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.
Rhonda Patrick and Bruce Ames, from Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (California, USA), assessed the relevance of omega-3s and vitamin D for neuropsychiatric illness, with specific focus on their effects on serotonin – a brain chemical that affects a wide-range of cognitive functions and behaviors including mood, decision-making, social behavior, impulsive behavior, and even plays a role in social decision-making by keeping in check aggressive social responses or impulsive behavior. Marine omega-3s are abundant in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)- which increases serotonin release from presynaptic neurons by reducing inflammatory signaling molecules in the brain known as E2 series prostaglandins, which inhibit serotonin release and suggests how inflammation may negatively impact serotonin in the brain. EPA, however, is not the only omega-3 that plays a role in the serotonin pathway. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) also influences the action of various serotonin receptors by making them more accessible to serotonin by increasing cell membrane fluidity in postsynaptic neurons. The team also elucidates how low vitamin D interacts with genetic pathways, such as the serotonin pathway, that are important for brain development, social cognition, and decision-making, and how these gene-micronutrient interactions may influence neuropsychiatric outcomes. Proposing that: “ insufficient levels of vitamin D, EPA, or DHA, in combination with genetic factors and at key periods during development, would lead to dysfunctional serotonin activation and function and may be one underlying mechanism that contributes to neuropsychiatric disorders and depression,” the study authors submit that: “optimizing vitamin D and marine omega-3 fatty acid intake may help prevent and modulate the severity of brain dysfunction.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Previously, a number of studies suggest that marine omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D improve cognitive function and behavior in the context of certain brain disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. These investigators reveal that omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D impact brain serotonin.”
Antioxidant Deters Exercise-Related Fatigue
Wataru Aoi, from Kyoto Prefectural University (Japan), and colleagues employed a mouse model to assess the effects of glutathione supplementation on muscle, finding that the compound prevented pH level decreases otherwise associated with exercise. In addition, sedentary animals fed glutathione experience significant increases in mitochondrial DNA levels and a marker of mitochondria in skeletal muscle (PGC-1alpha) as well. In their study involving 8 healthy men, assigned to undergo exercise tests with or without glutathione supplementation (1 gm/day for 2 weeks). Those men who received glutathione displayed lower lactate levels and decreased fatigue measures, as compared to the non-supplemented subjects. The study authors submit that: “glutathione supplementation improved lipid metabolism and acidification in skeletal muscles during exercise, leading to less muscle fatigue.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “The antioxidant compound glutathione recycles others antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Japanese team reports that glutathione as a dietary supplement may boost mitochondria levels in muscle.”
Saunas Lessen Heart Risks
Jari Laukkanen, from the University of Eastern Finland (Finland), and colleagues studied data collected on 2,315 men, ages 42 to 60 years, enrolled in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Based on their sauna-taking habits, the study participants were divided into three groups: those taking a sauna once a week, those taking a sauna 2-3 times a week, and those taking a sauna 4-7 times a week. The researchers observed that the more frequently saunas were taken, the less likely were sudden cardiac deaths, deaths due to coronary artery disease and other cardiac events, as well as deaths due to other reasons. Further, the time spent taking a sauna was linked to the risk of cardiac death. Those who spent more than 19 minutes in the sauna at a time were 52% less likely to experience a sudden cardiac death than those spending only 11 minutes in the sauna at a time. The risk of death due to a cardiac event was also otherwise smaller in those spending longer times in the sauna. The study authors submit that: “Increased frequency of sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of [sudden cardiac death], [fatal coronary heart disease], [fatal cardiovascular disease], and all-cause mortality.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Previous studies report that sauna bathing improves hemodynamic function, reducing blood pressure and maintaining blood vessel elasticity. Finnish researchers observe that frequent sauna bathing may reduce the risks of cardiac death, among men.”
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.