March 8-14, 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.

Good Mood Boosts Brain Power
Stephanie M. Carpenter, from the University of Michigan (Michigan, USA), and colleagues enrolled 46 adults, ages 63 to 85 years, in a study to assess the role of mood on cognitive skill.  Half of the subjects were put into a good mood by receiving a thank-you card and two small bags of candy, tied with a red ribbon, when they arrived at the lab for the experiment. The other “neutral mood” participants did not receive a card or candy. The participants completed a computer-based study. They also participated in a decision-making task, where the participants were given $3 in quarters and presented with eight virtual decks of cards over the course of experiment. The researchers wanted to see how quickly and accurately the participants would learn which decks generally won them money, and which decks lost them money. The findings were clear: older adults who were put into a good mood chose significantly better than those who were in the neutral mood. Later in the experiment, the researchers tested working memory — how much information people can hold in their mind at any one time. Researchers read aloud a group of intermixed letters and numbers (such as T9A3) and participants were to repeat the group back in numeric and then alphabetic order (in this case, 39AT). The participants received groups with increasingly more letters and numbers. Results showed that the older adults who were induced into a good mood scored better on this test of working memory. The study authors conclude that: “These effects of positive-feeling induction have implications for affect theory, as well as, potentially, practical implications for people of all ages dealing with complex decisions.”

Dr. Klatz observes: “In that previous studies suggest that younger adults are more creative and cognitively flexible when they are in a good mood, these researchers report data that show that older adults may improve their decision making and working memory simply by maintaining a positive mood.”

Fit 50s May Forestall Alzheimer’s
Laura F. DeFina, MD, from The Cooper Institute (Texas, USA), and colleagues revealed that among nearly 20,000 participants in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, those in the highest quintile of cardiorespiratory fitness at roughly age 50 were 36% less likely than those in the lowest quintile.  The magnitude and direction of the association were similar with or without previous stroke, suggesting that the lower risk for dementia later in life was independent of cerebrovascular disease.  Writing that: “Higher midlife fitness levels seem to be associated with lower hazards of developing all-cause dementia later in life,” the study authors submit that: “The magnitude and direction of the association were similar with or without previous stroke, suggesting that higher fitness levels earlier in life may lower risk for dementia later in life, independent of cerebrovascular disease.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: “In an era of a globally aging population, prevention of Alzheimer disease and other types of dementia (all-cause dementia) is an important public health goal.  Findings from this team suggest that people who maintain cardiorespiratory fitness in mid-life may be less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, as they age.”

Green Tea Compounds Help to Protect Skin
Lesley E. Rhodes, from the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), and colleagues enrolled 14 healthy men and women, average age 42.5 years, with their skin, and gave them low-dose green tea catechin supplements added daily dose of 540 mg in combination with a vitamin C dose of 50 mg, for 12 weeks. The effects of the supplements were quantified by exposures to UV light before and after supplementation. Results showed that levels of metabolites of green tea catechins increase in skin fluid after supplementation, and erythema (skin redness)  levels were reduced after the 12-week supplementation period. The team also observed that whereas UV exposure increased key markers of inflammation, green tea supplementation reduced that effect. The study authors submit that the data suggests that green tea exerts: “protection against sunburn inflammation and potentially longer-term UVR-mediated damage.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: “Green tea contains between 30 and 40% of water-extractable polyphenols – a  potent type of antioxidant, and is particularly abundant catechins – most notably, epigallocatechn gallate (EGCG), for which some studies suggest a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health and weight management.  These researchers find that green tea supplements may help protect skin against sunburn and the longer-term effects of ultraviolet damage.”

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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