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.
Nature’s Cancer Fighters
Aedin Cassidy, from the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 171,940 study subjects enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study II, examining associations between intakes of total flavonoids and their subclasses (flavanones, flavonols, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavones, and polymeric flavonoids) and risk of ovarian cancer Food surveys were collected from subjects every 4 years. During 16-22 years of follow-up, 723 cases of ovarian cancer were confirmed through medical records. Data analysis revealed that those participants who consumed food and drinks high in flavonols (found in tea, red wine, apples and grapes) and flavanones (found in citrus fruit and juices) were less likely to develop the disease. In particular, just a couple of cups of black tea every day was associated with a 31% reduction in risk. The study authors conclude that: “Higher intakes of flavonols and flavanones as well as black tea consumption may be associated with lower risk of ovarian cancer.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “In the United States, about 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and globally, the disease is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women. Abundant in flavonols and flavanones, tea and citrus fruits and juices associate with a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer.”
MC Ridding, from the University of Adelaide (Australia) report that just a single session of aerobic exercise is enough to promote brain plasticity that could lead to improved memory and coordination of motor skills. The team enrolled 9 men and women, average age 31 years, who rode exercise bikes and were monitored for changes in the brain immediately after the exercise and again 15 minutes later. While there were no changes in cortical excitability following exercise, the team did observe less short-interval intracortical inhibition at both 0 and 15 minutes post-exercise. The study authors write that that: “These findings show that a short period of exercise can transiently reduce [short-interval intracortical inhibition] … Such a change in inhibition after exercise may contribute to the development of a cortical environment that would be more optimal for plasticity and may partially explain previous findings of enhanced neuroplasticity following low-intensity exercise.” Separately, Nicolas Berryman, from the Institut universitaire de geriatrie de Montreal (Canada), and colleagues compared the effects of different training methods on the cognitive functions of people aged 62 to 84 years. Two groups were assigned a high-intensity aerobic and strength-training program, whereas the third group performed tasks that targeted gross motor activities (coordination, balance, ball games, locomotive tasks, and flexzibility). While the aerobics and strength-training were the only exercises that led to physical fitness improvements after 10 weeks (in terms of body composition, VO2 max, and maximum strength), all three groups showed equivalent improvement in cognitive performance. Notably, the subjects in the third group performed activities that can easily be done at home, which lends credence to the notion that sedentary people need not go to a gym to work out. The study authors submit that: “These findings suggest that different exercise programs targeting physical fitness and/or gross motor skills may lead to equivalent improvement in cognition in healthy older adults.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “These two separate studies reaffirm that working out the body yields benefits for brain function. To maintain optimal cognitive health, get moving.”
Curcumin for Cognition
AB Scholey, from Swinburne University (Australia), and colleagues enrolled 60 healthy men and women, ages 60 to 85 years, in a study in which subjects received either 400 mg per day of curcumin, or placebo, for four weeks. One hour after the first dose, parameters of attention and memory improved in the group receiving curcumin. As well the curcumin-supplemented group reported an average 1.82% decrease in fatigue, whereas fatigue increased by 17% in the group receiving placebo. Self-reported calmness and contentedness also improved in the group receiving curcumin. Submitting that: “the first study to examine the effects of curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population or to examine any acute behavioral effects in humans,” the study authors write that: “Results highlight the need for further investigation of the potential psychological and cognitive benefits of curcumin in an older population.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Known best as the substance in turmeric that gives the curry spice its characteristic yellow color, curcumin has been found by previous studies to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammation, anticancer, and lipid-lowering effects. This team observes that this spice may improve attention and memory, and boost mood, in healthy older men and women.”
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.