

Remarks Dr Goldman: Reporting that watercress may reduce markers of oxidative stress and damage after exhaustive exercise, this team elucidated intriguing sports nutrition application for this green leafy vegetable.

Omega-3s Promote Brain Health
Previously, a number of studies have suggested that dietary supplementation of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids exert a number of cardiovascular and circulatory benefits. David O. Kennedy, from Northumbria University (United Kingdom), and colleagues studied 65 healthy adults, ages 18 to 29 years. Each subject was given either a supplement of docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil (1 g or 2 g) or placebo (olive oil), for a 12-week long period. The team monitored changes in the concentration of hemoglobin markers in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, while subjects performed computerized cognitive tests. Those participants who received the fish oil, in either dose, demonstrated significantly increased concentrations of hemoglobin, indicative of increased cerebral blood flow, as compared to the placebo group. Writing that: “Supplementation with fish oil significantly increases cerebral blood flow,” the study authors conclude that: “Docosahexaenoic acid may be particularly relevant for cerebrovascular function.”

Comments Dr Klatz: “By increasing cerebral blood flow, omega-3 fatty acids may improve cognitive functioning. This research adds to the mounting evidence suggesting a wide range of health benefits omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.”

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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