May 10-16, 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.
Vitamin D Is an Essential Energy Nutrient
Akash Sinha, from Newcastle University (United Kingdom), and colleagues used non-invasive magnetic resonance scans to measure the response to exercise in 12 patients with severe deficiency before and after treatment with vitamin D. The team found that exercise recovery rates significantly improved after the patients took a fixed dose of oral vitamin D for 10-12 weeks, with the average phosphocreatine recovery half time decreasing from 34.4 sec to 27.8 sec. All patients reported an improvement in symptoms of fatigue after having taken the supplements. In a parallel study, the group demonstrated that low Vitamin D levels were associated with reduced mitochondrial function. Explaining that: “[Vitamin D] therapy augments muscle mitochondrial maximal oxidative phosphorylation following exercise in symptomatic, vitamin D deficient individuals,” the study authors submit that: “This finding suggests that changes in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle could at least be partly responsible for the fatigue experienced by these patients. For the first time, we demonstrate a link between vitamin D and the mitochondria in human skeletal muscle.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “An underlying cause of fatigue can be suboptimal mitochondrial function, and Vitamin D deficiency is a well-recognized cause of fatigue and myopathy. These researchers report that Vitamin D is vital for efficient muscle performance and may help to boost energy levels.”
Walking and Running Both are Healthy Habits
Walking and running involve the same muscle groups and the same motions, but are performed at different “intensities” – where intensity is defined in terms of “metabolic equivalents,” or METs. Paul T. Williams, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (California, USA), and colleagues studied data compiled from 33,060 subjects enrolled in the National Runners’ Health Study II and 15,945 participants in the National Walkers’ Health Study. The team found that while spending the same amount of energy yielded similar reductions in the risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and coronary heart disease, runners were found to expend about twice as much energy as walkers and therefore reap greater health benefits. The study authors conclude that: “Equivalent energy expenditures by moderate (walking) and vigorous (running) exercise produced similar risk reductions for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and possibly [coronary heart disease].”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Exercise is considered to be of a moderate intensity if it uses 3 to 6 times the oxygen needed to sit at rest, usually defined as 3.5 ml of oxygen per kg of body weight per minute; that is defined as 1 MET. On that scale, walking is moderate intensity exercise and running, which uses more than 6 METs, is considered to be vigorous. This data suggests that the extent of a person’s energy expenditure is a key determinant in risk reductions for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.”
Walnuts Help to Lower Diabetes Risk
Frank Hu, from Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues investigated the association between walnut intake and incident type 2 diabetes in 2 large cohort studies: the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and NHS II. The researchers prospectively followed 58,063 women, ages 52-77 years in NHS (1998-2008) and 79,893 women, ages 35-52 years in NHS II (1999-2009) without diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at the study’s respective starts. Dietary habits were closely monitored, including the frequency at which they subjects consumed nuts – particularly walnuts. The team revealed that women who consumed walnuts two or three times a week lowered their risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 24%. Further, the data suggested that the consumption of total nuts also inversely associated with risk of type-2 diabetes. The study authors conclude that: “Our results suggest that higher walnut consumption is associated with a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, with previous studies suggesting their consumption helps to improve various cardiometabolic risk factors. This team finds that women who consume walnuts regularly may reduce their risks of type-2 diabetes by as much as 24%.”
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.