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.
Stand Tall to Live Independently
Yuji Nishiwaki, from Toho University (Japan), and colleagues assessed spinal posture in 338 men and 466 women, ages 65 to 94 years, who were independent in activities of daily living (ADL; tasks such as bathing, feeding, dressing, etc.), at the study’s start. During the 4.5-year follow-up period, 126 (15.7%) participants became dependent in ADL. The team found that those subjects with the greatest angle of spinal inclination – the angle between the true vertical and straight line from the first thoracic vertebra (near the head) to the first sacral vertebra (in the lower spine) – were about three and a half times more likely to become dependent on help for basic daily activities, as compared to those with the least spinal inclination. The study authors submit that: “This study indicates that spinal inclination is associated with future dependence in [activities of daily living] among older adults.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “A number of published studies suggest that healthy spinal posture is important in aging men and women who wish to independence in everyday life. These researchers add to the body of data suggesting that the shape of an older person’s spine may predict their future need for home assistance or admission to a nursing home.”
Cocoa Compounds Boost Brain Health
A. Cimini, from the University of L’Aquila (Italy), and colleagues investigated the cellular mechanism for this effect by extracting phenols from commercial cocoa powder and examined their effects on cell cultures. The team confirmed the antioxidant properties of cocoa, and more importantly demonstrated that cocoa polyphenols activate the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) survival pathway. This observation suggests that cocoa flavanols may modulate oxidative stress that is implicated in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The study authors conclude that: “On the light of the results obtained the use of cocoa powder as preventive agent for neurodegeneration is further supported.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “A number of previous studies suggest that the antioxidant compounds – notably flavanols – present in cocoa may exert a protective effect on cells in the brain. these study authors submit that cocoa flavonols beneficially alter signal transduction pathways involved in neuron death as well as neuroprotection.”
Selenium May Exert Protective Effect for Prostate Cancer
Milan S. Geybels, from Maastricht University (The Netherlands), and colleagues analyzed data collected on approximately 60,000 men, ages 55 to 69 years, finding that men with the highest selenium levels, as measured in toenail clippings to indicate long-term selenium intake, had more than a 60% reduced risk for advanced prostate cancer. The study authors write that: “Selenium exerts important biological functions through its presence in selenoproteins and genetic variation in the major selenoproteins glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1) and selenoprotein P (SEPP1) has been associated with the risk of [prostate cancer].”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Selenium is an essential trace element which is necessary for growth and protein synthesis. Brazil nuts are the richest dietary source of selenium, however it is also found in organ meats, tuna, seafood, brewer’s yeast, fresh garlic, mushrooms, wheat germ, and some whole grains. Netherlands researchers suggest that men who have higher levels of the mineral selenium may be at a lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.”
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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