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.
Poor Mental Health Shortens Lifespan
Elizabeth R. Walker, from Emory University (Georgia, USA), and colleagues completed a meta-analysis of 203 published studies that assessed a variety of mental health conditions on mortality. Data analysis revealed that schizophrenia and other types of psychoses associated with the greatest rates of mortality. Importantly, major depression and chronic anxiety – which are more common, also shorten lifespan. The team observed that: “The median years of potential life lost was 10 years (n?=?24 studies),” submitting that: “We estimate that 14.3% of deaths worldwide, or approximately 8 million deaths each year, are attributable to mental disorders.” The study authors conclude that: “These estimates suggest that mental disorders rank among the most substantial causes of death worldwide. Efforts to quantify and address the global burden of illness need to better consider the role of mental disorders in preventable mortality.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Mental health disorders may be an under-recognized cause of premature death. This study data suggests that depression, chronic anxiety, schizophrenia, and other mental health disorders may shorten a person’s life by 10 years.”
Exercise Does the Brain Good
Debra A. Fleischman, from Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA), and colleagues enrolled 167 men and women, average age 80 years, to wear movement monitors on their wrists for up to 11 days to measure exercise and non-exercise activity. Movement abilities were assessed via standardized tests, and volume of white matter hyperintensities in the brain was determined via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The team found that the subjects in the top 10% in activity level (as measured via movement monitors) experienced activity equal to walking at 2.5 mph for an additional 1.5 hours each day (as compared to those at 50th percent activity level); having greater amounts of brain damage did not change their scores on the movement tests. However, among those at the 50th percent activity level, having greater amounts of brain damage did associate with significantly lower scores on the movement tests. Observing that: “higher [white matter hyperintensity] burden remained associated with lower motor function in persons with average (50th percentile) activity, the study authors write that: “Higher levels of physical activity may reduce the effect of [white matter hyperintensity] burden on motor function in healthy older adults.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “With aging, white matter hyperintensities often develop in the brain, with these small areas of damage potentially affecting movement abilities – such as walking independently. These researchers find that regular physical activity may protect against white matter hyperintensities, among older men and women.”
Black Tea Topples Blood Pressure
David Grassi, from the University of L’Aquila (Italy), and colleagues enrolled 19 men and women with hypertension in a study to which subjects were randomly assigned to consume either 2 cups of black tea per day (129 mg flavanoids per cup) or placebo, for eight-days. After a washout period, the subjects crossed over to the other intervention. The researchers observed that black tea associated with reductions din two measure of arterial health – reflection index and stiffness index. Further, black tea lowered systolic blood pressure by 3.2 mmHg, and diastolic pressure by 2.6 mmHg. It also prevented increases in blood pressure after consuming a high-fat meal. The study authors submit that: “our findings suggest regular consumption of black tea may be relevant for cardiovascular protection.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Black tea is green tea that has been oxidized by fermentation, and contains 3 to 10% water extractable polyphenols – a plant-based compound for which studies suggest antioxidant properties. Italian researchers observe that 2 cups of black tea daily may improve arterial stiffness and decrease systolic and diastolic pressures.”
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.