Billions of dollars are going into age research, and many experts believe that we’re on the cusp of beating aging. Here are 7 technologies and strategies to look out for.
Caloric restriction or dietary restriction is a diet that decreases your calorie consumption by at least 30%. People on caloric restriction eat very little food along with a regimen of vitamins to make sure they get all the nutrients they need. They say it lowers your body’s metabolism by putting your body into a fasting state.
The theory is that when your body is in a fasting state, it focuses its energy on tissue repair, which means less tissue damage and a longer lifespan.
Experiments with caloric restriction in mice showed up to a 45% increase in lifespan, and similar results were found in experiments with rhesus monkeys.
But studies have started showing similar results from intermittent fasting.
There are different types of intermittent fasting, one involves fasting every day, basically not eating until late in the afternoon. This is actually advocated by the actor Terry Crewes.
This has some noted benefits but the type of fasting that’s of interest to age research involves going for 5 days a month without eating.
Studies tend to show that this puts your body into extreme tissue repair and is even helps prevent cancer.
One of the things that causes the most metabolic wear and tear on your cells is oxidative stress.
Luckily there are antioxidants that bind to the free radicals and prevents them from damaging the cells. Just in case you ever wondered what the whole antioxidant thing was all about.
Now antioxidant supplementation has shown a lot of promise in preventing different types of cancers, but it hasn’t shown to really affect the aging process.
A lot of research in the last couple decades has focused on telomeres.
Well, scientists discovered that these telomeres get shorter every time your cell and chromosomes divide and the theory is that over time throughout your life, this leads to the chromosomes and the DNA becoming frayed, which leads to cells becoming damaged and thus, stop reproducing.
This is a point known as the Hayflick limit.
But, they discovered an enzyme that’s created in cells that reproduce often like skin cells and more so in stem cells called telomerase that actually lengthens and prevents the shortening of telomeres, meaning the cells and tissues survive much longer before hitting the Hayflick limit.
This was a big deal, and won the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 2009.
But the drug that’s really got everyone talking these days is metformin.
Metformin is a drug that’s been used since the 1950s to treat diabetes, so it’s nothing new. But researchers started noticing something over the decades.
Patients who took metformin tended to live longer and suffer from fewer age-related illnesses. One study found that diabetics on metformin not only lived longer than diabetics who aren’t on metformin, they lived longer than non-diabetic people as well.
You really can’t talk about aging research without talking about Aubrey De Grey. He’s the founder and head scientist at the SENS Research Foundation and the SENS foundation has pinpointed 7 different categories of cellular damage that leads to aging and has set about fixing them one by one.
But of course, the ultimate option is nanobots.
Swarms of blood-cell size robots that can be programmed to repair tissues, destroy tumors, clean blockages in our arteries and physically connect neurons are the ultimate life expander.