Healthy Life Extension
Control Your Own Mortality Riskposted on December 6th, 2011
Dear Future Centenarian,
Here’s another wellness insight from Reason at www.FightAging.org:
Large-scale studies of health and longevity demonstrate the degree to which we can choose to shift our own risk of disease and death, and along with it the likely level of necessary medical expenditures in our future.
One longevity-related line item that doesn't come up often enough in discussion is the matter of the expected state of your wallet as you move through life.
Given that you have a fair degree of control over your long-term health, do you also have the same degree of control over the funds needed for future medical treatment?
Reliability theory, a consideration of aging as damage, suggests that the only paths to a longer life are those which reduce or repair the accumulated biological damage that leads to aging. Reliability theory also tells us that this will lead to a lower chance of systems failure—which we might interpret as a lower chance of the need for medical intervention at any given time.
So it makes sense to look at the emerging biotechnologies of enhanced longevity as a way to reduce long term expenditures on medicine, on average, for individuals. One might hope that everyone—and not just those who have nursed an aging car through its last years - understands the difference in maintenance costs for a well-repaired machine versus one that's showing all the signs of accumulated wear and tear.
Damaged machines spiral down into ever more expensive breakdowns, and that's just as true of people as it is of the things people build. Yet much of the public debate over medicine seems to focus on the idea that living longer implies greater medical expenditure, possibly another aspect of the Tithonus Error, the naive belief that living longer though biotechnology means being old for longer rather than being young for longer.
One proven way to extend your health span and lifespan is simply moving more.
For light- to moderate intensity activities of daily living, e.g. housework, gardening, stair climbing, walking and bicycling for transportation, an increase of one hour per week compared to no physical activity was associated with a reduction in mortality of four percent.
Even better, Dr. Samitz said that with moderate-intensity leisure activities (e.g. Nordic walking, hiking, social dance) the risk reduction increased to six percent, and with vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or sports (e.g. jogging, bicycling (>10 miles per hour), tennis, ball sport), the reduction in all-cause mortality was even nine percent per one hour increment per week.
Better yet, meeting the WHO´s recommended level of 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity of daily life or during leisure was associated with a reduction in mortality risk by ten percent. For vigorous exercise and sports the reduction in mortality risk was more than twofold higher (22 %).
I’m not one for New Year Resolutions. There’s no magic in Januarys. But if you did slip a little during the year, maybe a new beginning makes sense for you, especially if you overdo it during the Holidays (or, under-exercise). After all, a 22% reduction in your mortality risk is not something you want to ignore. And that’s just exercise.
Couple it with good nutrition, and 22% is just your starting point.
On second thought, why wait till the new year? Let’s get a 4 week head start!
LATEST HEADLINES FROM FIGHT AGING!
THE FOSSIL RECORD AND THE HISTORY OF BEING OLD Friday, December 2, 2011 http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2011/12/the-fossil-record-and-the-history-of-being-old.php
The fossil records of the 21st century will be unique in our species' history for two reasons. Firstly, there will be more human remains this century than in any other century (because of the size of the human population). Furthermore, the vast majority of these deaths will be caused by chronic disease and will afflict people after the age of 60. Isn't it odd, given how many people are projected to suffer and die from chronic disease and given the rapid progress that is being made in the biomedical sciences, that we don't invest more of our energies into tackling the leading cause of chronic disease? Namely, aging. When future generations look back at the 21st century they will wonder why we didn't act sooner to try to ameliorate the high risks of morbidity and mortality that currently ravage our bodies and minds."
ANOTHER RAPAMYCIN LIFESPAN STUDY Friday, December 2, 2011 http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2011/12/another-rapamycin-lifespan-study.php
Rapamycin inhibited age-related weight gain, decreased aging rate, increased lifespan (especially in the last survivors) and delayed spontaneous cancer. 22.9% of rapamycin-treated mice survived the age of death of the last mouse in control group. Thus we demonstrated for the first time in normal inbred mice that lifespan can be extended by rapamycin. This opens an avenue to develop optimal doses and schedules of rapamycin as an anti-aging modality."
THE STATE OF DNA SEQUENCING Thursday, December 1, 2011 http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2011/12/the-state-of-dna-sequencing.php
Data handling is now the bottleneck. It costs more to analyze a genome than to sequence a genome. That could delay the day when DNA sequencing is routinely used in medicine. In only a year or two, the cost of determining a person's complete DNA blueprint is expected to fall below $1,000. But that long-awaited threshold excludes the cost of making sense of that data, which is becoming a bigger part of the total cost as sequencing costs themselves decline. We believe the field of bioinformatics for genetic analysis will be one of the biggest areas of disruptive innovation in life science tools over the next few years."
PRINTING BONE SCAFFOLDS Wednesday, November 30, 2011 http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2011/11/printing-bone-scaffolds.php
If a doctor has a CT scan of a defect, we can convert it to a CAD file and make the scaffold according to the defect. The material grows out of a four-year interdisciplinary effort involving chemistry, materials science, biology and manufacturing. A main finding of the paper is that the addition of silicon and zinc more than doubled the strength of the main material, calcium phosphate. The researchers also spent a year optimizing a commercially available ProMetal 3D printer designed to make metal objects. The printer works by having an inkjet spray a plastic binder over a bed of powder in layers of 20 microns, about half the width of a human hair. Following a computer's directions, it creates a channeled cylinder the size of a pencil eraser. After just a week in a medium with immature human bone cells, the scaffold was supporting a network of new bone cells."
SENS FOUNDATION ON PLURIPOTENT STEM CELLS AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE Tuesday, November 29, 2011 http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2011/11/sens-foundation-on-pluripotent-stem-cells-and-parkinsons-disease.php
The promise of this approach has been foreshadowed in murine models of PD, in which DA neurons derived from mouse [embryonic stem cells] have been found highly effective in reversing motor symptoms. But the performance of ostensibly DA neurons derived from human pluripotent stem cells in the same systems has so far been poor, due to uncertain and unstable differentiation of the cells. In a new study, a team of researchers [have] used their novel DA neuron differentiation strategy to resolve these difficulties, leading to robust and stable engraftment of human pluripotent stem cell-derived DA neurons into the striatum and substantial evidence of efficacy in two rodent models of the disease, and provided preliminary data on the viability of their approach in nonhuman primates."
A VIEW OF THE BREADTH OF RESEARCH AIMED AT SLOWING AGING Monday, November 28, 2011 http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2011/11/a-view-of-the-breadth-of-research-aimed-as-slowing-aging.php
The potential for further advances in this field is immense; hundreds of genes in several pathways have recently emerged as regulators of aging and caloric restriction in model organisms. Some of these genes, such as IGF1R and FOXO3, have also been associated with human longevity in genetic association studies. The parallel emergence of network approaches offers prospects to develop multitarget drugs and combinatorial therapies. Understanding how the environment modulates aging-related genes may lead to human applications and disease therapies through diet, lifestyle, or pharmacological interventions. Unlocking the capacity to manipulate human aging would result in unprecedented health benefits."Back to Top