May 30-June 5, 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.

Happy Habits Key to Healthy Life
The United Kingdom’s  Action for Happiness, in collaboration with Do Something Different, surveyed 5,000 men and women, asking each to rate themselves between 1 and 10 on ten habits identified from the latest scientific research as being key to happiness.  Giving was the top habit revealed by those who took the survey. When asked about Giving (How often do you make an effort to help or be kind to others?) people scored an average of 7.41 out of 10, with one in six (17%) topping 10 out of 10. Just over one in three (36%) people scored 8 or 9; slightly fewer (32%) scored 6 or 7; and less than one in six (15%) rated themselves at 5 or less.  The Relating habit came a close second. The question How often do you put effort into the relationships that matter most to you? produced an average score of 7.36 out of 10. And 15% of people scored the maximum 10 out of 10.  The survey also revealed which habits are most closely related to people’s overall satisfaction with life. All 10 habits were found to be strongly linked to life satisfaction, with Acceptance found to be the habit that predicts it most strongly. Yet Acceptance was also revealed as the habit that people tend to practice the least, generating the lowest average score from the 5,000 respondents.   Treating our bodies to regular physical activity is another proven happy habit. Yet the survey revealed that this is another habit that often gets overlooked. The average answer to How often do you spend at least half an hour a day being active? was just 5.88 out of 10, with 45% of people rating themselves 5 or less.  Do Something Different and Action for Happiness have also created a new Do Happiness programme encourage 3 positive actions that people can take to increase their levels of self-acceptance, namely: (1)   Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. See your mistakes as opportunities to learn. Notice things you do well, however small;  (2) Ask a trusted friend or colleague to tell you what your strengths are or what they value about you; (3) Spend some quiet time by yourself. Tune in to how you’re feeling inside and try to be at peace with who you are.

Dr. Klatz observes: “Each of us has a set of behaviors – the underpinnings of our unique personality.  However, oftentimes we repeat established habits that may undermine our capacity to live a satisfying – and healthy – life.  This survey suggests that there are three positive actions that not only may improve overall satisfaction with life, but coincidentally may promote a healthy life.”

Brain-Saving Benefits of a Healthy Diet
Whereas a number of previous studies on the link between diet and dementia have mainly focused on the impact of single dietary components, Marjo Eskelinen, from the University of Eastern Finland (Finland) surveyed 1,449 men and women, ages 39 to 64 years at the study’s start, enrolled in the Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Incidence of Dementia (CAIDE) study, as to their daily food consumptions. The data revealed that a higher intake of saturated fats was linked to poorer cognitive and memory functions and to an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment in a 21-year follow-up. It was also shown that a higher saturated fat intake was associated with an increased risk of dementia among those carrying a genetic risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease, the epsilon 4 variant of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene.  In addition, those consuming 3 to 5 cups of coffee daily appeared to have a lower risk of dementia as compared to those consuming less or more.

Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Finnish researchers report that consuming greater amounts of vegetables, berries and fruits, fish and unsaturated fats from milk products in midlife may help to prevent dementia in later years.”

Dark Chocolate Deters Atherosclerosis
Diederik Esser, from Wageningen University (The Netherlands), and colleagues followed 44 middle-aged overweight men over two periods of four weeks as they consumed 70 grams of chocolate per day. Study participants received either specially produced dark chocolate with high flavanol content or chocolate that was regularly produced. Both chocolates had a similar cocoa mass content. Before and after both intervention periods, researchers performed a variety of measurements that are important indicators of vascular health.  The team observed that dark chocolate helped restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels.  The study authors submit that: “chocolate affects endothelial health by … [improving] vascular function [and lowering] the adherence capacity of leukocytes in the circulation.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: “Both arterial stiffness and white blood cell adhesion are known factors that play a significant role in atherosclerosis.  These data suggest that consumption of dark chocolate lowers the augmentation index, and helps to prevent white blood cells from sticking to blood vessel walls.”

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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