August 2-15, 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.
Low Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Vimal Karani Santhanakrishnan, from the Institute of Children Health at the University College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues have completed a large genetic analysis demonstrated that individuals with genes linked to lower vitamin D levels are more likely to have hypertension mediated by low vitamin D. Among the 158,846 individuals studied, every 10% increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations associated with a 0.24 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure, and an 8.1% decrease in the risk of developing hypertension. The study authors submit that they present “a rich data set showing a relationship between a specific genetic polymorphism and blood pressure,” suggesting that their findings attest to a causal association between low levels of vitamin D and high blood pressure.
Dr. Klatz observes: “Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a complex medical condition, which may result as a culmination of factors including body weight, salt and water retention, mineral levels, etc. This large-scale international genetic study confirms a causal association between low levels of vitamin D and hypertension.”
Exercise Reduces Fat Deposits
Hildo J. Lamb, from Leiden University Medical Center (The Netherlands), and colleagues assessed the effects of moderate-intensity exercise on organ-specific fat accumulation and cardiac function in 12 type 2 diabetes patients, average age 46 years, independent of any other lifestyle or dietary changes. The subjects underwent MRI examinations before and after six months of moderate-intensity exercise totaling between 3.5 and six hours per week and featuring two endurance and two resistance training sessions. The exercise cycle culminated with a 12-day trekking expedition. MRI results showed that, although cardiac function was not affected, the exercise program led to a significant decrease in fat volume in the abdomen, liver and around the heart, all of which have been previously shown to be associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Noting that: “ we observed that the second layer of fat around the heart, the peracardial fat, behaved similarly in response to exercise training as intra-abdominal, or visceral fat,” the study authors observed that: “The fat content in the liver also decreased substantially after exercise” – of particular importance to people with type 2 diabetes, many of whom are overweight or obese. The investigators conclude that: “A 6-month exercise intervention in type 2 diabetes mellitus decreased hepatic [triglyceride] content and visceral abdominal and paracardial fat volume, which are associated with increased cardiovascular risk.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Exercise is commonly recommended for people with type-2 diabetes, and these researchers confirm that moderate-intensity exercise reduces fat stored around the heart, in the liver, and in the abdomen.”
Tai Chi Strategic for Fall Prevention
Fuzhong Li, from the Oregon Research Institute (Oregon, USA), and colleagues enrolled 65 persons with Parkinson’s disease for each of the three comparator groups. The patients trained twice a week for 24 weeks and recorded falls on a monthly calendar. They also filled out the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-8) at baseline and after the 6-month program concluded. The researchers also collected information to calculate Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) gained – considered to be a robust measure of cost-effectiveness. The team reports that the cost for preventing one fall – using a program of stretching exercise as a base – was $8 less if patients were using tai chi. Further, it cost $69 less per fall prevented if patients were performing tai chi rather than strength training. The study authors submit that: “Compared with low-impact stretching exercises or conventional strength training, tai chi training appears to be a cost-effective strategy for preventing falls in people with Parkinson’s disease.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Compared with other forms of exercise, performing the martial art tai chi not only reduced falls among Parkinson’s disease patients, it was cost-effective as well.”
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.