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 26,000 physician and scientist members from 120 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.
Peer Into the Anti-Aging Brain
First identified in 2007 by scientists at Northwestern University’s Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center (Illinois, USA), cognitive “SuperAgers” have memories that are as sharp as those of healthy persons decades younger. Changiz Geula and colleagues reveal the physiological characteristics of these SuperAger brains that enable this cognitive preservation. Brain MRI scans and histological analyses reveal that the SuperAger brain signature has three common components when compared with normal persons of similar ages: a thicker region of the cortex; significantly fewer tangles (a primary marker of Alzheimer’s disease) and an ample abundant supply of a specific neuron – known as von Economo – linked to higher social intelligence. The study authors report that: “reduced vulnerability to the age-related emergence of Alzheimer pathology and higher von Economo neuron density in anterior cingulate cortex may represent biological correlates of high memory capacity in advanced old age.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “This study presents novel insights into the physiological characteristics of the brains of men and women with cognitive skills as sharp as those of people decades younger.”
Where’s The Protein?
Consuming protein stimulates the body’s cells to build protein, yet many older men and women fail to incorporate adequate sources of protein in their daily diet. Current US recommendations for daily dietary protein intake are 0.8 grams/kilogram of body weight (roughly 62 g of protein per day for a 170-pound person). IY Kim, from the University of Arkansas (Arkansas, USA), and colleagues enrolled 20 healthy adults, ages 52 to 75 years, each of whom was randomly assigned to one of four groups over a four-day test period. Two groups ate the RDA of 0.8 g/kg per day of protein: one group had even protein distribution across meals (33% of total protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner) and the other had an uneven protein distribution at meals (15% at breakfast, 20% at lunch and 65% at dinner). The other two groups ate double the RDA (1.5 g/kg day of protein) following the same even and uneven protein distribution patterns as the first two groups. The group that consumed double the RDA was supplemented with a pre-weighed milk protein concentrate (equal parts whey and casein) to ensure that they achieved daily protein goals of 1.5 g/kg day. The team observed that the distribution of protein across meals did not make a significant impact, but total amount of protein consumed did. The study authors report that: “[muscle protein fractional synthesis rate] was greater with 2RDA vs. 1RDA, regardless of distribution patterns,” submitting that older men and women may benefit from doubling up on the recommended daily allowance of protein to help maintain and build muscle.
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Approximately 1 out of 3 adults age 50 and older suffer from sarcopenia, a progressive loss of muscle mass and strength, which can affect a person’s energy and ability to perform daily activities. These researchers present evidence that older adults may need to double up on the recommended daily allowance of protein to efficiently maintain and build muscle.”
A Snack to Remember
Lenore Arab, from the University of California/Los Angeles (UCLA; California, USA), and colleagues assessed data collected on adults, ages 29 to 90 years, enrolled in the 1988–1994 and 1999–2002 rounds of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The team found that those study participants with higher walnut consumption performed significantly better on a series of six cognitive tests. Noting the “significant, positive associations between walnut consumption and cognitive functions among all adults, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity,” the study authors submit that: “daily walnut intake may be a simple beneficial dietary behavior.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Walnuts are an abundant source of antioxidants and significant source of alpha-linolenic acid – a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid with which studies suggest heart and brain health benefits. This data suggests that a handful of walnuts daily may improve memory, concentration, and information processing speed.”
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.