November 15-21, 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.
Positive Lifestyle Changes May Lengthen Telomeres
Dean Ornish, MD, UCSF clinical professor of medicine, and colleagues studied 35 men with localized, early-stage prostate cancer to determine if lifestyle changes had any impact upon telomere length. Ten of the patients were asked to make lifestyle changes that included: a plant-based diet, moderate exercise (walking 30-minutes a day, 6-days a week); stress reduction (yoga-based stretching, breathing, and meditation). The other 25 study participants were not asked to make any major lifestyle changes. Results showed that the group that made the lifestyle changes experienced a significant increase in telomere length of approximately 10%. Furthermore, the more participants changed their behavior by adhering to the recommended lifestyle program, the more dramatic were their improvements in telomere length. On the other hand, the men in the control group had shorter telomeres (approximately 3% shorter) by the end of the 5-year-long study. “Our genes, and our telomeres, are not necessarily our fate,” said Professor Ornish. “These findings indicate that telomeres may lengthen to the degree that people change how they live. Research indicates that longer telomeres are associated with fewer illnesses and longer life.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Shortened telomeres have been linked with a variety of age-related diseases, including cancer, stroke, vascular dementia, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes. This US team finds that making positive lifestyle, such as adopting a healthy diet and exercising regularly. can actually lengthen telomeres.”
Recreational Physical Activity Significantly Lowers Blood Pressure
Wei Ma, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and associate professor at the Shandong University School of Public Health in Jinan, China, and colleagues examined data from 13 studies involving nearly 137,000 people in order to investigate the effects of physical activity on blood pressure. Results showed that people who exercised for 1-3 hours each week during their leisure time had an 11% lower risk of developing high blood pressure than people who exercised for less than 1-hour each week. While the risk of developing high blood pressure dropped by 19% in those who exercised for 4-hours or more each week. Moderate and high physical activity undertaken at work had no significant effect on lowering blood pressure. The authors say that current guidelines urging people to get more exercise don’t distinguish between activity at work and for leisure, and thus need to be revised. “Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular and kidney disease – thus, it is important to prevent and control hypertension,” said Ma. “To try to lower your risk of high blood pressure, you should exercise more in your leisure time.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “A research team in China finds that people who exercise for more than 4 hours per week in their leisure time have a significantly lower risk of developing high blood pressure, as compared to those who exercise for less than 1 hour per week.”
Blueberries Boost Heart Health
Jeremy Spencer, from the University of Reading (United Kingdom), and colleagues conducted two double-blind crossover trials involving 21 healthy men. The first study assessed the effect of 4 different doses of blueberry flavonoids on flow mediated dilation (FMD) – a marker of blood vessel elasticity, at 5 different timepoints. The team observed that FMD increased at 1-2 hours post-consumption, and again at 6 hours post-consumption. The researchers then investigated the effects of 5 different doses of blueberry polyphenols between timepoint 0 and one hour later. They observed a dose-dependent response for consumptions up to 766 total blueberry polyphenols, after which the response reached a plateau. Positing that the increases in flow-mediated dilation observed decreased the activity of nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) – an enzyme involved in the production of free radicals, the study authors submit that: “Blueberry intake acutely improves vascular function in healthy men in a time- and intake-dependent manner.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Blueberries are an abundant source of flavonoids – antioxidant compounds that occur in plants. This team reports that flavonoids in blueberries may improve flow mediated dilation – a marker of blood vessel elasticity, among healthy men.”
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.