September 13-19, 2013
By Dr. Ronald Klatz and 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.
Simple Steps Help to Reduce Heart Disease Risk
W.M. Monique Verschuren, from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (The Netherlands), and colleagues analyzed data collected in the MORGEN study, a prospective cohort study involving 8,128 men and 9,759 women, ages 20-65 years, who did not have cardiovascular disease at the study’s start. The team found that subjects who adhered to a regimen of sufficient physical activity, a healthy diet, limited alcohol intake, and no smoking were at 57% reduced risk of a composite of CVD, and a 67% reduced risk of fatal CVD, compared with those who adhered to none or one lifestyle factor. When a good night’s sleep (more than 7 hours) was added to those traditional factors, the risk of CVD and of fatal CVD decreased even further – 65% and 83%, respectively, the team observed that achieving sufficient sleep duration without any of the four traditional lifestyle factors had a positive impact on risk reduction – 22% reduced risk of CVD and 43% reduction in fatal CVD. Writing that: “Sufficient sleep and adherence to all four traditional healthy lifestyle factors was associated with lower [cardiovascular disease] risk,” the study authors conclude that: “When sufficient sleep duration was added to the traditional lifestyle factors, the risk of [cardiovascular disease] as further reduced.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “In that sleep duration is an under recognized factor in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, how long a person sleeps, as a factor itself or in combination with physical activity, a healthy diet, limited alcohol intake, and no smoking, may significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Exercise Reorganizes the Brain
A discrepancy in research related to the effect of exercise on the brain has existed: namely, that exercise reduces anxiety while also promoting the growth of new neurons in the ventral hippocampus. Because these young neurons are typically more excitable than their more mature counterparts, exercise should result in more anxiety, not less. Timothy Schoenfeld, from Princeton University (New Jersey, USA), and colleagues have revealed that exercise also strengthens the mechanisms that prevent these brain cells from firing. Employing a mouse model, the team observed that when mice allowed to exercise regularly experienced a stressor – exposure to cold water – their brains exhibited a spike in the activity of neurons that shut off excitement in the ventral hippocampus, a brain region shown to regulate anxiety. Further, the research team pinpointed brain cells and regions important to anxiety regulation that may help scientists better understand and treat human anxiety disorders. The researchers found that running prevents the activation of new neurons in response to stress. In sedentary mice, stress activated new neurons in the hippocampus , but after 6 weeks of running, the stress-induced activation of both new and mature neurons disappeared. Taken collectively, the study authors submit that their data suggest that exercise “improves anxiety regulation by engaging local inhibitory mechanisms in the ventral hippocampus.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “These researchers report that physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function.”
Data Links Air Pollution to Lung Cancer
Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center (Denmark), and colleagues completed a prospective analysis of data obtained by the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE). The overall analysis comprised 312,944 study participants and about 4.1 million person-years at risk. During a mean follow-up of 12.8 years, 2,095 cases of lung cancer were diagnosed. The meta-analyses showed a significant association between lung cancer and particulate matter <10 micrometers, represented by a hazard ratio of 1.22. Analyses of associations between air pollution and adenocarcinoma lung cancer showed significant associations for particulate matter <10 micrometers (hazard ratio of 1.51) and <2.5 micrometers (hazard ratio of 1.55). Associations were strongest for participants who resided at the same address for longer periods of time. The study authors conclude that: “Particulate matter air pollution contributes to lung cancer incidence in Europe.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “This large-scale European study involving over 312,900 subjects suggests that long-term exposure to low-level air pollution may increase the risk of lung cancer, and adenocarcinoma in particular.”
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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