*Staying active, eating well keeps arteries youthful, lowers risk of heart disease by up to 55%
Humans may live to 120 in just 60 years time, according to a leading expert.Research reveals it is possible to slow down our biological, or ‘inner’, ageing process, which could help us to live decades beyond the current life expectancy of 81.
Drugs that interact with our Deoxy ribonucleic Acid (DNA)/genetic material maintain the function of our bodies for longer, the research suggests.Experts stress, however, this must be combined with a healthy lifestyle for full effect.
Yet, how a 120-year-old life expectancy may impact our quality of life is unclear. The side effects of such treatments are also unknown. Several European countries are in talks to start drug trials within the next three years.
Professor Vladimir Khavinson, head of the St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology, said: “It is important to understand that nobody would want to live a long and unhealthy life. The main goal for us now must be to allow people to stay healthy for as long as possible into their old age.”
Researchers from St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology conducted research on 17 species, including mice and monkeys.Results revealed drugs that act on the ‘peptide technology’ theory cause specific compounds, known as peptides, to interact with DNA. This then results in the production of certain proteins, which prolong lifespan. The researchers expect a similar outcome in humans.
Six of these drugs are already available in Russia. These include Thymalin to maintain immune system function and Cortexin to preserve brain activity.The drugs work on the so-called ‘peptide technology theory’ that interacting with DNA increases protein production that prolongs lifespan.
Speaking at the international symposium on longevity in Geneva, Professor Vladimir Khavinson said: “One of the key indicators of ageing is the reduction of protein synthesis. We have come to the conclusion that it is possible to restore it to a normal level with the use of peptide bioregulators and have found an optimal way to maintain natural peptide production of a sufficient quantity.
“The technology developed by our scientific institute is based on the extraction of peptides from the tissues of young healthy animals that have the same structure as human tissues.”
Also, new research reveals you can be as healthy as a 20-something in your 70s. A study found that avoiding six of the seven main risk factors for heart disease keeps our arteries youthful and reduces our risk of developing the condition in our 50s and beyond by 55 percent.
Lifestyle habits such as being physically active, eating well and not smoking increase the health of our blood vessels by up to 10 times, the research adds.As we age, our arteries typically become stiffer, which increases our risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Researchers believe making simple, healthy lifestyle choices can maintain our youthful health as we age.
Researchers from Boston University assessed 3,196 adults aged 50 and over for more than nine years to determine how their risk of vascular ageing – reduced blood vessel elasticity – was influenced by the seven main risk factors for heart disease.
These risk factors are made up of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, high blood sugar, inactivity, poor diet, obesity and smoking.None of the participants had heart disease at the start of the study, yet 391 people developed the condition during the trial. Some 207 cardiovascular events, such as a heart attacks, occurred.
Those with healthy arteries were 55 percent less likely to develop heart disease.The results, published in the journal Hypertension, also revealed adults who avoid at least six of the seven problems are 10 times more likely to have flexible, healthy blood vessels than those that dodge just one or less.
Study author Teemu Niiranen said: “Especially staying lean and avoiding diabetes seemed to be very important.“This association is thought to be mainly caused by the excess inflammation and neurohormonal imbalances associated with obesity and diabetes.”
Niiranen added: “Controlling risk factors can keep your arteries healthy and it is worth addressing the well known risk factors. “This includes lifestyle measure such as weight reduction, physical exercise and smoking cessation but in most cases also medication such as blood pressure-lowering drugs and lipid-lowering drugs.”