Sept. 8-Oct. 4, 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 optimize the human aging process. Dr. Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., A4M President, and Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their insightful commentary.
Eat Smart to Avoid Stroke
It is estimated that as many as 80% of strokes are preventable by addressing lifestyle factors – most notably nutrition. Ayesha Sherzai, from Loma Linda University (California, USA), and colleagues completed a systematic review of current medical literature on the interaction of nutrients in the risk of stroke. The team observed that higher intakes of fruits and vegetables exert a protective effect against stroke, with a significant reduction occurring with consumption of 3 to 5 servings per day. As well, the researchers found that adherence to DASH (low-salt) and Mediterranean dietary patterns reduced stroke risk as well, whereas the Western dietary pattern was associated with increased stroke risk.
Dr. Klatz observes: “A systematic review reaffirms the benefits of increased dietary consumption of fruits and vegetables to help reduce a person’s risk of stroke, thereby suggesting the role of healthy diet in stroke prevention.”
Active Daily Lifestyle Helps to Reduce Falls
It is estimated that less than10% of seniors engage in strength training, and even fewer older people take part in activities that promote strength and balance. Linda Clemson, from the University of Sydney (Australia), and colleagues enrolled 317 community-dwelling older men and women, average age 83.4 years, who had experienced two or more falls (or one injurious fall) within 12 months of the study’s start. Subjects were randomly assigned to: the LiFE (Lifestyle Integrated Functional Exercise) program of selected balance activities integrated into everyday routines – such as standing on one leg while at the kitchen counter; a structured program of exercises for balance and lower limb strength, done three times a week;or a ‘sham program’ of gentle and flexibility exercises done sitting, lying down or in a supported standing position; or no exercise program (control group). At the study start, 6 months, and 12 months, participates were evaluated for static and dynamic balance; balance self-efficacy; ankle, knee, and hip strength; fall history; daily living activities and habitual physical activity; body mass index; and program adherence. Those in the LiFE intervention saw a significant 31% reduction in the rate of falls from baseline, as compared to control groups. Participants in the structured exercise control group had a lower, but nonsignificant, reduction in the number of falls from baseline. Compared against the two controls, the LiFE group saw significant improvements in dynamic balance, and in five-level and eight-level static balance measures. Importantly, at 12 months follow-up, the LiFE program had the highest adherence at 64%, compared to 53% for the two control groups. Observing that: “The LiFE programme provides an alternative to traditional exercise to consider for fall prevention,” the study authors conclude that: “Functional based exercise should be a focus for interventions to protect older, high risk people from falling and to improve and maintain functional capacity.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Finding that a program integrating balance activities into everyday routines boosts functional capacity, these researchers validate the importance of a regular regimen of strength and balance exercises in promoting independent living.”
Dried Apples Help to Reduce Cholesterol
Apples are abundant in compounds that help to manage inflammation and oxidation in the body. When removed of their water content naturally, dried apples are a portable and convenient way to consume the fruit. Researchers from Florida State University (Florida, USA) enrolled 160 postmenopausal women, randomly assigned each to eat either 2.7 ounces (75 g) of dried apples, or prunes daily. Blood tests were conducted at the three, six, and 12 month marks to measure cardiovascular risk factors, including cholesterol levels. At the three-month mark, total cholesterol was reduced by 9%, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol was reduced by 16%, among the subjects who consumed the dried apples. At both the six-and 12-month marks, total cholesterol was reduced by 13% and LDL cholesterol by 24%, among the dried apple group. The study authors report that: “consumption of 75 g dried apple (about two medium-sized apples) can significantly lower atherogenic cholesterol levels as early as 3 months. “
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Reporting that daily consumption of dried apples for six months lowers total cholesterol by 13%, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 24%, among postmenopausal women, these findings expand the body of scientific evidence suggesting a functional health role for this versatile fruit.”
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 endeavors and to sign-up for your free subscription o Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.