April 5-11, 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.
Telomeres Tell Longevity
John Carlquist, from the University of Utah (Utah, USA), and colleagues tested DNA samples from over 3,500 heart attack and stroke patients. They drew upon an archive of peripheral blood DNA samples collected from nearly 30,000 heart patients, with as much as 20 years of follow-up clinical and survival data. Correlating the data with samples tested, the team was able to predict survival rates among patients with heart disease based on the telomere lengths. The lead investigator comments that: “I believe telomere length could be used in the future as a way to measure the effectiveness of heart care treatment.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Telomeres are the end caps of chromosomes, protecting the DNA complexes from deterioration during cell division. Telomere shortening is considered a marker of cellular aging, and prematurely shortened telomeres have been linked to increased risk of cancers, heart disease, dementia and death. Researchers are successfully able to predict survival rates and life expectancy among patients with heart disease, based on the length of the end caps of their chromosomes.”
Jason C. Allaire, from North Carolina State University (North Carolina, USA), and colleagues asked 140 people, ages 63 years and older, how often they played video games, if at all: 61% of study participants played video games at least occasionally, with 35% of participants saying they played at least once per week. The subjects took a battery of tests to assess their emotional and social well-being. The team found that participants who played video games, including those who only played occasionally, reported higher levels of well-being. Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions and a tendency toward higher levels of depression. Writing that: “Regular and Occasional Gamers [perform] better, on average, than Non-gaming older adults,” the study authors submit that: “Findings suggest that playing may serve as a positive activity associated with successful aging.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Not just for teens and 20-somethings, video games can exert beneficial effects for seniors. Older adults who play video games report higher levels of emotional well-being.”
Fish Lowers Blood Pressure
Stefan H. Heinemann, from Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), and colleagues studied the molecular mechanisms that underlie the capacity for omega-3s to lower blood pressure. The team showed that the ‘SLO1’ potassium channel is an important component in the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids, acting like very specific receptors for omega-3 compounds such as docosahexaeonic acid (DHA).Employing a laboratory animal model, the researchers assessed the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on SLO1 channels of the cardiovascular system, finding that the administration of DHA resulted in an expansion of the blood vessels and consequently a drop in blood pressure. As well, in genetically modified mice however, which were not able to produce the SLO1 channel, the antihypertensive impact of DHA failed to appear.
Comments Dr. Klatz: “A low-fat source of quality protein, fish is considered an important part of a healthy diet. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids – for which mounting evidence suggests a diverse array of health effects. A diet rich in fish-source omega-3 fatty acids exerts an antihypertensive effect.”
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.