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Key Takeaways

  • New science is revealing that aging is not something we have to accept and endure, but a condition that we can reverse
  • Aging may be caused by an impairment of epigenetic information in the body, essentially meaning that we “forget how to be young”
  • Advanced technologies are already showing encouraging results in reversing aging in animal studies by restoring the integrity of epigenetic information

Actions to Consider

  • The human body has built-in defense mechanisms and anti-aging pathways that you can activate. Skipping meals, intermittent fasting, and engaging in physical exercise are examples of how to do that through lifestyle changes.
  • Scientists are studying how to activate these pathways using targeted medication as well. Stay alert for further scientific discoveries. Or just stay subscribed with us 🙂

David Sinclair on Reversing Aging

At the 2019 Science Unlimited event in Montreux, Switzerland, longevity expert and researcher, David Sinclair, advocated that aging is a treatable process

The team at his laboratory have already used several methods to reverse aging in mice by restoring the animals’ default epigenetic information. Potentially, these approaches could be used to enhance healthspan and lifespan in humans as well.

The general truth is that we have the power to slow down aging and lead a much healthier life if we adopt a more proactive attitude towards our habits. But if Sinclair’s progress continues, we may soon have age-reversing medication and therapies in our toolbox as well.

Why do we age?

Scientists agree that there are several causes of aging including mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere shortening, and epigenetic changes. Today, each of these causes are being researched and addressed separately. Could there be a unifying concept?

Sinclair believes that there is a universal cause of aging, one that brings together all of these particular aspects–this is the progressive loss of information in the body.

Information and aging in the human body

There are two major types of information in the human body. The first one is the genetic information stored in the DNA, which is digital, long-lasting, and reliable.

The second type is the epigenetic information that determines which genes in the DNA are activated or deactivated. Epigenetic information is analog and depends on physical controllers to function. For example, the scientists in David Sinclair’s laboratory research sirtuins: proteins that control which genes are on or off.

In Sinclair’s opinion, aging may be caused by epigenetic noise consisting of impaired proteins and other controlling factors. An accumulation of epigenetic noise may force the cells in the body to lose their identity and activate or deactivate the wrong genes at the wrong time, leading to aging and various health issues. 

The idea is that if this noise can appear (naturally or intentionally through research), it could be potentially removed as well. Cleaning this noise could restore the information on ”how to be young” in the body.

Promising solutions to the aging problem

In his talk, Sinclair discusses how his team has used several techniques to revert aging in living animals successfully.

In the first approach, the researchers used a virus to store particular anti-aging genes and introduced this virus into old mice with damaged optic nerves. This resulted in a noticeable regrowth of nerve cells, a process that happens only in very young animals.

The second approach relies on the use of a NAD-boosting medication. NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a fundamental molecule that plays a crucial role in epigenetic information regulation. NAD levels decline with aging. Old mice treated with an experimental NAD-boosting molecule for just a few weeks were able to run twice as far as untreated mice.

Conclusion

Although we still don’t have a universally accessible way of reversing aging, recent studies have reported encouraging results. Some of the most promising research is related to the concept of restoring epigenetic information, the information that controls which genes are turned on and off in the human body.

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