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Highlights of American Aging Association (AGE) meeting summer, 2006. AGE was founded by Dr. Denham Harman, who initially developed the free radical theory of aging and the importance of antioxidants to good health.
Here are notes from the three day meeting I attended.
I. KEY IDEA PRESENTED: Happiness is a better health predictor than cholesterol level, blood pressure, or body weight.
HAPPINESS REDUCES RISK OF BECOMING DISABLED
II. Here is a list of serious health concerns you ought to avoid:
2. high triglyceride level in blood
3. low HDL - the "good" cholesterol
4. High blood pressure over 130/85
5. Elevated fasting blood glucose levels - indicator for diabetes
If you have 3 of these 5 characteristics, you have metabolic syndrome.
III. Genetic testing is now available to determine things like your ability to lose weight - expensive now, $1-300/panel of SNPs. But will be inexpensive in the near future. PLIN-11 SNP can predict your ability to lose weight.
IV. Aging upregulates inflammation in adipose tissue. So if you are thin, you have less adipose tissue, less inflammation, lower risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer's. There is a 14-fold increase in diabetes from age 44 to age 65.
V. Aging is not so bad! In 1960, we thought kidney function and cardiac output declined with age. Now we know they do not. 3 functions increase with age: creativity, wisdom, spiritual strength. Melatonin affects gene expression levels, causing 50% of gene expression level changes with age to revert to youthful levels.
VI. Presentation by Mark SMITH on Alzheimer targets - oxidative stress precedes amyloid plaque by decades. amyloid appears to protect neurons and might not be cause of alzheimers. Lipid levels change dramatically with age, so fish oil is really important with age. Melatonin and curcumin decrease risk of Alzheimer's.
VII. Presentation by the man who made blueberries famous for their antioxidants - Jim JOSEPH - Here are dietary interventions for healthy brain
Vitamin C, E, alpha-lipoic acid, carnitine, melatonin, fish oil, fruit phenolics which include flavanoids, anthocyanins, and flavanols. Anthocyanins enter the brain directly. Avocado and blueberry and strawberry have powerful polyphenolics. All are anti-inflammatory, especially in the hippocampus that is primary in memory function.
VIII. Conclusion of May 15-17, 2006 NIH conference on multivitamins - The present evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against multivitamins. Yet 52% of people take them, 38% say they take them for more energy.