December 20-26, 2013
By Dr. Robert Goldman & Dr. Ronald Klatz
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.
Extract of Exotic Berry Counters Inflammation
A team of Japanese researchers conducted cellular and animal study to ascertain the anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties of the extract of the amla fruit (also known as Indian gooseberry). When researchers applied the extract of the amla fruit to human and the alleles cells – cells that line the blood vessels, a significant reduction in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced tissue factor expression and von Willebrand factor release occurred. In a leukocyte aviation model of inflammation, the extract decreased inflammatory related markers. As well, the same anti-inflammatory effects were observed in an animal model. Writing that: “Oral administration of the amla fruit extract (50 mg/kg body weight) significantly decreased the concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-[alpha] and IL-6 in serum,” the study authors conclude that: “These results suggest that amla fruit extract may be an effective anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory agent.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) has been used for many centuries in traditional Indian Ayurvedic formulations for inflammatory diseases, and new science reveals the fruit’s extract shows promise as an anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, and antiplatelet compound.”
Music in Youth Benefits the Brain Later in Life
Nina Kraus, from Northwestern University (Illinois, USA), and colleagues studied 44 healthy adults, ages 55 to 76 years, who were asked to listen to a synthesized speech syllable while researchers measured electrical activity in the auditory brainstem, the region of the brain responsible for processing sound and is a central area for sensory information. The team did discover that, despite none of the study participants having played an instrument in nearly 40 years, those subjects who completed 4 to 14 years of music training early in life had the fastest response to the test speech sound. Specifically, older adults who took music lessons responded a millisecond faster than those without music training. Submitting that: “We suggest that early music training sets the stage for subsequent interactions with sound,” the study authors conclude that: “These experiences may interact over time to sustain sharpened neural processing in central auditory nuclei well into older age.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Declines in nervous system functioning are common with aging, with the human auditory system experiencing timing delays in responding to speech. As a result, many older adults experience difficulty understanding speech, especially in challenging listening environments. This team finds that older adults who took music lessons during childhood are faster at responding to speech.”
Healthy Gums for Healthy Heart
Moïse Desvarieux, from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (New York, USA), and colleagues submit data resultant from a prospective study that finds that as gum health improves, the progression of atherosclerosis slows to a clinically significant degree. The researchers followed 420 adults residing in Northern Manhattan, enrolled in the Oral Infections and Vascular Disease Epidemiology Study (INVEST). Participants were examined for periodontal infection. Overall, 5,008 plaque samples were taken from several teeth, beneath the gum, and analyzed for 11 bacterial strains linked to periodontal disease and seven control bacteria. Fluid around the gums was sampled to assess levels of Interleukin-1beta, a marker of inflammation. Atherosclerosis in both carotid arteries was measured using high-resolution ultrasound. Over a median follow-up period of three years, the researchers found that improvement in periodontal health – health of the gums – and a reduction in the proportion of specific bacteria linked to periodontal disease correlated to a slower intima-medial thickness (IMT) progression, and worsening periodontal infections paralleled the progression of IMT. There was a 0.1 mm difference in IMT change over three years among study participants whose periodontal health was deteriorating compared with those whose periodontal health was improving. Previous research has shown that a .033 mm/year increase in carotid IMT (equivalent to approximately 0.1 mm over three years) is associated with a 2.3-fold increased risk for coronary events. The study authors conclude that: “Longitudinal improvement in clinical and microbial periodontal status is related to a decreased rate of carotid artery [intima-medial thickness] progression at 3-year average follow-up.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of arteries through the build-up of plaque, is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and death. While data among anti-aging dental specialists suggests a causal connection between periodontal disease and heart disease. These researchers find that as gum health improves, the progression of atherosclerosis slows to a clinically significant degree.”
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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