By Dr. Ronald Klatz & Dr. Robert Goldman
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 24,000 physician and scientist members from 110 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.
Exercise the Brain
Konstantinos Arfanakis, from Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA), and colleagues studied what effect late-life cognitive activity might have on the brain’s white matter, which is composed of nerve fibers, or axons, that transmit information throughout the brain. The researchers enrolled 152 elderly participants, mean age 81 years, from the Rush Memory and Aging Project, who were without dementia or mild cognitive impairment. Researchers Subjects reported the frequency with which they participated in a list of mentally engaging activities during the last year. Among the activities were reading newspapers and magazines, writing letters and playing cards and board games. Participants underwent brain MRI using a 1.5-T scanner within one year of clinical evaluation. Data analysis revealed significant associations between the frequency of cognitive activity in later life and higher diffusion anisotropy values – a measure of white matter activity – in the brain. Explaining that: “Several areas throughout the brain, including regions quite important to cognition, showed higher microstructural integrity with more frequent cognitive activity in late life,” the study authors report that: “Keeping the brain occupied late in life has positive outcomes.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “In that previous research has shown an association between late-life cognitive activity and better mental acuity, this team reports that mental activities like reading and writing can preserve structural integrity in the brain, as people age.”
Water Workouts Exert Less Joint Wear & Tear
Martin Juneau, from the Montreal Heart Institute (Canada), and colleagues enrolled healthy subjects to perform exercise tests on both the land and water cycling machines (with water up to chest level). They increased their intensity minute by minute until exhaustion. The team found that the maximal oxygen consumption was almost the same using both types of cycles; with pool-based exercising producing a less elevated heart rate (as compared to land-based exercise). The lower stress of moving in the water may be of particular benefit to those who have joint problems such as arthritis, or are overweight.
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Canadian researchers report that exercising on watercycling machines helps people who have joint problems such as arthritis, or are overweight, to participate in aerobic activity.
Green Tea Reduces GI Cancer Risk
Sarah Nechuta, from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (Tennessee, USA), and colleagues surveyed women enrolled in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, a population-based study of approximately 75,000 middle-aged and older Chinese women. During the initial interview participants were asked if they drank tea, the type of tea consumed and how much they consumed. Most of the Chinese women reported drinking primarily green tea. The researchers found that regular tea consumption – defined as tea consumption at least three times a week for more than six months, was associated with a 17% reduced risk of all digestive cancers combined. A further reduction in risk was found to be associated with an increased level of tea drinking: those who consumed about two to three cups per day (at least 150 grams of tea per month) had a 21% reduced risk of digestive system cancers. The trend toward fewer digestive cancers was strongest for stomach/esophageal and colorectal cancers, with the latter risk reduced by 29% among the long-term tea drinkers.
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Green tea contains polyphenols including catechins, that have antioxidant properties and for which some studies suggest a beneficial effect on cancer by reducing DNA damage and blocking tumor cell growth and invasion. This research reveals that green tea may lower the risk of developing digestive system cancers by as much as 27%, among women who are long-term tea drinkers.”
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.
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