The term life extension deals solely with a wide mixture of approaches that aim at prolonging life. Several of these approaches are merely possibilities established on our intellect of why we age. Few, are more akin to science fiction and some may even be categorized as outright entertainment. Possibilities exist that we are capable of extending the human life to as many as 5,000 years by the end of the century by the application of biogenetics which is of course illogical. As stated above, living a healthy lifestyle and debarring risks does not ensure adding years to our life. Some of the latest theories and approaches aiming at life extension are:
A great deal of the damage incurred due to aging in a human body is induced by the metabolism of changing food into energy. If we restrain the quantity of food intake by 30 to 50%, we can limit the damage due to aging.
Calorie limitation is a strategy established to extend a fit and maximum life span in rodents and primates. Some animal analysis carried on over the past 20 years has indicated up to a 40% increase in maximum life span. Although No studies have been completed on humans, an analysis for 6-8 years over healthy adult human beings have shown that a 20% decrease in calorie consumption relaxes conventional and disease related aging in human beings as well.
Catering out antioxidants and additional nutritional ingredients to the body at a greater extent will slow down the process of aging. By giving the body a lot of antioxidants, damage caused by free radicals is diminished. It is not clear whether these approaches slacken the actual aging process, or simply bring down a human being’s chance of falling ill. No studies have associated these nutritional approaches with a genuine increase in life span although they are associated with a lessening in illness.
Supplements are depicted to be not as competent as consuming genuine nutrient through food. The oldest advice is still the best advice- consume good deal of Fruits and Vegetables to stay young for a longer time.
Read this brilliant book ‘The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging’. It gives comprehensive advice on what foods to eat to live long and healthy.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
When people age, their hormone levels, particularly human growth hormone, testosterone and DHEA worsen. Hormone-replacement therapy gives people doses of these hormones to balance the consequences and impact of aging. An individual going through hormone-replacement therapy will feel healthier for some time. But the supplements prescribed for the therapy are expected to slow down body’s ability to produce these crucial hormones. Though evidence exists to associate hormone-replacement therapy with increased life span in human beings, it is definitely known to slow down the aging process.
Body Part Replacement
Some life extensionists propose that therapeutic cloning and stem cell research could one day put up a way to generate cells, body parts, or even entire bodies that would be genetically indistinguishable to a potential patient. Some even forecast the production of entire bodies, missing consciousness, for the ultimate brain transplantation.
The human body is therefore like a house, where we can replace several components but the house still remains unchanged. Disciples to this theory believe that we will be capable to develop and replace body parts as they wear out.
It is the low-temperature preservation of humans and animals who can no longer be kept alive by modern-day medication, with the hope that healing and resuscitation may be possible in the future. Cryonics does not believe that legal death is “real death” as though neurological damage occurs within 4–6 minutes of cardiac arrest, the permanent neurodegenerative processes do not manifest for hours.
Adherents conceive that by bringing down body temperature in a complex process that prevents freezing but chills the body to exceedingly low temperatures, one can preserve cells and tissues indefinitely. No mammal has however been successful cryo-preserved and returned to life. The common practice with us is to place a human in a cryogenic state directly upon death, but prior to the degeneration of tissues and cells. This is done in the hope that someday in the future, medication will not alone be able to resurrect an individual from this state, but also be able to treat whatsoever caused death earlier.
Hydrogen Sulfide and Longevity – Life Extension and Hibernation
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are trying to find out if cellular hibernation be caused by placing a chemical in our body. In order to experiment they have used Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) to put mice into a “reverse metabolic hibernation.”
Life Extension, Longevity and Hydrogen Sulfide
Research workers have detected that nematodes (tiny worms) that were raised in a controlled atmosphere with low concentrations of H2S did not hibernate. Rather, their metabolic process and reproductive activity remained normal, life span expanded and they became more tolerant to heat than untreated worms. It was found that 77% of the exposed worms lived an average of 9.6 days longer than the non-exposed ones.
Researchers believe that the hydrogen sulfide helps to regulate the SIR-2.1 gene, which is significant in longevity. When this gene is “hyperactive,” it can increase the lifespan of other organisms as well by 20%. While the nematode has enough similarities with humans to be a great research example, there really isn’t any evidence that living in an environment with higher hydrogen sulfide levels will extend life in humans.
H2S is normally produced in humans and animals
and help regulate body temperature and metabolic activity. The chemical is
similar to oxygen at the molecular level and binds many protein molecules. As a
result, H2S contends for and intervenes with the body’s ability to use oxygen
for energy production. Researchers are excited about this course of research as
a way of potentially “buying time” for critically ill patients by
slowing down their metabolic process while waiting for treatment to start its
Calorie Restriction and Life Extension- Cut Calories, Live Longer?
Calorie restriction is a scheme for expanding life expectancy by bringing down the total amount of calories consumed daily. Over the last 20 years there has been a rise in food consumption accompanied by an ascending incidence of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in many countries of the world. Calorie restriction research has been around since the 1930s and recent studies have demonstrated longevity benefits to rats and other animals on a low calorie diet.
In this process Calorie-poor, nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables are opted over sugars, high carbohydrate items and other foods. It is exceedingly difficult to maintain calorie restriction for long period. Consequently anyone on this diet should have knowledge on nutrition and must see their doctor for regular check-ups. On an average, while a normal American consumes between 2000 and 3000 calories per day the ones practicing calorie restriction may consume between 1500 and 2000 calories daily.
The maximum lifespan of rats has been nearly doubled in some experiments on a wholesome, low calorie diet. The advantageous effects of calorie restriction on health and life-span have also been found on other animals like monkeys, mice, and spiders. Not only do the animals on calorie restriction live longer but they also remain more youthful, energetic and healthy.
In humans, calorie restriction has been proven
to lower blood pressure, improve the function of heart, veins, and arteries,
and lower blood insulin levels. However it is not known if calorie restriction
can increase the life expectancy in humans. However Studies over 2 – 6 years on
healthy adult humans have shown that a 20% reduction in food or calorie intake
slows many chances of normal and disease-related aging. Thus, it is widely
believed that long-term reduction in calorie or food intake will delay the
onset of age-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and
so prolong life.