June 8-14, 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.

Holistic Approaches Help Diabetics
Alternative medicine approaches may serve an important adjunctive role, for people with type-2 diabetes. Ryan Bradley, from Bastyr University (Washington, US), and colleagues studied 40 diabetic subjects who received counseling on diet, exercise and glucose monitoring from four naturopathic physicians, as an adjunct to conventional diabetes care from their medical doctors – including prescription medications. Many of the participants also received stress-management care and dietary supplements. Researchers then compared these 40 participants with 329 patients receiving only conventional diabetes care. In six months and about four naturopathic treatment visits, participants demonstrated improved self-care, more consistent monitoring of glucose, and improved moods. Hemoglobin A1c rates, a measure of blood-sugar control, were nearly a full percentage point lower for those patients. This compares with a drop of only 0.5% over the same time period for 329 clinically similar patients receiving only conventional diabetes care. Observing that: “Improvements were noted in self-monitoring of glucose, diet, self-efficacy, motivation and mood following initiation of [adjunctive naturopathic care] for patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes,” the study authors conclude that: “Study participants also experienced reductions in blood glucose that exceeded those for similar patients who did not receive [adjunctive naturopathic care].”

Dr Klatz observes: Reporting that adjunctive naturopathic care lowers blood sugar levels and improves mood, among people with type-2 diabetes, these researchers add to the evidence suggesting effective non-drug approaches to manage the disease.

Exercise Reduces Hypertension
High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the major preventable risk factors for premature death from cardiovascular disease, with every 10-point increase in diastolic blood pressure doubling the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. CP Wen, from the Institute of Population Health Science, National Health Research Institute in Taiwan, and colleagues completed a prospective study involving 434,191 men and women, conducted over a period of 12 years. Of the participants, 54% were classified as inactive, 22% as low activity, and 24% as medium or higher activity. The blood pressure equivalence of physical activity was then identified by the difference in mortality risks between physically inactive and active subjects. The team found that all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality risks were significantly higher among study subjects that didn’t exercise, as compared with active participants at all blood pressure levels. Moreover, the excess mortality risks of physical inactivity, when converted into a “blood pressure equivalence of physical activity” measurement, revealed that physical inactivity was similar to a rise in mortality risk equivalent to an increase in blood pressure of 40-50 mmHg.”

Remarks Dr Goldman: Among people with high blood pressure, exercise reduces the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. This finding supports the value of routine physical activity among people with hypertension.

Soda May Raise Stroke Risk
Previously, a number of studies suggest that the consumption of sugar-sweetened soda associates with an increased risk of cardiometabolic disease. Adam M Bernstein, from the Cleveland Clinic (Ohio, US), and colleagues analysed soda consumption among 43,371 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study between 1986 and 2008, and 84,085 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study between 1980 and 2008. During that time, 2,938 strokes were documented in women while 1,416 strokes were documented in men. The researchers found that found that a greater consumption of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas associated with a higher risk of stroke. In addition, study findings show that men and women who consumed more than one serving of sugar-sweetened soda per day had higher rates of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol and lower physical activity rates. Conversely, consumption of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee associated with a lower risk. Writing that: “Greater consumption of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas was associated with a significantly higher risk of stroke,” the study authors submit that: “This risk may be reduced by substituting alternative beverages for soda.”

Comments Dr Klatz: Finding that a greater consumption of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas associates with a higher risk of stroke, this data suggests the disease-fighting role of making healthy dietary choices.

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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