March 1-7, 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.
Dietary Changes Prompt Swift Improvements in Inflammation
Lynnette Ferguson, from The University of Auckland (New Zealand), and colleagues studied 30 healthy men and women, selected for their initially “poor” diets, who were encouraged to eliminate refined and processed foods and to follow a Mediterranean type diet over six weeks – featuring increased amounts of fish, vegetables, unrefined cereals, and “good” fats such as olive oil and avocado. A prominent feature of the diet was also that it was gluten-free. Recipes were supplied to the participants. After six weeks, the team observed that biomarkers of inflammation, most notably C-reactive protein (CRP), were markedly reduced.
Dr. Klatz observes: “The inflammation is a primary trigger for a number of chronic diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease to arthritis. Among healthy adults, simple changes in diet can be effective in reducing inflammation in as little as six weeks.”
A Fit Alternative
As many exercise efficiency studies are conducted on treadmills, they do not necessarily reflect real-world situations as to energy expenditure and endurance preservation. Manoj Srinivasan and colleagues enrolled 36 college students were asked to travel a distance longer than a football field, either on pavement outdoors or inside a school hallway. Each was given a stopwatch, and told to arrive at the destination specific time, not before and not after – but exactly on-time. Subjects were not told whether to walk or run, and could set their own pace. The team instructed for the subjects to complete two extreme trips: at one extreme, the subjects were told to make the trip in 2 minutes – so they could do so at a leisurely pace if they chose; at the other extreme, they were allotted only 30 seconds, so they had to run at a very brisk pace. The team was most interested in what the subjects would do when they were allotted travel times between the two extremes, finding that a transition region existed where the subjects mixed the trip between walking and running. Regardless of any variable – fitness level, height, weight, leg length, amount of time given for the trip, whether they were indoors or out – all subjects employed a mixture of walking and running. The team observed that the subjects seem to naturally break into a run, or slow down to a walk, to save energy while ensuring they arrived at the destination on time. The study authors conclude that: “ Humans and other animals might also benefit energetically from alternating between moving forward and standing still on a slow and sufficiently long treadmill.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Ohio State University (Ohio, USA) researchers submit that the human body has an innate sense of how to vary speed to optimize energy when it is on the move in the natural environment. Their data suggest to alternate walking and running to save energy, maintain endurance.”
Qigong Improves Quality of Life
Lorenzo Cohen, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Texas, USA), and colleagues enrolled 96 women with stages 1-3 breast cancer residing in Shanghai, China. Forty-nine patients were randomized to a qigong group consisting of five 40-minute classes each week during their five-to-six week course of radiation therapy, while 47 women comprised a waitlist control group receiving the standard of care. The program incorporated a modified version of Chinese medical qigong consisting of synchronizing one’s breath with various exercises. Participants in both groups completed assessments at the beginning, middle and end of radiation therapy and then one and three months later. Different aspects of quality of life were measured including depressive symptoms, fatigue, sleep disturbances and overall quality of life. Patients in the qigong group reported a steady decline in depressive symptom scores beginning at the end of radiation therapy with a mean score of 12.3, through the three month post-radiation follow-up with a score of 9.5. No changes were noted in the control group over time. The study also found qigong was especially helpful for women reporting high baseline depressive symptoms. The study authors conclude that: “The current results indicated that qigong may have therapeutic effects in the management of [quality of life] among women who are receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer. Benefits were particularly evident for patients who had preintervention elevated levels of depressive symptoms.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Qigong is an ancient mind-body practice for which a number of previous studies have suggested beneficial health effects. These researchers report that this approach reduces depressive symptoms and improves quality of life, among women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer.
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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