July 6-12, 2012
By Dr Robert Goldman & Dr Ronald Klatz
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.
Vitamin D Essential to Immune Defences
A number of previous studies suggest the health benefits of maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels. Victor Manuel Martinez-Taboada, from the Universidad de Cantabria (Spain), and colleagues studied blood levels of Vitamin D among three groups of healthy subjects: young (age range: 20-30), middle (age range: 31-59), and elderly (age range: 60-86). They found decreased levels of vitamin D with aging, prompting researchers to compare whether such changes kept any relationship with toll-like receptor (TLR) expression measured on lymphocytes and monocytes and function after in vitro stimulation with specific ligands for each of the nine human TLRs and measurement of effector molecules, such as proinflammatory cytokines. Specifically, they found that the TRL most affected by a vitamin D insufficiency is TLR7, which regulates the immune response against viruses. Writing that: “Aging is accompanied by changes in expression and function of several [toll-like receptors],” the study authors submit that: “Serum [Vitamin D] levels decrease with age and are also associated with a change in expression and defective function of certain [toll-like receptors], especially those involved in viral response.”
Dr Klatz observes: In that insufficient levels of Vitamin D make the body’s innate immune defenses susceptible to viral infections, this study underscores the essentiality of maintaining optimal Vitamin D, by dietary, sun exposure, and/or supplementation routes.
Tomato Juice as Post-Exercise Beverage
In that humans naturally produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are necessary for a range of functions, including cell signaling, overproduction of ROS – which can occur as a result of high intensity exercise – may overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defenses and can lead to oxidative stress, a condition that is linked to an increased risk of various diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease. Tomatoes, and their juice, are a rich source of ROS-countering antioxidants, including lycopene, carotenoids, Vitamin C, tocopherols, and polyphenols. Mats Harms-Ringdahl, from Stockholm University (Sweden), and colleagues enrolled 15 healthy men and women in a study in which participants performed 20 minutes of physical exercise at 80% of maximum pulse. Blood samples were taken before and 60-minutes after exercise. The subjects then consumed 150 mL of tomato juice (15 mg lycopene) daily for five weeks. They then re-performed the exercise. This was followed by a five-week washout period and then five more weeks of tomato juice consumption. The team observed that the initial bout of exercise increased levels of 8-oxodG, a marker of oxidative DNA damage, by 42%; no such increases were observed after the first five weeks of tomato juice consumption. After the five-week washout period, exercise increased levels of 8-oxodG by an average of 84%, but the added five weeks of tomato juice again prevented such marker increases. The study authors conclude that: “These data strongly suggest that tomato juice has a potential antioxidant effect and may reduce the elevated level [reactive oxygen species] induced by oxidative stress.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Finding that a daily glass of tomato juice helps to reduce markers of oxidative stress, particularly after exercise, these scientists reveal a natural and easily accessible dietary approach to help minimize free radical damage to cells.
Dairy Defends Against Stroke
In that high blood pressure (hypertension) is a strong predictor of stroke, a number of previous studies have suggested that proteins in milk products help to lower blood pressure, and that Vitamin D present in dairy products may do the same. Susanna C. Larsson, from the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), and colleagues analyzed data collected on subjects enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort and Cohort of Swedish Men, which both included detailed dietary questionnaire data and long-term follow-up through national healthcare records. Among the nearly 75,000 men and women free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline in those studies, just over 4,000 had a stroke during the mean 10.2 years of follow-up. In the dairy-loving Swedish population they examined, Full-fat milk, cream, and cheese neither helped nor hindered as a prevailing factor. Whereas total dairy consumption didn’t correlate with total risk of stroke or cerebral infarction specifically, nor did full-fat dairy or milk overall, intake of low-fat dairy showed inverse associations with risk of total stroke and cerebral infarction The team found that the highest consumers of low-fat dairy – with a median four servings a day, along with more than five full-fat portions – were 12% less likely to have a stroke, after adjustment for a full range of other factors, as compared to those with no consumption. The study authors conclude that: “These results suggest that low-fat dairy consumption is inversely associated with the risk of stroke.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Reporting that a diet rich in low-fat milk and yogurt associates with lower stroke risk, these researchers add to the mounting evidence suggesting a functional health role for dairy products.”
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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