Anti-aging medicine is among the fastest-growing medical specialties 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. The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion.
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Eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, stress management, and having a good social life have long been known to promote healthy aging. However, for the first time researchers have found that making positive lifestyle changes can actually lengthen telomeres—the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age.
The more you use your brain - and the more you enjoy doing it - the more likely you are to stay mentally sharp in your golden years, so suggest results of a study by researchers from Concordia University. Larry Baer and colleagues, analyzed data collected over 4-years from 333 recent retirees.
Observing that: "Recent scientific advances suggest that slowing the aging process (senescence) is now a realistic goal…yet most medical research remains focused on combating individual diseases," Dana Goldman, from the University of Southern California (USC; California, USA), and colleagues submit that research to delay aging and the infirmities of old age would have better population health and economic returns, as compared to advances in individual fatal diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
People who walk to work are 40 percent less likely to have diabetes, and 17 percent less likely to have high blood pressure, as compared to those who commute via driving or taking a taxi.
Previous research has demonstrated that unhealthy behaviors raise a person’s risks of obesity, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. Alexis Elbaz, from the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (France), and colleagues analyzed data collected in the French Three- City study, which enrolled community-living adults ages 65 and older in Dijon, Bordeaux, and Montpelier.
Adding to a growing body of evidence suggesting that volunteering may benefit mental health and longevity, Suzanne H. Richards, from the University of Exeter Medical School (United Kingdom), and colleagues analyzed data from 40 published papers and found that volunteers were at a 20 percent lower risk of death, as compared to non-volunteers.
How long a person sleeps, as a factor itself or in combination with physical activity, a healthy diet, limited alcohol intake, and no smoking, may significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
People who consider themselves physically inactive are at increased risk of stroke.
Young adults who are more outgoing or more emotionally stable are happier in later life, as compared to their more introverted or less emotionally stable peers.
As a form of commuting, bicycling has positive effects on weight, and parameters of cardiovascular health.
The World Health Organization recommend that adults accumulate 150 minutes or more per week, of moderate-tovigorous physical activity, and Canadian researchers find that achieving a total of 150 weekly minutes of exercise, regardless of how often the activity was conducted, is key in minimizing risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
People are remaining healthy later in life.
Eating fewer than five servings of fruit and vegetables each day may raise a person’s risks of dying prematurely.
Consuming a Mediterranean diet—rich in olive oil, nuts, as well as fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and limited amounts of dairy products, red meat, soda drinks, processed meats, and sweets— with added extra-virgin olive oil or mixed nuts, improves the brain power of older men and women at high vascular risk due to underlying diseases or conditions.
As compared to people whose diets include meats, fish, and eggs, those who consume a plant-based diet have lower rates of both death and diseases.
Enabling city dwellers to reconnect with nature, parks and urban gardens help to relieve mental distress and improve life satisfaction.
The American Heart Association (AHA) issued a statement in support of aerobic exercise, resistance or strength training and isometric handgrip exercises to lower high blood pressure (hypertension).
A number of published studies suggest that healthy spinal posture is important in aging men and women who wish independence in everyday life.
Mild cognitive impairment (cognitive decline that is more than normal for someone of a specific age) affects 10–25 percent of people over age 70. The annual rate of decline to dementia (which is cognitive decline in several areas along with some functional ability) is about 10 percent. With an aging population, it is estimated that the prevalence of dementia worldwide will escalate sharply.
The anti-aging lifestyle includes behaviors such as not smoking achieving a healthy blood sugar and blood pressure engaging in regular physical activity maintaining healthy total cholesterol and body mass index (BMI) and eating a healthy diet.
Exercise, doing puzzles, and learning a new language may help aging men and women to retain their memory and thinking skills. Deborah Barnes, from the University of California/San Francisco (UCSF; California, USA), and colleagues enrolled 126 inactive men and women, average age 73.4 years, who were experiencing cognitive declines, in a study to assess the combined effects of physical plus mental activity on cognitive function.
Colorful fruits and vegetables are abundant in antioxidants, compounds that may protect against cardiovascular disease by preventing lipid oxidation and endothelial damage — both of which can lead to atherosclerosis, and by preserving the nitric oxide pool–which helps to reduce blood pressure.
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).
The Shamatha Project at the University of California/Davis (California, USA) is a comprehensive long-term, control-group study of the effects of meditation training on mind and body. Tonya Jacobs and colleagues used a questionnaire to measure aspects of mindfulness among a group of volunteers before and after an intensive, threemonth meditation retreat.
Movement From Australia to Great Britain, researcher teams confirm that the more a person sits, the greater the risk of chronic diseases. Emma S. George, University of Western Sydney (Australia), and colleagues, reported on their analysis of data from subjects enrolled in Australia’s 45 and Up Study, involving more than 267,000 people and for which a subset of 63,048 men, ages 45 to 65 years, was selected.
People who maintain cardiorespiratory fitness in mid-life may be less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as they age.
Older adults may improve their decision-making and working memory simply by maintaining a positive mood. Stephanie M. Carpenter, from the University of Michigan (Michigan, USA), and colleagues enrolled 46 adults, ages 63 to 85 years, in a study to assess the role of mood on cognitive skill.
While unique experiences shape the way that people evaluate happiness and optimism, a large-scale study data reveals that life satisfaction increases over subjects’ lifetimes.
A person’s risk of heart attack increases incrementally, and may be elevated within the first year of unemployment. Matthew E. Dupre, from Duke University (North Carolina, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected from 13,451 participants in the Health and Retirement Study, median age 62 years.
People with known cardiovascular disease, or diabetes with end-organ effects, are at a lower risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, heart failure, or stroke if they consume a healthy diet. Researchers involved in two clinical studies involving a total of 31,546 men and women, average age 66.5 years, sought report that subjects who consumed the healthiest diet had a significantly lower risk of further cardiovascular events, as compared to those who ate the poorest quality diet.
High-perceived stress associates with a moderately increased risk of incident coronary heart disease. Donald Edmondson, from Columbia University (New York, USA), and colleagues assessed the effect of perceived stress on incident coronary heart disease.
People may lose 30 minutes of life expectancy for every two cigarettes they smoke, for being 11 pounds overweight, and for eating an extra portion of red meat daily. David Spiegelhalter, from the University of Cambridge, has coined the concept of a “microlife,” defined as 30 minutes of life expectancy—as a practical substitution for the statistical concept of the hazard ratio. He computed that a million half hours—or 57 years—roughly corresponds to a lifetime of adult exposure to any given hazard.
An active lifestyle helps preserve gray matter in the brains of older adults and could reduce the burden of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Cyrus Raji, from the University of California/Los Angeles (UCLA; California, USA), and colleagues examined how an active lifestyle can influence brain structure in 876 adults, average age 78 years, enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study.
Older people who are living independently but have signs of cerebral damage may lower their risk of having progressive cognitive impairment or dementia if they remain physically active.
Four months of a high-intensity interval training program dramatically increased cognitive performance, among middleaged people with increased cardiovascular risk.
What and when we eat can alter our body clocks — consequently impacting overall health, weight, and life expectancy. The human body is regulated by a “circadian clock system” — a complex timing system governing the body’s key biological processes. Researchers from the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) submit that oscillations in the gene and protein components in the body clock modulate physiological and metabolic outputs.
Exercise may play an important role in helping people to better endure life’s daily anxieties and stress. J. Carson Smith, from the University of Maryland (Maryland, USA), enrolled 37 healthy and normally physically active young adults to complete two exercise regimens on separate days: the first, 30-minutes of seated rest; and the second, 30-minutes of moderate intensity cycle ergometer exercise (Rated Perceived Exertion of 13; ‘somewhat hard’). The researcher assessed the subjects’ anxiety state before the period of activity (or rest), shortly afterward (15 minutes after) and finally after exposing them to a variety of highly arousing pleasant and unpleasant photographs, as well as neutral images.
Older adults who learned music in childhood and continued to play an instrument for at least 10 years outperformed others in tests of memory and cognitive ability. Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, from Emory University (Georgia, USA), and colleagues studied 70 musicians and non-musicians, ages 59 to 80 years, who were evaluated by neuropsychological tests and surveyed about general lifestyle activities.
Exercise appears to be effective in reducing beta-amyloid formation, a defining characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, in a lab animal model.
Scientists are exploring natural therapeutic approaches because they involve shorter development times and are generally less expensive, as compared to pharmacological products.
One of the most promising natural therapies is curcumin, a spice compound extracted from the root-stalks of the turmeric plant and gives curry its yellow color and pungent flavor.
A blend of choline, uridine, and docohexaenoic acid (DHA) serves as precursor to lipid molecules essential for forming and maintaining membranes of brain cells, thereby helping to avert the loss of synapses—connections between brain cells that can lead to memory loss and other cognitive impairments.
Rush University (Illinois, USA) researchers report that nearly 500,000 deaths in 2007 are attributable to the condition, factoring in chronic coexisting conditions that leave people weak and fragile and thereby lead to death.
Recently, a number of studies have suggested that sitting might be hazardous to your health, by promoting type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases—conditions correlated to sedentary behaviors. Peter Katzmarzyk, from Louisiana State University (Louisiana, USA), and colleagues completed a life table analysis to measure relative risks of all-cause mortality in association with sitting and television viewing, derived from a meta-analysis of studies looking at that relationship and from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data involving 166,738 subjects.
A number of previous studies suggest that some dietary patterns, specifically a high-fat diet, increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Consequently, scientists are exploring interventions that target the metabolic dysfunctions resulting from diets high in fat.
Wild blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium) are rich in phytochemicals such as polyphenols including flavonols, phenolic acids and anthocyanins, compounds for which previous studies have reported an association with reduced risk of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.
Seeing a dental hygienist at least once a year may help to reduce incidence of myocardial infarction, stroke, and total cardiovascular events. H-B. Leu, from Taipei Veterans General Hospital (Taiwan), and colleagues examined 10,887 subjects who had undergone tooth scaling, and 10,989 subjects who had not received tooth scaling.
Tai Chi is a Chinese wellness practice that has been previously associated with a variety of physical and mental health benefits. James Mortimer, from the University of South Florida (Florida, USA), with colleagues from Fudan University (China), completed an 8-month randomized controlled trial comparing 120 Chinese seniors who practiced Tai Chi three times a week to a group who did not.
The next time you are about to undertake major multitasking, meditation training beforehand could make the work smoother and less stressful, suggest University of Washington (Washington, USA) researchers. David Levy and colleagues recruited three groups of 12–15 human resource managers for the study.
If you’re looking for a way to keep dementia at bay, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers suggest you consider developing a firm purpose in life —a tendency to find meaning from life experience, to be intentional and focused.
For more than three decades, jogging has been a favorite exercise, but some debate has arisen as to the potential risks of this strenuous form of fitness. Peter Schnohr, from, the Bispebjerg University Hospital (Denmark), and colleagues analyzed a subset of data compiled from the Copenhagen City Heart Study relating to the mortality of 1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers, as compared to the non-joggers in the main study population.