February 15-21, 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.

Stable, Lasting Relationship is A Key to Longevity
Ilene C. Siegler, from Duke University (North Carolina, USA), and colleagues  analyzed data collected on  4,802 individuals who took part in the University of North Carolina Alumni Heart Study (UNCAHS) – an ongoing study of individuals born in the 1940s. The team found that having a partner during middle age is protective against premature death: those who never married were more than twice as likely to die early than those who had been in a stable marriage throughout their adult life. Being single, or losing a partner without replacement, increased the risk of early death during middle age and reduced the likelihood that one would survive to be elderly. Even when personality and risky behaviors were taken into account, marital status continued to have a major impact on survival. The study authors conclude that: “Consistency of marital status during midlife suggests that lack of a partner is associated with midlife mortality.”

Dr. Klatz observes: “A number of previous studies have validated the importance of social ties during midlife.  These researchers report that not having a permanent partner, or spouse, during midlife is linked to a higher risk of premature death during those midlife years.”

Proper Nutrition Key to Maintaining Muscle Strength
While resistance training is an essential and effective intervention, adequate nutritional intake is also an important element.  The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Nutrition Working Group has identified nutritional factors that contribute to loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia), and conversely, are beneficial to the maintenance of muscle mass.   The Group acknowledges that protein intake plays an integral part in muscle health, proposing an intake of 1.0–1.2 g/kg of body weight per day as optimal for skeletal muscle and bone health in elderly people without severely impaired renal function.  As many studies indicate a role for vitamin D in the development and preservation of muscle mass and function, the Group also acknowledges that adequate vitamin D should be ensured through exposure to sunlight and/or supplementation if required. Vitamin D supplementation in seniors, and especially in institutionalized elderly, is recommended for optimal musculoskeletal health. The Group also recognizes emerging evidence that suggests that vitamin B12 and/or folic acid play a role in improving muscle function and strength.

Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Sarcopenia, or the gradual loss of muscle mass, is a common consequence of aging, and poses a significant risk factor for disability in older adults. As muscle strength plays an important role in the tendency to fall, sarcopenia leads to an increased risk of fractures and other injuries.   Vitamins and a protein-rich diet may be key for combating aging-related loss of muscle mass.”

Distractions Raise Work-Related Errors
Erik Altmann, from Michigan State University (Michigan, USA), and colleagues asked 300 people to complete a sequence-based procedure on a computer. The team found that interruptions of about three seconds doubled the error rate.   Observing that: “Even momentary interruptions can seem jarring when they occur during a process that takes considerable thought,” the lead investigator comments that: “What this means is that our health and safety is, on some level, contingent on whether the people looking after it have been interrupted.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: “While brief interruptions – such as reading an email or colleagues knocking at the door – are common in workplace.   Even the shortest of interruptions, can cause workers to make mistakes while performing a task, which can be cause for potential errors that may compromise health and safety.”

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.

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