Everyday our team of researchers in Oxford are inundated with scientific, and medical research articles that have the potential to improve health, wellbeing, and longevity. In this blog we highlight a few of them that caught our attention today.
Can lowering our levels of low-density lipoprotein — the ‘bad’ cholesterol — reduce our risk of stroke, and heart-disease?
Key takeaway(s): The researchers found that there is a direct relationship between LDL levels, and the risk of stroke. Lowering the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) even by a small amount (1 mmol/L) was associated with significant reduction (23.5%) in stroke risk. Additionally, the researchers also found that reducing LDL levels always improves your risk of not having a stroke.
How can I live to be a healthy 90-year old?
Why is this important: As we have learnt from the article above — heart disease is the number 1 cause of death worldwide. We also know that we can reduce our risk from heart disease by changing a few things in the way we live, and in the things we do or do not eat. But what are these lifestyle factors that can help us grow old without the risk from cardiovascular diseases?
Key takeaway(s): After following 1,000 businessmen for over 40 years the researchers found that if you want to be a healthy 90-year old then you have to stop smoking, lower your BMI, lower your total cholesterol, and lower the level of glucose in your blood. The researchers also found that alcohol consumption, blood pressure, and self related health and fitness levels had very little to no impact on making it to your 90s in good health.
Why do some species evolve shorter lifespans?
Why is this important: We don’t fully understand why different species evolve different lifespans. One popular theory is the Medawar-Williams prediction, which states that if a species lives in a dangerous environment, it will evolve to age faster and die younger.
What did the researchers do: In this paper, researchers discuss the merits of this theory, including whether the type of environmental danger affects the evolution of longevity.
Key takeaway(s): Environments that lead to high mortality rates do appear to drive the evolution of shorter lifespans, but only when mortality occurs haphazardly. When mortality stems from a consistent source such as extremes of temperature, this appears to favour the evolution of longer lifespans.
8-Hour Time Restricted Feeding Window deemed effective for Weight Loss
Key takeaway(s): The study found that body weight and energy intake decreased in the time restricted group by 2.6% on average, relative to controls over 12 weeks. Systolic blood pressure decreased in the time restricted feeding group (–7 ± 2 mm Hg) versus controls. These findings suggest that 8-hr time restricted feeding produces mild caloric restriction and weight loss, without calorie counting. This could be a useful initial stepping stone on a weight loss journey.
What is the effect of chemotherapy on cellular senescence?
Why is this important: The rate of survival of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer patients have increased greatly in recent years. However, they experience accelerated aging, evidenced by decline in cognitive abilities, exercise capacity and early development of chronic morbidities.
What did the researchers do:In this research, scientists have measured peripheral frailty and blood T-lymphocyte p16INK4a expression (one of the biomarkers of aging) in young patients before and after cancer therapy.
Key takeaway(s): Expression of p16INK4a is higher in cancer survivors, compared to a control. This suggests, that cellular senescence may be associated with early aging in survivors.