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    Posted July 28, 2014 by

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    New Developments in Anti-Aging Medicine


    A cartoon of several years ago showed a physician giving a prescription to his patient with instructions to “take these three times a day until you’re better or the next study comes out”.  In many areas of the medicine the pace of new information replacing old, and of previous treatments being supplanted by newer approaches can be very fast. This is particularly true in anti-aging medicine, where physicians and patients must keep both eyes and minds open, as it is not uncommon for something thought harmful to be found helpful in maintaining wellness and vigor, and sometimes vice versa. Several recent reports suggest that some things we have been warned against may actually have health benefits, some of the links between medical treatments and later problems may not be as strong as was once thought and sometimes the recommendations to do this and not to do that turn out probably to have been right.


    Coffee drinking may deter damage to DNA

    Coffee has been a particular subject of controversy, with some studies implicating it in various health problems and others suggesting it may be beneficial. Recent reports have suggested that regular coffee drinking may reduce oxidative damage in white blood cells; a German study1 has found that regular consumption  coffee consumption may reduce the spontaneous breakage of strands of the genetic material DNA in white blood cells.  A study group of 84 men consumed either freshly-brewed dark roast coffee or water every day for 4 weeks, and assayed their DNA for evidence of spontaneous strand  breaks. The two groups were essentially identical in incidence of DNA strand breakage at the start of the study, but spontaneous DNA breaks increased slightly in the group drinking water and decreased significantly in the group drinking coffee, with a 27 per cent difference at the end of the study.


    No link between testosterone therapy and heart attack risk

    Many men seek improvement of aging problems through testosterone supplementation, and there has been concern that male hormone replacement may have health consequences similar to estrogen replacement in women. University of Texas (Galveston) researchers examined the Medicare claim data for over 25,000 men aged 66 and older who had been treated with testosteronefor up to 8 years, and compared them with age-matched men who had not received testosterone treatment2. Testosterone therapy was not associated with a higher incidence of heart attacks, and in fact men who had risk factors indicating a higher probability of heart attack had a lower incidence of heart attack when given intramuscular testosterone injections than did men with similar risk factors who did not receive testosterone.

    Moderate protein intake and fish eating reduce stroke risk

    Certain kinds of dietary protein as well as fruits and vegetables, particularly colorful ones, may be associated with lower risk of stroke over time. Chinese investigators3 analyzed 7 dietary studies of more than 250,000 participants over a 14-year period. Participants with the highest protein intake had a 20 per cent lower stroke risk, and stroke risk decreased by 26 per cent for every 20-gram increase in protein intake . Most of this dietary protein intake was in the form of fish, and the authors emphasize that moderate amounts of fish protein are preferable to that from red meat in combination with fruits and vegetables.


    Processed red meat linked to heart failure

    Warnings about red meat protein should be heeded, especially by men and particularly when the meat is smoked, cured or otherwise preserved, according to a recent Swedish study4. Over 37,000 men aged 45 to 79 who had no history of heart failure, other heart disease or cancer completed questionnaires about lifestyle and cardiac risk factors and were followed from 1998 until 2010, or until they died or developed heart failure in the meantime. Three thousand of the men developed heart failure and 266 died; men  who ate 75 grams or more of processed red meat, such as hot dogs, sausage, bacon or cold cuts, each day had a 28 per cent greater likelihood of developing heart failure than did men who ate 25 grams a day or less of processed red meat. Men who ate such processed meat products were twice as likely to die from heart failure, and for every 50- gram increase in daily consumption, the risk of death rose by 38 per cent and that of getting heart failure increased by 8 per cent, while these rates did not increase over time in men who did not eat processed red meat.


    PREbiotics are helpful as well as PRObiotics

    Probiotics are supplements of microorganisms that increase the population of “good bacteria” in the intestinal tract, and have been shown to have a variety of health benefits. Prebiotics are compounds that promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria, and have been found to improve at least two measures of healthy metabolism, which are relevant to the development of metabolic syndrome, the combination of obesity, insulin resistance and eventually type 2 diabetes and abnormal blood fats that is increasing rapidly in incidence. A study of 30 obese women in Belgium5 showed compared the effects of a prebiotic (16 grams of inulin-like fructans, related to the fruit sugar fructose) and a placebo (the artificial sweetener maltodextrin) taken every day for 3 months. The levels of 3 species of beneficial gut bacteria increased in the women taking the prebiotic, and their body mass index and levels of short-chain fatty acids, a marker for abnormal metabolism, decreased. Insulin levels, which are abnormally high in the metabolic syndrome, and the homeostasis model assessment, which is a measure of insulin resistance, were also reduced in the women taking the prebiotic. This suggests that prebiotics may make probiotics more effective in reversing some of the metabolic changes of obesity.



    1. Bakuradze T, Lang R, Hoffmann G, Eisenbrand B, Schipp D, Galan J, Richling E. Eur J Nutrition, April 17, 2014.

    2. Baillergeon J, Urban RJ, Kuo Y-F, Otterbacher KJ, Mukaila AR, Fei D. Ann Pharmacother, July 2, 2014.

    3. Zhang Z, Zhu G, Zhu W, Liu X. Neurology, June 11, 2014.

    4. Kaluza J, Akesson A, Wolk A. Circulation Heart Failure, June 12, 2014.

    5. Salazar N, DeWulf EM, Neyrinck AM, Bindels LB, Cani PD, Mahillon J. Clinical Nutrition, June 11, 2014.

    6. RedBamboo Medi-Spa - Clearwater, Florida

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