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American Aging Association Notes   May 13-16, Phoenix, AZ, 2009
For more complete notes, go to this site:
The American Aging Association (AGE) is the pre-eminent association of physicians and researchers devoted to understanding how aging occurs and how to reduce the painful effects often encountered as people age. I have been a member since 1990.

I. HIGHLIGHTS: 1. As an introduction, you might want to see a video about a colleague who ran one of the sessions, that runs 3 minutes.
2. Perhaps the most effective way to lose weight is to weigh yourself daily.

II. PRE CONFERENCE: Protein Quality and Aging
Stress response is good for your health but decreases with age. Metabolic state regulates stress response. This is improved by Resveratrol. Diet with resveratrol, oxaloacetate, green tea, curcumin, or medium length triglycerides allowed older dogs to be more active. WHAT DETERMINES LIFE AND HEALTH SPAN IS A COMBINATION OF GENES, ENVIRONMENT, AND CHANCE. Mutation of one C. elegans gene, AGE-1, increases lifespan of these worms by 10-fold. Antioxidant genes increased substantially in these mutants.

III. Epigenetics - There are approximately 300 genes involved in aging. Restoring telomere length preserves the immune system. With shortened telomeres, risk of heart disease increases 3x, infectious disease 8.5x. Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes virus shorten telomeres. Vitamin C and E supplement users have longer telomeres. EGCG in green tea is potent inhibitor of glutamine dehydrogenase (GDH), an enzyme essential for cancer cell survival. Most glutamine is in muscle, so muscle breakdown (cachexia) leads to mortality and increases cancer. Need to exercise, get protein in diet daily, and maintain muscles. A ketogenic diet suppresses tumor growth, so reduce carb intake.

IV. Growth Hormone (GH) - (Blackman, Johns Hopkins Univ endocrinologist) -in 20254, 800 million people will be over age 65, two-thirds in developing nations. Goal is to postpone disease and disability. He specifies 65-84.9 as the young old group, over 85 as the old old group, the most rapidly growing cohort.

Ratio male/female

In 2025 he predicts most people will survive past 110 yrs old, many past 130! Biomarkers of aging include lower GH and testosterone (T) and estrogen (E), high cortisol (measure of stress), greater insulin resistance (from too much sugar/carbs/sat'd fat, etc in diet). GH, T, and E reverse aging IN PEOPLE WITH PATHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS. But in healthy people, administering GH, T and E increase diabetes, cancer, carpal tunnel, joint pain, etc. He strongly advises against GH treatment for older people.

V. Pterostilbene (PT) and Resveratrol (R) - PT occurs naturally in sandalwood, blueberries, and grapes. PT and R are antioxidants and anti-chronic disease. It is possible that PT may be even more beneficial than R at preventing age-associated deterioration.

VI. Phytochemicals (PC) in cancer prevention - most fruit PC are in skins, may work synergistically. Apples prevent cancer proliferation! Decrease tumor incidence in flies 40%. Cause tumor size to shrink 80% Is a potent anti-breast cancer agent. Walnuts are also great for health (presentation by James Joseph, man who discovered value of blueberries for health). Walnuts are "blueberries in a shell". They reduce inflammation and free radicals. 1 oz walnuts per day is ideal for health.

VII. Caloric restriction (CR) and hormonal profiles - now doing 2 yr study of CR in humans. Effects: Testosterone increases, Insulin decreases, Cortisol not effected, melatonin decreases, DHEA decreases, GH not effected.

VIII. Aubrey de Grey session - Regenerative medicine
A. Neurogenesis (NG) is caused by physical activity. Main regions of NG are olfactory bulb (smell) and dentate gyrus of hippocampus (memory).  Physical activity must be followed by mental activity for new neuron survival to occur. NEED BOTH EXERCISE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT FOR EFFECTIVE NEUROGENESIS. Also need exposure and training in youth to retain ability with age.
C . Oxysterols (OS) - free radicals make oxysterols that are harmful, disrupting lysosomes, destroying cells, disrupting membranes, causing Alzheimer's.
D. Tissue engineering - The June 12th Christian Science Monitor has an article describing 3dimensional printing presses. The speaker's company has developed a 3d press that will use biologic materials, such as human cells, to permit reliable fabrication of human tissues.

IX. Sex hormones, Pituitary, and Steroid hormones
A. Menopause causes immune system senescence. Vitamin E makes vaccines much more effective.
B. DHEA (Mayo Clinic presenter) - People spend $15 million annually on DHEA supplements, but clinical trials show no benefit.
C. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause - lots of current research. 3 million women halted HRT in 2002 after Women's Health Study reported increased breast cancer. But 4% die of breast cancer, 45% from heart disease. STILL NOT CLEAR WHAT TO DO.
D. Testosterone (T) which are Androgens (A) - many adverse effects from medical application of T, so POOR CHOICE.
E. Leonard Hayflick Lecture - he discovered limited cell doublings of eukaryotic cells (that began my interest in aging research). Antioxidants slow telomere shortening. Stress, free radicals, etc. increase with telomere shortening (see article in AJCN that vitamin C and E supplement users have longer telomeres ). People with short telomeres after age 60 are 3 to 8 times more likely to die than those with longer telomeres.
F. Estrogen - Basal forebrain cholinergic system (CERG) is main place of cognitive (COG) degeneration. CERG is preserved when stimulated by E. Catecholamine system works twice as well when E levels higher, but inhibited by progesterone.
X. Insulin resistance (IR), Insulin signaling (IS), lipids, and aging genetics -
1. Intramuscular lipid is a serious problem. Saturated fat (SF) very bad, polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) is okay and may be beneficial. SF causes lots of troubles, increases glucose levels, increases tissue inflammation. Obesity induces fatty acid synthesis driving oxygen to adipocytes leading to cell death promoting adipokines, IR, and inflammation.
2.Simin Meydani (Vit E expert at Tufts) lab report - For nutritional help, eat PUFA, not SF, take vitamin E that inhibits COX, fish oil that reduces PGE2, and EPA in fish oil that reduces PGE2.

The highlights of the meeting of the American Aging Association for May, 2009. Remember – you are what you eat! Till next time  ********Doc Roc

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