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 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.
MIND Your Brain
Martha Clare Morris, from Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA), and colleagues developed a dietary approach, The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet – featuring 15 dietary components including 10 “brain healthy food groups” including leafy greens, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry olive oil and wine. The team assessed 923 subjects, ages 58 to 98 years, followed on average 4.5 years, for their dietary habits that were then rated based on adherence to the components of the MIND diet. After adjusting for confounding factors, the researchers observed that adherence to the MIND diet lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much has 53% (among subjects who adhered to the diet rigorously), and by about 35% (among those who followed it moderately well). The investigators note that berries are a fruit that is specific to the MIND diet, highlighting the brain protective effects of blueberries and strawberries. The study authors conclude that: “Moderate adherence to [The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay] diet may also decrease [Alzheimer’s Disease] risk.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Presently with no cure and affecting greater numbers of the population due to global aging, Alzheimer’s Disease is a devastating brain disorder that is a major public health concern. Numerous efforts that aim to delay or reduce the risk of disease onset are now underway. This team finds that the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet may significantly lower a person’s risks of developing Alzheimer‘s Disease.”
Cancer Protective Effects of Exercise
Reflecting the ability of the body’s circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to the skeletal muscles during sustained physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) can be improved by regular exercise. Susan G. Lakoski, from the University of Vermont (Vermont, USA), and colleagues assessed 13,949 men, who were diagnosed with and survived cancer at age 65 or older. Subjects underwent a fitness exam at the study’s start, with CRF assessed via treadmill test. The team followed the participants’ fitness levels and surveilled for incidences of cancer diagnosis. The researchers found that high CRF in midlife associated with a 55% lower risk of lung cancer, and a 44% lower risk of colorectal cancer, as compared to men with low CRF. Further, the team observed that high CRF in midlife associated with a 32% lower risk for cancer death among men who developed lung, colorectal or prostate cancer at age 65, as compared with men with low CRF. Finally, a high CRF in midlife linked to a 68% reduction in cardiovascular death, as compared with low CRF among men who developed cancer. Observing that: “There is an inverse association between midlife [cardiorespiratory fitness] and incident lung and colorectal cancer but not prostate cancer.,” the study authors conclude that: “High midlife [cardiorespiratory fitness] is associated with lower risk of cause-specific mortality in those diagnosed as having cancer at [age 65 years].”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Men in their 50s with a high fitness level may be at reduced risks of lung and colorectal cancers.”
Nitrogen dioxide – present in automotive exhaust, and ozone – the main component of smog, may provoke chemical changes in certain airborne allergens that could increase their potency.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute (Germany) submit that these factors, in combination with changes in global climate, may explain why airborne allergies are becoming more common. Previously, Ulrich Poschl and colleagues investigated how allergy-causing substances are altered in the air. Building on that work, they examined how traffic-related air pollutants could increase the strength of these allergens. In laboratory tests and computer simulations, the team studied the effects of various levels of ozone and nitrogen dioxide on the major birch pollen allergen known as Bet v 1. The researchers determined that ozone – the main component of smog – oxidizes tyrosine, an amino acid, that helps form Bet v 1 proteins. This transformation sets in motion a chain of chemical reactions that involves reactive oxygen intermediates and can bind proteins together, altering their structures and their potential biological effects. The team speculates that the cross-linked proteins can become more potent allergens. Further, the investigators found that nitrogen dioxide, a component of automobile exhaust, appears to alter the polarity and binding capabilities of Bet v 1 allergenic proteins. The team posits that these protein changes, in conjunction with the effects of ozone, may enhance the immune response of the body to these particles, particularly in humid, wet and smoggy environments.
Comments Dr. Klatz: “German team finds that auto exhaust and smog contain pollutants that may play a role in the rise in airborne allergies.”
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.