In the March 17, 2009 issue of Life Extension Update, we reported the finding from the Sister Study, a cohort of healthy sisters of breast cancer patients, of a beneficial association between multivitamin use and telomere length, a biomarker of aging. Telomeres, which are repeating DNA sequences that cap the ends of chromosomes, shorten with increased cellular aging.
In articles published in the February and March, 2009 issues of the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, further findings from the Sister Study concerning the impact of lifestyle on telomere length were revealed.
In the February, 2009 issue, Christine Parks, PhD, of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and her associates evaluated the effect of stress on telomere length in 647 Sister Study participants. Telomere length in DNA from blood samples was measured, and stress hormone levels in urine were assessed. Questionnaires completed by the subjects provided information on perceived stress levels.
Study participants, on average, reported low stress levels. "Even so, women who reported above-average stress had somewhat shorter telomeres, but the difference in telomere length was most striking when we looked at the relationship between perceived stress and telomere length among women with the highest levels of stress hormones," Dr Parks observed. "Among women with both higher perceived stress and elevated levels of the stress hormone epinephrine, the difference in telomere length was equivalent to or greater than the effects of being obese, smoking or 10 years of aging."
In the report that appeared in the March, 2009 issue of the journal, the effect of past and current body mass index (BMI) on telomere length was examined. Sister Study participants whose BMI categorized them as overweight or obese before or during their thirties and whose weight status was maintained were found to have shorter telomeres compared to subjects who became overweight at an older age. "This suggests that duration of obesity may be more important than weight change per se, although other measures of overweight and obesity were also important," stated lead author Sangmi Kim, PhD, also of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "Our results support the hypothesis that obesity accelerates the aging process".
"We anticipate a wealth of information to come out of the Sister Study," predicted Dale Sandler, PhD, chief of the Epidemiology Branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and principal investigator of the Sister Study. "Not only do we hope to find out more about the environmental and genetic factors that might lead to breast cancer, we also want to learn more about how factors such as stress, diet and exercise might impact cancer and other disease risks."
"Together these two studies reinforce the need to start a healthy lifestyle early and maintain it," National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences director Linda Birnbaum, PhD, concluded. "These papers remind us that there are things people can do to modify their behavior and live healthier lives, such as maintain a healthy weight and cultivate healthy responses to stress."
The risk of death from all causes, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, increases with rising obesity in both men and women in all age groups, and the risk associated with a high BMI is greater for whites than for blacks (Calle et al 1999).
Obesity increases the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease (Shirai 2004); type 2 diabetes (Mensah et al 2004); osteoarthritis of major load-bearing joints, such as the knee (Felson et al 1997); hypertension (high blood pressure); sleep apnea (periods of suspended breathing during sleep; Wolk et al 2003); and gall bladder disease (Petroni 2000).
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified obesity as a critical causal risk factor for cancers of the colon, breast (postmenopausal women), endometrium, kidney (renal cell), and esophagus (adenocarcinoma) (Calle et al 2004).
A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that obesity causes 111,909 deaths annually (Flegal et al 2005), while epidemiological evidence shows that a lower body weight is associated with lower mortality risk (Stevens 2000). In the well-known Framingham Heart Study, risk of death increased by 1 percent for each extra pound (0.45 kg) of weight between age 30 and 42 and increased by 2 percent between age 50 and 62 (Solomon et al 1997; Kopelman 2000).
Metformin is a prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. Published research shows that it also helps nondiabetics lose weight (Paolisso et al 1998). Metformin reduces the release of glucose (sugar) stored in the liver as glycogen. This prevents blood glucose levels from rising too high, so the body does not need to produce as much insulin (Davidson et al 1997; Maggs 1997; Pugh 1997). Metformin also prevents some of the detrimental effects associated with normal aging (Kiho et al 2005).
Life Extension Vacations Royal Resorts and Life Extension Team Up For Your Health
The increasing stress levels that we have all seen or experienced in this last year make it vital to take time to get away, relax and decompress. Studies show that vacationing increases our life span and is a key attribute for a healthy body and mind.
With that in mind, Life Extension and Royal Resorts are pleased to announce a very special offer for Life Extension members. Now, when you reserve 7 Nights at selected Royal Resorts in Cancun, Rivera Maya, St Maarten or Curacao you get up to 2 discounted Nights.
Life Extension has a satellite office located in the Spa at The Royal Sands. Once there or before you arrive, you can sign up for an I-Tronic Analysis (a machine used by NASA to evaluate the health and shape of internal organs and provide a list of food and supplements required for your specific areas of need), ReeVue (Metabolism Readings ), or one of the many Spa services offered.
For those seeking a high-quality quercetin formula, Life Extension introduces Optimized Quercetin—a new “gold-standard” formula derived from a proprietary food-source blend. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with unique qualities that supports cellular health and function. In human cell culture studies, quercetin has been shown to block the manufacture and release of inflammation-causing substances, which can help support a healthy immune response to the seasonally changing environment.
Quercetin also helps promote a healthy cardiovascular system by preserving endothelial integrity3 and supporting healthy blood glucose levels for those already within normal range.
The mitochondria are the cells’ energy powerhouses, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential component of healthy mitochondrial function.
CoQ10 is required to convert fats and sugars into cellular energy, yet the natural production of CoQ10 declines precipitously with advancing age. When the body has an ample amount of CoQ10 the mitochondria can work most efficiently throughout the entire body including the most densely populated area, the heart. CoQ10 is also a potent antioxidant, helping protect the proteins, lipids and DNA of mitochondria from oxidation, and supporting mitochondrial function.