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.
Quality Sleep a Cognitive Essential
A University of Oregon-led study finds that middle-aged or older men and women who get six to nine hours of sleep a night think better than those sleeping fewer or more hours. Theresa E. Gildner and colleagues leveraged data collected in the first wave of the Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE), focusing on 30,000 subjects ages 50 years and older, residing in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation and South Africa. Data analysis revealed that men reported higher sleep quality than women in all six nations, with men and women in Mexico reporting the highest. Women reported longer sleep durations than men in all countries except Russia and Mexico. Men and women in South Africa slept longer than in any other country. The least sleep hours for both sexes occurred in India. Individuals sleeping less than six hours and more than nine hours had significantly lower cognitive scores compared to those in the intermediate group. Writing that: “This study documented positive correlations between cognitive scores and sleep quality, and between cognitive … scores and intermediate sleep duration,” the study authors submit that: “These findings are clinically important given the growing rates of dementia and aging populations globally.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “A number of published small-scale studies in the United States, Western Europe and Japan suggest that sleep of sufficient duration and quality help to maintain cognitive skills with aging. This data suggests that men and women ages 50 and older who get six to nine hours of sleep a night think better than those sleeping fewer or more hours.”
A Worthy 25-Minute Investment
Researchers from the United Kingdom report that 25 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise everyday may reduce prescription usage and hospital admissions, among men and women ages 70 and older. Bethany Simmonds, from the University of Bath, and colleagues assessed data collected on 213 people, average age 78 years. Those subjects who completed more than 25 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day – such as walking quickly, cycling or swimming – received 50% fewer prescriptions. The team also observed that very little exercise associated with a higher risk of unplanned hospital admissions: participants who engaged in 3 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity were twice as likely to face hospital admissions, as compared to those who averaged 39 minutes. Writing that: “Community-based programs are needed which are successful in engaging older adults in their late 70s and 80s in more walking, [moderate-to-vigorous physical activity] and activity that helps them avoid loss of physical function,” the study authors submit that: “There is a potential for cost savings to health services through reduced reliance on prescriptions and fewer unplanned hospital admissions.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “A cornerstone of the anti-aging medical model, routine physical activity promotes independent living. UK researchers find that 25 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise everyday may reduce prescription usage and hospital admissions, among men and women ages 70 and older.”
Meditation Relieves Stress
David Creswell, from Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania, USA), and colleagues report that as little as 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation practice for three consecutive days is effective for relieving psychological stress. The team asked 66 healthy individuals, ages 18 to 30 years, to participate in a three-day experiment. Some participants went through a brief mindfulness meditation training program; for 25 minutes for three consecutive days, the individuals were given breathing exercises to help them monitor their breath and pay attention to their present moment experiences. A second group of participants completed a matched three-day cognitive training program in which they were asked to critically analyze poetry in an effort to enhance problem-solving skills. Following the final training activity, all participants were asked to complete stressful speech and math tasks in front of stern-faced evaluators. Each individual reported their stress levels in response to stressful speech and math performance stress tasks, and provided saliva samples for measurement of cortisol, commonly referred to as the stress hormone. The participants who received the brief mindfulness meditation training reported reduced stress perceptions to the speech and math tasks, indicating that the mindfulness meditation fostered psychological stress resilience. More interestingly, on the biological side, the mindfulness mediation participants showed greater cortisol reactivity. Writing that: “brief mindfulness meditation training buffers self-reported psychological stress reactivity, but also increases cortisol reactivity to social evaluative stress,” the study authors submit that: “This pattern may indicate that initially brief mindfulness meditation training fosters greater active coping efforts, resulting in reduced psychological stress appraisals and greater cortisol reactivity during social evaluative stressors.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Mindfulness meditation has been associated with beneficial effects for certain health conditions, and these data suggest that as little as 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation may help to reduce psychological stress.”
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.