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From the Townsend Letter
August / September 2008

Longevity News and Review
by Ronald Klatz, MD, DO, and Robert Goldman, MD, PhD, DO, FAASP

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Longevity News and Review provides readers with the latest information in breakthroughs pertaining to the extension of the healthy human lifespan. These news summaries are compiled by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M;, a non-profit medical society composed of 20,000 physician and scientist members from 90 nations, united in a mission to advance biomedical technologies to detect, prevent, and treat aging-related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimize the human aging process. Ronald Klatz, MD, DO, A4M President and Robert Goldman, MD, PhD, DO, FAASP, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their insightful commentary.

Human Skin Cells Reprogrammed to Act Like Stem Cells
Two separate teams, one from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), and the other from Kyoto University (Japan), reported that they had successfully reprogrammed human skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. The University of Wisconsin team, led by James Thomson, who first developed the initial human embryonic stem cell line almost ten years ago, employed somatic cell nuclear transfer to use four factors to reprogram human skin (somatic) cells to pluripotent stem cells. In the Kyoto University work, Shinya Yamanaka and colleagues inserted four genes into human skin cells to reprogram them into "induced pluripotent cells," which look and act like stem cells.

Yu J, Vodyanik MA, Smuga-Otto K, Antosiewicz-Bourget J, Frane JL, Tian S, Nie J, Jonsdottir GA, Ruotti V, Stewart R, Slukvin II, Thomson JA. Induced pluripotent stem cell lines derived from human somatic cells. Science. 2007 Nov 20; [Epub ahead of print].
Takahashi K, Tanabe K, Ohnuki M, Narita M, Ichisaka T, Tomoda K, Yamanaka S. Induction of pluripotent stem cells from adult human fibroblasts by defined factors. Cell. 2007 Nov 30;131(5):861-72.

Dr Klatz remarks: "This is a pair of landmark advancements that circumvents a number of ethical and practical obstacles to stem cell therapeutics. These researchers have identified a potentially abundant source of stem cells for therapeutics that can treat a wide variety of aging-related disorders."

Cancer Risks of a Carb-Related Carcinogenx
Increased dietary intake of acrylamide, a carcinogen created when starchy (carbohydrate-rich) foods are baked, roasted, fried, or toasted may raise the risk of endometrial cancer by 29%, and ovarian cancer by 78%. Janneke Hogervorst and colleagues from Maastricht University (The Netherlands) analyzed data from more than 62,000 women in the Netherlands for a 11.3-year period. Where the average acrylamide intake was 8.9 mcg per day, the highest intake, at 40.2 mcg per day, was associated with the greatest increases in risks of both endometrial and ovarian cancers. Dr. Hogervorst’s team found that the risks were even more pronounced in people with no history of smoking, where the highest acrylamide intakes were associated with a 99% increase in risk of endometrial cancer and 122% increase in risk of ovarian cancer.

Hogervorst JG, Schouten LJ, Konings EJ, Goldbohm RA, van den Brandt PA. A prospective study of dietary acrylamide intake and the risk of endometrial, ovarian, and breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Nov;16(11):2304-13.

Dr. Goldman observes: "This is one of a few long-term, human studies that correlates dietary factors to increased cancer risks. Acrylamide first made headlines five years ago when scientists at the Swedish Food Administration first reported that high levels of acrylamide caused cancer in laboratory animals. Since then, animal studies continue to show the risks associated with the compound. This observational study points to the importance of making prudent dietary choices, to reduce or eliminate one’s consumption of highly processed carbohydrates."

Bulky Biceps, Trim Waist Correlate to Longevity in Men
The size of a man’s waistline and the muscle mass of his biceps provide s snapshot of mortality risk in aging men. S. Goya Wannamethee and colleagues from Royal Free and University College Medical School (London, United Kingdom) studied more than 4,100 men ages 60 to 79 and found that those with a waist circumference less than 40 inches (102 centimeters) and above-average muscle mass in their upper arms were up to 36% less likely to die over a six-year period (as compared to those with bigger waists and smaller arm muscles). The researchers also found the combination of waist size and arm muscle mass provided a far more accurate gauge of death risk as compared to body mass index (BMI) measurements, which the team found was linked to mortality only among very thin men.

Wannamethee SG, Shaper AG, Lennon L, Whincup PH. Decreased muscle mass and increased central adiposity are independently related to mortality in older men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Nov;86(5):1339-46.

Dr. Klatz comments: "These findings emphasize the role of life-long fitness in longevity. Fitness is a key element in the anti-aging lifestyle, and men who choose this lifestyle can indeed live longer and better lives."

From Longevity News and Review; Volume 2007, Issue 8

Anti-aging medicine is the fastest-growing medical specialty 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. It is a health care model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy lifespan in humans. As such, anti-aging medicine is based on solid scientific principles of responsible medical care consistent with those applied in other preventive health specialties. The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual's life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion. Visit the A4M's World Health Network website, at, to learn more about the A4M and its educational endeavors and to sign-up for the FREE E-Biotech Newsletter.



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