January 18-24, 2013
By Dr. Ronald Klatz & 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 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.
Garlic Extract Reduces Blood Pressure
K Ried, from The University of Adelaide (Australia), and colleagues en rolled 79 men and women with uncontrolled systolic hypertension, in a 12-week long trial in which each subject received one, two or four capsules daily of aged garlic extract (240/480/960?mg containing 0.6/1.2/2.4?mg of S-allylcysteine), or placebo. Blood pressure was assessed at 4, 8 and 12 weeks. At the close of the 12-week period, the researchers found that the highest dose group showed reduction of 7.4 mmHg in systolic blood pressure, and then middle dose group showing the greatest benefit with systolic reduction of 11.8 mmHg. The study authors report that: “Our trial suggests aged garlic extract to be an effective and tolerable treatment in uncontrolled hypertension, and may be considered as a safe adjunct treatment to conventional antihypertensive therapy.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Hypertension affects about 30% of adults worldwide. In that a number of previous studies have suggested plausible mechanisms by which garlic exerts blood pressure-lowering effects, this Austrapian team finds that daily supplementation of aged garlic extract helps to reduce blood pressure, in people with uncontrolled systolic hypertension.”
Active Lifestyle A Key to Forestalling Alzheimer’s
Cyrus Raji, from the University of California/Los Angeles (UCLA; California, USA), and colleagues examined how an active lifestyle can influence brain structure in 876 adults, average age 78 years, enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study. The patients’ condition ranged from normal cognition to Alzheimer’s dementia. The team drew on 20 years of clinical data on this group, including body mass index and lifestyle habits – including recreational sports, gardening and yard work, bicycling, dancing and riding an exercise cycle. After controlling for age, head size, cognitive impairment, gender, body mass index, education, study site location and white matter disease, the researchers found a strong association between energy output and volumes of gray matter (where neurons that function in cognition and higher order cognitive processes are located) in areas of the brain crucial for cognitive function. Greater caloric expenditure was related to larger gray matter volumes in the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes, including the hippocampus, posterior cingulate and basal ganglia. There was a strong association between high energy output and greater gray matter volume in patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease. Observing that: “not one but a combination of lifestyle choices and activities that benefit the brain,” the study authors report that: “The areas of the brain that benefited from an active lifestyle are the ones that consume the most energy and are very sensitive to damage.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Over 35 million people worldwide are living with dementia, with Alzheimer’s Disease – the most common cause of dementia – remaining without a cure. Many public health experts believe that prevention to forestall Alzheimer’s Disease is crucial. An active lifestyle helps preserve gray matter in the brains of older adults and could reduce the burden of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”
Coffee May Reduce Diabetes Risk
Pilar Riobo Servan, from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), and colleagues elucidate key mechanistic theories that underlie the possible relationship between coffee consumption and the reduced risk of diabetes. These include the ‘Energy Expenditure Hypothesis’, which suggests that the caffeine in coffee stimulates metabolism and increases energy expenditure and the ‘Carbohydrate Metabolic Hypothesis’, whereby it is thought that coffee components play a key role by influencing the glucose balance within the body. There is also a subset of theories that suggest coffee contains components that may improve insulin sensitivity though mechanisms such as modulating inflammatory pathways, mediating the oxidative stress of cells, hormonal effects or by reducing iron stores. Observing that three to four cups of coffee per day may help to prevent type 2 diabetes, the researchers also note that such moderate coffee consumption is not associated with increased risk of hypertension, stroke, or coronary heart disease.
Comments Dr. Klatz: “A number of previous studies have consistently linked regular, moderate coffee consumption with a possible reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, with these researchers reporting that three to four cups of coffee per day may help to prevent type 2 diabetes.”
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.