ISLAMABAD - Reducing daily intake of food by 40 percent may help in enhancing one’s life span by 20 years, British scientists working over treatment for ageing disease have suggested.
Researchers at the Institute of Health Ageing at University College, London are developing a treatment they hope will combat the `disease` of getting older, a newspaper reported.
They are looking into how genetics and lifestyle, adapted to offset the effects of ageing, can add years possibly decades to a person`s life. Age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegeneration can also be combated, it is claimed.
One line of inquiry that the team is developing is how the life of a rat can be increased by up to 30 percent simply by reducing its food intake. “If you reduce the diet of a rat by 40 per cent it will live for 20 or 30 per cent longer. So we would be talking 20 years of human life. This has shown on all sorts of organisms, even labradors,” lead researcher Mathew Piper told The Independent.
Scientists are also studying fruit flies, which share 60 percent of human genes and age in a similar manner, and mice.
They have already prolonged the healthy lifespan in both flies and mice by using drug treatments and a modified diet. It is hoped that this combination will also work to extend human life. Piper said, “If we discover the genes involved with ageing, we should be able to delay ageing itself. This is what we’ve found.” Piper, however, cautioned that the field of research into extending life is only a decade old, so remains “theoretical”.
Seafood ‘may cut heart attack risk by 50pc’
Including one portion of seafood in your weekly diet may half the chances of suffering a heart attack; it has been revealed in a study.
Prawns, crabs, squid and octopus are just as packed with vitamins, minerals and fish oils as fish like salmon or cod, the Daily Mail reported.
They all contain Omega-3 - a key fatty acid known to help with heart health. Although seafood contains cholesterol, it’s actually foods high in saturated fats - the type found in cheese, red meat and fast food - that increase levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
So seafood is unlikely to have a major impact on your blood cholesterol levels. However, the NHS advises against eating raw shellfish and raw seafood during pregnancy.
Fish intake improves memory
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a possible explanation for why taking a diet high in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, improves our memory.
Principal investigator Yves Sauve and his team found that lab models fed a high-DHA diet had 30 per cent higher levels of DHA in the memory section of the brain, known as the hippocampus, when compared to animal models on a regular, healthy diet.
“We wanted to find out how fish intake improves memory,” said Sauve, a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry who works in the department of physiology, the department of ophthalmology and the Centre for Neuroscience.
“What we discovered is that memory cells in the hippocampus could communicate better with each other and better relay messages when DHA levels in that region of the brain were higher.
This could explain why memory improves on a high-DHA diet,” he said.
Sauve noted it is a key finding that when a diet is supplemented with DHA, that additional stores of the omega-3 fatty acid are deposited in the brain. His team confirmed this finding, a discovery other labs have noted as well.
Supplementing your diet with DHA, such as increasing fish intake or taking supplements, could prevent declining DHA levels in the brain as we age, Sauve suggested.
Earlier this year, Sauve and other colleagues discovered DHA prevents the accumulation of a toxic molecule at the back of the eye that causes age-related vision loss. He is continuing his research in this area.
Their findings been have just published in the peer-reviewed journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.