February 21-27, 2014

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.

Vitamin E Slows Functional Decline    
Maurice Dysken, from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System (Minnesota, USA), and colleagues enrolled 613 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’ Disease and randomly assigned each to one of four groups: the first group received 2,000 IU per day of vitamin E (as alpha-tocopherol); the second group received 20 mg per day of an Alzheimer’s medication (memantine);  the third group received a combination of vitamin E and memantine; and the fourth group served as placebo. Subjects were followed for an average of 2.5 years. At the end of the study period, the team observed a clinically significant delay in functional decline of 6.2 months in the vitamin E group, compared with placebo. No benefits were observed in the drug group or in the combination vitamin-drug group.   Writing that: “Among patients with mild to moderate [Alzheimer’s Disease], 2000 IU/d of alpha tocopherol … resulted in slower functional decline,” the study authors submit that their data “suggest[s] benefit of alpha tocopherol in mild to moderate [Alzheimer’s Disease] by slowing functional decline and decreasing caregiver burden.”

Dr. Klatz observes: “A major burden in Alzheimer’s Disease is the potential loss of the ability to complete the activities of daily living, and thus to live independently.  One of the largest and longest-treatment trials involving Alzheimer’s patients supports the utility and efficacy of alpha-tocopherol to slow functional decline.”

Cardiometabolic Health Improves with Weight Loss
Cynthia A. Thomson, from the University of Arizona (Arizona, USA), and colleagues studied  417 women, ages 18 years and older, with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 40 kg/m2 and who were at least 15 kg above their ideal body weight.  The women were assigned to a center-based, telephone-based or usual care diet intervention.  The researchers took fasting blood samples at the study’s start, and at 12 and 24 months.  While 70% of women had sustained weight loss at 24 months, those women who participated in either of the two structured weight loss strategies achieved greater reductions in body weight, BMI, and waist circumference over the course of the study, as compares to those in the usual care group.  Importantly, those subjects who lost a modest amount of weight and kept it off for 2 years saw improvement in almost every measure of cardiometabolic health. The team submits that their data “suggest[s] that the magnitude of weight loss and baseline values for risk factors are associated with improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors even after 24 months.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Serum glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein (CRP), and blood lipids including LDL (low density lipoprotein,” bad”) cholesterol are key markers of cardiometabolic health, and often reach unhealthy levels in people who are overweight or obese. These markers can improve in overweight and obese women who lose a modest amount of weight, and keep it off for 2 years.”

Oranges May Help to Protect Vision 
Susanne Rautiainen, from the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), and colleagues examined the diets of 30,607 Swedish women, ages 49 to 83 years, enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort study, who were observed for age-related cataract incidence for a mean of 7.7 years. The team utilized the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) value of various foods, as were consumed by the study subjects.   The researchers found that the women who ate foods rich in antioxidants experienced a lower risk of cataracts as they age. Specifically, the study authors noted that: “ Dietary [total antioxidant capacity] was inversely associated with the risk of age-related cataract.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: “A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision.  Previous studies have suggested that oxidative damage of the eye’s lens, caused by free radicals, may be a critical aspect in the development of cataract.  Antioxidant compounds are thought to counteract free radical activity. These Swedish researchers report that consumption of antioxidant-rich foods such as oranges, whole grains, coffee, and tea – may help to lower the risk of cataracts, among aging women.”

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.

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