"Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn't want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer." - William Holden
Who doesn't want to remain fit and age gracefully? While scientists around the world are searching for some clues on healthy aging, a trio of aging experts have discovered certain strategies that are known to delay aging in animals.
Apart from a healthy diet and regular exercise, these strategies include slowing the metabolic and molecular factors of human aging, such as the incremental accumulation of cellular damage that occurs over time.
Cells die and replace themselves at various intervals. If it replaces itself with a much stronger and better cell, that leads to healthy aging. By treating the metabolic and molecular causes of human aging, it may be possible to help people stay healthy in their 70s and 80s, researchers claimed in a commentary published in the journal Nature.
"You do not have to be a mathematician or an economist to understand that our current healthcare approach is not sustainable," said Luigi Fontana, a professor of medicine and nutrition at Washington University and Brescia University.
Old-age ailments like heart problems, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer's disease tend to come as a package and more than 70 percent of people over 65 years of age suffer with two or more chronic diseases.
"We propose using lifestyle interventions - such as a personalized healthy diet and exercise program to down-regulate aging pathways so the patient avoids heart failure in the first place," Fontana emphasized.
"Healthy diets and calorie restriction are known to help animals live up to 50 percent longer," he maintained.
Fontana found that people, who eat significantly fewer calories while still getting optimal nutrition, have 'younger' and more flexible hearts. They also have comparatively lower blood pressure, much less inflammation in their bodies and their skeletal muscles function is similar to muscles in people who are significantly younger.
Researchers emphasized that more efforts should be directed to promote interventions that have the potential to prevent multiple chronic diseases and extend the healthy life span.