By 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 20,000 physician and scientist members from 90 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, A4M president, and Dr. Robert Goldman, A4M chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their commentary
B-Vitamins for Cancer Protection
Folic acid (folate), vitamin B-6, and Vitamin B-12 have an important role in maintaining the integrity of DNA and regulating gene expression, both critical processes in healthy cell function as well as cancer protection. Shumin Zhang, from Harvard Medical School, and colleagues analyzed the risk of cancer and B-vitamin consumption among 5,442 women (average age 62.8). The women either had cardiovascular disease or three or more coronary risk factors. Over a period of 7.3 years, half the women received a daily supplement of folic acid (2.5 mg), vitamin B-6 (50 mg), and vitamin B-12 (1 mg), while the remaining half of the study group received a placebo. In the women over age 65, B-vitamin supplementation reduced the risk of invasive cancer by 25 percent, and breast cancer by 38 percent.
Dr. Klatz observes: This is, so far, the largest and longest study of the effects of folic acid in women, so its findings are worth noting. The notion that incidence rates of cancer in the older population can be slashed by daily vitamin supplementation, which is both safe and inexpensive, is am important finding with tremendous positive public health implications.
Alzheimer’s Benefits from Physical Exercise
Typically, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) progresses to the point where physical deterioration adversely impacts the ability to function independently, which in turn affects quality of life. Alejandro Lucia, from Universidad Europea De Madrid, and colleagues studied the a group of 16 men and women with Alzheimer’s disease, assigning half to undergo a 12-week training program (including resistance, flexibility, joint mobility and balance/coordination exercises), with the other half receiving normal care (no special exercise training). In the exercise group, the researchers found significant improvements in measures of upper and lower body strength ad flexibility, agility and balance, walking abilities, and endurance. The exercise group also was able to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and moving about, with greater independence.
Remarks Dr. Goldman: More than 26 million people worldwide were estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006; by 2050, AD will afflict more than 106 million people. This study is important in that it demonstrates the value of an organized exercise regimen to beneficially impact functional performance and independence when cognitive abilities are compromised.
New Studies on Role of Inflammation to Prevent Coronary Heart Disease
In 2008, about 450,000 Americans will die of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women. Two studies now provide the strongest evidence to-date that high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) is an important and useful marker for cardiovascular disease. Peter Wilson, from Emory University (Georgia, USA), and colleagues studied data from 3,006 participants of the Framingham Heart Offspring Study. They found that hsCRP levels provided a more accurate risk assessment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, particularly for those at intermediate level risk, improving the discrimination of CVD by 5.6 percent. In a study of data from 10,724 men enrolled in the Physicians Health Study II, Paul Ridker, from Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts USA), and colleagues found that by adding hsCRP levels to traditional risk factors assessing CVD risk, they raised the accuracy of prediction of CVD by 8.4 percent.
Comments Dr. Klatz: At the cutting-edge of technologies to promote the earliest detection of disease, nearly ten yeas ago anti-aging physicians were among the first to recognize the diagnostic value of CRP levels. Many A4M physicians have been measuring it routinely to monitor patients at-risk for cardiovascular disease.
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 EBN – The FREE Longevity Newsletter.