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.
Killer Proportions of Poor Lifestyle
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that diseases linked to poor lifestyle choices – such as diabetes and some cancers – are preventable and avoidable. With an estimated 16 million people worldwide dying prematurely as a direct result of diseases associated with poor lifestyle choices, the WHO submits that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are preventable: of the 38 million lives lost to NCDs in 2012, 16 million or 42% were premature and avoidable – up from 14.6 million in 2000. In its “Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014,” the WHO submits that unhealthy habits like smoking, alcohol abuse and consuming too much fat, salt and sugar have sparked an epidemic of diseases which together constitute the leading cause of death globally. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan observes that: “The global community has the chance to change the course of the NCD epidemic. By investing just US$ 1-3 dollars per person per year, countries can dramatically reduce illness and death from NCDs.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “The World Health Organization warns that an estimated 16 million people worldwide die prematurely as a direct result of diseases associated with poor lifestyle choices. Many of these deaths may be averted with adoption of anti-aging behaviors.”
The Quintessential Anti-Aging Essential
Ulf Ekelund, from, the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), and colleagues assessed the link between physical inactivity and premature death. The team analyzed data collected on 334,161 men and women across Europe , enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study. Over an average of 12 years, the researchers measured height, weight and waist circumference, and used self-assessment to measure levels of physical activity. Data analysis revealed that the greatest reduction in risk of premature death occurred in the comparison between inactive and moderately inactive groups. The investigators estimated that daily exercise burning between 90 and 110 kcal (‘calories’) – roughly equivalent to a 20-minute brisk walk – would take an individual from the inactive to moderately inactive group, and reduce their risk of premature death by between 16-30%. The impact was greatest amongst normal weight individuals, but even those with higher BMI saw a benefit. In further calculations, ther team reveals that 337,000 of the 9.2 million deaths amongst European men and women may be attributed to obesity (classed as a BMI greater than 30) – with double this number of deaths (676,000) attributable to physical inactivity. The study authors report that: “The greatest reductions in mortality risk were observed between the 2 lowest activity groups across levels of general and abdominal adiposity, which suggests that efforts to encourage even small increases in activity in inactive individuals may be beneficial to public health.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “A mountain of evidence documents that physical inactivity raises a person’s risk of premature death, as well as increases the risks of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. This UK team reaffirms the importance of engaging in daily exercise, even at a modest level, to slash your risks of premature death.”
Second Language Boosts the Brain
Christos Pliatsikasa, from the University of Kent (United Kingdom), and colleagues studied brain scans of 20 men and women, average age 30 years, who resided in Britain for at least 13 months. They had all started learning English as a second language around age 10. Their imaging analyses were compared to 25 people of similar age who spoke only English. The comparison revealed that that the people who began learning English around age 10 and were immersed in the language, showed improvements in the structure of the brain’s white matter, as compared to people who grew up speaking only English and did not learn a second language. Observing that: “It has been suggested that early lifelong bilingualism affects the structure of white matter of the brain and preserves its integrity in older age,” the study authors write that: “Here we show that similar [white matter] effects are also found in bilingual individuals who learn their second language later in life and are active users of both languages. This finding presents a strong argument for the general benefits of additional language learning and the importance of language learning and use in a naturalistic environment.
Comments Dr. Klatz: ‘A number of previous studies submit that bilingualism (familiarity with two languages) improves learning and cognitive processes. These UK researchers report that immersion in a second language in one’s elementary school years beneficially impacts the structure of the brain’s white matter.”
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.