July 4-10, 2014

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.

Six Key Longevity Principles
Various countries aim to reduce premature mortality from four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs)-namely –  cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes.  These nations have targeted to reduce these disease incidences by 25% from 2010 levels by 2025.  Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues report that this target may be achievable by the reduction of six specific modifiable risk factors.  Using country-level data on deaths and risk factors and epidemiological models, the researchers estimate the number of deaths that could be prevented between 2010 and 2025 by reducing the burden of each of the six risk factors to globally-agreed target levels – tobacco use (30% reduction and a more ambitious 50% reduction), alcohol use (10% reduction), salt intake (30% reduction), high blood pressure (25% reduction), and halting the rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes.  Overall, the findings suggest that meeting the targets for all six risk factors would reduce the risk of dying prematurely from the four main NCDs by 22% in men and 19% for women in 2025 compared to what they were in 2010. Worldwide, this improvement is equivalent to delaying or preventing at least 16 million deaths in people aged 30-70 years and 21 million in those aged 70 years or older over 15 years.  The authors predict that the largest benefits will come from reducing high blood pressure and tobacco use. They calculate that a more ambitious 50% reduction in prevalence of smoking by 2025, rather than the current target of 30%, would reduce the risk of dying prematurely by more than 24% in men and by 20% in women. The study investigators submit that: “If the agreed risk factor targets are met, premature mortality from the four main NCDs will decrease to levels that are close to the 25×25 target, with most of these benefits seen in low-income and middle-income countries.”

Dr. Klatz observes: “Potentially 37 million premature deaths over 15 years may be prevented, simply if people modulated six specific modifiable risk factors.”

A Recipe to Achieve Healthy Weight
Exercise scientists at the University of Arkansas (Arkansas, USA) have identified a  novel interaction between food, exercise, and total energy expenditure.  Ashley Binns and colleagues assessed 10 college-age women of normal body weight, who were categorized as “recreationally active” – subjects normally exercised at least twice a week, but they weren’t athletes or severely overweight.  Each participant was given either a high-protein meal, low-protein meal, or no food at all, before walking on a treadmill.  The team found that the high-protein meal followed by 30 minutes of moderate exercise was an effective way to burn calories, as compared to exercising on an empty stomach.  The lead author submits that: “with exercise, there is a trend for a continued increase in caloric expenditure with higher protein consumption. Additionally, the consumption of the high- or low-protein meals resulted in greater energy expenditure than the fasted state. That means that eating prior to exercise does provide fuel to burn, making us more like an energy-burning machine.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: “For some women, a high-protein meal followed by 30 minutes of moderate exercise is an effective way of burning calories.”

Today’s Job Challenges May Preserve Brain Acuity in Later Years    
Gwenith G. Fisher, from the University of Michigan (Michigan, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 4,182 men and women enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study.  Participants were interviewed about eight times between 1992 and 2010, starting when they were between the ages of 51 and 61. They worked in a wide variety of jobs and had been doing the same type of work for more than 25 years, on average, before they retired. The researchers examined the mental requirements of each job that participants reported having during that period. These requirements included analyzing data, developing objectives and strategies, making decisions, solving problems, evaluating information and thinking creatively.  As well, the team also assessed participants’ mental functioning, using standard tests of episodic memory and mental status. The researchers observed that those subjects who had worked in jobs with greater mental demands were more likely to have better memories before they retired and more likely to have slower declines in memory after retiring than people who had worked in jobs with fewer mental demands.  The differences at the time of retirement were not large, but they grew over time. The study authors conclude that: “Results indicated that working in an occupation characterized by higher levels of mental demands was associated with higher levels of cognitive functioning before retirement, and a slower rate of cognitive decline after retirement.”

Comments Dr. Klatz:  “Changes in cognitive abilities often are part of the aging process, but these findings suggest that while a mentally demanding job may cause its share of stresses, it may help keep your mind sharp long after retirement.”

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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