By Dr. Robert Goldman
For The Bali Times
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 22,000 physician and scientist members from 105 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 commentary.
Vitamin C-Rich Foods May Boost Artery Health
In the latest study to add to the evidence for the cardiovascular benefits of vitamin C, Ingrid Ellingsen, from Ulleval University Hospital (Norway), and colleagues studied 563 men, average age 70, enrolled in the Diet and Omega-3 fatty acid Intervention Trial on atherosclerosis (DOIT), which randomly assigned subjects to a dietary intervention, supplements of omega-3, both, or neither for three years. The researchers measured carotid intima media thickness (IMT), finding that those study subjects engaged in dietary intervention had less progression in the carotid IMT (as compared to the control subjects). The team reported that the daily vitamin C intake of this group was increased as part of the dietary intervention, as was their intake of fruit, berries and vegetables. Conclude the researchers: “Increased intake of vitamin C and fruit and berries seemed to contribute to the lesser progression of the carotid intima media thickness (IMT) in elderly men who were given dietary advice. Focusing on the intake of vitamin C-rich plant foods may be an important therapeutic intervention in regard to their risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Dr. Klatz observes: This study is important because it demonstrates that an increased intake of vitamin C-rich plant foods, such as fruits and berries, may reduce the risk of hardening of the arteries, and ultimately protect against heart disease.
Exercise the Brain to Help Ward Off Memory Loss Later in Life
Previously, a number of studies have suggested the benefits of participating in mentally stimulating activities to help delay or prevent memory loss. Yonas Geda, from the Mayo Clinic (Minnesota USA), and colleagues studied 197 men and women, ages 70 to 89, with mild cognitive impairment, or diagnosed memory loss, and 1,124 people that age with no memory problems. Both groups were surveyed as to their daily activities within the past year and in middle age, when they were between 50 to 65 years old. The researchers found that during later years, reading books, playing games, participating in computer activities and doing craft activities such as pottery or quilting led to a 30- to 50-percent decrease in the risk of developing memory loss (as compared to people who did not engage in these activities.) Additionally, the team found that those who watched television for less than seven hours a day in later years were 50-percent less likely to develop memory loss than people who watched for more than seven hours a day. The researchers comment that: “This study is exciting because it demonstrates that aging does not need to be a passive process. By simply engaging in cognitive exercise, you can protect against future memory loss.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: With the numbers of cases of cognitive impairment worldwide are projected to rise due to worldwide gains in life expectancy, the notion that simple cognitive exercises may offer protection against future memory loss warrants further investigation.
Second-Hand Smoke Linked to Cognitive Impairment in Adults
In that tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds, more than 60 of which are known or suspected to cause cancer, secondhand smoke is classified as a “known human carcinogen” by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization. While much attentions has been placed on second-hand (passive) smoking and its detrimental effects on children and pregnant women, passive smoking is now shown to damage the brains of adults ages 50-plus. David Llewellyn, from the University of Cambridge, and colleagues, studied 4,809 self-described nonsmokers at least 50 years old, who participated in one of two large national (UK) health surveys. Via saliva sampling, the researchers measured levels of a nicotine metabolite that signals recent exposure to tobacco smoke. They found that nonsmokers with the heaviest secondhand smoke exposure were at a 44-percent higher risk of scoring in the bottom 10 percent on cognitive testing (as compared with those with the lowest level of passive smoking). Calling the findings of “major public health significance,” the team states that: “This analysis is to our knowledge the first to examine the relation between exposure to secondhand smoke and cognitive impairment in a large heterogeneous population-based sample.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: Passive smoking, aka secondhand smoke, is a risk factor for heart disease, lung disorders and other ailments. In the United States alone, each year it is responsible for an estimated 35,000 deaths from heart disease in non-smokers who live with smokers and about 3,000 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults. This study is important because it bring attention to the detriment of secondhand smoke in adults, an impact which has largely gone overlooked.
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 to The Anti-Aging News Journal.