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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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.
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 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.
Exercise in the open air is good for you, but researchers from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (United Kingdom) suggest that to reap the full benefits you should head for the coast or the countryside, rather than an urban park.
Prolonged sitting is considered detrimental to health, and new evidence from Australia sheds light on the role of daily time spent sitting on mortality risk.
Climate change poses an immediate and grave threat to the health and security of people around the world. Efforts to achieve a low carbon economy may beneficially impact human health as well.
Older adults who remain physically active experience less psychological distress and fewer functional limitations. Gregory S. Kolt, from the University of Western Sydney (Australia), and colleagues studied data collected on 91,375 Australian men and women, ages 65 years and older, enrolled in The 45 and Up Study.
Previous studies have suggested that yoga helps to improve stress-related nervous system imbalances. Chris Streeter, from Boston University School of Medicine (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues submit a neurophysiological theory of how yoga affects the nervous system.
Many of us are well-intended to commit to a routine of regular exercise; however the reality often falls short of the intention.
While most men and women in their 40s acknowledge that maintaining a low cardiovascular disease risk profile may associate with better health outcomes in older age, few middle-aged adults actually attain such a profile.
Age-related delays in neural timing are not inevitable and can be avoided or offset with musical training. Northwestern University (Illinois, USA) researchers provide key biological evidence that demonstrates that a lifelong musical experience has a beneficial impact on the aging process.
Discussion groups, games, gardening, and other mentally stimulating activities help to boost cognition, among men and women with mild to moderate dementia. A team from Bangor University (Wales, United Kingdom), reviewed 15 clinical studies involved in the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group Specialized Register, involving 718 patients.
Not only does lifting weights improve muscle power and promotes cardiovascular health, but doing so enhances quality of life as well. Researchers from the University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Portugal) and the Federal University of Rio Grande del Sur (Brazil) report that 12 weeks of strength training is highly effective for improving functional capacity, as well as for enhancing quality of life. The researchers observed that such a four-month long regimen
Maintaining a daily positive affect — engaging in a mild, happy self-affirming attitude — helps people with chronic diseases to make better decisions about their health. Mary E. Charlson, from Weill Cornell Medical College (New York, USA), and colleagues completed three studies involving 756 patients in randomized controlled trials that show people can use positive affect and self-affirmation to help them make and sustain behavior change.
People who have access to medical care that is comprehensive, readily accessible, and patient-centered are at lower risks of death. Anthony Jerant, from University of California/Davis (California, USA), and colleagues utilized data from the 2000- 05 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys, which are large-scale surveys of people living in the U.S. and their health and health care.
Enlisting a friend can significantly improve a person’s chances of achieving goals in life. Mark Conner from the University of Leeds (United Kingdom), and colleagues worked with employees from 15 councils who volunteered to participate in two studies attempting to increase their levels of exercise or improve their diet. Some employees were just left to do it on their own; others were asked to recruit a partner.
Periodontitis and obesity are both chronic health problems, and some studies suggest an association between the two conditions. D. Lakkis, from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine (Ohio, USA), and colleagues studied 31 obese people who underwent treatment for gum disease.
Providing support to a loved one offers benefits to the giver, not just the recipient, reveals a brain-imaging study by University of California/Los Angeles (UCLA; California, USA) scientists.
More Americans are living to 90 and beyond, and by 2050 their ranks could reach almost 9 million, finds the U.S. Census Bureau’s report titled “American Community Survey Reports: ACS-17, 90+ in the United States: 2006–2008.” Revealing that the number of nonagenarians has nearly tripled—from 720,000 in 1980 to 1.9 million in 2010, and by 2050 their ranks could reach almost 9 million.
Making positive and sustainable changes in one‘s daily routine can result in measurable improvements in quality of life. Florence Clark, from University of Southern California (USC; California, USA), and colleagues enrolled men and women ages 60 to 95 years in a five-year long study, during which at six-month intervals, licensed occupational therapists assisted the subjects to develop sustainably healthy lifestyles and assess subsequent changes to the participants’ overall quality of life. The team found that subjects who maintained an active social, spiritual and physical life were at reduced risks of developing health declines. Commenting that: “A lifestyle-oriented occupational therapy intervention has beneficial effects for ethnically diverse older people recruited from a wide array of community settings,” the researchers urge that: “Because the intervention is cost-effective and is applicable on a wide-scale basis, it has the potential to help reduce health decline and promote well-being in older people.”
[Florence Clark, Jeanne Jackson, Mike Carlson, Chih-Ping Chou, Barbara J Cherry, Maryalice Jordan-Marsh, et al. “Effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention in promoting the well-being of independently living older people: results of the Well Elderly 2 Randomized Controlled Trial.” J Epidemiol Community Health, 2 June 2011.]
In that aging successfully has been linked with the “positivity effect”, a biased tendency towards and preference for positive, emotionally gratifying experiences, German neuroscientists reveal the physiological basis for positive, emotionally gratifying experiences to promote well-being as we age. Stefanie Brassen, from University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany), and colleagues used neuroimaging to evaluate brain engagement in young and old adults while they performed a specialized cognitive task that included supposedly irrelevant pictures of either neutral, happy, sad or fearful faces.
Community gardens are neighborhood spaces that are accessible to people across the lifespan—regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status or educational background. Jill Litt, from the University of Colorado School of Public Health (Colorado, USA) found that community gardeners cultivate relationships with their neighbors, are more involved in civic activities, stay longer in their neighborhoods, eat better and view their health more positively.
Intergenerational bonds forged as a result of leisure-time activities help seniors to maintain a positive outlook on life. The adage that “A family that plays together stays together” has been confirmed by researchers from Concordia University (Canada).
Following the tenets of the anti-aging lifestyle may be a predominant factor in prolonging how long, and well, you live.
In that kinship, friendship alliances, and perceptions of others’ beliefs guide social interactions and are central to cohesive group behavior, Fenna M. Krienen, from Harvard University (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues studied how the medial prefrontal cortex region of the brain processes social information.
The ability of a person to independently perform everyday tasks, such as gripping, walking, rising from a chair and balancing on one leg, may help to predict longevity. Researchers from the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing (United Kingdom) reviewed 57 studies of physical capability assessments of community-dwelling seniors and identified 28 that assessed these traits in people of any age and recorded subsequent mortality.
In many aspects, the workplace has displaced the neighborhood and civic activities as the focal point of one’s social structure. Rabina Cozijnsen, from VU University Amsterdam ( The Netherlands), and colleagues found that one’s workplace serves a primary role in prompting social interaction and developing personal relationships.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt and change as a result of training and experience over the course of a person’s life. A recent newfound research focus on the effects of music training on the nervous system reinforce the concept of neuroplasticity, with data suggesting that the neural connections made during musical training also prime the brain for other aspects of human communication, such as skills of language, speech, memory, attention and even vocal emotion. As well, an active engagement also enables the nervous system to provide the stable scaffolding of meaningful patterns that are important to learning.
Instead of focusing on a single task that engages the same part of the brain repeatedly, try to vary the types of skills you use. Carolee J. Winstein, from University of Southern California (California, USA), and colleagues have found that doing so engages different parts of the brain and improves its performance.
Previous studies have linked the quality and quantity of a person’s social relationships to mental, as well as, physical health. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, from Brigham Young University (Utah, USA), and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 148 studies that included data from 308,849 men and women who were followed for more than seven years.