Aging and longevity treatments and supplements have become the subject of intensive scientific inquiry. Recent breakthroughs in cell and tissue biology have identified longevity factors conserved among eukaryotes that could extend human lifespans; but to see real gains made meaningful to people it will take both medical advances and lifestyle modifications to make gains meaningful to all.
Gains in life expectancy have often come hand-in-hand with increases in age-related diseases that wreak havoc on societies, particularly industrialized ones where health care costs spike as people live longer. Researchers, however, are working tirelessly to increase quality of life while prolonging longevity without incurring disease and disability costs.
USA TODAY interviewed several researchers who all agree on one or more medications or approaches that they believe could extend healthspan; these included rapamycin for organ rejection in transplants and diabetes drugs like metformin that could potentially be repurposed to increase healthy lifespan. Unfortunately, funding clinical trials to prove their safety will likely prove challenging.
Researchers who investigate the aging process also work to develop ways of delaying the onset of illnesses associated with old age, like cancer, heart disease and dementia. If these diseases were to occur they can severely limit a person’s mobility while greatly increasing healthcare costs. Studies conducted have revealed that those living to 100 on average typically develop many common illnesses associated with ageing decades later than shorter-lived individuals and are therefore generally healthier and less disabled than other age groups.
Scientists with an interest in the biology of aging tend to dismiss medical clinics that promise major life extension, instead focusing on increasing “healthspan”, or healthy life expectancy independent of lifespan.
One of the key ways that individuals can enhance their health and extend their longevity is to engage in regular exercise, consume a well-balanced diet, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake, get enough restful sleep, take supplements such as Vitamin C, Resveratrol, CoQ10 Curcumin Omega 3 Fatty Acids or Omega-3 Fatty Acids as these may help. When selecting supplements it is wise to opt for ones which have been third-party certified in order to ensure safety and effectiveness.
The increasing numbers of older adults and advances in longevity raise many questions for societies regarding how best to manage the challenges and opportunities these trends present. Many issues related to this are still not fully understood, while some can have wide ranging repercussions for both individuals and wider social/economic systems. Separating out each component is vital in order to avoid confusion that could hinder policy development and lead to negative individual and societal results; it is especially crucial for encouraging intergenerational mixing as well as eliminating age-based prejudices.