By Dr. Robert Goldman
For The Bali Times
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 22,000 physician and scientist members from 105 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 commentary.
Omega-3s May Reduce Depression in Women
There is some experimental and observational data that suggests that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids may correlate to a reduced risk of depression. Laura Colangelo, from the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues studied data on 3,317 men and women (average age at start of study was 35 years). Diet was assessed in year seven of the study, and depressive symptoms were measured in study years 10 and 20. Across the entire study group, higher intakes of fish and EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA (docosahexanoic acid) were associated with reduced risk of depression at the 10-year stage. The anti-depressive effect was more pronounced in women, where the highest intake of fish was associated with a 25-percent reduction in the risk of depression. Additionally, in women with the highest intakes of EPA, DHA, and EPA plus DHA, the team found risk reductions on the order of 34, 34, and 29 percent, respectively (compared to women with the lowest average intakes). The researchers conclude that: “Our find
ings suggest that dietary intakes of fish and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may be inversely associated with chronic depressive symptoms in women.”
Dr. Klatz observes: This is the latest study to reveal beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids, adding to a body of evidence suggesting the nutrient’s role as a potent anti-inflammatory that may impact cancers, Alzheimer’s Disease, heart disease and more.
Mediterranean Diet May Benefit Brain As Well As Heart
The Mediterranean Diet is characterized by high daily intakes of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, a restricted consumption of red meat, low to moderate intakes of dairy products, fish and poultry and liberal use of use of olive oil. Nikolaos Scarmeas, from Columbia University Medical Center in New York, and colleagues studied a multiethnic group of 1,875 men and women residing in metropolitan New York City. The team determined that those study subjects who adhered closely to a Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of developing MCI by 28 percent (compared to those who did not follow such a diet). Additionally, those with MCI at the start of the study were at 48-percent less risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) over the study’s 4.5-year period if they adhered to the Mediterranean diet. The researchers observe that: “Higher adherence to the [Mediterranean diet] is associated with a trend for reduced risk of developing MCI and with reduced risk of MCI conversion to AD.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: The numbers of cases of cognitive impairment worldwide are projected to rise due to worldwide gains in life expectancy. This study is significant in that it suggests that simple dietary choices can beneficially impact the onset of age-related cognitive decline.
Higher Blood Sugar Levels Linked to Lower Brain Function in Diabetics
Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina and their international colleagues have reported that cognitive functioning abilities drop as average blood sugar levels rise in people with type 2 diabetes. The Memory in Diabetes study, a sub-study of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes Trial, found a statistically significant inverse relationship between A1C levels (average blood glucose levels over a period of two to three months) and study subjects’ scores on four cognitive tests. No association, however, was found between daily blood glucose levels (measured by the fasting plasma glucose test) and test scores. Jeff Williamson, principal investigator for the study at the Wake Forest site, explained that: “One of the little-known complications of type 2 diabetes is memory decline leading to dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s dementia. This study adds to the growing evidence that poorer blood glucose control is strongly associated with poorer memory function an
d that these associations can be detected well before a person develops severe memory loss.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: Diabetes is a risk factor for mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Previous studies have shown that people with diabetes are 1.5 times more likely to experience cognitive decline and develop dementia than people without diabetes. These latest findings support the notion that the brain’s chronic exposure to elevated blood glucose levels may be part of the explanation for this phenomenon. In addition, people with impaired cognitive ability may have higher A1Cs because they are less compliant in taking diabetes medications. Patients and their families need to be aware of proper diabetes management, including via diet, exercise and medication.
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 to The Anti-Aging News Journal.