Babyboomer pressures overshadow the good life


Rather than enjoying later life, BritainÂ’s babyboomers are taking on more and more worries, reveals a new study by Astral, the all over hydrating body moisturiser, loved and used by millions of British women.

Astral_Face_on_new_label.jpgWith female babyboomers set to live longer, up to 85 years on average, life and work worries are now overshadowing their prime. According to AstralÂ’s new report , health concerns (50%) topped the list of worries, followed by family woes such as children and ageing (40%), then finance (30%) followed by the state of the world (25%).

‘The Change’ tops all health concerns….The menopause was linked to the majority of women’s health worries and confidence issues, as they struggled to handle its symptoms and the impact on their home and extended work lives. Almost half (45%) of the study said they suffered a lack of energy, with three quarters (75%) feeling physically tired and 45% only managing to do essential tasks, but not having enough energy for anything else, thanks to the menopause.

Embarrassing problems associated with the ‘change’ also presented further hurdles, with hot flushes affecting almost everyone (90%), and digestive upsets effecting 85% on a regular basis. Irritability was another factor that women found hard to control and impacted their extended working lives, with 60% seeing a distinct downturn in their mood thanks to the menopause.

Beautiful, youthful skin plays a large part in feeling beautiful. Almost all of the women in the Astral study (95%) said the menopause had affected their skin, with half (45%) claiming dry skin was a real problem and 35% highlighting their face and body lacked lustre, with 30% seeing a loss in suppleness and increased dryness.

Astral on trialÂ….
Study respondents going through ‘the change’ were asked to test Astral over a three week period to see how effective it was as an all over body moisturiser. Testers used Astral once or twice a day. Final study results revealed that 95% of users found Astral very effective in actually preventing dry skin, with 85% saying they found the cream soothing, hydrating and great at helping to maintain skin moisture balance.

85% of the study correspondents found Astral more effective than their usual moisturiser. As a result trialists said they were set to continue to use Astral as a daily, hydrating body moisturiser.

Commenting on this latest trial news from Astral, Dr Trisha Macnair notes: “The menopause really plays havoc with women’s skin and yet often goes unmentioned versus more dramatic symptoms. Falling oestrogen levels, which affect the production of collagen, is responsible for helping skin, hair and nails to retain their elasticity. As a result, thanks to ‘the change’, oestrogen levels fall and skin starts to sag, get dry and be less supple.

“The truth, as revealed in this report, is that when a woman’s facial skin is in good condition she feels more confident and more attractive, which can be a real boon when other parts of her body are potentially making her feel out of control. If the skin on her body is in good condition then she feels not only more confident, but also feels better because she is more comfortable.

“So what is needed is a moisturiser that can help menopausal women take control of their skin’s condition. Astral, is a very effective solution for menopausal women because it is so nourishing and hydrating as a cream. It’s secret for me lies with the product’s formulation which includes lanolin, a rich natural moisturising ingredient which binds water to itself locking in moisture, while still allowing the skin to breathe, as well as being naturally hypoallergenic and easily absorbed.”

About Astral

Astral cream was first launched in 1950 and for more than half a decade since millions of women have used this all-over face and body moisturiser, giving generations of women soft skin thanks to AstralÂ’s rich formulation. The formulation of the cream is the same today as it was when it launched.

Astral is full of delicately balanced and nourishing ingredients which make it a perfect all-over moisturiser. It can be used every day to keep skin soft and supple and it can even tackle the driest skin on elbows and feet. Thanks to its versatility, Astral can also be used as an after-sun lotion and make-up remover.

Astral is available in Boots, Morrisons, SainsburyÂ’s, Superdrug, Tesco and all good chemists. It comes in three pot sizes: 50ml – ‘the handbag potÂ’, which is perfect for on-the-go indulgence (ÂŁ1.49); 200ml – with all the different uses of Astral, many women get a few 200ml pots and keep one by the bed, one in the bathroom, one by the kitchen sink or any place where Astral might come in handy (ÂŁ4.19); 500ml – Astral prides itself on being a premium quality product with a great value price (ÂŁ7.99). With the 500ml pot women get even more for their money.


Japanese longevity continues to grow


Tokyo: Japanese people are living longer than ever, with the average life expectancy now 86.05 years for women and 79.29 years for men, the country’s health ministry has revealed.

The life expectancy of Japanese women increased by almost 22 days in 2008 from the previous year, while men added another 37 days, the ministry said.

The longevity of the Japanese is attributed in part to a healthy traditional diet including fish and vegetables and an active lifestyle.

But longevity is causing economic problems for Japan, which has one of the world’s lowest birth rates, leaving a shrinking working population to support a mass of retirees.

Top Tips for quitting smoking – watch the video


Listen to an expert on why you should quite smoking to save your health and beauty.

As the number of people quitting smoking last year falls by 24% in the UK, No Smoking Day, on March 11, challenges 12 million people to kick the habit

ItÂ’s national No Smoking Day again, a day when a quarter of the UK population – thatÂ’s 12 million smokers – are encouraged to kick their habit. In fact, every year more than a million people quit smoking on No Smoking Day. The campaign will also highlight the benefits of stopping smoking and how to get help.

Research* shows that that 24% fewer people quit smoking (April 2008 to September 2008), compared to the same period in 2007 – the months straddling the introduction of the smoking ban in July 2007 – when the number of quitters was exceptionally high. Worryingly, the number of smokers who managed to stay off cigarettes four weeks after quitting fell to 133,704 2008, a 24% fall compared to the same period in 2007 when 176,277 successfully quit. So how can you quit for good?

Visiting a local pharmacy should be the first step for smokers who want to quit for good on No Smoking Day. Pharmacists are at the front line of helping people to stop smoking, and can provide expert advice and support. They are also among the most accessible of healthcare professionals, with branches open in the high street at convenient times, often when GP surgeries are closed. 99% of people can reach a pharmacy within 20 minutes of their home and many offer private consultation rooms.

*NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care



Scientists move closer to human immortality

Madrid: Scientists at the Spanish National Cancer Centre found evidence that a natural protein could be the key ingredient in an elixir of eternal youth.

According to the scientists, boosting the amount of the naturally forming substance, telomerase, in the body could prevent cells from dying and thereby slow the process of ageing.

Telomerase helps maintain the protective caps at ends of chromosomes which act like ends of shoelaces and stop them unravelling. As people age and the cells divide, these caps become frayed and shorter and are so damaged that the cell dies eventually.

So far the scientists have only carried out an experiment on laboratory rodents. They found that those mice genetically engineered to produce ten times the normal levels of telomerase lived 50 per cent longer than normal. Those animals also had less fat, had better co-ordination and were better at processing sugar.

Lead researcher Maria Blasco said that the enzyme was capable of turning “a normal, mortal cell into an immortal cell” and a similar approach could eventually lead to extended human lifespans.

“You can delay the ageing of mice and increase their lifespan. (But) I think it is very hard to extrapolate data from mouse ageing to human ageing,” she told the New Scientist magazine.

One of the problems with boosting telomerase is that it can increase the risk of cancer. However, she said that the obstacle could be overcome by issuing cancer drugs that could offset the negative affects.

Scientists grow windpipe to renew a woman’s life


London: Scientists have used stem cells to grow part of a windpipe which was later implanted into a woman whose own trachea had been destroyed by tuberculosis.

The breakthrough procedure, which happened in Barcelona, Spain, is described in online in the British medical journal, The Lancet.

Claudia Castillo, 30, a mother of two living in Barcelona had been suffering from tuberculosis for years. The disease destroyed part of her trachea, the windpipe connected to the lungs. In March, her left lung collapsed and Castillo needed regular hospital visits to clear her airways which left her unable to take care of her children.

Doctors had planned to remove her entire left lung but instead, Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, head of thoracic surgery at BarcelonaÂ’s Hospital Clinic, proposed a windpipe transplant instead. He was the one performing the surgery on Castillo.

With the help of a new technique developed at the University of Padua, Italy, scientists removed all the cells from the trachea of a 51-year old donor by essentially scrubbing it clean with a high-tech detergent solution.

Meanwhile, doctors at the University of Bristol, in England took a sample of CastilloÂ’s bone marrow from her hip. They used the bone marrow’s stem cells to create millions of cartilage and tissue cells to cover and line the windpipe. Then doctors at the University of Milan used a device to put the new cartilage and tissue onto the windpipe, which was transplanted into Castillo in June.

The surgery was a real success, the authors reported.

“Within four days after transplantation, the graft was almost indistinguishable from adjacent normal bronchi,” Dr. Macchiarini said. After a month, a biopsy of the site proved that the transplant had developed its own blood supply. Also there was no sign of rejection after four months.

“The possibility of avoiding the removal of my entire lung and, instead, replacing only my diseased bronchus with this tissue engineering process represented a unique chance for me to return to a normal life that I am now enjoying with my children and family,” Castillo said in a news release.

Now the doctors believe that “this first experience represents a milestone in medicine and hope that it will unlock the door for a safe and recipient-tailored transplantation of the airway in adults and children.”

However, Castillo needs to be closely monitored, as it can take up to three years to know if the windpipeÂ’s cartilage structure s solid and wonÂ’t fall apart. She takes no drugs to suppress her immune system, a standard approach to prevent rejection when foreign donor organs are used in a transplant. She is able to walk 500 meters without stopping, climb stairs and take care of her children, Johan, 15, and Isabella, four.

Western diet cause of most heart attacks


New York: A Western diet rich in fried foods, salt and meat accounts for 35 per cent of heart attacks worldwide, researchers say.

They said their findings support evidence that animal fat and junk food can lead to heart attacks.

“This study indicates that the same relationships that are observed in Western countries exist in different regions of the world,” says the study’s senior author, Salim Yusuf, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton.

The study published in the current issue of the journal Circulation, examined 16,000 people in 52 countries, and analysed 5,761 cases of heart attack.

Participants gave blood samples and filled in detailed diaries on what they ate between February 1999 and March 2003. Depending on what participants reported, they were divided into three dietary groups.

The report found that:

* People who consumed the “prudent” diet of more fruits and vegetables had a 30 per cent lower risk of heart attack compared with people who ate few or no fruits and vegetables.
* People who consumed the “Western” diet had a 35 per cent greater risk of having a heart attack compared with people who consumed few fried foods and little meat.
* The “Oriental” diet, which is loaded with tofu but also high in salty soy sauce, showed no relationship with heart attack risk.

The results clarify that it’s the eating of Western food that drives up the risk of heart attacks, rather than other lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, Yusuf and his colleagues say.

“Diet is serious for the individual, but also if we can make population-level changes, we can prevent a lot of heart attacks, using, you know, relatively simple measures,” said study author Dr. Sonia Anand, a medical professor at McMaster.

Also on Monday, a series of reports published in the medical journal the Lancet concluded that worsening diets and unhealthy habits in China are contributing to a looming health crisis in the increasingly wealthy country.

“The pace and spread of behavioural changes including changing diets, decreased physical activity, high rates of male smoking and other high-risk behaviours has accelerated to an unprecedented degree,” one report says.

The journal said 177 million Chinese adults suffer from hypertension, which it blamed in part on high salt consumption.

“People don’t want to eat boring when they eat healthy,” says Julie Lau of the B.C. Heart and Stroke Foundation in Vancouver. Lau consults with large restaurant chains to help them offer healthier choices.

“They want to have lots of flavour, so we tried to recreate the flavour without using a lot of salt, without using a lot of fat.”

Yusuf’s study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario; the International Clinical Epidemiology Network; and unrestricted grants from several pharmaceutical companies.

More Britons live to 100

London: More Britons are living to their 100th birthday – and beyond – thanks to better nutrition, healthier lifestyles and improved drug treatments, government figures have revealed.

The latest report from the Office of National Statistics shows one in 15 people in their 80s now living in the UK will hit the age of 100, with many expected to live for longer.

In 2005 there was around 8,300 people aged 100 or older, but this figure jumped by almost a 1,000 to 9,300 Britons last year. There were only 100 centenarians in 1911, said the ONS.

The ONS said the number of centenarians is growing at around 5.4% a year. The main reasons we are living longer are due to better nutrition, improved housing and living standards and better drugs and medical treatment.

Pamela Holmes, head of healthy ageing at Help the Aged, told the Times, ‘By making healthy choices in mid-life, we can greatly improve our chance of living longer and better. Educating people in the importance of eating well, exercising and stopping smoking can make real improvements years down the line.’

Discover the secret laws of attraction – one day seminar in London


London: Internationally acclaimed Master Certified Coach and bestselling author, Talane Miedaner, knows the secrets to becoming a magnet to success – attracting the relationships, money and opportunities that you
want without even trying!


Miedaner’s approach draws on two powerful truths about human nature: “If you don’t NEED it, you are more likely to attract it” and “like attracts like.”

Her famous 7-step program shows how to stop struggling and start going with the flow, how to expand your willingness to have your emotional needs fulfilled, how to orient your life around your core values and passions, how to indulge in excellent self-care and how to become effortlessly successful.

These advanced life coaching techniques will help you reach your goals and attract whatever your heart desires – effortlessly. The old way of reaching goals was to create a strategy with a timeline and specific action steps.
This works for some, yet Talane stresses “why not have a notion of what you want and then have what you want ‘magically’ appear? Once you learn how to effortlessly attract the opportunities and relationships you desire, you will have no wish to achieve these the hard way! It’s time to learn how to structure your life so you can be irresistibly attractive to whatever you desire!”


1. Increase your natural energy
2. Make the space
3. Identify and fulfil your emotional needs
4. Orient you life around your passions and values
5. Clarify what you really really want
6. Indulge in excellent self-care
7. Leverage the natural Laws of Attraction

Based on the Principles of Attraction:

v Like attracts like
v If you don’t need it, you are more likely to attract it
v The present really is perfect
v It’s all good, even the bad stuff
v You can have whatever you allow yourself to have .. and more!

The Secret Laws of Attraction One Day Seminar in London costs ÂŁ250.00 which includes a copy of the book, The Secret Laws of Attraction and luncheon.

Places can be booked on line at www.uklifecoach.comor by calling 01395-271061. The timings for the day are 9am-4:30pm with book signing to follow. Delegates will be able to ask Talane any questions.

About Talane Miedaner

The Secret Laws of Attraction is led by Talane Miedaner, Master Certified Coach, founder of and and international bestselling author of Coach Yourself to Success – 101 tips for reaching your goals at work and in life, McGraw-Hill.. A leader in the cutting-edge field of personal coaching, Talane is a sought-after international speaker and coaches executives of Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs and business owners around the world. She is also author of the audio program: Irresistible Attraction: a way of life and The Secret Laws of Attraction: the effortless way to get the relationship you want is published by McGraw-Hill.


Can human lifespan be extended by 45%?

Madrid: The human lifespan could be extended by up to 45 per cent if tests on mice can be replicated in people.

As well as a longer life the dicovery could also mean one where people suffer less serious diseases.

Scientists have made a genetic breakthrough which they claim could extend human life and and left them free from tumours.

The researchers, at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), carried out an experiment in which they inserted three genes, known for their longevity benefits into the stem cells of mice.

The extra copies of the genes – telomerase, P53 and p16, improves the body’s function and immunity to disease, including cell mutation which occurs more frequently in ageing adults.

The technique is a new breakthrough because the scientists managed to extra copies of both p53 and p16 into the mice, which has never been achieved before. It is also the first time that scientists have been able to extend the life of mice in this way while protecting them against cancer.

The modified mice were allowed to breed to strengthen their new DNA pattern, which created a group of ‘supermice’ with longer lifespans and in-built cancer protection.

It is thought the researchers managed to create mice which lived to around four-and-a-half years. Normally, they live for an average of three years – the equivlent of a human living to 125.

Chief researcher Maria Blasco, one of SpainÂ’s leading scientists, said that the elixir of eternal youth is now a Utopian dream.

“The discovery opens the door to the possibility that humans could live 125 years and without cancer.Â’

UK pharmas call for debate on drug access


London: The pharmaceutical industry today called for a public debate on access to modern medicines, and how society determines the value of new treatments.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) is inviting NICE, patient groups, medical professionals, the NHS and leading healthcare charities to debate the issues amid continuing controversy on the availability and cost of innovative medicines to NHS patients.

“A frank, open and honest debate is clearly in the interests of patients,” said Chris Brinsmead, President of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

“We are calling for the patient groups, healthcare charities, doctors, Government, NICE and the NHS to join with the pharmaceutical industry to debate these crucial issues to hammer out a lasting solution. The time has come to discuss how we best resolve the issue, and where better than on a public platform?”

The pharmaceutical industry spends approximately ÂŁ3.9billion a year in the UK researching and developing new medicines for patients. This investment has delivered over 90 per cent of the medicines available today and has led to new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart disease and HIV to name but a few, Mr Brinsmead added.

He said: “The UK pharmaceutical industry – along with other healthcare professionals and NICE – is committed to developing innovative approaches to pricing, ensuring that patients receive the medicines that they need. Taking the recent example of the four kidney cancer medicines, all these medicines are widely available to patients throughout Europe – where the prices are higher than in the UK.”

Mr Brinsmead said: “We are looking forward to hearing NICE’s response and welcome their contribution to what will be one of the most important debates in the history of modern healthcare.”

Image – Boy and Medicine: courtesy of MedicImage

Family & friends key to longevity – Evercare survey

New York: Key to living a long and happy life are close relationships with family and friends, according to the third annual Evercare 100@100 survey.

The US poll of 100 centenarians also reveals, that contrary to conventional stereotypes, some of the oldest Americans are using the latest technologies to keep close to friends and loved ones – talking on cell phones, sending emails, “Googling” lost acquaintances, surfing Wikipedia and even online dating.

“We serve Centenarians and other older Americans every day who inspire and educate us about the keys to longevity – they are teaching us what it means to live longer, healthier, happier lives,” said Dr. John Mach, a geriatrician and chairman of Evercare, a part of UnitedHealth Group.

“We conduct the Evercare 100@100 Survey to understand the secrets to successful aging and to put those findings into action to better serve our members – helping them maintain their independence and achieve better health outcomes.”

Created to be a cultural snapshot of 100 Americans turning 100 or older in 2008, this year’s Evercare 100@100 Survey also polled 900 of those in other generations to compare and contrast the generational findings on topics of maintaining relationships and staying independent. The other generations surveyed included G.I. (ages 84-98), Silent (ages 63-83), Baby Boomers (ages 44-62), Gen X (ages 30-43) and Millennials (ages 20-29). According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau data, there are more than 84,000 Centenarians in the United States, and that number is projected to increase seven-fold, to 580,000, by 2040.

Among the key findings of the 2008 Evercare 100@100 Survey:

– An apple a day may keep the doctor away: . . .but these Centenarians say staying close to friends and family is most important to healthy aging (90 percent). Keeping the mind active (90 percent) and laughing and having a sense of humor (88 percent) also ranked high for living longer.

– Surveyed Centenarians are no technophobes: 19 percent say they use cell phones to keep in touch with friends and family. Other technology used to stay in touch includes: e-mail (7 percent), sending or receiving digital photos by email (4 percent), and text messaging (1 percent).

– Love 2.0: As many Centenarians as Baby Boomers (3 percent) say they have dated someone they met on an online dating site. Twelve percent of Centenarians surveyed say they have used the Internet and some have “Googled” someone they have lost contact with (2 percent) or have visited someone’s personal Web site (2 percent).

– Centenarians have seen a slew of historical presidential match-ups: FDR defeat Hoover, Kennedy defeat Nixon, Reagan defeat Carter and Clinton defeat Bush I. But majorities (54 percent) of surveyed 100-year-olds say that the 2008 election is more important than previous presidential elections.

– Heading to the polls: In keeping with typical voting habits in which older voters regularly turn out at the polls, 70 percent of Centenarians surveyed say they are very likely to vote in this year’s presidential election, as compared to only 60 percent of Millennials surveyed.

— Little white lies can spell big trouble: Centenarians surveyed say that being honest with each other, even if the truth sometimes hurts, is the most important factor in a lasting relationship (91 percent). They also say it is very important to have fun and laugh together (88 percent) and to respect each other’s independence (83 percent).

Evercareis a national care coordination program for people who have long-term or advanced illness, are older or have disabilities.

Free Manuka honey


Win a pot of MediBee Active UMF® Manuka Honey and give your body a boost of health!

HoneyÂ’s role as a functional food is finally gaining momentum following the successful First International Symposium of Honey and Human Health*. Scientists and researchers from around the world presented exciting research and new discoveries on the health benefits of one of lifeÂ’s natural sweeteners, including restorative sleep, cough suppression and cognitive function.

Honey has been used for thousands of years to treat wounds but scientists have only recently begun to explain honeyÂ’s antiseptic and antibacterial qualities on everyday human health. Whilst most honeys commonly carry the anti-bacterial property hydrogen peroxide, active manuka honey has both hydrogen peroxide and its own natural anti-bacterial property. This makes it doubly effective for building up immunity and treating a number of ailments including sore throats, hayfever, energy loss, stomach complaints, oral infections and even MRSA, killing bacteria at source**.

Whilst we all know that honey is good for us, many people do not understand how a daily dose of Manuka honey has a wide range of health benefits for people of all ages. It is with this in mind that Medibee Active UMF® Manuka Honey has launched a consumer guide, entitled ‘Honey Bee Healthy’, written in conjunction with leading nutritionist Dr Chris Fenn. The guide shows how Manuka Honey can treat a number of everyday ailments and includes a selection of delicious recipes, interesting facts, celebrity fans and a special section for kids.

Dr Fenn says: “In our modern, complex world where food is often over-processed, or a synthetic version of the real thing, manuka honey is a natural food that not only tastes great but is an important health booster, particularly effective for building up immunity and warding off infection. The new guide reveals how active manuka honey is very different from other types of honey and will help consumers to treat common symptoms by building manuka honey into their daily eating habits.”

Manuka honey is made from the wild flowers of the native manuka bush found only in New Zealand. It’s one of the most highly prized types of honey in the world due to its powerful antibacterial properties. These are measured under laboratory conditions to detect the honey’s active ‘unique manuka factor’, or ‘UMF’. The higher the active UMF, the stronger its healing power. Manuka honey with an active UMF of 10+ is regarded by scientists to be of sufficient quality to be used medicinally**, with the UMF® registered trademark on jars proof of its content.
For free copies of the consumer guide please call 02920 388422 or e-mail

MediBee Active UMF® 10+ Manuka Honey is priced from £8.45, and available from Holland & Barrett health food stores in the UK and all good health food stores. For nearest stockist details call (from the UK)0870 850 7114 or visit for further information.

If you would like to win a pot of this lovely honey please email us at with your name and address and “honey” in the email header by July 30 2008. We will put your name into a draw for the prize. Please note that no cash equivalent is being offered and the Editor’s decision is final.

* For further information on the First International Symposium on Honey and Human Health visit

**How manuka honey treats common ailments

Manuka honey helps to stimulate the immune system and assist the body in fighting infections

Sore throats
A natural soother for sore throats, manuka honey also destroys the streptococcus bacteria commonly responsible for causing the sore throat itself.

Manuka honey contains plant pollen which when ingested works like a vaccine against outbreaks of hayfever by helping the body to make antibodies against it. Source:

Stomach complaints, including heartburn and stomach ulcers
In laboratory tests the UMF antibacterial properties present in manuka honey were found to inhibit the growth of the bacteria helicobacter pylori believed to cause most stomach ulcers and indigestion.

Oral infections
Manuka honey is known to possess high levels of antioxidants and antibacterial substances that help to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. These antimicrobial properties make it beneficial in the treatment of various oral ailments including gum disease and mouth ulcers.
Select Honeys Demonstrate Antimicrobial Activity Against Oral Pathogens, Journal of Dental Research, 2002; 80:349

Studies show that manuka honey is an effective energy replacement and energy booster and is particularly useful for sports recovery.

So powerful are manuka honeyÂ’s antibacterial properties that they have even been found to be effective against MRSA strains of bacteria which are notoriously resistant to antibiotics and sometimes responsible for closing entire hospital wards.


Older women are happier than men


London: UK scientists who questioned nearly 9,800 people over the age of 50 about their lives and found women were more optimistic than men.

Wealth also helps you live longer with the poorest people more than twice as likely to die at any given age than the richest, researchers at University College London discovered.

Report co-author Dr Elizabeth Breeze said that women could become happier as they get older as they no longer have to worry about looking after their families.
She said: “There is a difference between the way men and women view their quality of life and they are influenced by slightly different things.”

“Women are affected negatively by caring for someone else or if they are not in employment but if they see their children and family more they are positively affected.”

Examples might be actresses Meryl Streep, 59, Helen Mirren, 62, and Judi Dench, 72.

Last year, Mirren said: “A weird thing happens to male actors, especially movie stars, in my experience.

“They become grumpy old men. A young male actor feels that all the girls want him – he’s a star. As actors get older that sense of not being in control of their destiny grates on them and they get grumpy.”

Researchers interviewed people born before 1952 at two year intervals.

They found that the poorest fifth of the population were over twice as likely to have died by 2008 as those in the wealthiest fifth.

In some age groups, the difference was even greater with the poorest women between 60 and 74 six times more likely to have died than the richest women of the same age.

According to the study, you have more chance of living longer if you are married, educated to degree level and a professional.

Single people are twice as likely to die early as those who are married or living with a partner.

The study found that exercise increases life expectancy with the physically inactive twice as likely to die before those keeping fit.


Does TV violence make you eat more?


Rotterdam: TV violence triggers an increase in hunger, according to new research.

According to Dirk Smeesters, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, people who are thinking about their own deaths want to consume more.

In a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research, “The Sweet Escape: Effects of Mortality Salience on Consumption Quantities for High- and Low-Self-Esteem Consumers”, Dirk Smeesters and co-author Naomi Mandel (Arizona State University) reveal that “consumers, especially those with a faced with images of death during the news or their favorite crime-scene investigation shows.”

Smeesters and Mandel conducted experiments in Europe and the United States on 746 subjects who wrote either about their own death or a visit to the dentist (the control group). The findings revealed that consumers with low self-esteem writing about their death ate more cookies and listed more items on a hypothetical shopping list compared to those who wrote about the dentist. Similar effects were obtained by subliminally presenting the word ‘death’ to consumers and exposing them to death-related news.

Smeesters and Mandel explain this effect using a theory called ‘escape from self-awareness’. When people are reminded of their inevitable mortality, they may start to feel uncomfortable about what they have done with their lives and whether they have made a significant mark on the universe. This is a state called ‘heightened self-awareness.’ One way to deal with such an uncomfortable state is to escape from it, by either overeating or overspending.

Follow-up research found that death-related news can not only increase consumersÂ’ consumption behavior, but can also affect their preferences for domestic and foreign brands. More specifically, consumers who were exposed to death-related news (e.g. a news report about a fatal car crash) had more positive preferences for domestic brands, but more negative preferences for foreign brands compared to consumers not exposed to such news.

These effects were obtained because thinking about death made consumers more patriotic. These studies clearly demonstrated the potential negative effects of advertising foreign brands shortly after the broadcast of death-related programs on television.

About Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

RSM is an internationally top-ranked business school renowned for its ground-breaking research in sustainable business practice and for the development of leaders in global business. Offering an array of bachelor, master, doctoral, MBA and executive education programmes, RSM is consistently ranked amongst the top 10 business schools in Europe. < a href="">

Join the obesity debate at Nottingham University


London: Can we have our cake and eat it — then go to the gym? That is the subject of a debate with experts taking place at Nottingham University. You are invited to attend and put your questions to the scientists.

There is compelling evidence that both obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are strong independent risk factors for premature death — but is it healthier to be obese and physically active or a healthy weight and sedentary? In other words can we have our cake and eat it if we then hit the gym?

A public debate is being staged at The University of Nottingham on behalf of the Nutrition Society to discuss whether we can be ‘fit and fat’.

Speakers from the fields of metabolism, obesity, exercise and nutrition will open the event these talks will be followed by a public debate. All members of the public are welcome to join in.

The theme of the debate centres on the ‘fat and fit’ hypothesis which states that:

Regular physical activity reduces many of the health risks associated with being overweight or obese.

Physical activity appears not only to reduce the health risks of being overweight and obese but active obese individuals actually have lower morbidity and mortality than normal weight individuals who are sedentary.

Inactivity and low cardio-respiratory fitness are as important as overweight and obesity as mortality predictors.

Questions from the floor will be taken by Ian MacDonald, Professor of Metabolic Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at The University of Nottingham. Also speaking will be Nicky Gilbert, a freelance sports nutritionist who has worked with world class athletes and Dr David Stensel an expert in exercise and metabolism in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Loughborough University.

Professor MacDonald said: “It is clear that being overweight and being sedentary are associated with an increased risk of ill health. It is not clear whether one of these is more unhealthy than the other, or just how many overweight people really are physically fit and whether this protects them against the problems caused by overweight”.

The public engagement event is part of the Nutrition Society Summer meeting which is being held at The University of Nottingham between 30 June and 3rd July 2008. The debate has been organised by Dr Alison Mostyn, a lecturer in Biological Sciences in the School of Nursing. Pupils from local secondary schools and members of the general public are invited to attend.

Dr Moystn said: “It’s great that the University of Nottingham and the Nutrition Society can open this debate up to the public. Obesity is in the news almost daily at the moment; this event will give people from the East Midlands the opportunity to hear some expert speakers discuss exercise and obesity — a topic which affects many of us”

The event, which has been funded by the Nottingham branch of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the West Midlands branch of the Institute of Biology, will take place in the Maths and Physics Building on University Park at 6pm on Monday 30 June 2008.

About the University of Nottingham: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THES) World University Rankings.

It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain’s “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.

Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy).

Its students are much in demand from ‘blue-chip’ employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

Additional information: The Nutrition Society was set up to advance the scientific study of nutrition and its applications to the maintenance of human and animal health.

Vitamins do not extend life – experts dispute new report


Copenhagen: A group of international scientists is claiming that vitamins do not extend life and may even end it prematurely.

After analysing 67 studies of more than 230,000 men and women, they conclucded that there was little evidence that those taking supplements of the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E were healthier.

In the UK, for example, a third of the population take supplements – a total spend of ÂŁ333million annually. This amounts to 40% of women and 30 per cent of men taking pills each day.

The analysis examined trials on beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium. It says in-depth analysis of the different trials does not support the idea that vitamins extend lifespan.

‘Even more, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E seem to increase mortality,’ says the review.

Vitamin A was linked to a 16 per cent increase in mortality, beta-carotene – the pigment found in carrots, tomatoes and broccoli which the body converts into vitamin A – to a 7 per cent increase and vitamin E to a 4 per cent increase. However, there was no significant detrimental effect caused by vitamin C.

‘There was no evidence to support either healthy people using antioxidants to prevent disease or for sick people to take them to get better,’ said the published by the Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organisation which evaluates healthcare research.

It said more research was needed on vitamin C and selenium. Antioxidants are used by the body as protection against free radicals, which are molecules produced during normal metabolism.

These can damage the body if they flourish in an uncontrolled way as a result of illness, overexposure to toxins or ageing.

It is thought antioxidants such as vitamin C confer health benefits by ‘grabbing’ or neutralising free radicals, and many people take them as health ‘insurance’.

The theory behind using antioxidants is to combat oxidation – the chemical reaction that causes metals to rust – which in cells can damage DNA, thus raising the risk of cancer, other diseases and the changes associated with ageing.

Previous human and animal laboratory research suggested that boosting antioxidant levels in the body might extend life, but other studies produced neutral or even harmful results.

Altogether 47 trials involving 180,938 people were classified as having a low risk of bias which showed ‘antioxidant supplements significantly increased mortality’.

Goran Bjelakovic, who led the review at the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, said: ‘We could find no evidence to support taking antioxidant supplements to reduce the risk of dying earlier in healthy people or patients with various diseases.

‘The findings of our review show that if anything, people in trial groups given the antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E showed increased rates of mortality.

‘There was no indication that vitamin C and selenium may have positive or negative effects. So, regarding these antioxidants, we need more data from randomised trials.

‘The bottom line is that current evidence does not support the use of antioxidant supplements in the general healthy population or in patients with certain diseases.’

The review does not offer any biological explanation as to why supplements can cause harm, although it has been suggested that betacarotene, for example, might interfere with the body’s use of fats.

There is no suggestion from the review that a healthy diet including plenty of vegetables and fruit – natural sources of antioxidants – is harmful.

Some of BritainÂ’s most popular celebrities have spoken out against this weekÂ’s alarmist and grossly misleading vitamin story, which wrongly questioned the safety of the antioxidant supplements that benefit millions of consumers in this country.

Sir Cliff Richard, Gloria Hunniford, Jenny Seagrove and Carole Caplin have joined health industry experts in rejecting the widely publicised antioxidant review and reassuring consumers that concerns over these supplements are unfounded.

An extensive body of scientific research has proven that taking supplements, including vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, selenium and zinc can play a significant role in maintaining good health. The updated meta-analysis published in the ‘Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008’ should not cause consumers to question the efficacy or safety of antioxidant supplements.

“Provided they follow the intakes on the label consumers shouldnÂ’t be concerned about the safety of antioxidant supplements available on the UKÂ’s High Streets,” said Dr Michele Sadler on behalf of the Health Food ManufacturersÂ’ Association (HFMA).

“The truth of the matter is that this meta-analysis is simply not applicable for vitamin users in this country. The analysis largely focused on extraordinarily and atypically high doses of antioxidant vitamins – in fact, the mean value of vitamin A used in the research was more than four times the upper level in typical formulations sold in the UK, and some of the studies tested up to 40 times the UK’s safe upper limit. Supplement users would have some trouble trying to replicate this kind of daily intake,” explained David Adams of the HFMA.

Celebrity SupportÂ…

Joining the growing body of health supplement supporters concerned at the effects such stories will have on the millions of consumers who use supplements to boost their health and wellbeing,

Sir Cliff Richard said: “I’ve always freely admitted to taking food supplements. I’ve done so for years and believe that they’ve been beneficial to me personally. For those of us prone to put on weight at the drop of a chocolate digestive, it’s only logical to compensate for some of the vitamins and nutrients that we deny ourselves at mealtimes. Certainly if a time came when we were denied the freedom of choice to take our dailypills and potions, I would be seriously concerned.”

Gloria Hunniford said: “Doctors and ‘experts’ are always saying that to get the nutrients we need, all we have to do is eat a proper diet. But show me the people who do on a regular basis. Most of us eat on the run, myself included, and sometimes we have no choice but to snack on whatever food is available at the time. Under professional guidance, I have used vitamin supplements for many years to augment what I eat – and will certainly continue to do so.”

Carole Caplin added: “It must be obvious to everyone who hasnÂ’t got a vested interest in supplements that this review is absolute rubbish, it contains fundamental flaws.

“With nearly 750 studies to choose from, why did the researchers manage to focus on just 67? That’s less than nine per cent of the total number of clinical trials on antioxidants available. The research makes clear the team failed to determine the actual cause of death, so there is no proven link whatsoever between the antioxidants assessed and mortality.

“This isn’t even a new study – it’s simply a re-hash of old work which was widely criticised in 2007 for its inaccuracies. It is only common sense that our bodies need regular supplies of essential nutrients for growth and maintenance.

“Obtaining all we need from food is not always possible so high quality supplements often have a valuable role to play. When taken responsibly they act as a health insurance policy. I will certainly continue to both use and recommend them when necessary.”

Jenny Seagrove said: “To those of us who use vitamins in the UK, this research seems utterly pointless. I canÂ’t help but wonder why they have chosen to report it again at this time, just when the EU is about to set dose levels for all vitamins and minerals. The antioxidant dose levels in our vitamin tablets are tiny compared to the levels tested in this research, and donÂ’t forget that the high level antioxidant doses they used are not even available in UK supplements.

“IÂ’m not going to be bullied by this dismal research paper – I am 100% confident that the vitamins and mineral supplements I use are safe and effective and I will continue to use them when I choose.”

Fundamentally and Systematically FlawedÂ…

In an opinion shared by the majority of the health industry, David Adams continued: “This review is fundamentally flawed. Of the 67 clinical studies included in the review, over two thirds of the total were conducted on individuals already diagnosed with disease, resulting in a serious bias in the results. No matter how positive the effects of antioxidant vitamins on good health, they simply cannot be expected to overturn previously diagnosed, chronic illness.

“The authors’ decision to investigate ‘all cause’ mortality also created a multitude of problems. The study failed to examine the differences in causes of death, and the results were based on all types of causes, which could range from accidents to other illnesses. With 69 per cent of the trials involving individuals with diagnosed disease, mortality occurring throughout the study period could have been related to the pre-determined illness. Furthermore, the study omitted to identify the intervention of prescribed medication.The authors themselves point out that the doses in some trials were above the upper safe levels of intake and comment that
further investigation into the causes of mortality is necessary for accuracy in measurement of the results.”

David Adams concluded: “Antioxidant supplements cannot be expected to undo a lifetime of unhealthy living, but combined with good lifestyle choices, can play an important role in promoting overall health and wellbeing.”

Director of Consumers for Health Choice, Sue Croft said: “Twenty-one million people in the UK use dietary supplements every day. They can’t all be wrong! We have been using vitamins and minerals here for almost fifty years; they are not a fad, from time to time they play an important role in maintaining optimum health – they are part of our culture.

“The re-publishing of the research paper at this time is highly suspicious. Not only that, it will cause concern and anxiety to millions of consumers who regularly use such supplements.

“The EU is about to reveal their proposals for dose levels that could well mean that many thousands of really beneficial and safe products will be removed from the British market and many small retailers will be forced to close. We do need to preserve our existing specialist market; people wanting to take responsibility for their own health should be encouraged to keep themselves well through optimal supplementation.”


The Health Food ManufacturersÂ’ Association (HFMA) is the voice of the UKÂ’s natural health industry and represents more than 120 manufacturers and suppliers of natural health products.

Founded in 1965, the HFMA is a not-for-profit organisation which operates long-standing codes of practice to help ensure that member companies adhere to high standards and offer good quality, safe products supported by responsible, lawful information.

For further information about the HFMA, visit

Higher Strength Supplements

UK industry associations and the Food Standards Agency have agreed advisory
statements for use on the labels of supplements containing high levels of specific nutrients: see”

Dr Michèle J Sadler, BSc PhD RPHNutr BSc Hons (1979)

Qualifications include BSc in Nutrition at Queen Elizabeth College, London University and Doctorate in Biochemistry, University of Surrey. Dr Sadler has edited several reference works most notably as Editor-in-Chief of Encyclopaedia of Human Nutrition, (3 volumes), Academic Press, 1998.

Longevity genes hold key to ageing


Washington: A new discovery holds out the prospect of keeping old age at bay by targeting “longevity” genes.

Scientists have identified 25 genes that regulate lifespan in two organisms separated by 1.5 billion years of evolution.

They believe at least 15 are likely to have similar versions in humans. Affecting their activity could provide a way to slow down the ageing process and treat age-related conditions.

Dr Brian Kennedy, one of the researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle, US, said: “Now that we know what many of these genes actually are, we have potential targets to go after in humans.

“We hope that in the future we could affect those targets and improve not just lifespan, but also the ‘health span’ or the period of a person’s life when they can be healthy and not suffer from age-related illnesses.”

The two organisms studied by the scientists were yeast and the tiny roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans.

Both are commonly used laboratory tools. The researchers say finding genes that are conserved between them is important because they are so far apart on the evolutionary scale. Yeast and C. elegans are even more widely separated than C. elegans and humans.

Similar types of genes are known to exist in humans. Taken together, the evidence suggests that longevity genes are likely to influence human lifespan as well.

Several of the genes shown to be involved in ageing are also linked to a key nutrient pathway called the Target of Rapamycin, or TOR.

Calorie intake and nutrient response are believed to affect lifespan through TOR activity. Previous studies have shown that drastically restricting the diets of animals ranging from worms to monkeys can prolong lifespan and prevent age-related diseases.

Cigarette poison kills anti-ageing gene, new research reveals


New York: Scientists have discovered one of the ways in which smoking cigarettes makes you age faster and puts you at risk of diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.

Researchers at the University of Rochester in the US found that the toxins in cigarette smoke wipe out a gene that protects the body against premature ageing.

Dr Irfan Rahman, associate professor of environmental medicine and an investigator in the University of Rochester’s Lung Biology and Disease Programme, noted: “You can be 45 years old and look great on the outside, but if you are a smoker or former smoker, your lungs can easily be 60 years old because of the chemical assault.”

Cigarettes contain around 4,700 toxic chemical compounds which decrease the lungs’ production of SIRT1, a protein that helps to regulate chronic inflammation, cancer and ageing.

The University of Rochester team, in collaboration with Finland’s Helsinki University Hospital, confirmed that levels of SIRT1 are significantly lower in smokers than in non-smokers.

This in turn affects genes that help to detoxify the airways, speeding up the ageing process of the lungs.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine and in the American Journal of Physiology.

Can infra red light grow new brain cells to reverse Alzheimer’s?


London: A scientist has claimed that an experimental helmet whch bathes the brain in infra-red light is capable of stimulating the growth of new brain cells in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The creators of the helmet, a County Durham, UK-based medical research company called Virulite, say that ten minutes use daily over a period of four weeks can reverse the symtoms of dementia.

Dr Gordon Dougal, a director of Virulite, bases the claims on a study at the University of Sunderland which found infra-red light can reverse memory loss in mice.

Dr Dougal says that the treatment not only stops brain decay but partially reverses it.

The study at Sunderland found that exposing middle-aged mice to infrared light for six minutes a day for ten days improved their performance in a three-dimensional maze. In the human trials, due to start this summer, the scientists will use levels of infra-red that occur naturally in sunlight.

Life expectancy in China continues to grow


Bejing: Chinese people are living healthier and longer lives as medical and sanitary conditions in the country have greatly improved, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health.

Residents’ average life expectancy, a key measurement of economic development and health care levels, increased to 73 years in 2005 from 71.4 years in 2000.

In addition, the infant mortality rate decreased to 1.53 percent in 2007 from 2.55 percent in 2003. Last year, 36.6 people per 100,000 women died during pregnancy or childbirth, compared to 51.3 women per 100,000 in 2003.

According to the report, the improvement in Chinese people’s health conditions was attributed to increased spending on medical care and enhanced medical services provided across the country in the past five years.

In 2007, China was estimated to have spent 1.05 trillion yuan (US$144.43 billion) in healthcare, accounting for 4.82 percent of the gross domestic product, with the per capita medical expenditure standing at 781 yuan.

The government is shouldering more of the medical expenditure in the past five years. Government spending, as a proportion of the country’s total medical expenses, increased by one percent from 2003 to 2006, while residents’ spending dropped 6.5 percent in the same period.

As a result of increased investment in medical care, people are able to enjoy better medical services. By the end of last year, a total of 315,000 medical institutions were established, 24,000 more than that in 2003. The number of medical practitioners, including assistant practitioners, rose to 1.56 per 1,000 people in 2007 from 1.48 per 1,000 in 2003. The number of registered nurses per 1,000 people climbed to 1.12 from one nurse during the same period.

The report adds China has made much effort to improve the public health and medical system in the past five years, covering maternity and childcare, disease prevention and medical insurance in both urban and rural areas.

Dr Nick Delgado – California

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Support Prostate Cancer Awareness Week


Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK – every hour at least one man dies from this disease.

It is a cause that has suffered from years of neglect, so plan NOW for Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, 10-16 March 2008 – it’s your chance to make a difference.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Week 2008 aims to raise the profile of prostate cancer among the public and in the media. Hundreds of individuals and groups across the UK will join forces to help raise awareness of prostate cancer and raise vital funds to improve research, information and support services for men and their families who are affected by this disease

An early diagnosis of prostate cancer could improve a man’s chances of finding a successful treatment, yet 90% of adults in the UK do not know what the prostate gland does and the crucial role it plays in a man’s sexual function.

About Prostate Cancer Awareness Week

Prostate Cancer Awareness Week is an annual health awareness campaign organised by The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Every year nearly 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United Kingdom and 10,000 men die from it.

African Caribbean men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than their white counterparts.

The Prostate Cancer Charity is striving for a world where lives are no longer limited by prostate cancer. The Charity is fighting prostate cancer on every front – through research, support, information and campaigning.

If you have any queries about prostate cancer call The Prostate Cancer Charity’s confidential helpline 0800 074 8383 which is staffed by specialist nurses and open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and Wednesdays from 7 – 9pm.

If you want to make a donation to The Prostate Cancer Charity call 0208 222 7622 or visit

For further information contact: Lilas Allen or Nikki Nagler on 020 8222 7653/7670. Out of hours contact: 0798 432 5001. Email: or Email

Experience the latest advances in anti-ageing at the THE VITALITY SHOW 2008


London: Experience the latest health, beauty & well-being innovations all under one roof! Olympia March 27-30 2008.

For the latest trends in health, beauty and well-being in 2008, why not book yourself and your best friend tickets for the ultimate girl’s day out, The Vitality Show with Muller ®? Jam-packed with lots of great brands, experiential show features and experts all under one roof, The Vitality Show is the ‘must go’ event for women in the UK.

Brands such as Dermalogica, Benefit Cosmetics and Aveda will be showcasing the very latest innovations, products and ideas enabling women to get a sneak preview of whatÂ’s hot and whatÂ’s not for 2008. Not only a great shopping event, with loads of great brands all together the showÂ’s new experiential features include: The Happiness Theatre where visitors can attend happiness and friendship workshops; The Fitness Arena complete with trampolines for visitors to try out, free hair consultations and styling courtesy of the award winning Hobs Salon and the Luxury Beauty Hall; as well as the ever popular fabulous Fashion Catwalk.

World class experts will also be on hand to offer advice and insights across the world of health, beauty and well-being ensuring visitors to the show can pick up hot tips to take home and share with their friends.

The Vitality Show with Muller®, is Europe’s largest health, beauty and well-being show is back bigger and better than ever.

For a day packed with the latest and best in beauty, health and well-being, as well as inspirational advice, secrets, hints and tips from the experts, make The Vitality Show 2008 top of yours and your best friendÂ’s diary!

Tickets to the show cost ÂŁ17 on the door or ÂŁ14 in advance. For further information visit the website or book your tickets by calling 0844 415 4416 (within the UK).

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Since receiving his medical doctorate at the Paris Medical School in 1974, Dr Sister has let the International Beauty, Anti-Ageing and Nutrition community dip into his pool of expertise on many occasions.

Dr Sister has practiced in the worldÂ’s premier surgeries, establishing himself initially in Paris before moving to Los Angeles to maintain the looks of HollywoodÂ’s elite and itÂ’s most famous, (and scrutinized) celebrities.

During his successes in the USA, Dr Sister took time to establish the HealthTech Institute, which has taken part in numerous activities in the USA, Canada, France, England, Ireland, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to further our understanding of anti-ageing and beauty.

In addition he is an ex Vice President of the Complementary Medical Association and now is the President of the International College for Anti Ageing – Nutrition – Aesthetic Medicine,

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Dr Sister is registered with Conseil de lÂ’Ordre des Medecins (France), General Medical Council (UK) and is an Associate Member of the New York Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of the American Academy for Anti -Ageing Medicine and British Association of Cosmetic Doctors.
Fortunately for us, Dr Sister now resides in London, where until recently he has had a successful Harley Street practice. We are thrilled to have him consulting here exclusively at BeautyWorksWest.

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Longevity pill nearer, say scientists


New York: Scientists are a step closer to producing a superdrug to extend lifespan, according to a report in the journal Nature.

In the journal, the researchers from Harvard report that three compounds invented by Sirtris, a pharmaceutical company, have succeeded in activating cellular defenses that slow diseases of ageing in the same way associated with resveratrol, a naturally occurring chemical found in red wine.

The difference is that Sirtris’s synthetic compounds are 1,000 times as potent as the resveratrol in wine. This solves a big drawback with the naturally occurring chemical—wine contains such minute quantities that a person would have to drink hundreds of bottles a day to see any significant benefit.

The potent new pills mimic resveratrol in mice by activating the SIRT-1 gene, which appears to trigger a process called caloric restriction. In many organisms, that process acts to slow down aging and ramp up cellular defenses in the face of a reduced diet during times of scarce food supplies. Sirtris’s new compounds, however, act without the little critters having to reduce their diet.

In past experiments, many of them conducted by Harvard pathologist and Sirtris cofounder David Sinclair, resveratrol has increased the lifespan of mice up to 24 percent, and other simpler organisms such as yeast up to 59 percent. In November 2006, Sinclair and Sirtris scientists that resveratrol could reduce the impact of a high fat diet, increase stamina two fold and significantly extend lifespan of mice.

Skeptics have long claimed that aging is too complex to be regulated by a small number of genes, though Sinclair and other leading longevity scientists such as Leonard Guarente of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cynthia Kenyon of the University of California at San Francisco keep refining and supporting their argument that it is.

Investors have believed the Sirtris story enough to pony up $103 million in private rounds and $63 million in an IPO last May. Sirtris’ stock today has risen as much as 6 percent—roughly twice the rise in the S&P 500 index.

The current paper does not target longevity specifically, but demonstrates that Sirtris’s pills may slow a major disease of aging, diabetes type II, which afflicts 18 million Americans.

The pills improved insulin sensitivity, lowered plasma glucose levels, and increased the function of mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell that is associated with healthy and long-living cells.

Sirtris recently started human trials using a super-potent version of resveratrol, and so far the drug is reported to be producing positive results. The synthetic compounds are both more potent and more stable chemically.

They also are better candidates for Food and Drug Administration approval since in many cases a synthetic compound concocted in a lab can be more consistently manufactured and standardized for doses than products based on a natural compound.

The three “New Drug Entities” described in today’s paper will begin human trials in the first half of 2008.