July 12-18, 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.
Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
Michael J. Orlich, from Loma Linda University (California, USA), and colleagues examined death rates in a group of 73,308 men and women participating in the Adventist Adventist Health Study 2, who were followed for an average of nearly 6 years. The study subjects were identified as one of five groups: non-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian (consuming seafood, but not meat), lacto-ovo-vegetarian (consuming dairy and eggs), and vegan (no animal products). During the study period, 2570 deaths occurred, yielding an overall mortality rate of six deaths per 1000 person years. The data revealed “significant associations with vegetarian diet… for cardiovascular mortality, noncardiovascular noncancer mortality, renal mortality, and endocrine mortality.” These associations were larger and more often significant in men, as they were in women. The study authors conclude that: “Vegetarian diets are associated with lower all-cause mortality and with some reductions in cause-specific mortality. Results appeared to be more robust in males. These favorable associations should be considered carefully by those offering dietary guidance.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “This data suggests that following a plant-based diet may help to lower not only a person’s risk of death, but their chances of succumbing to diseases as well.”
Vitamins May Curb the Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease
Gwenaelle Douaud, from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), and colleagues administered a combination of vitamin B12 (500 µg), vitamin B6 20 mg, and folic acid, or placebo, to 156 older men and women, for a two-year period. The researchers observed that the 80 subjects receiving B vitamins showed significantly less brain degeneration, as compared to the placebo group. Specifically, the plasma homocysteine levels were lowered by 29%. Submitting that: “Our results show that B-vitamin supplementation can slow the atrophy of specific brain regions that are a key component of the [Alzheimer’s Disease] process and that are associated with cognitive decline,” the study authors conclude that: “Further B-vitamin supplementation trials focusing on elderly subjects with high homocysteine levels are warranted to see if progression to dementia can be prevented.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “This team reports that high-dose B vitamins help to prevent shrinkage of the medial temporal lobe is the area of the brain, which is thought to atrophy to cause the cognitive decline characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Walnuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Penn State, and colleagues gave 15 participants with elevated blood cholesterol 1 of 4 treatments: 85 g of whole walnuts, 6 g of skin, 34 g of defatted nutmeat, or 51 g of walnut oil. The researchers evaluated biochemical and physiological responses in the participants before the treatments were administered and again 30-minutes, 1-hour, 2 hours, 4-hours, and 6-hours after administering the treatments. The process was then repeated for each of the remaining 3 treatments. Results showed that consumption of walnut oil helped to reduce cardiovascular risk by preserving the function of endothelial cells, the cells that line blood vessels. The researchers also found that walnut oil enhanced the ability of HDL cholesterol to remove excess cholesterol from the body. “Our study showed that the oil found in walnuts can maintain blood vessel function after a meal, which is very important given that blood vessel integrity is often compromised in individuals with cardiovascular disease,” said Claire Berryman, graduate student in nutritional sciences, at Penn State. “Implications of this finding could mean improved dietary strategies to fight heart disease.” Walnuts and walnut oil are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, gamma-tocopherol, and phytosterols.
Comments Dr. Klatz: “It has been known for some time that eating walnuts can help to lower cholesterol levels. This research suggests that consuming whole walnuts or walnut oil can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving blood vessel function and helping to remove excess cholesterol from the body.”
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.