July 13-19, 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.
Protective Health Effects of a ‘Purposeful Life’
If you’re looking for a way to keep dementia at bay, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, US) researchers suggest you consider developing a firm purpose in life – a tendency to find meaning from life experience, to be intentional and focused. Patricia Boyle and colleagues looked at data ascertained from a short psychological test given to 246 older people who later died and underwent autopsies that explored the state of their brains. Among those subjects whose brains had more plaques and tangles, those who displayed a greater purpose in life appeared to be less affected by a decline in their mental capacities. The rate of cognitive decline was about 30% slower for someone with greater purpose in life, compared to someone with less purpose, and the team was able to link a higher sense of purpose to better brain health even when they adjusted their statistics for confounding factors. The study authors conclude that: “Higher levels of purpose in life reduce the deleterious effects of [Alzheimer’s Disease] pathologic changes on cognition in advanced age.”
Dr Klatz observes: Finding that people who find intentional and focused meaning from life experiences may be at a lower risk of developing the brain plaques and tangles characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease, these researchers underscore the importance of remaining mentally engaged as we age.”
Load-Bearing Exercise Benefits Men’s Bone Health
Osteoporosis affects more than 200 million people worldwide, being more common in women, but men also develop it — usually after age 65. Without intervention, one in five men develop fractures relating to osteoporosis in older age. Mattias Lorentzon, from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), and colleagues evaluated 833 men who were 18- to 20-years old at the start of the study. The researchers measured the participants’ bone mass and collected information about their exercise habits. Five years later the recruits came back to the lab to report activity levels and get bone scans again. The researchers discovered that men who both started off with a high level of load-bearing exercise at the study’s start and those who stepped up the pace had a better chance at building bone than men who remained sedentary or those who slacked off during the five year period. They found that for every hour of increased physical activity during the five-year study, the men in this study gained bone mass. Subjects who participated in load-bearing sports for four hours a week or more showed an increase in hip bone density of 1.3%, whereas those men who remained sedentary during the five year study lost about 2.1% of bone mass in the hip. Sports that involve jumping or fast starts and stops and increase the load put on the body’s bones seemed most associated with the enhanced protection for men, with basketball and volleyball seemed to be the best kinds of activities for building bone mass, followed by soccer and tennis. Such load-bearing sports seem to push the body to form new bone tissue. Activities that do not put an increased load on the bones, like swimming and bicycling did not seem associated with the building of bigger bones or more bone mass, even though they offer other health benefits. The study authors conclude that: “increased physical activity was related to an advantageous development of [areal bone mineral density], trabecular [bone mineral density] and cortical bone size, indicating that exercise is important in optimizing peak bone mass in young men.”
Remarks Dr Goldman: Young men who play volleyball, basketball or other load-bearing sports for four hours a week or more increase their bone mass. This finding is an important reminder as to the critical role of all forms of exercise on physical markers of health.
Zinc Shrinks the Common Cold
A number of studies have evaluated zinc for the treatment of the common cold, yielding conflicting results. Michelle Science, from The Hospital for Sick Children (Canada), and colleagues completed a systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 randomized, controlled trials that involved 2,121 participants between the ages of 1 and 65 years. The team observed that zinc shortened the duration of cold symptoms in adults (mean difference ?2.63 days), but no significant effect was seen among children. The researchers observed that a reduction in the duration of cold symptoms was greater with high doses (?75 mg versus
Comments Dr Klatz: In reporting that oral zinc formulations reduced the duration of cold symptoms in adults by 2.63 days, this team expands the evidence suggesting the immune-strengthening role of this essential mineral.
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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