Anti-Aging

Three Key Anti-Aging Lifestyles

Body.OldAge2The protective endcaps of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age, telomeres are combinations of DNA and proteins that protect the ends of chromosomes and help them remain stable. Telomere shortening is associated with a weakening of structural integrity, and is thought to be a mechanism of aging.

Eli Puterman, from the University of California/San Francisco (UCSF; California, USA), and colleagues examined three healthy behaviors, namely – physical activity, dietary intake and sleep quality – over the course of one year in 239 post-menopausal, non-smoking women. The women provided blood samples at the beginning and end of the year for telomere measurement and reported on stressful events that occurred during those 12 months.

In women who engaged in lower levels of healthy behaviors, there was a significantly greater decline in telomere length in their immune cells for every major life stressor that occurred during the year. Yet women who maintained active lifestyles, healthy diets, and good quality sleep appeared protected when exposed to stress – accumulated life stressors did not appear to lead to greater shortening.

Observing that: “Women who maintained relatively higher levels of health behaviors (1  standard deviation above the mean) appeared to be protected when exposed to stress,” the study authors submit that: “This finding has implications for understanding malleability of telomere length, as well as expectations for possible intervention effects.”

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Source: WorldHealth.net

Reduce Sitting Time to Protect Aging DNA

Body.DNA.Gene2It is widely known that sitting for prolonged periods of time can have adverse health effects. But a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that shortening the amount of time spent sitting could protect aging DNA and even prolong lifespan.

Previous studies reported by Medical News Today have suggested that individuals who spend less time sitting have a lower risk for chronic diseases – such as diabetes, stroke, breast and colon cancer – and a lower risk for heart failure.

But researchers from this latest study looked at how physical activity lengthens telomeres. Telomeres sit on the “DNA storage units” of each cell, called chromosomes, and stop them from unraveling or clumping together and “scrambling” the genetic codes they contain.

“There is growing concern that not only low physical activity level in populations, but probably also sitting and sedentary behavior, is an important and new health hazard of our time,” write the researchers, who investigated whether physical activity affects telomere length.

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Source: Medical News Today

Lifetime of Fitness: Fountain of Youth for Bone, Joint Health?

Business.Cloud.PhysicalActivity1Being physically active may significantly improve musculoskeletal and overall health, and minimize or delay the effects of aging, according to a review of the latest research on senior athletes (ages 65 and up) appearing in the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).

It long has been assumed that aging causes an inevitable deterioration of the body and its ability to function, as well as increased rates of related injuries such as sprains, strains and fractures; diseases, such as obesity and diabetes; and osteoarthritis and other bone and joint conditions. However, recent research on senior, elite athletes suggests usage of comprehensive fitness and nutrition routines helps minimize bone and joint health decline and maintain overall physical health.

“An increasing amount of evidence demonstrates that we can modulate age-related decline in the musculoskeletal system,” said lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Bryan G. Vopat, MD. “A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself.”

The positive effects of physical activity on maintaining bone density, muscle mass, ligament and tendon function, and cartilage volume are keys to optimal physical function and health. In addition, the literature recommends a combined physical activity regimen for all adults encompassing resistance, endurance, flexibility and balance training, “as safely allowable for a given person.

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Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Lifetime of fitness: Fountain of youth for bone, joint health?.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014.

Important: Fitness in 50s Is An Anti-Aging Essential

Workout.Female.DumbellIn a first-of-its-kind study to link physical ability of men and women in their 50s with the likelihood of dying, Rachel Cooper, from University College London (United Kingdom) and colleagues warn that poor physical capacity in midlife may raise a person’s risk of premature death.

The team assessed data collected on 1,355 men and 1,411 women, all age 53 years when their fitness was measured, who were enrolled in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development in England, Scotland, and Wales. A visiting nurse assessed each participant’s ability to perform three physical tests. One test gauged hand grip strength, another evaluated a person’s ability to balance on one foot and the third noted the time it took the participant to stand up from a chair.

The researchers then followed the participants for the next 13 years, using information from the National Health Service register to find out which had died. They took into account other factors that could influence the risk of death, including smoking, body size and a history of illnesses such as heart and lung problems at age 53. With 177 deaths during the follow-up period, the data suggested that the participants who performed in the lowest one-fifth on the tests were almost four times as likely to die during follow-up as people who completed the tasks best. Those who couldn’t perform any of the tests were more than eight times as likely to die as the top performers.

Observing that: “Lower levels of physical capability at age 53 and inability to perform capability tests are associated with higher rates of mortality,” the study authors submit that: “Even at this relatively young age these measures identify groups of people who are less likely than others to achieve a long and healthy life.”

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Source: WorldHealth.net


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Having a Sense of Purpose May Add Years to Your Life

Support.Mission1Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The research has clear implications for promoting positive aging and adult development, says lead researcher Patrick Hill of Carleton University in Canada:

“Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose,” says Hill. “So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur.”

Greater purpose in life consistently predicted lower mortality risk across the lifespan, showing the same benefit for younger, middle-aged, and older participants across the follow-up period.

This consistency came as a surprise to the researchers:

“There are a lot of reasons to believe that being purposeful might help protect older adults more so than younger ones,” says Hill. “For instance, adults might need a sense of direction more, after they have left the workplace and lost that source for organizing their daily events. In addition, older adults are more likely to face mortality risks than younger adults.”

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Source: Association for Psychological Science.


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Too Little, and Too Much, Sleep Ages the Brain

Body.Sleep1Achieving quality sleep is an anti-aging essential, yet many of us fail to feel rested upon waking. Elizabeth Devore, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues evaluated associations of sleep duration at midlife and later life, and change in sleep duration over time, with memory in 15,263 participants of the Nurses’ Health Study.

The team found that women who slept five or fewer hours, or nine or more hours per day, either in midlife or later life, can cause memory declines equivalent to nearly two additional years of age. Further, the researchers noted that women whose sleep duration changed by greater than two hours per day over time had worse memory than women with no change in sleep duration. The study authors submit that: “Extreme sleep durations at midlife and later life and extreme changes in sleep duration over time appear to be associated with poor cognition in older women.”

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Source: WorldHealth.net.


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Algorithm Developed for Anti-Aging Remedy Search

Body.OldAge1An algorithm that can help in the search for aging-suppressing drugs has been developed by researchers whose work compares gene expression in young and elderly patients’ cells. The scientists have based the new research on their previously developed methods in the study of cancer cells. Each cell uses particular schemes of molecular interaction, which physiologists call intercellular signaling pathways.

The scientists point out that their algorithm can be used in rapid and inexpensive search for drugs which can minimize the difference between the cells of young and elderly patients. This means that it will be possible to speed up the search for longevity drugs and decrease its cost. What is more, this will be achieved not by simply fighting some particular diseases, but by a complex influence on the mechanisms of aging.

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Source: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. “Algorithm developed for anti-aging remedy search.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2014.


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Brain Boost Offered by Anti-Aging Factor

Body.BrainA variant of the gene KLOTHO is known for its anti-aging effects in people fortunate enough to carry one copy. Now researchers find that it also has benefits when it comes to brain function. The variant appears to lend beneficial cognitive effects by increasing overall levels of klotho in the bloodstream and brain.

What’s more, the improvements in learning and memory associated with klotho elevation aren’t strictly tied to aging. They do occur in aging mice, but also in young animals, according to a report published in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports. That means klotho works to enhance brain power, but in an unexpected way.

“Based on what was known about klotho, we expected it to affect the brain by changing the aging process,” said Lennart Mucke of the Gladstone Institute and the University of California, San Francisco, who directed the study. “But this is not what we found, which suggests to us that we are on to something new and different.”

Together with a large group of collaborators, Mucke and lead author Dena Dubal examined the question in three separate cohorts of people participating in aging studies of various kinds, adding up to more than 700 people. Their analysis showed that people with one of the life-extending variants of the KLOTHO gene scored better on cognitive tests. Because those effects were associated with higher circulating levels of klotho, the researchers turned to genetically engineered mice that express higher-than-normal levels of the life-extending substance.

Mucke says that means the findings could have broad therapeutic implications. “Because cognition is a highly valued aspect of brain function that diminishes with aging and disease, the potential to enhance it even slightly is of great potential relevance to the human condition,” Dubal said.

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Source: Medical News Today.


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Six Key Longevity Principles

Support.Caution.Risk2Various countries aim to reduce premature mortality from four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs), namely – cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes. These nations have targeted to reduce these disease incidences by 25% from 2010 levels by 2025. Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues report that this target may be achievable by the reduction of six specific modifiable risk factors.

Using country-level data on deaths and risk factors and epidemiological models, the researchers estimate the number of deaths that could be prevented between 2010 and 2025 by reducing the burden of each of the six risk factors to globally agreed target levels – tobacco use (30% reduction and a more ambitious 50% reduction), alcohol use (10% reduction), salt intake (30% reduction), high blood pressure (25% reduction), and halting the rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes.

Overall, the findings suggest that meeting the targets for all six risk factors would reduce the risk of dying prematurely from the four main NCDs by 22% in men and 19% for women in 2025 compared to what they were in 2010. Worldwide, this improvement is equivalent to delaying or preventing at least 16 million deaths in people aged 30-70 years and 21 million in those aged 70 years or older over 15 years.

The authors predict that the largest benefits will come from reducing high blood pressure and tobacco use. They calculate that a more ambitious 50% reduction in prevalence of smoking by 2025, rather than the current target of 30%, would reduce the risk of dying prematurely by more than 24% in men and by 20% in women. The study investigators submit that: “If the agreed risk factor targets are met, premature mortality from the four main NCDs will decrease to levels that are close to the 25×25 target, with most of these benefits seen in low-income and middle-income countries.”

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Source: WorldHealth.net.


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Damage to Blood Vessels as We Age Reduced by Protective Proteins

Body.Blood.CellsResearchers have uncovered how proteins found in our blood can reduce damage caused to blood vessels as we age, and in conditions such as atherosclerosis and arthritis.

Calcification is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Blood vessels can harden as calcium phosphate (CaP) crystals, normally found in bones and teeth, build up in soft tissue as we age or as a result of illness. This can lead to complications in patients with atherosclerosis, a major cause of death in the UK whereby arteries thicken and are at risk of becoming blocked.

However a team of scientists at the BBSRC-funded Babraham Institute has discovered how CaP damages vessels, and how proteins normally found in our circulation can help prevent this process. In the study funded by the British Heart Foundation, researchers found that small CaP crystals were being consumed by blood vessel cells, resulting in abnormally high levels of calcium ions, which can prove toxic.

They discovered that two proteins in the blood, fetuin-A and albumin, can slow down the uptake of CaP crystals by blood vessel cells, reducing the release of calcium ions and protecting against damage.

Dr Diane Proudfoot, who led the study, explained: “Small changes in calcium levels within a cell controls many aspects of normal cell function. However, when calcium levels become excessive, the cell can die. By delaying the uptake of these crystals and reducing the release of calcium ions, proteins fetuin-A and albumin can help to keep calcium ions at a safe level.”

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Source: Medical News Today.