Posts tagged with "Aging"

Study: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can enhance cognition in healthy older adults

January 5, 2021

A study conducted in Israel has found that a new hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocol can improve cognitive function in older adults—by enhancing attentiveness, information processing speed, executive function, and global cognitive function, Psych Central reports.

Indeed, all of the areas of mental function improved by hyperbaric oxygen therapy typically decline with age, according to researchers at the Shamir Medical Center, and the Sackler School of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

The researchers report there was also a “significant correlation between the cognitive changes and improved cerebral blood flow in specific brain locations.”

The randomized controlled clinical trial included 63 healthy adults at an average age of 64. According to the researchers, 33 underwent HBOT for three months, while the remaining 30 were the control group, Psych Central says.

Cognitive function was measured by a standardized comprehensive battery of computerized cognitive assessments before and after the three months. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was evaluated by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique for brain perfusion.

“Age-related cognitive and functional decline has become a significant concern in the Western world. Major research efforts around the world are focused on improving the cognitive performance of the so-called ‘normal’ aging population,” said co-author Dr. Shai Efrati, head of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, and Head of Research & Development at Shamir Medical Center. “In our study, for the first time in humans, we have found an effective and safe medical intervention that can address this unwanted consequence of our age-related deterioration.”

“In the past, we have demonstrated HBOT’s potential to improve/treat brain injuries such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and anoxic brain injury due to sustained lack of oxygen supply by increasing brain blood flow and metabolism,” added co-author Dr. Amir Hadanny of the Sagol Center. “This landmark research could have a far-reaching impact on the way we view the aging process and the ability to treat its symptoms.”

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Aging.

Research contact: @PsychCentral

NutriDrip to offer aging and hangover IV infusions at Wynn Hotels and Equinox

January 16, 2020

At Clean Market, New Yorkers have a wide menu of healthy offerings to choose from, such as “superfood smoothies” and bowls. Also available à la carte: vitamins delivered intravenously at the NutriDrip bar, CNBC reports.

They are not cheap, but the 30-minute IV infusions—administered by medical professionals—are growing in popularity.

And lately, CNBC says, they’ve been attracting new business partners, too, from the Wynn Hotel, which plans to start offering NutriDrip in Las Vegas early this year; to fitness and lifestyle company Equinox. Indeed, Equinox executives Jeffrey Weinhaus and Harvey Spevak were early investors in NutriDrip.

NutriDrip sells 15 vitamin infusions. The classic Nutribody drip aims to support fat loss with a combination of l-carnitine, taurine, vitamin C, and B complex, among others.

There also are popular hangover remedies—Basic Recover, Super Recovery, and Mega Recovery— which range in price from $119 to $199, depending on how much you’re hurting from the night before.

What’s more, the Nutriyouth drip claims the ability to “help stop cellular aging in its tracks” with a mixture of anti-aging enzymes, molecules and vitamins for $599.

Founded five years ago, NutriDrip is looking to expand in 2020 with a Series A funding round in the first half of this year. Executives declined to say how much money they’re looking to raise.

“Over the last three years, IV nutrient therapy, specifically NutriDrip, has grown, at like a 60% to 80% year-over-year growth rate, even while opening new stores,” co-founder Asa Kitfield told the cable business news channel. “So we’re really excited to see what sort of saturation the market can see on like a local and national basis.”

“As many of our guests now expect a more holistic set of wellness options, we have evolved to include broader wellness themes related to functional wellness, physical fitness, and healthy cuisine,” a Wynn Hotel spokesperson told CNBC; adding “providing IV therapy is one more way to help our guests maintain personal wellness routines while they are traveling.”

Celebrities, including Madonna, Rihanna and Simon Cowell, are reportedly fans of IV vitamin treatments, but it’s drawn some controversy.

“Anytime you poke a hole in somebody’s vein, there is some risk that they’ll bleed excessively. There’s also some risk that they will clot excessively,” Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center told CNBC. “So the risks are not great. And the risks are not very common, but there are risks, and the only way to justify any risk in medicine is by a greater likely benefit.”

The doctor said there is “minimal evidence that there is any meaningful benefit for most people.”

On the other hand, Kitfield said NutriDrip doesn’t make grand promises about its treatments—but the company and customers clearly believe in its benefits.

“When you look at our business, where 50% to 60% of our revenue comes from regulars, and that’s why we continue to grow, the proof is kind of in the pudding,”Kitfield said.

According to the Global Wellness Institute—a nonprofit that tracks the $4.5 trillion industry—while IV therapy and alternative medicine is a small portion of the overall spending, it’s among the fastest-growing sectors.

Research contact: @CNBC

Can intermittent fasting improve your health?

November 23, 2018

According to research by the Calorie Control Council, a typical Thanksgiving dinner can carry a load of 3,000 calories. That’s about 500 more calories than most Americans eat in a whole day—and also about 500 more than it takes to gain one pound.

And that’s also why, on the day after the holiday, many of us might be wondering about the pros and cons of intermittent fasting—one of the buzziest diets out there right now. After all, why diet diligently all week when you can drop the excess weight by skipping food entirely just two or three days out of seven?

Fans of this form of dieting say they have lost as much as 8% of their body weight within eight weeks by cutting calories by 20% every other day. They also say they are healthier and have less inflammation.

WebMD theorizes that the possible secret behind the diet’s health benefits is that fasting puts mild stress on your body’s cells. Scientists think that the process of responding to this stress can strengthen the cells’ ability to fight off some diseases—even disorders as serious as heart disease and cancer.

But are these claims legit? Honestly, researchers say, not enough is known yet to confirm whether fasting is advisable or not.

As Liz Weinandy, a staff dietitian at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, admitted to Men’s Health magazine in a recent interview, ““I don’t think anybody knows.This is all preliminary.”

In fact, the magazine says, most of the press coverage of intermittent fasting and its purported immune system benefits has focused on just one study: In 2014, Valter Longo— a professor of Gerontology and the director of the USC Longevity Institute—found that cycles of a four-day low-calorie diet that mimicked fasting (FMD) cut visceral belly fat and elevated the number of progenitor and stem cells in several organs of older mice—including the brain, where it boosted neural regeneration and improved learning and memory.

The test was part of a three-tiered study on periodic fasting’s effects—involving yeast, mice, and humans— o be published by the journal Cell Metabolism in June 2015.

Longo and his team had both mice and human cancer patients fast for four days. During the fast, both the mice and the cancer patients discarded old blood cells; once the fast was broken, their bodies produced shiny, new cells to take the place of discarded ones, thus effectively regenerating their immune systems.

In fact, Longo found, in the pilot human trial, three cycles of a similar diet given to 19 subjects once a month for five days decreased risk factors and biomarkers for aging, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer with no major adverse side effects.

Results of of the study led the USC team to conclude that prolonged periods of fasting could reduce the harsh side effects of chemotherapy for cancer patients—in fact, some patients are already trying this on their own, based on a story posted this year by U.S. News & World Report)—or even boost immunity for healthy people.

A 2015 study by Yale Medical School went one further, finding that hat a compound produced by the body when dieting or fasting can block a part of the immune system involved in several inflammatory disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Convinced and ready to start? First, read a few cautions from Men’s Health.

First, most intermittent fasting plans recommend not eating between 16 to 24 hours— a much shorter period of time than the four-day fast in Longo’s study. For this reason, Longo says it’s unlikely that his study has any long-term implications about the health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Your body won’t eliminate old cells “until two, three, or four days into the fasting,” he told the magazine. “It takes even longer for the system to start really breaking down muscle, breaking down immune cells, breaking down different tissues.”

Indeed, the report says, future studies will require a broader sample size than Longo’s, so we can determine how fasting affects different groups of people —for instance, the elderly, or diabetes patients, or those with low-functioning immune systems.

What’s more, if you have an active lifestyle, cut back on exercising because fasting could potentially drain your stores of sodium and potassium—two electrolytes that are essential for kidney, heart, and muscle function.

And finally, don’t forget to drink. Water is always a great choice, all day, every day. Sparkling water is fine—but don’t use artificial sweeteners. They will wreak havoc on your insulin levels and defeat your end purposes entirely.

Research contact: melissa.matthews@hearst.com