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.
Coffee & Longevity
Assessing parameters of coffee drinking and health among subjects enrolled in the NIH AARP Diet and Health Study, ages 50 to 71 years at the study’s start in 1995/1996, Neal Freedman, from the US National Cancer Institute (NCI; Maryland, USA), and colleagues examined the relationship between coffee drinking and risks of total and cause-specific death. Following the subjects until 2008, the team found was that over the course of follow-up, there was an inverse association between coffee drinking and the risk of death overall and with a number of different causes as well. It was a modest association, and at the top categories of coffee drinking, there was only a 10% to 15% reduction in the risk of dying during follow-up. The association tended to get stronger as participants drank more coffee, though the result was very similar for those who drank two or three cups per day and those who drank more than that. The top category we had was six or more cups (8-oz/cup) per day. The study authors conclude that: “In this large prospective study, coffee consumption was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “This large-scale study involving 500,000 older adults followed for about 12 years reveals that as coffee drinking increases, the risk of death decreases.”
Exercise: A Sleep Essential
The National Sleep Foundation (Virginia, USA) has published the results of its 2013 “Sleep in America” poll – which show a compelling association between exercise and better sleep. A total of 1,000 surveys comprised of a representative sample stratified by age and area of the country (Northeast, Midwest, West, and South). Self-described exercisers reported better sleep than self-described non-exercisers, even though they say they sleep the same amount each night (6 hours and 51 minutes, average on weeknights). Vigorous, moderate and light exercisers were significantly more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers (67%-56% vs. 39%). Also, more than three-fourths of exercisers (76%-83%) say their sleep quality was very good or fairly good in the past two weeks, compared to slightly more than one-half of non-exercisers (56%). Further “vigorous exercisers” were almost twice as likely as non-exercisers to report “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night during the week. They also are the least likely to report sleep problems. The Task Force urges that: “Exercise is beneficial to sleep. It’s time to revise global recommendations for improving sleep and put exercise at the top of our list for healthy sleep habits.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Quality sleep confers potent and lasting rejuvenative and regenerative effects on the body’s cells, organs, and systems. The National Sleep Foundation encourages routine exercise to achieve the best quality sleep.”
Music Lessons Early in Life May Help Preserve Brain Function with Age
Virginia Penhune, from Concordia University (Canada), and colleagues tested 36 adult musicians on a movement task, and scanned their brains. Half of these musicians began musical training before age seven, while the other half began at a later age, but the two groups had the same number of years of musical training and experience. These two groups were also compared with individuals who had received little or no formal musical training. When comparing a motor skill between the two groups, musicians who began before age seven showed more accurate timing, even after two days of practice. When comparing brain structure, musicians who started early showed enhanced white matter in the corpus callosum, a bundle of nerve fibres that connects the left and right motor regions of the brain. Importantly, the researchers found that the younger a musician started, the greater the connectivity. The study authors conclude that: “We propose that training before the age of 7 years results in changes in white-matter connectivity that may serve as a scaffold upon which ongoing experience can build.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Previous research suggests that training during a sensitive period in development may have greater effects on brain structure and behavior than training later in life. This Canadian team reports that taking music lessons before the age of 7 years helps to create stronger connections in the brain.”
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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