Longevity

Longevity Daily: 24 August, 2020

Posted on 24 August 2020

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.

  1. Can lowering our levels of low-density lipoprotein — the ‘bad’ cholesterol — reduce our risk of stroke, and heart-disease?
    • Why is this important: Cardiovascular diseases are the number 1 cause of deaths globally. Heart attacks and strokes, the main outcome of cardiovascular diseases, kill more than 17 million people each year. If we could lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by even a small fraction then we could save millions of lives.
    • What did the researchers do: In a recent review researchers from South Korea analysed the data from 23 randomized clinical trials with 222,149 participants. They wanted to understand the relationship between the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often referred to as bad cholesterol, and the risk of stroke or heart-attack.
    • 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.

  2. How can I live to be a healthy 90-year old?
    • 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 8-Hour Time Restricted Feeding Window deemed effective for Weight Loss
  5. 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.

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