April 19-25, 2012
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.
Vitamin D Fends Off Disease
Arash Hossein-nezhad, from Boston University School of Medicine (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues completed a randomized trial involving 8 healthy men and women, average age 27 years, all of whom were vitamin D deficient/insufficient at the study’s start. Three subjects received 400 IUs of Vitamin D daily, and five participants received 2,000 IUs daily, for a two-month period. Samples of immune cells were collected at the study start and end; gene expression analysis was conducted to identify if activity increased or decreased as a result of the vitamin supplementation. The team observed that the group receiving 2,000 IUs achieved a sufficient Vitamin D status; whereas the 400 IU group remained at insufficient Vitamin D status. Reporting that: “Our data suggest that any improvement in vitamin D status will significantly affect expression of genes that have a wide variety of biologic functions of more than 160 pathways linked to cancer, autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular disease with have been associated with vitamin D deficiency,” the study investigators submit that: “This study reveals for the first time molecular finger prints that help explain the nonskeletal health benefits of vitamin D.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “A growing body of evidence suggests the importance of Vitamin D in maintaining bone health, to the health of the cardiovascular and immune systems. Among healthy people, vitamin D supplementation influences gene expression involved biologic functions of more than 160 pathways linked to cancer, autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular disease.”
Physical Activity in Youth Lowers Fracture Risks Later in Life
Bjorn Rosengren, from Skane University Hospital (Sweden), and colleagues conducted a population-based controlled exercise intervention for six years in children ages 7 to 9 years in Malmo, Sweden. In the intervention group, 362 girls and 446 boys received 40 minutes of daily physical education at school. The control group of 780 girls and 807 boys received 60 minutes of physical education per week. Researchers registered incident fractures in all participants and followed skeletal development annually. During the time of the study there were 72 fractures in the intervention group and 143 in the control group resulting in similar fracture risks. The increase in spine bone mineral density was higher in both the boys and girls in the intervention group. During this same time, researchers performed a retrospective cross-sectional study of 709 former male athletes with a mean age of 69 years and 1,368 matched controls with a mean age of 70 years to determine how many had suffered fractures and rates of bone density loss. Within the former athletes group, bone mass density dropped only minimally from +1.0 to +0.7 standard deviations compared to the control group. The study investigators submit that: “As increased exercise improves bone mass and in girls bone size without affecting fracture risk, society ought to encourage exercise during growth.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “School-age children who get regular daily exercise improve their health – both now and in the future. A program of daily physical education in school-age years may associate with lower bone fracture risks with aging.”
Poor Sleep May Presage Alzheimer’s Disease
David Holtzman, from Washington University School of Medicine (Missouri, USA), and colleagues studied 142 men and women, ages 45 and older, who were free of cognitive impairment at the study’s start. For a two-week period, the team measured sleep via actigraphy, to obtain a measurement of sleep efficiency as the primary measure of sleep quality. The team also measured levels of beta-amyloid 42 in the cerebrospinal fluid of the subjects, to determine whether amyloid deposition was taking place. Of the subjects, 32 had elevated levels of beta-amyloid 42 in the brain; as well, the subjects had a worse sleep quality (measured as sleep deficiency) as compared to other subjects. A second measure sleep quality, wait time after sleep onset, was also higher in these 32 subjects. The study authors report that: “Amyloid deposition in the preclinical stage of [Alzheimer’s Disease] appears to be associated with worse sleep quality but not with changes in sleep quantity.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Worse sleep quality may correlate to increased amyloid deposits in the brain, a marker of Alzheimer’s Disease, as this cross-sectional study involving cognitively normal people suggests that disturbed sleep quality may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s Disease.”
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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