Anti-Aging Developments

August 2010

Spinach as Salad Protects Against Colon Cancer

Anti-aging developments - August 27, 2010 --Eating spinach as a salad ingredient can help keep your colon polyp-free. This dark leafy green is loaded with magnesium -- and a recent Japanese study suggests that getting enough magnesium may be crucial when it comes to curbing the risk of colon cancer.

In the study, men with the highest dietary intakes of magnesium were much less likely to develop colon cancer compared with men who ate few magnesium-rich foods. Interestingly, this particular study did not show a similar benefit for women, although many other studies have concluded that colon cancer risk may be curbed in both genders with magnesium-rich foods. Other magnesium rich foods include halibut, almonds, cashews, soy, and potatoes.
(Source: RealAge Website)

Lifestyle Changes Which Protect Against Dementia

Anti-aging developments - August 27, 2010 --Eliminating diabetes and depression are important factors to consider when trying reducing the risk of dementia with aging. Increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables is also a useful strategy.

A French study led by Karen Ritchie, from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) estimates the percentage reduction in incidence of dementia that would be obtained if specific risk factors were eliminated.

Researchers assessed lifestyle data collected from 1,433 men and women, average age 72.5 years, who were followed for 7 years to track the onset of dementia. The researchers found that reducing the rate of depression would slash dementia by 10.3%, and eliminating diabetes would result in a 5% reduced dementia rate. Completing more education was associated with an 18.1% reduced rate, while increasing fruits and vegetable consumption cut dementia by 6.5%.

The team concludes that: “Increasing crystallized intelligence and fruit and vegetable consumption and eliminating depression and diabetes are likely to have the biggest impact on reducing the incidence of dementia, outweighing even the effect of removing the principal known genetic risk factor.”
(Source: World Health Net)

Can Lowering Salt Intake be Counter-Productive?

Anti-aging developments - August 26, 2010 --An email I received this week contains such startling information that I almost didn’t want to report on it without investigating further. However, I have not found the time to do so yet and want to post this while it is, indeed, still news. I will certainly do some serious research on the topic and pass on my findings in this blog in the coming weeks. The report from the Health Science Institute turns previously held views on the importance of reducing salt to lower blood pressure on their head.

Health authorities all over the world have warned about the risk of high blood pressure and heart problems if too much salt is consumed and advised on reducing sodium intake. According to the report which was released by the Institute of Health (USA) this week, recent trials have shown that lowering sodium intake may cause hyponatraemia (low levels of sodium) and actually increase risk of heart attack and death.

Read the report on hyponatraemia from HSI

Napping Could Lower Blood Pressure

Anti-aging developments - August 25, 2010 --According to an e-mail I received this week from Dr. Marilyn Glenville, a specialist on women’s health, napping can help to reduce blood pressure.

“Not only are afternoon naps one of the best ways to fight fatigue and recharge your batteries” says Dr. Glenville, but "scientists have also discovered that a nap can help lower your blood pressure".

In a study at Liverpool’s John Moores’ University, volunteers had their blood pressure and heart rate checked. They were then divided into 3 groups – some had to stand quietly for an hour; others lay down; while the remaining third went to sleep.The sleeping volunteers had a significant reduction in blood pressure and heart rate while the other two groups did not.

In order to benefit fully from the afternoon nap, Dr. Glenville advices to schedule it between 1pm and 3pm – any later and you will find it hard to get to sleep at night. “Aim for around 20 minutes shut-eye” she advices, as studies have shown that this is the optimum napping time to improve your daytime performance and productivity.(Source: Dr. Glenville's Newsletter)

Avoid Hospital Delirium

Anti-aging developments - August 24, 2010 --In order to keep abreast with recent developments in the anti-aging field, I subscribe to a number of blogs and webzines as well as reading health articles in the local and international press. Whenever I see something of interests to readers I pass it on.

A recent offering from the Health Sciences Institute gave me an idea for a section of the website. In the meantime, I am sharing this article on hospital delirium. Both of my parents, as well as my ex (only recently) were afflicted with this and it can be very scary, not only for the patient but also for family members who see them in that state.

The following articles attempt to explain the phenomenon and what provokes it as well as suggesting ways of avoiding the problem.

Hospital Delirium

Ten Tips to Avoiding Hospital Delirium

Calcium supplements and increased heart attacks

Anti-aging developments - August 5, 2010 -- I just had an email from Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD regarding recent reports in the press linking calcium supplements and heart attacks in women. This is a result of the publication last week in the British Medical Journal of a review of 15 trials.

Dr Glenville says it is unfortunate that, as usual, the more sensationalist press have failed to take a closer look at the research itself before crying wolf.

Her own analysis of the review showed that the research focused solely on studies that tested the effects of calcium taken on its own, whereas most people are prescribed a combination of calcium with vitamin D or other vitamins and minerals. These combinations were totally ignored in the trials and the authors had acknowledged the limitations of their review in this regard as in others. In fact, she tells us that the information about heart attacks was only requested after the trials had been completed.

Apart from the above, the data collected was incomplete. Out of the 15 trials reviewed, the authors were only able to obtain patient data for five studies. Six of the trials had only partially complete data, and there was either no data for the other four or no heart attacks had been reported. In addition, the review did not specify the type of calcium used. Calcium carbonate is, as she explains, merely chalk and it could possibly cause calcification in arteries if it is not get properly absorbed into bone.

Dr Glenville concluded that overall it was not a very satisfactory research basis. As she reports, there was “not a randomized, placebo controlled trial, where one group was given calcium supplements and the other a placebo and followed over time to see if the calcium group had a higher rate of heart attacks”. She explains that other research comparing calcium PLUS vitamin D supplements (which were excluded from this review) with a placebo have shown that this combination of nutrients has no effect on the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Dr. Glenville recommends taking calcium citrate (not carbonate) with other nutrients - not only vitamin D but also other minerals such as magnesium, because magnesium can offset any negative effects of calcium. (Source: Dr. Glenville's Newsletter)

Beer May be Good for your Bones

Anti-aging developments - August 1, 2010 -- Beer lovers now can share the good news which wine lovers have enjoyed for years. That is that a little of your favorite tipple does you good. We have all heard that red wine can actually help guard against heart disease. Now new research appears to indicate that beer might also be good for us. Beer contains silicon and this can be good for your bones, keeping them healthy and strong. A study of a hundred commercially available beers found that most brands contain between 6 and 57 milligrams of silicon per liter. And, according to the Real Age website, the ones with the most hops and malted barley scored highest.

Silicon stimulates the production of collagen – a protein that plays a role in keeping bones strong and joints healthy by keeping cartilage flexible. Besides beer, silicon is also found in foods, like bananas and brown rice.

Alcohol consumption comes with risks that far outweigh these benefits. If you find you are becoming addicted please read how to cut down on your alcohol consumption.

Find out more about preserving your bone density.
(Source: RealAge Website, August 2010)

A Good Social Network Promotes Longevity

Anti-aging developments - August 2010 -- Recent research indicates that social connections promote longevity. A team led by Julianne Holt-Lunstad from Brigham Young University (Utah, USA) conducted a meta-analysis of 148 studies that included data from 308,849 men and women who were followed for more than 7 years. Previous studies have linked the quality and quantity of a person’s social relationships to mental, as well as, physical health.

The team’s analysis determined that individuals with adequate social connections have a 50% greater likelihood of longevity, as compared to those with poor or insufficient social relationships. The researchers note that the overall effect remained consistent across age demographics and health status, suggesting that positive social engagement across the population.
(Source: World Health Network)

Exercise Alleviates Osteoarthritis

anti-aging developments - August 2010 -- Dutch researchers have found that people affected by knee and hip osteoarthritis who engage in an exercise program devised and/or supervised by a trained physical therapist may experience less pain and improved joint function. Martijn F. Pisters, from The Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, and colleagues assessed 200 men and women, average age 65 years, with osteoarthritis, following them for a five-year period.

The team found that adherence to a three-month exercise regimen with a physical therapist yielded a significant decrease in pain as well as increase in physical function of the affected joint.

Noting that: “Better adherence to recommended home exercises as well as being more physically active improves the long-term effectiveness of exercise therapy in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee,” the researchers urge that: “Since exercise adherence declines over time, future research should focus on how exercise behavior can be stimulated and maintained in the long-term.”

(Source: Exercise adherence improving long-term patient outcome in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee published by the American College of Rheumatology)

Biotech Gel Helps Promote Tooth Regeneration

Anti-aging developments - August 2010 -- The pituitary gland produces melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), which recently has been identified as having a role in the stimulation of bone regeneration. A research team from the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Paris, France) has developed a gel that contains MSH, and have utilized it to prompt cells in teeth to start multiplying, forming new tooth tissue that gradually replaces decayed areas. The team thus “reports the first use of nanostructured and functionalized multilayered films containing [melanocyte-stimulating hormone] as a new active biomaterial for endodontic regeneration.
(Source: World Health Network)


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