Everybody wants to live a long and healthy life, and on the whole people are living for longer. Life expectancy just keeps getting higher, but still living beyond 100 years-old is not so common. Would you believe that there is one doctor who believes that he is uncovering a secret that could help people live until they’re 500 years old! Dr Pankaj Kapahi carried out research on a worm called Caenorhabditis elegans, and found with a change of two genetic pathways the worm lived 5 times longer than its usual lifespan. He’s now trying to work out how he can apply the same theory to human beings and the secret to living for 120 years .
A Longer and Healthier Life
A more realistic claim has been from the Longevity Science Panel in the UK, who have said that people can expect to live up to the ripe old age of 120 years old by following a few guidelines and with the help of beneficial drugs like statins. First lets look at the basics of aging.
Here’s the Science
As you grow your cells divide, and they do this over and over again billions of times. As you get older, there are inevitable mutations and errors, and these are increased by an unhealthy lifestyle. These cell divisions stop because the protective caps on DNA (called telomeres) get smaller and smaller each time a cell divides, and eventually when it is too small the cell stops dividing. This is called senescence, and these senescent cells slow down your bodies ability to repair itself.
What You Can Do About It
First of all a healthy diet and active lifestyle go a long way in extending your lifespan. The other things that could also help tremendously are some particular drugs:
- Statins can prevent heart disease because they help to lower cholesterol, and their anti-inflammatory attributes make them useful in reducing the risk of death as you get older and more susceptible to disease.
- Resveratol, a substance found commonly in red wine, has contributed to the longer life of a variety of unsophisticated animals.
- Rapymicin is perhaps the most interesting pharmaceutical to help people live longer, because it can actually regulate cell division, and test on mice have shown that lifespan can be increased by over 25%.
Could this limit of 120 years be broken? According to Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, former chief executive of the British Medical resurrect Council, there are so few humans living for more than 120 years that, no matter what the technological and medical advances, this really is the ceiling on a human’s lifespan.