October 19-26, 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.
Across All Ages, Exercise Improves Physical Capacities & Quality of Life
Louis Bherer, from the Institut Universitaire de Geriatrie de Montreal (Canada), and colleagues enrolled 83 men and women, ages 61 to 89 years, some of whom were considered frail, in a study in which 43 subjects took part in group exercises (three times a week for 12 weeks), and the remaining 40 participants served as control of events did not participate in exercise). All participants were evaluated one week before the start of the program and at the end of the program for physical capacity, quality of life and cognitive health. Compared to the control group, trained participants showed larger improvement in physical capacity (functional capacities and physical endurance), cognitive performance (executive functions, processing speed and working memory) and quality of life (overall quality of life, recreational activities, social and family relationships and physical health). Concluding that: “Physical exercise training leads to improved cognitive functioning and psychological well-being in frail older adults,” the researchers submit that it is never too late to engage in exercise intervention programs.
Dr. Klatz observes: “Frailty is a state of vulnerability associated with increased risks of fall, hospitalization, cognitive deficits, and psychological distress. Previously, a number of studies have suggested that help the seniors engaging in physical exercise improve their cognitive skills as well as quality of life. These Canadian researchers report that the very elderly and frail can enjoy the benefits of exercise in terms of their physical and cognitive faculties and quality of life and that these benefits appear after only three months.”
Obesity Accelerates Cognitive Decline
A study of more than 6,000 people has revealed that those with “metabolic abnormalities” may experience a faster decline in their cognitive skills. Archana Singh-Manoux, PhD, of INSERM, the French research institute in Paris and University College London in England, and colleagues gathered information on body mass index (BMI) and metabolic risk factors from 6,410 people with an average age of 50. Participants were defined as having metabolic abnormality if they had two or more of the following risk factors: high blood pressure or taking medication for it; low HDL-cholesterol; high blood sugar or taking diabetes medication; high triglycerides; or taking medication to lower cholesterol. Participants also took tests on memory and other cognitive skills at the start of the study and three times over the course of the next 10 years. Results showed that participants who were both obese and metabolically abnormal experienced a 22.5% faster decline in their cognitive test scores than those who were of normal weight without metabolic abnormalities. Metabolically normal obese individuals also experienced a more rapid decline than their non-obese and metabolically normal peers. Dr Singh-Manoux concluded:”More research is needed to look at the effects of genetic factors and also to take into account how long people have been obese and how long they have had these metabolic risk factors and also to look at cognitive test scores spanning adulthood to give us a better understanding of the link between obesity and cognitive function, such as thinking, reasoning and memory.
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Consistent with previous studies suggesting a range of adverse health effects of obesity, European researchers report that excess pounds may also accelerate cognitive decline.”
Yogurt Helps to Lower Blood Pressure
Huifen Wang, from Tufts University (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues studied 2,197 adults in the offspring cohort of the Framingham Heart Study who did not have high blood pressure at the study’s start. Subjects were surveyed for dietary habits, tand followed for blood pressure along with other measures. On the baseline food-frequency questionnaire, 44% of the participants reported that they ate yogurt at least once a month. During the 14 years of follow-up, blood pressures rose and 913 of the participants developed hypertension. Yogurt intake rose too, and those with high intake — more than 2% of their daily calories from yogurt — were less likely to develop hypertension. The odds ratio of incident hypertension was 0.69 compared with individuals who didn’t eat yogurt, and systolic blood pressure rose less in the high-consumption group as well — by 0.19 mmHg less than among nonconsumers. People who ate at least the equivalent of one serving every three days were 31% less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who ate no yogurt at all.
Comments Dr. Klatz: “A number of previous studies suggest that routine consumption of low-fat dairy products can be effective in helping to reduce blood pressure. It is now reported that consuming 1 serving of low-fat diet yogurt every 3 days may lower the risk of incident hypertension.”
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.
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