Reversing physical ageing could be as simple as giving people a treatment that encourages their body to burn fat and promote muscle growth, study finds. Researchers from the University of Bonn worked from the idea that a fatter stomach and shrinking muscles are common signs of ageing that'could be reversed'. This treatment - which involves switching receptors that regulates weight and muscle growth - has so far only been tested on mice and in human cell cultures. The German research team found that by triggering these receptors on a fast-burning form of fat, older mice become much fitter and as healthy as younger mice. They then compared the fat cells and pathways in the mice with human cells and found they were essentially the same, meaning it should to do the same with people.
Who wants to live forever? Until recently, the quest to slow ageing or even reverse it was the stuff of legends – or scams. But, today, an evidence-based race to delay or prevent ageing is energising scientists worldwide. Scientists say there are already a number of things we can do to extend life and health, while promising that current and ongoing large-scale trials of drugs and other interventions mean the once-mythical goal of healthy, longer-lived lives is not far away. "Death is inevitable but ageing is not," said Dr Nir Barzilai, founding director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.
The small pinkish pill sitting in my palm looks no more exciting than a battered Smartie. And yet it represents the culmination of centuries of ceaseless striving and quests for magical elixirs. The Australian scientist who has developed it predicts that, in decades to come, people will look back on its creation as a moment as historically significant as the Wright brothers' first flight. Apparently, it tastes like salted popcorn, but for form's sake Professor David Sinclair would rather I didn't swallow this little dose of nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN -- although he's confident it wouldn't harm me. On the contrary, Professor Sinclair -- one of the world's leading experts on the science of ageing -- believes it is the key to not only warding off the process of human ageing but even reversing it.
It is something that many have only dreamed of, but now scientists believe they may have found a way to reverse the signs of ageing. New research has pinpointed the cells in the hypothalamus – a pea-size component of the brain – that control the ageing process. While studies so far have focused on mice, the researchers believe that the cells could one day be targeted in humans to create anti-ageing treatments. The team looked at what happened to the cells as healthy mice got older. They found that the number of hypothalamus stem cells began to diminish when the animals reached about 10 months, several months before the usual signs of ageing normally start to appear.
Cycling at full pelt for just four minutes at a time can stop the ageing process. Short bursts of super-intense exercise, used in spinning classes, have been found to reverse damage to cells which decline with age. Many people may think long bike rides are the best exercise, or at least a half-hour session pedaling at the gym. But a US study found just four minutes of all-out cycling, followed by three easier minutes, are needed 12 times a week, along with another 90 minutes walking on a treadmill. High intensity interval training, as it is known, works better than longer cycling sessions and weightlifting to halt the damage to the cells' 'batteries' which may kickstart the ageing process.