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Scientists shared the secrets of longevity

Most people want to live a long and happy life, or at least avoid a short and miserable life. If you are in this majority, then you are in luck. There has been a quiet research revolution in our understanding of the biology of aging over the past decade.
Scientists shared the secrets of longevity

The challenge is to turn this knowledge into tips and treatments that we can use. We are now debunking the myth that life extension is science fiction and showing it to be science fact.

Nutrition and lifestyle

There is plenty of evidence for the benefits of routines such as proper nutrition. A study of target groups of average people shows that weight loss, smoking cessation, moderate alcohol consumption, and eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day can increase life expectancy by 7-14 years compared to those who smoke, drink too much and are overweight.

Reducing about a third of calories, the so-called restriction of nutrition, improves the health and prolongs the life of mice and monkeys if they eat the right foods. Although this is not an easy task for people who are constantly subject to food temptations. Less extreme variations of time-limited or intermittent fasting, such as just one meal for an eight-hour day each day or fasting two days a week are thought to reduce the risk of age-related diseases.

Physical activity

It is obviously impossible to stick to a perfect diet forever, but that doesn't mean exercise won't benefit you. Globally, inaction is directly responsible for approximately 10 percent of all premature deaths from chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer. If every person on Earth starts doing sports tomorrow, this will probably lead to an increase in the duration of a healthy human life by almost a year.

Strengthening the immune system

No matter how fit you are and how healthy you eat, your immune system will unfortunately become less effective as you get older. A poor response to vaccination and inability to fight infection are the consequences of this “immune aging”. Things start getting worse in early adulthood, when the thymus gland, a bow-tie-shaped organ in the throat, begins to wither.

It doesn't sound good, but it becomes even more unsettling when you realize that it is the immune agents in the thymus, called T cells, that can no longer “learn” to fight off infections. The closure of such a large “education center” for T cells means that they will not be able to learn to recognize new infections or effectively fight cancer in older people.

You can help them a little by making sure you have enough essential vitamins in your body, especially vitamins A and D. A promising area of ​​research is studying the signals the body sends to help make more immune cells, especially a molecule called IL-7. Another approach is to use spermidine as a dietary supplement to force immune cells to clear out their internal junk, such as damaged proteins. Spermidine improves the immune system of the elderly so much that it is currently being tested as a way to get better responses to COVID-19 vaccines in the elderly people.

Cell rejuvenation

Aging is a toxic state that cells enter as we age. They wreak havoc throughout the body and create chronic inflammation and disease essentially causing biological aging. In 2009 the scientists proved that middle-aged mice lived longer and stayed healthier when they were given small amounts of a drug called rapamycin, which inhibited a key protein called mTOR that helped regulate cell responses to nutrients, stress, hormonal surges, and environmental damage.

In the lab, drugs like rapamycin (called mTOR inhibitors) make aging human cells look and behave like young ones. Although it is still too early to prescribe these drugs for general use, a new clinical trial has been recently launched to test whether low doses of rapamycin can actually slow down aging in humans.

But all drugs have their pros and cons, and since too much rapamycin suppresses the immune system, many doctors are reluctant to even consider it to prevent age-related diseases. However, it is the dosage that is critical, and newer drugs such as RTB101, which act similarly to rapamycin, support the immune system in older people and may even reduce the frequency and severity of COVID-19 infection.


Photos are from open sources.

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