Until recently the only thing found to lengthen the lifespan of various creatures, such as laboratory mice and fruit flies, was calorie restriction. Since eating is one of the great joys of life for us humans, the prospect of cutting our calorie intake by the required 30% or so in order to live for 140 years (e.g., cutting back from a normal 2100 calories to just 1400 -- for the rest of one's added years) didn't look like a very good solution. In the last couple of decades, however, researchers have found another more promising (less denial oriented) way that may allow us to live beyond the current maximum human lifespan of about 120 years.
This more promising method of extending lifespans involves the manipulation of genes. More specifically, scientists such as Cynthia Kenyon, PhD, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), by manipulating a single gene in round worms (C. elegans), has been able to double the lifespan of this creature from about two weeks to fours weeks (or a maximum lifespan of 30 days to 70 days). What she and other researchers have done is to turn down the gene that controls insulin and the insulin-like growth factor (IGF -1) and switch on a gene that acts as a fountain-of-life gene. In fact, by adding the manipulation of genes involved with reproduction, these scientists have been able to increase the lifespan of these worms by SIX TIMES.
Researchers have been able to get similar results, that is, lengthen the lifespan, in mice (not that we necessarily want longer-living mice); and, most importantly, they see this as a real possibility someday for humans. In addition, these longer-living creatures enjoy improved well being in their added lifetime; they display the energy levels and good health of young worms or mice, as the case may be. Enough, however, of my interpretation of these very promising developments! You can hear Cynthia Kenyon in her own words in the following video (followed by more commentary):
Seeing the negative effect of excessive insulin and IGF-1 on lifespan and health, Cynthia Kenyon has adopted a very low-glycemic diet. She eats very little in the way of desserts, sweets, sugary fruits, potatoes, rice and breads. Her diet consists, according to a Wikipedia entry about her, of fish, chicken, eggs, cheese, nuts, greens and other low-starch vegetables, and other foods high in fats and protein and low in carbohydrates. While it says that she doesn't recommend this type of diet for others, it does go on to say that it seems to be working for her. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_Kenyon
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From Ed Mayhew -- the author of Fitter After 50, Fitter For Life and other books, CDs, videos and articles on how you, too, can make falling apart as you age merely an option -- NOT a mandate. Why not make the rest of your life the BEST of your life? http://www.FitterforLife.com and http://www.amazon.com/Age-Blasters-Steps-Younger-You/dp/1598589083/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276528674&sr=1-1 (click here for paperback or Kindle editions of AGE BLASTERS)