Meta Title – Scientists Make Anti-Aging Breakthrough By Rejuvenating Old Human Cells

Anti-Aging: Scientists Rejuvenate Old Human Cells

Aging is the manifestation of changes affecting cells in the body. Normally, human body cells constantly divide to create new ones. This is crucial for staying in good health.

But the process does not function as efficiently as people get older and could result in cell death. This, of course, brings about a variety of health issues common among the elderly.

In what will be good news to anti-aging enthusiasts, some researchers have reported their success in restoring activity in senescent or old cells. They also observed these rejuvenated cells looked and functioned as those present in younger individuals.

Scientists from the University of Exeter reported the new research in BMC Cell Biology recently.

They were able to activate a group of genes known as splicing factors using a special technique. Within few hours of implementation, the method resulted in cell division activity. The resulting new cells also had longer telomeres, which is a good sign for longevity.

Splicing Factors and Telomeres

Splicing factors may be described as genetic instructions that guide the functions of cells. They typically get deactivated as a result of cell aging. This gives rise to the phenomenon of senescent cells, cells that are not as efficient as they once were.

Reduction in active splicing factors makes cells not to function properly. The cells become less adaptable and less effective in regulating their genetic expression. When this is the case, a person becomes more prone to diseases, especially age-related diseases. Unhealthy cell aging leads to awful conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

The University of Exeter researchers were able to turn the splicing factors back on and rejuvenate cells by using resveratrol analogues. These are derivatives of a natural compound present in red wine and several types of berries.

They observed the rejuvenated cells looked and acted younger. The discovery was surprising and rather unexpected.

"When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn't believe it," research associate Eva Latorre said. "These old cells were looking like young cells. It was like magic."

The rejuvenated cells had longer telomeres. These structures at the end of chromosomes shrink as you get older and are a factor in aging.

Some have described telomeres as "time keepers" for your DNA. The shorter they get, the faster you age. The rate of cell division is a factor in that. And when telomeres get too short, cells stop dividing, making replacement of worn-out cells impossible. The cells die eventually.

Earlier research had shown that a shorter telomere increases the risk of disorders, such as heart disease.

In somewhat related new research, scientists at the Houston Methodist Research Institute used a technique to promote production of the protein telomerase. This increases the length of telomeres, promoting longevity.

Fountain of Youth?

Since the time of 16th century Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, people have practically been searching for the mythical "Fountain of Youth." They want that perfect solution that could help reverse the effect of aging. Have the scientists from the University of Exeter found that?

This research is just a first step in promoting longer, healthier life, according to molecular genetics professor Lorna Harries. It suggests that activating important genes that get turned off with age may help restore cell function.

"When you treat old cells with molecules that restore the levels of the splicing factors, the cells regain some features of youth," said Harries.

There is still need for more research to confirm if this is a truly valid and helpful means of dealing with the problems of aging.

Before now, most research on how to slow the cellular aging process had focused on lab animals. This makes the observed effects of intervention in old human cells very exciting.

Natural Rejuvenation Tips

Keep a healthy diet

For one, this latest research does seem to indicate importance of getting essential nutrients. The food you eat will be crucial in this regard. Resveratrol, the chemical derivatives of which the researchers made use of, is the secret behind the health benefits of red grapes.

Foods rich in iodine are part of what your diet should feature. This helps to enhance the function of your thyroid gland, which typically slows down with age. Kelp is a good source of iodine – most types of seaweed are.

Iodine contributes to blood cell production. It boosts nerve and muscle function. You can also get help from it for healthy skin, hair, nails and teeth.

Do regular exercise

Exercise offers a good means of protecting cellular and overall health. You may find it helpful for rejuvenating your cells for younger appearance and feel. Although more vigorous, high-intensity exercises are more beneficial, you can still benefit from less strenuous routines.

Researchers have found that moderate exercise is better than lack of exercise or excessive exercising in keeping telomeres from getting shorter.

You may also take to yoga. Much has been said about its anti-aging benefits.

Sleep well

You need good quality sleep for your cells to refresh and bounce back from damage. If you have been skimping on it, you need to check yourself as you are at increased risk of accelerated aging. People tend to look less radiant and rather sapped of life when they do not get enough zzzs.

Besides, when you sleep well, your body releases more human growth hormone (HGH). Many benefits, including anti-aging, have been linked to this natural substance.

In a way, the new University of Exeter research may be said to confirm what is already known about anti-aging potential of resveratrol. It hints at the possibility of having standard treatments for slowing aging and reducing the risk of degenerative medical conditions sometime in the future.


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